Teaching and learning methods

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The programme is taught by a combination of lecture/seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and studios. However, much of the responsibility for study will be the student’s own and you will be encouraged to form study groups, work together and share expertise. Teaching will be available at various times outwith the timetabled hours of specific sessions. Students will also be expected to meet individually with a member of the programme staff at least once per semester.

Each taught course provides advanced tuition in a specialised aspect of the subject. Certain courses are based mainly on lecture/seminars, while others emphasise short creative production projects which develop, exemplify and integrate practical skills in Sound Design. Each course has a Course Organiser, who is the first recourse for questions about the content, assessment and other specifically course-related issues.

Commonly, project work will be team-based. Projects are required to display evidence of original thinking, independent achievement within a framework of team-working, and creative ability. Collaborative team-based projects will be structured so that the individual contribution of each student in the group can be identified and assessed. The Final Project in particular will, of course, be mostly self-directed work (again perhaps as a team), with periodic supervision meetings.

Although this is a “taught programme”, our emphasis in these courses is more on facilitating learning than on teaching. We aim to provide an environment in which learning can be maximised, and the teaching staff are just one resource among many that students can exploit. Even when not explicitly team-based, learning is to us a highly collaborative activity, and the students themselves are the key resource for each other. We prescribe little; we expect to be challenged and questioned. We are often not expert users of particular software applications; we expect students to explore, exploit the internet, seek other sources of expertise, engage with practices of research. We will usually reward experimentation, innovation, creativity and boldness of conception in all courses. Note that in this research-led university, staff are engaged in research projects as well as teaching, which brings benefits to students involved in taught programmes. Research informs teaching, and there may be opportunities directly to engage in research projects during the year and beyond.