Teaching, learning and assessment strategies
Learning is facilitated through the Virtual Learning Environment which incorporates focused conferencing and work spaces linked to specific activities for each module. Each module has a study guide that structures the student's learning, key readings are also provided. Some textbooks must be bought or borrowed. On line learning support is offered through a team of tutors. There are also online resources available including the Virtual Library.
Advice and practical information such as study techniques, planning, and preparation for assessment are available on line. Participants manage their own learning.
Students may communicate with each other on a free web-based student to student network. Students will be able to engage in dialogue, and develop and negotiate conclusions with others, which are key components in the acquisition of knowledge, understanding and transferable skills.
It is an International Academy policy that there should be a preponderance of unseen written examinations in the assessment of programmes. This is to ensure security and reduce the possibility of plagiarism. In these programmes each module is assessed by both unseen written examination (60%) and coursework (40%).
The unseen written examinations consist of questions structured to allow students to demonstrate that they have acquired appropriate knowledge and understanding. Students' standard of intellectual and transferable skills will be assessed by the way they research and manage data, solve problems, evaluate ideas and the organisational skills they use to structure an answer.
The coursework provides a structure to the programme and allows students to demonstrate the skills associated with analysis, selection and interpretation and producing a well-reasoned assignment.
MA students will also submit a Project Report or a dissertation which will not only demonstrate their knowledge but also their ability to plan, gather data, reason and produce a well-structured report.
Assessment criteria for the programme will indicate the level at which these skills have been achieved.
Each module, including the report/dissertation, will be assessed by one three hour unseen written examination and coursework. Both elements must normally be completed in the same academic year.
The report (as relevant for MA only) is assessed by a written report, of not more than 10,000 words, and one three hour unseen written examination. The assessment for the dissertation (as relevant for MA only) consists of a dissertation, which should not exceed 20,000 words, and one three hour unseen written examination. The examination for the report or dissertation only is an 'open book' examination. Students are permitted to bring into the examination room any written materials they wish, including a draft version of their dissertation/report and TMAs (Tutor Marked Assignments).
In order to pass a module, students will be required to satisfy the Examiners in both elements of the assessment. The grade awarded for each module will be based on the written examination and the coursework, weighted on the scale 60:40.
Examinations can be taken once a year, normally in May/June, and are held at examination centres throughout the world.
Student support and guidance
There is further information on support and guidance in the student handbook.
The following summarises the support and guidance available to students:
- Printed study guides - these introduce and develop the topics
- Virtual learning environment - conferencing and work spaces linked to specific modules
- Support offered through team of tutors
- Course handbook
- Access to an Online Library which provides a range of full-text, multidisciplinary databases. Journal articles, book reviews and reports can be found on the databases to which the Library subscribes on your behalf
- University of London library - registered students may use the resources located within the Senate House library
- Regulations, containing full details of module outlines, programme structure, assessment regulations, degree classification criteria, etc
- Past examination papers and Examiners' commentaries which provide generic feedback from assessment