University of Chester

Programme Specification
Education Studies, Theology and Religion BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2016 - 2017

Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)

Education Studies, Theology and Religion

Education Studies, Theology and Religion

University of Chester

Bhaktivedanta College

Bhaktivedanta College Campus, Belgium

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes

Education Studies    

 Theology and Religious Studies

Education and Children’s Services

Wednesday 6th June 2012

The Programme will provide students with:

  • Preparation for a range of ethical and fulfilling careers, especially in the diverse contexts in which education meets religion, theology, philosophy, ethics and spirituality.
  • A comprehensive, critical understanding of education with distinctive focus on:

                 (a) Learning and teaching, and educational leadership;

                 (b) Religion, spiritual development and philosophy and ethics;

                 (c) Theological insight, especially as drawn from the Hindu-Vaishnava teachings.

  • Understanding of the relationship of the theory and practice of learning and teaching, especially academic, pastoral and inter-personal.
  • A foundational understanding of Theology and Religious Studies, based on sound academic knowledge and deep assimilation of Vaishnava thought, culture and heritage.
  • Knowledge, understanding and appreciation of world religions and a wide range of worldviews and philosophies.
  • The ability to reflexively apply theological and educational insight to all aspects of personal and professional growth, thus developing commensurate values and attitudes.
  • The opportunity to positively contribute towards contemporary educational initiatives as credible, exemplary and well-integrated representatives of their own faith traditions.

[QAA Section 7.4]

Students will be assessed on their ability to demonstrate detailed knowledge and a critical and authentic understanding of:

(a) Education in the diverse contexts in which it meets religion, ethics and related topics.
(b) The theories, principles, and methodologies underpinning professional Education Studies, its attendant disciplines and effective educational practice.
(c) The principles and methodologies underpinning professional Theology and Religious Studies.
(d) The educational teachings of Hindu-Vaishnava theology and their own emerging views and insights.
(e) The diverse beliefs and practices of the major world religions.

[QAA Section 7.6]

Students will be assessed on their ability and aptitude to:

(a) Integrate their own (often-religious) worldviews with professional educational theory and practice, especially by reflexively evaluating educational theories, debates and polices from multiple professional, secular and faith perspectives.
(b) Nurture the values, attitudes and dispositions required of an effective educator and, as appropriate, an authentic faith practitioner, as relevant to both personal transformation and professional development.
(c) With empathy, integrity and critical reflection, engage with the convictions and practices of members of other faiths, cultures and worldviews, and thus contribute towards inclusivity, community cohesion and social well-being

[QAA Section 7.5]

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

(a) Constructively apply their knowledge, understanding and personal insight to a wide range of educational issues, contexts and professional arenas, especially as linked to religion, ethics and spirituality.
(b) Use a wide range of sources to systematically research and analyse educational and theological theories, policies and issues, accommodating new understandings to formulate, justify, propose and implement positive changes in educational policy and professional practice, for others and themselves.
(c) Employ a range of teaching, facilitation, and other interpersonal skills, as relevant to teaching and various
types of educational leadership.

[QAA Section 7.6]

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

(a) Organise and articulate opinions and arguments in speech and writing
(b) Competently use ICT in their study and other appropriate situations
(c) Effectively use and present numerical data
(d) Work collaboratively and productively in teams
(e) Demonstrate Improvement in their own learning and professional performance
(f) Apply analytical and problem-solving skills

Education Studies aims to nurture a broad critical awareness of education, drawing on the key disciplines of history, sociology, psychology and philosophy. This Programme gives particular emphasis to Theology and Religious Studies, and specifically the complex relationships between faith and religion in a wide range of contexts. It draws particular inspiration from the Vaishnava strands of Hindu thought, and examines the importance of such dialogue in multi-cultural societies such as the UK, where Hindu and other ethnic communities are not only socially and economically well-settled but have significant, constructive influence in educational life. The Programme is also practical, tailored to graduates entering meaningful employment and making a positive contribution to education in pluralist societies, in Britain and elsewhere.

This Programme allows students to study topics relevant to their intended careers, determined through the selection of optional modules, the choice of research project (in the second year) and the focus of the dissertation (in the third year). This Programme has two particular emphases. The first is gaining an understanding of education through academic study. Second is the broad stress on spirituality, ethics and the affective domain of learning. In this respect, it draws particularly, but not exclusively, from Hindu spirituality. It also gives a broad overview of the principal world religions, and enables students to examine education from a range of secular and faith-based perspectives.

A full-time student would normally follow six 20-credit modules (or equivalent) at the appropriate level each year, giving a total of 120 credits at each level. Only marks at Level 5 and Level 6 contribute towards the final degree classification. All modules at Level 4 are currently compulsory modules. At Level 5 all students undertake the ‘Educational Research Project' module, and have one optional choice. At Level 6, students also have one optional choice.

At Level 4, the six modules are studied by all students, giving roughly equal weight to Education Studies and Theology and Religion.

At Levels 5 and 6, students intending to enter Secondary education will study three modules related to Education, and an equal number linked to Theology and Religion. This supports students towards meeting the current UK National College For Teaching and Leadership expectations for intending Secondary trainee teachers, namely that 50% of their degree is in a subject specialism.

Student progression is enabled through the incremental development of student learning activity and approaches to learning and teaching specified in the table below. Higher levels build on, and further develop, characteristics of earlier levels. These generic descriptors are merely indicative; please refer to the relevant module descriptors for more details.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
ED4440 4 Introduction to Education Studies 20 Comp
ED4441 4 Introduction to the Philosophy of Education 10 Comp
ED4442 4 Contemporary Issues in Secular and Religious Education 20 Comp
TH4443 4 Introduction to Hinduism 20 N/A
TH4445 4 Introduction to Ethics 10 Comp
TH4449 4 Core Skills for Teachers 1: Planning and Delivery 10 Comp
TH4452 4 Theory and Method in the Study of Religion 10 Comp
TH4453 4 Encountering World Religions 20 Comp
TH4454 4 Canonical Bhakti-Shastri Study (Part A) 20 Optional
ED5440 5 Teaching Through Creativity and the Arts 20 Comp
ED5441 5 Learning Through ICT 10 Comp
ED5442 5 Education Research Methods 10 Comp
ED5443 5 Education Research Project 20 Comp
ED5444 5 Childhood Studies 1: Learning in the Primary Years (5-11 years) 20 Optional
ED5445 5 Adult Education 1: Motivation to Learn for a Lifetime 20 Optional
ED5446 5 Educational Leadership 1: Key Principles and Core Skills 20 Optional
TH5444 5 Sociology of Religion 20 Optional
TH5447 5 Science and Religion 10 Comp
TH5448 5 Hindu Theories of Knowledge and Learning 10 Comp
TH5449 5 Western and Hindu Approaches to Contemporary Ethical Issues 20 Optional
TH5452 5 Canonical Bhakti-Shastri Study (Part B) 20 Optional
ED6440 6 Values, Identity and Inclusion 20 Comp
ED6441 6 Core Skills for Teachers 2: Delivery and Assessment 20 Optional
ED6442 6 Childhood Studies 2: The Wellbeing of Primary Children (5-11 years) 20 Optional
ED6443 6 Adult Learning 2. Distance Learning and Advanced Use of ICT 20 Optional
ED6444 6 Educational Leadership 2: Leadership for Positive Change 20 Optional
ED6445 6 Dissertation 40 Comp
TH6443 6 Modern Hinduism 20 Optional
TH6445 6 Theory and Practice of Managing Conflict in Faith-Based Organizations 20 Optional
TH6449 6 Six Classical Indian Philosophies 20 Optional

  • 120 credits at Level 4: Certificate of Higher Education
  • 240 credits at Level 5: Diploma of Higher Education
  • 360 credits at Level 6: Bachelor’s degree

The entry requirements for the B.A. Education Studies, Theology and Religion Programme at the University of Chester are:

240 -280 UCAS points from GCE A Levels
BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: merit/distinction profile
Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects.
International Baccalaureate: 26 points.
European Baccalaureate: a minimum of 70%.
QAA recognised Access course, Open College Units or Open University Credits.

Please note: A BTEC National Award or the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer.

Interviews are not part of the admissions process for students on this Programme. However, the College will offer interview and selection guidance to prospective students, this will include the expectations of the Programme and information about potential career pathways for applicants who intend to pursue a career in teaching at Primary, Secondary or Tertiary levels. Details of these sessions will be advertised on the College website and Programme publicity materials.

Where English is not the applicant's first language, the College will require proof of ability to study through the medium of English. This may be demonstrated by a certificate of IELTS (score of no less than 6.5 in any category), TOEFL with minimum score of 79 (iBT), 213 (CBT), 550 (paper); or a Cambridge Exam (CAE). Where the level of English is marginally adequate, students are recommended to attend classes in spoken and written English as provided by the College.

Students intending to pursue ITT (Initial Teacher Training) will be advised to check they already have, or plan to achieve, the requisite qualifications as identified in the Teaching Agency Requirements for ITT (2012).

Accreditation of Prior Credited/Certified or Prior Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL)

The University recognises, in partial fulfilment of its own requirements, qualification and experience gained elsewhere. Students wishing to apply for accreditation of prior credited/ certified or prior experiential learning (APCL/ APEL) may apply for exemption from parts of a Programme for up to the maximum credit value allowed. Application for recognition of credit already achieved shall be made immediately upon registration for the student's programme of study.

The Programme is guided by two sets of QAA benchmark statements, namely those for ‘Education Studies' (sections C1 to C4 below) and ‘Theology and Religious Studies' (Sections C5 to C7).  The statements for TRS are identical to those used for the Single Honours Theology and Religious Studies Programme, except for including cross-references and for having fewer module exemplars. 

The Education Studies Benchmark Statement, published by the QAA in 2000 and revised for 2007, details the range of (1) Knowledge and Understanding [Sections 5.1-4], (2) Application [5.5), (3) Reflection [5.6], and (4) Transferable Skills [5.7) acquired and developed in EDS degree Programmes. These are shown below, mapped illustratively against corresponding Programme modules.

C1 EDS Benchmark 1: Knowledge and Understanding

5.1 A necessary feature of a Bachelor's degree with Honours in Education Studies is an intellectually rigorous study of educational processes, and the cultural, political and historical contexts within which they are embedded. While individual Programmes within degree Programmes may have a focus upon particular age groups, or learning and teaching, or particular contexts and education systems [see, for example Sections 23 and 24], they will provide students with opportunities to engage in critical reflection and debate. Students should have the opportunity to engage with a number of different perspectives and to evaluate aims and values, means and ends, and the validity of the education issues in question. [All modules]

5.2 In order to achieve this, students will need to draw upon contemporary research and other relevant educational literature. Students will also require an awareness of relevant concepts and theories from across a range of appropriate disciplines. [All modules]

5.3 Degree Programmes should enable students to demonstrate that they have acquired the ability to understand theoretical knowledge and research evidence about:

  • The processes of learning, including some of the key paradigms and their impact on educational practices [TH4449, 1.2b, TH5448, 2.1, 2.2a, 3.2]
  • The effects of cultural, societal, political, historical and economic contexts on learning, including education policies, moral, religious and philosophical underpinnings, and issues of social justice [1.3, 2.44, 3.3]
  • Formal and informal contexts for learning. Educational contexts will include some understanding of their own education system and other education systems, and the values underpinning their organisation [1.3, TH4449, 2.43, 3.3, 3.43]
  • A range of research perspectives and methodologies applied to education [TH4449, 2.2b, 2.3]
  • The complex interactions between education and its contexts, and relationships with other disciplines and professions [1.1., 1.3, TH4444, TH5447, 2.2a, 2.41, 3.44]

5.4 Programmes should provide opportunities for students to:

  • Analyse educational issues systematically [All modules]
  • Evaluate education policy in an informed and systematic way [1.1., 2.44, 3.3, 3.44]
  • Accommodate new principles and new knowledge [1.2b, TH5448, 3.43]
  • Apply key principles across educational systems [2.41. 2.43. 2.44, 3.41, 3.44]

C2 EDS Benchmark 2: Application

5.5 Programmes should enable students to apply their subject knowledge and understanding through:

  • The analysis of complex situations concerning human learning and development in particular contexts, including their own learning [1.3, 2.1, 3.3]
  • The use of examples of the implementation of policies in practice [1.3. 2.44]
  • The accommodation of new ideas and the provision of well-argued conclusions relating to issues, such as the impact of globalisation on education systems, social justice, sustainable development, social inclusion and the knowledge economy

[1.3, 2.3, 3.3, 3.41]

  • Consideration of the international and intercultural dimension of education, the effect of the increasing use of the internet, and the impact of increased worldwide mobility [TH4448, TH54448, 2.2a, 3.3, TH6443, 3.43]

C3 EDS Benchmark 3: Reflection

5.6 Programmes should provide opportunities for students to:

  • Reflect on their own value systems, development and practices [TH4449, 2.2b]
  • Question concepts and theories encountered in their studies [1.2b]
  • Interrogate the assumptions underpinning theory and research [2.2b, TH5448

C4 EDS Benchmark 4: Transferable Skills

5.7 These transferable skills are derived from the three preceding strands. They are characteristics of education but need not be unique to it. Programmes should be designed so that, by the end of their degree Programme, students should be able to demonstrate ability to:

  • Construct and communicate oral and written arguments [All modules]
  • Use information and communication technology (ICT), including word processing, databases, internet communication, information retrieval and online searches [All Modules]
  • Interpret and present relevant numerical information [2.2b, 2.3, 3.1/5]
  • Work with others, as a result of the development of interpersonal skills, to demonstrate the capacity to plan, to share goals, and work as a member of a team [TH4449]
  • Improve their own learning and performance, including the development of study and research skills, information retrieval, and a capacity to plan and manage learning, and to reflect on their own learning [TH4449, 2.2b, 2.3, 3.2]
  • Analyse, synthesise, evaluate, and identify problems and solutions. [3.41, 3.43, 3.44]

5.8 Students following Programmes leading to a teaching qualification may also have to comply with other national requirements.

The Theology and Religious Studies Benchmark Statement published by the QAA in 2000 and revised for 2007 details the range of subject knowledge (TRS Benchmark 3.1), the qualities of mind (3.2), and generic skills acquired and developed in TRS degree Programmes (3.3.). These are listed below mapped illustratively against correspond Programme modules.

C5 TRS Benchmark 1: Subject Knowledge

(i) A broadly based core, together with the wider context required for the subject area covered by the Programme in question; and specialised study in depth of some aspects of the discipline or field. This implies not just the mastery of data but also the setting of these data within a theoretical framework which includes critical analysis and debate about how to understand and structure the raw data into a coherent whole. [All modules]

(ii) One or more religions, ancient or modern, including the origin, history and developed or present character of each. [TH4448, TH6443]

(iii) The reading, analysis and interpretation of texts, sometimes in the original languages, particularly texts that have been sacred to one or more practicing communities. This study will often focus both on the historical context which generated the text(s) and on hermeneutical questions concerning its meaning and application for the appropriate community of believers in the present, or for other readers today. [2.6a]

(iv) Engagement with some of the major religious thinkers, prophets, teachers, ascetics, mystics, healers or leaders through their extant work or subsequent influence. [TH4443, TH4448 TH6447]

(v) The application of a variety of critical methods of study, often adapted from those of other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, to the study of texts, practices, religious communities as social or cultural entities, or their diverse art forms. [All modules]

(vi) The history of the particular discipline(s) covered by the Programme, including the major theories, movements and thinkers. [TH6443]

(vii) Ethics, morality and values. All religions have certain expectations in these areas, and the student will include them in the study along with other aspects of the religion. [TH4445 TH5449, TH6447]

C6 TRS Benchmark 2: Qualities of Mind

(a) The ability to understand how people have thought and acted in contexts other than the student's own, how beliefs, doctrines and practices have developed within particular social and cultural contexts and how religious traditions have changed over time. [All modules].

(b) The ability to read and use texts both critically and empathetically, whilst addressing such questions as genre, content, context, perspective, purpose, original and potential meaning, and the effect of translation if the text is not read in the original language. [TH5447 TH5448, TH6447]

(c) The appreciation of the complexity of different mentalities, social behaviours and aesthetic responses, and of the ways they have been shaped by beliefs and values, and conversely, how beliefs, sacred texts and art forms have been shaped by society and politics. [All modules]

(d) Sensitivity to the problems of religious language and experience, and to issues of multiple and conflicting interpretations of language and symbols, texts and traditions. Simplistic, literalising or doctrinaire explanations are less likely to be advanced by a student of Theology and Religious Studies. [All Modules]

(e) Appreciation of both the interconnectedness of and internal tensions within a system of beliefs and practices. [TH5444, TH5448, TH6447]

(f) Basic critical and analytical skills; recognition that statements should be tested, that evidence and arguments are subject to assessment, that the interpreter's role demands critical evaluation. [All modules]

(g) The ability to employ a variety of methods of study in analysing material, to think independently, set tasks and solve problems. [All modules].

(h) The capacity to give a clear and accurate account of a subject, marshal arguments in a mature way and engage in debate and dialogue with respect for the opposite case or different viewpoint. [All modules].

C7 TRS Benchmark 3: Generic Skills

The Statement also lists these generic (transferable) skills acquired through the study of Theology and Religious Studies:

  • independence of mind and initiative
  • capacity for reflexive learning
  • capacity to modify, suspend or otherwise change position when warranted
  • ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information
  • analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems
  • presentation skills, both oral and written
  • IT skills, including word-processing, communicating by email and using the web, accessing information from electronic as well as non-electronic sources
  • writing skills, including accurate referencing and clarity of expression
  • ability to attend closely to the meaning of written documents
  • ability to read texts in a different language

At Level 3 some of these are prerequisite for study and they are audited at induction. These skills are developed and are reflected in the assessment criteria.

The Statement also lists these as skills:

  • empathy and imaginative insight, with a tolerance of diverse positions
  • self-discipline
  • ability to attend to others and have respect for others' views
  • commitment to lifelong learning
  • teamwork skills
  • ability to work with others  

These are developed through the learning ethos of the department and specifically through formative learning methods such as class discussion, group seminar presentations, assignment proposal development, dissertation research and presentations. Self-discipline and self direction are particularly tested in modules with a fieldwork component that is assessed or with the double module dissertation (TH6448).

In its approach to learning and teaching, the College draws from two main sources. Firstly, the best of contemporary theory and professional practice, secondly, its own theological heritage, largely through the development of a thoroughly researched, Hindu-based ‘philosophy of education'. The College's principle of ‘spiritually-integrated learning' requires that faith is not merely an appendage to education but that spiritual insight is rigorously blended with educational theory. Hinduism's notion of religion as a system of ‘directly perceived knowledge' helps reconcile a range of epistemological stances, including empirical, rational and scriptural.   

The College's distinctive approach to education embraces the following principles:


1. Knowledge refers to a dynamic process, not a static commodity.

2. Effective education ‘draws out' innate knowledge rather than ‘delivering' mere information or content.

3. All knowledge is mediated (i.e. through the knower). The assimilation and application of knowledge significantly depends on the learner's disposition.

4. Success significantly rests on the quality of reciprocation between teacher and learner, and their respective personal qualities.

5. The learner should develop with three core qualities:

             1. Inquisitiveness

             2. Respect for the teacher (and all others)

             3. A sense of service

6. The effective teacher is an exemplary learner, equipped with ‘realisation' (assimilated knowledge), pedagogical skill and personal virtue.

7. The cognitive continuum of learning is extended, from memorisation through understanding towards the goal of ‘realisation' or ‘direct perception'.

8. Direct perception embraces the noumenal realm through notion of self-discovery and ‘self-realisation'

9. The aims of education are diverse, as practically relevant to the ‘real world' and both societal and individual wellbeing.

10. Values and attitudes not only assist the acquisition and application of knowledge but constitute a third, explicit goal of learning.

11. A core aim of education is perception of the spiritual equality of all peoples and species, transcending of all false designations linked to age, race, gender, ethnicity, species, ability, nationality and specific faith affiliation.

12. Effective education is purposeful, with all processes deliberately aligned to realisation of the desired learning.

In practical terms, the Programme has a number of distinctive features, as listed below:

  1. It uses focussed, active background reading, or other prescribed tasks, in deliberate preparation for subsequent contact-time learning. 
  2. Contact-time (e.g. lectures) must achieve far more than information transfer.
  3. The Programme increasingly develops students' ability to work autonomously at higher levels of learning so that contact-time focuses on progressively more advanced outcomes.
  4. Much use is made of interactive, reflective and experiential learning, and of diverse, creative teaching methods.
  5. Stress is given to the quality of student experience, though student enjoyment  is complemented with adequate ‘stretch' and challenge to meet meaningful aims and learning outcomes linked to the ‘real world'.  
  6. The Programme Leader is responsible for ensuring the Programme's cohesion. 
  7. Tutors are expected to meet specified aims and outcomes, but to exercise professional discretion and creativity in achieving them.
  8. Aims and outcomes are specified for not only modules but also each unit (of two lessons). There are also clear indications of links from and to other modules, to ensure a palpable sense of continuity and achievement.
  9. There is distinct focus on the relevance of learning to students' lives, interests and intended careers (usually stressed near the start of any unit, module or year), and subsequently to application of learning (often towards the end of any learning period).
  10. Students receive (during orientation week) a personal portfolio, including a reflective journal which they are encouraged to regularly use. This helps track and celebrate achievement and assist with formative assessment.
  11. Students should be able to easily cross-refer Programme materials to any learning experiences (such as lectures). Free-floating hand-outs are discouraged in favour of bound materials.
  12. Learning methods are selected for alignment with unambiguous aims, and to match a wide range of preferring learning styles.

Students are able to achieve the intended learning outcomes through the following learning and teaching methods: 

  • Lectures, often interactive and supported with audio-visual resources and subject guides.
  • Individual exercises and assignments (often highly reflective, such as self-inventory).
  • Pair work, often to facilitate peer-learning.
  • Collaborative group work (discussion, debate and research projects).
  • A wide range of creative ‘report-back' methods (often to de-brief group work).
  • Experiential learning (e.g. fishbowl activities).
  • Whole-class and group discussion.
  • Pre-reading with specific focus to encourage active reading or preparation for subsequent interactive or experiential exercises.
  • Other study and research assignments, especially to promote autonomous learning.
  • Blended learning, especially in small groups with optional modules.
  • Individual and group tutorials and continuous on-line tutor support.
  • Study skills and language support e.g. for essay writing and dissertation composition.

The College also aspires to organise conferences for students to share and explore their respective research interests, and also a range of extra-curricular visits and placements to prepare them for meaningful careers and employment.  There are best organised in the Autumn and Spring Terms, before the deadline in March for students officially selecting their module options (Years 2 and 3) and also before students complete the Level 5 Module entitled "Educational Research Project" or the Level 6 dissertation.   

At Level 4, learning is predominantly tutor-designed and guided, and students are supported in developing individual initiative and collaborative enquiry within this framework, which provides groundwork in critical reflection, subject-specific methods, transferable study skills and skills of accurate communication.

At this stage, limited scope is given for evaluation according to personal and religious views and frameworks, so that students can first acquire adequate theoretical knowledge and master the corresponding academic disciplines.

At Level 5, learning design remains largely tutor-guided with encouragement to work in collaboration with tutors and fellow-students, but with more opportunity for independent learning. There is opportunity for consolidation and development of appropriate study skills and for experiencing a wider range of appropriate methods of study, and opportunity to apply their understanding and skills in fieldwork.

At this second stage, students are encouraged to examine how Hindu-Vaishnava and other theological truths can contribute towards professional insights, and to consider and evaluate commonalities and apparent tensions.

At Level 6, students develop a greater responsibility for their own learning, both independent and collaborative. They are encouraged to articulate personal response and engagement in the context of respect for the views of others; and with appreciation of complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty, whilst developing personal and reflexive insight into enduring truths and values.

Additionally, during the third and final years, students are encouraged to become well-integrated individuals, with both professional and ‘devotional' (spiritual) integrity, and to be of good character, exemplary in their ability to accommodate both theological and academic perspectives.   

Students are inducted into different forms of assessment at Level 4, within a range that responds to the different learning preferences of students, prepares them for the standard forms of graduate assessment, and offers some opportunities for creative and applied forms of assessment. Not all learning outcomes have to be explicitly assessed.

At Level 4, students are given formative experiences that prepare them for the summative assessment they subsequently encounter at that level. Similarly, where new forms of assessment are introduced at Levels 5 or 6, corresponding formative exercises are used.

At every level, students submit assignment proposal forms for all essays and some  alternative forms of assessment (e.g. presentations). These are used for initial negotiation of topic and resources, for title agreement, and for supervising subsequent development of the analysis and argument.

Assessment methods are chosen according to ‘fitness of purpose' with each module's intended learning. Consideration is also given (across each year and the entire Programme) to the overall balance of methods, to their progression and to their ability to enhance students' skills, both subject-specific and transferable.  

Different forms of assessment are used throughout all levels (e.g. essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios, group discussions, book reviews, etc.). A list of the main methods (called an ‘assessment palette'), showing corresponding word counts, is included in Appendix C.  The corresponding  ‘assessment map' is included in Appendix B.

Concisely, the assessment load for every 10 credits is as follows:

  • 1. Essay or similar: 2000 - 2750 words (+/- 10%)
  • 2. 10-15 minute presentation, with written notes of between 1,200 - 1,650 words
  • 3. A two hour examination

More specific information is included in each module descriptor, and detailed information on the corresponding Module Handbook.

Formative assessment falls within three main categories, namely self, peer and tutor. It takes place in three main contexts, namely (1) the classroom (2) personal tutorials and (3) group tutorials. As far as feasible, after each module and when students receive their marked assignments, a group tutorial enables students to reflect on their achievements and identify specific areas for improvement and, as needed, intervention.   Use of the six ‘formative assessment components' (as above-mentioned) is monitored through a ‘formative assessment tracking sheet'.

Formative assessment is largely facilitated through use of a personal portfolio, which includes a reflective journal. The same journal is occasionally used for formal (i.e. summative) assessment, most often at the start of each year. Students receive their personal portfolio during orientation week, and are encouraged to develop it throughout their College years, giving specific attention to self-understanding and personal aspiration, as linked to further study, career and personal fulfilment.        

The Programme adheres to the assessment regulations of the University.

The regulations can be found at:

The Faculty of Education and Children's Services is committed to principles of assessment that:

  • Support formative assessments that provide feedback and constructive guidance;
  • Support summative assessments that indicate clearly how criteria have been met and that are consistent and comparable;
  • Enable trainees to demonstrate their achievements against the Level at which they are studying and national agendas;
  • Promote learning;
  • Inform planning and Programme Development;
  • Support manageable assessment tasks within an agreed timeframe;
  • Enable trainees to reflect on and take personal responsibility for their own learning.

                                                     (Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy, 2011).

Assessment criteria are communicated to students through the Programme and Module Handbooks. Assignment guidance explains the important features of each assignment.

A copy of the Generic Marking Criteria for Level 4, Level 5 and Level 6 can be found in Appendix E of this document. 

Following the acquisition of this award, students will be equipped to follow a number of related career pathways. After completion of a programme of Initial Teacher Training, graduates could enter Primary, Secondary or Tertiary education as teachers. Others could move into adult learning, in human resource and training departments. Graduates from other Educational Studies Programmes also regularly succeed in careers linked to youth support, social work, libraries, publishing and the voluntary sector. Positions as education officers are available in museums, prisons, and a wide range of faith and voluntary organisations.

In preparation for students' professional life, and drawing also on its spiritual underpinnings, the Programme nurtures students in specific aptitudes and associated attitudes, which include:

  • Vision and motivation
  • Seeing the potential in learners
  • Courage
  • Presentation, articulation and conversation skills
  • Consideration and respect
  • Listening skills
  • Sensitivity for social, political and cultural etiquette
  • Appreciation of diversity
  • Perception of the spiritual equality of all
  • Awareness of individual and cultural differences
  • Open-mindedness and freedom from judgementalism
  • Discernment
  • Reasoning and critical thinking skills
  • Reflexivity
  • Research and interview skills
  • Proficiency in ICT
  • Writing skills
  • Ability to organise self, time and work
  • Facilitation and meeting skills
  • Confidence in own abilities
  • Ability to self-evaluate and welcome feedback
  • Leadership and organisational skills
  • Unassuming self-esteem

Various modules in the Programme address questions of age, race, gender, sexuality, disability and religious identity. There is also ample opportunity to explore the tensions between promoting equality and valuing diversity, whilst also drawing on Hindu-Vaishnava teachings based on the spiritual equality of all peoples and, indeed, all living beings.

Bhaktivedanta College actively addresses University of Chester priorities regarding admissions, widening access and participation, Equal Opportunities and AP(E)L. It offers individualised academic support to all its students.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.



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