University of Chester

Programme Specification
Food Science & Innovation MSc
2017 - 2018

Master of Science

Food Science & Innovation

Food Science & Innovation

University of Chester

University of Chester

Parkgate Road Campus

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory, Distance,

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

6 Years

Annual - October

N/A

D610

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Clinical Sciences and Nutrition

 

 

QAA Subject Benchmark Statements are derived from:

Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences (July 2016)

There are no relevant subject benchmark statements for Master degree in food subjects currently available, however the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement: Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences (July 2016) for bachelor’s degrees with honours, has been referred to as the most appropriate.

 

 

 

Clinical Sciences and Nutrition

Tuesday 11th August 2015

The Masters programme will aim to inform and equip students with the necessary skills to function in modern food sector industries.

This programme intends to address specific needs of the food sector industries, which are experiencing significant knowledge loss due to an ageing workforce and increasing personnel retirements. Although automation within the sector has been significant in recent decades, there remains a lack of knowledgeable personnel with specific chemical and technical expertise. In addition, there is a growing demand for skills and knowledge that are required to develop entrepreneurial skills to enable individual start-up of new food & drink businesses.

The content of the modules has been selected to address key issues relating to food science and technology. These are areas that are not only within the BBSRC remit (for example the DRINC Club) but also considered a priority within the European Union Horizon 2020 programme relating to up-skilling of staff working within the Food & Drink Sector Industries. A further objective of this programme is to provide participants with the knowledge and skills that will enable them as managers and leaders to make more informed, higher level decisions that will enhance competitiveness, innovation and new market opportunities, whilst responding to global challenges and consumer needs. The programme delivery method, modular contents and assessment procedures, combined with the various learning support tools have been selected to facilitate entry or return to higher level study. This is advantageous for busy professionals with either other competing commitments or who have been away from higher education for some time. Collectively these will help support and stimulate a desire for new knowledge and further upskilling for the benefit of the UK food and drink sector industries.

The new knowledge and skills provided to participants will enable them to identify relevant innovation, opportunities for the implementation of new technologies and assist them in the identification of new market opportunities. Consequently, this will enable more informed and strategic decisions in the workplace that will prove beneficial to them and their employers. In particular, study of the proposed modules will provide an improved awareness and understanding of the key concepts and related issues in advanced areas of food science and technology; especially those with potential for significant impact on the operation and performance of the food supply chain.

The delivery method for the programme for part-time students will limit impact on their performance of routine workplace duties for their employer, by minimising time away from the workplace. The assessment procedures used will encourage the application of new knowledge acquired to be implemented in the workplace that will have direct benefits to the employer. The use of reports, posters and presentations will further develop scientific presentation skills; a development need frequently identified by our industrial partners. The training programme will enhance the scientific leadership and management performance of the participants, which in turn will help ensure greater industry responsiveness to global challenges and consumer needs.

Accreditation of the programme by the Institute of Food Science & Technology will be sought in 2016. This will provide greater credibility and will assist future marketing and recruitment, particularly from industry.

Specific aims include:

  • To understand the principles of food science & technology and new developments
  • To gain practical experience of new developments in the food industry
  • To promote a community-focused approach where students are able to forge links with local food and drink organisations and businesses in order to foster their understanding of the food and drink sector in real-world situations
  • To develop an in-depth understanding of current issues in the food sector industries
  • To focus on an integrated approach to new technological developments relevant to the food sector industries
  • To promote students' active learning through a discursive and small group approach that promotes intellectual curiosity and problem solving

Degree programmes in Food Science are designed to develop the knowledge and skills required by those who are involved in food supply, manufacture and sale and associated regulatory and advisory work. Graduates with degrees in Food Science will gain an understanding of the characteristics and composition of major food materials; the microbiology, nutritional quality, chemistry, physical properties and eating qualities of food; and the impact of food storage and processing. In particular, they will be able to identify and respond to technological and economic challenges encountered in food chains; evaluate developing technologies and where appropriate, apply them to commercial practice; understand the appropriate legislation, identify and evaluate public concerns on food safety; evaluate the wider consequences of food chain activities and minimise any harmful effects on the environment or on populations.

Graduates  of this programme will possess an appreciation and in depth knowledge of the interacting nature of a range of elements within the broad definition of Food Science. Typically, students will develop an ability to synthesise concepts and ideas across disciplines and to take an holistic view of the overarching concepts within the discipline.

  • The development of integrated, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. (All Modules)
  • To develop a quantitative and qualitative approach to information. (Modules: FS7002; FS7004; FS7005; FS7007)
  • To have consideration of continuing change and development of the subject area. (Modules: FS7001; FS7002; FS7003; FS7005; FS7006)
  • To gain subject-specific and key skills, problem-solving and a professional approach to study and lifelong learning. (All Modules)

 

In the Dissertation Module FS7004 students will apply research methods and analytical knowledge gained in Research methods FS7007 to complete a large-scale piece of independent research or through the development of research papers suitable for publication.

Graduates will have the following abilities and skills:

  • To be able to demonstrate a wide-range of subject specific facts and principles in combination with an awareness of the current limits of theory and applied knowledge. (All Modules)
  • To understand the provisional nature of information and allow for competing and alternative explanations within their subject. (Modules FS7001; FS7002; FS7003; FS7005; FS7006)
  • To recognise and use appropriate theories, concepts and principles from a range of disciplines relevant to Food Sciences. (All Modules)
  • To collect and integrate several lines of evidence to develop balanced arguments. (Modules: FS7004; FS7007)
  • To design experimental protocols to test a hypothesis or proposition. (Modules: FS7004; FS7005; FS7007)
  • To apply knowledge and understanding to address multidisciplinary problems. (All Modules)
  • To exhibit ownership of the defining elements of the discipline as a result of in-depth study or research.          (Module: FS7004)
  • To be able to tackle problems by collecting, analysing and evaluating appropriate qualitative and quantitative information. (Modules: FS7004; FS7005; FS7007)
  • To understand the provisional nature of the facts and current limits of information and principles associated with the field of study. (All Modules)
  • To develop decision making skills in complex and unpredictable contexts. (Modules: FS7004; FS7005; FS7007)
  • To be able to plan and execute research or development work, evaluate the outcomes and draw valid conclusions. (Modules: FS7004; FS7005; FS7007)
  • To display transferable skills and ability to acquire new competencies required for career progression. (All Modules)

Programme delivery will be supplemented by visiting lecturers drawn from the food and drink sector industries to ensure industrial relevance. Full-time participants will be encouraged to work with technical staff in the NoWFood Centre to complete their module assignments and contribute reports that may be of operational benefit to the NoWFood Centre. Part-time participants will apply their learning to the workplace environment during the training period as part of their routine activities. This will be encouraged by the use of by module assessments that require participants to undertake an evaluative study of knowledge implementation in the workplace. Examples would include recommendations to improve existing processes, identifying opportunities for change, improve or alter practices, improve sustainability of operations, increase responsiveness to a changing marketplace, greater competitiveness, improved awareness of international markets and drivers. The assessed work will consist of activities such as reports and presentations in which the scope to implement new procedures, as well as an evaluation of the success of these actions, will be examined. The use of industry recognised management procedures such as SWOT analysis and risk-benefit analysis will be encouraged to maximise relevance and applicability to the workplace.

Graduates will develop the following practical and professional skills:

  • To be able to plan, conduct and report on investigations, including the use of secondary data. (Modules: FS7004; FS7005; FS7007)
  • To collect and record diverse types of information generated by a wide range of methodologies and be able to summarise using appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques. (Modules: FS7004; FS7005; FS7007)
  • To devise, plan and undertake field, laboratory or other investigations in a responsible, sensitive and safe manner, paying due diligence to risk management; ethical and data protection issues; rights of access; relevant health and safety regulations; legal requirements and the impact of investigations on the environment. (Modules: FS7004; FS7005)
  • To plan their own work effectively and set realistic targets. (All Modules)
  • To organise teamwork and participate effectively in a team situation. (Modules: FS7001; FS7002; FS7003; FS7005; FS7006) 
  • To identify  individual and collective goals and responsibilities. (All Modules)
  • To reflect on and evaluate own performance as an individual or as part of a team. (All Modules)
  • To appreciate the need for professional codes of conduct where applicable. (All Modules)
  • To identify and work towards targets for personal, academic and career development. (All Modules)
  • To develop and adaptable and flexible approach to study and work. (All Modules)
  • To develop skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning, including working independently and to develop time management and organisational skills. (All Modules)
  • To demonstrate the competence, behaviour and attitude required in a professional working life, including use of initiative, leadership and team skills. (All Modules)

Graduates will develop the following communication skills:

  • To be able to receive, evaluate and respond accordingly to a variety of information sources, including; electronic; textual; numerical; verbal and graphical. (All Modules)
  • To be able to communicate accurately, clearly, concisely, confidently and appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical forms. (All Modules)
  • To be able to contribute constructively to group discussions. (Modules: FS7001; FS7002; FS7003; FS7005; FS7006; FS7007)
  • To consider, appreciate and evaluate the views of others. (Modules: FS7001; FS7002; FS7003; FS7005; FS7006; FS7007)
  • To use the internet critically as a means of communication and as a source of information. (All Modules)
  • To demonstrate competence in the use of computer-based information handling and data processing tools. (All Modules)
  • To be able to use computer software to communicate information to a range of audiences effectively. (All Modules)

The Institute of Food Science & Innovation will use well-established systems and procedures for giving academic guidance and feedback to students, in line with University of Chester's guidelines. These will include:

  • Experienced Institute staff, who can offer advice and guidance on general matters of programme structure and Institute organisation;
  • The Programme Leader, who is responsible for the overall operation of the programme;
  • The Personal Academic Tutor (PAT), who can provide personal and academic guidance throughout the period of study;
  • The Module leaders and Tutors of each module undertaken, who are able to provide guidance and feedback relating specifically to individual modules.

 The specific awards and progression through the programme are as follows:

Postgraduate Certificate:  Food Integrity & Innovation.

Successful completion of FS7006 and FS7007 and one of either FS7001 or FS7003

Postgraduate Diploma: Food Science & Innovation

Successful completion of FS7001; FS7002; FS7003; FS7005; FS7006 and FS7007

MSc: Food Science and Innovation

Successful completion of FS7001; FS7002; FS7003; FS7004; FS7005; FS7006; FS7007  

 Each module comprises 200 hours of total student study time, typically comprising:

  • 28 hours intensive course of lectures, seminars, group discussions, laboratory activities;
  • 10 hours of tutorial support, (for Distance learners this will be via Skype, telephone or email contact);
  • 162 hours of directed self-study

Students prepare an assignment(s) using the tutor-prepared Module Text, accompanying online learning resources and primary research journals. The specific assessment requirements for each module are set out in the module descriptors.

The Programme Team are responsible for:

  • The academic rigour and balance of the programme;
  • Monitoring student progress and ensuring the effective operation of student support mechanisms;
  • Reflecting on student feedback from staff-student liaison committee meetings and module questionnaires;
  • Arrangement of appropriate internal moderation and feedback mechanisms for marking of coursework and examinations;
  • Ensuring that the programme is conducted in accordance with University and QAA academic regulations and requirements;
  • Promotion and marketing of the programme;
  • Programme enrichment and modification through proposing and development of new modules.

 

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
FS7001 7 Functional Foods and Bioactive Ingredients 20 Comp
FS7002 7 Food Nanotechnology 20 Comp
FS7003 7 Packaging Innovations 20 Comp
FS7004 7 Dissertation 60 Comp
FS7005 7 Food Rheology, Texture and Sensory Science 20 Comp
FS7006 7 Food Security and Integrity 20 Comp
FS7007 7 Research Methods and Data Analysis 20 Comp

For the Masters degree programme, the following credit accumulation will entitle the student to the following intermediate and full award qualification(s)

  •  60 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Certificate (Modules: FS7006 & FS7007 and either FS7001 or FS7003)
  • 120 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Diploma (Modules: FS7001; FS7002; FS7003; FS7005; FS7006 & FS7007)
  • 180 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Masters degree (Modules: FS7001; FS7002; FS7003; FS7004; FS7005; FS7006 & FS7007)

N/A

Application to The Institute of Food Science & Technology will be made in November 2016 for accreditation of this Masters level programme.

The accreditation of degree programmes/courses by a body such as IFST effectively provides a benchmark of the potential of a programme/course to ensure that students are offered the best possible food-related education; in the context of this accreditation “food-related” is used to refer to degrees related to food science and food technology. Hence, students are provided with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to enter employment in education, academic and industrial research, innovation, food production, processing & retailing and the public sector within the broad context of food science and technology.

Accreditation is an assurance that the standards set by a profession are met. It is, thereby, a quality mark or quality standard that helps an accredited food science/ technology or related degree to stand out, in the eyes of potential students and food-sector employers, from other non-accredited programmes/courses. Hence, accreditation can provide advantages when students from an accredited degree programme are seeking employment in the food profession. This accreditation will be on a five-year basis.

Entrants are normally expected to have a good first degree, minimum 2:1 Honours, or a 2:2 degree classification and with a minimum of three year's experience of working in the Food & Drink industry. The degree qualification need not necessarily be in a food-related subject area, but applicants will need to demonstrate an interest in Food Science which will be judged via completed application forms. In exceptional circumstances, applicants who lack the normal entry degree qualification may be considered, but only where they are able to demonstrate outstanding experience of working in a food business or scientific related setting, such students will be asked to attend an interview, which may be conducted via telephone or Skype if they are prospective International students.

The programme will be marketed to our existing undergraduates as there will be a clear progression route from either Biological Sciences or Nutrition programmes provided that students have taken relevant Modules at Level 6 in their respective programmes.

If there are significant numbers of applications from International students, then an optional pre-sessional short course will be offered prior to the start of the full programme in order to ensure that any potential knowledge gaps are filled. This short course will be offered from Academic year 2016-2017 to all applicants as a further measure of ensuring that potential knowledge gaps are filled.

All applicants must be extremely articulate both in written and spoken English. Along with the application candidates must enclose their CV and a strong personal statement explaining why they are suitable for the course.

Applicants whose first language is not English must have an appropriate level of English proficiency certification. This should include the name and result of any English language test taken, as well as copies of the appropriate certificates.

UKVI Approved SELT Tests

Postgraduate

IELTS*

6.5 (Min 5.5 in each sub-skill)

Trinity College London ISE

ISEII - Pass in all 4 components

*IELTS tests must have been taken at a UKVI approved test centre for exams taken on or after 6th April 2015.  

Country Specific 

We may also accept other country specific English Language proficiency examinations (e.g. WAEC or Indian Standard XII). 

 

QAA Subject Benchmark Statements are derived from:

Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food and consumer sciences (2009)

Food Science and Technology is the understanding and application of a range of sciences to satisfy the needs of society for sustainable food security, quality and safety.

Degree programmes in food science and technology are designed to develop the knowledge and skills required by those who are involved in food supply, manufacture and sale and associated regulatory and advisory work. Graduates with degrees in food science and technology will have an understanding of the characteristics and composition of major food materials; the microbiology, nutritional quality, chemistry, physical properties and eating qualities of food; and the impact of food storage and processing. In particular, they will be able to identify and respond to technological and economic challenges encountered in food chains; evaluate developing technologies and where appropriate, apply them to commercial practice; understand the appropriate legislation; identify and evaluate public concerns on food safety; evaluate the wider consequences of food chain activities; and minimise any harmful effects on the environment and on people.

Within the proposed programme are elements of Consumer Science and Sensory Science for which separate but interrelated benchmark statements are provided and have been incorporated into the various elements of the proposed programme.

Programmes broadly concerned with consumer sciences/studies Consumer sciences/studies are defined as interdisciplinary subjects which seek to understand the relationships between the consumer and the economic, legal, social, technical, ethical and environmental forces.

Programmes in consumer sciences/studies have a focus on the consumption of goods and services and on the behaviour of people as consumers. With the increasing importance of sustainable consumption and development, there is an interest in how consumer choices are made and can be modified. This includes critical analysis of the social, economic, legal, technological, ethical and environmental contexts within which consumer choices are made. There is also concern with the development, production and provision of goods and services in terms of quality, acceptability, value, safety and accessibility for consumers. All consumer sciences/studies programmes have strong vocational elements; many offer work-based learning or placements and some have projects designed to meet the needs of external organisations. The programmes are set in appropriate theoretical frameworks with an emphasis on equipping students with the knowledge and skills required to make informed decisions. A graduate in consumer sciences/studies will understand the social and psychological contexts of consumer behaviour. Graduates will understand the economic, legal, scientific and technological principles underlying the production of, and access to, goods and services. They will be able to select and apply concepts, theories and methods drawn from constituent disciplines to the analysis of consumer issues and other factors affecting consumer choice.

The programme will be delivered by blended learning in the form of learning packages, e-mail, discussion boards, telephone contact, residential schools and workplace mentoring. The Module Texts (supplemented by set texts) will provide the main learning materials. The University intranet (Moodle) will be used to provide the learning framework, information on work patterns, additional support materials and the platform for communication throughout the programme. Laboratory-based practical exercises which contribute to the Learning Outcomes of some modules will be undertaken within the appropriate Residential School, which will be scheduled at the start and end of each module.

The programme will utilise a similar mode of delivery to other MSc programmes currently delivered under the Faculty of Science & Engineering. The delivery model will be via a blended-learning approach, comprising Tutor and self-directed learning, supplemented by face-to-face tuition at Residential Schools running as a three or four day intensive course at the start of each module. Each module will take the form of a learning package consisting of the lecture material which is supported and developed by text and on-line resources (accessed via the module space on the VLE), examples will include self-assessment questions, website links, email contact details, staff/student discussion boards.

 Residential Schools 

At the start of each module, students will attend a Residential School at which the module content (including support provision, learning materials and assessment details) will be described. In addition, this will provide an opportunity for the delivery of some subject matter and where appropriate, relevant practical work. Cohort meetings will also be scheduled to take place at the Residential Schools. 

Students will be encouraged to form self-help groups (communicating through e-mail, discussion boards or telephone) and these will be explained and organised at the Residential School.

Learning Packages

(a) The main learning materials will be in the form of Module Texts supported by a Programme Handbook. The Module Texts will contain a range of materials (e.g. text, articles and data handling exercises) and will be augmented by on-line learning materials. Students will be encouraged to carry out self-assessment which will be progressively developed using a variety of in-text questions (ITQs) and self-assessment questions (SAQs). Answers to these questions, together with explanatory notes where appropriate, will give valuable on-going feedback to the students as they progress through the learning materials.

(b) On-line learning

On-line facilities (using the University intranet Moodle) will be used to provide the following:

  •         A structured weekly guide to the module content
  •         Additional self-assessment questions
  •         Assessment details and guidance (e.g. on presenting the assignment(s))
  •         Access to distant, appropriate websites
  •         Access to Library resources
  •         Access to the Discussion Board
  •         E-mail links to the tutors
  •         Text references.
  •         Access to the support infrastructure.

 E-mail Seminars 

Time will be given each week to student/staff interaction via e-mail. Students will be allocated a time slot during which the module tutor will answer e-mails concerning the module content and/or assessment. Further weekly support sessions will be offered throughout the modules.

Dissertation Support

Dissertation support will be offered by one-to-one tutorial sessions with the Dissertation Supervisor and weekly Journal Club sessions will run throughout the academic year. The Research Coordinator of the Institute of Food Science & Innovation will have overall responsibility for all Dissertation projects.

Practical work 

Where appropriate, there will be short practical exercises set within the modules which will be performed at the relevant Residential School.

Visiting Lecturers

Visiting Lecturers from industry will be used to support the delivery of the programme. This will provide expertise in specialist areas and will include contributions from a range of expert personnel involved in various disciplines of Food Science & Innovation.

The assessment methods employed all place great emphasis on the learner's ability to demonstrate skills through the production of coherent responses either to problems or tasks set.

Examples include;

  • Written assignments that critically review and cite key research papers;
  • Case studies which identify and formulate appropriate responses to issues in food science and technology;
  • Preparation of research proposals for dissertation study;

Specific details are available in individual module descriptors.

Assessment Strategy:

The assessment strategy for each module is similar in that the aim is to ensure that the learning outcomes for each module are met and that the students are prepared for which ever career option they choose after completion of the MSc. A variety of assessments are used through the programme such that the student will be well prepared for their chosen career path. Formative assessment using SAQs will allow staff and students to monitor the increasing knowledge and understanding gained through the programme. SAQs will also be used as summative assessments to further monitor student progression.

   

The National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing has repeatedly identified the need for greater training and provision of food technologists to counteract the effect of skills loss due to an ageing workforce and lack of higher level skills. 

Through previous and current projects, we have developed extensive links with regional and national food supply chain industries that encompass produces, processors, retailers and analytical equipment manufacturers. Their needs range from up-skilling to knowledge transfer and provision of accessible training schemes that allow flexible study and minimise impact on workplace function. Additional market research activities have included consultation with:

  • Regional business development organisations (Mersey Dee Alliance).
  • Food and drink sector industry primes (AB World Foods, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Tesco, Coco-Cola, Marks and Spencer, Muller Dairies, Malvern Instruments, Perkin Elmer, Stable Microsystems) and regional SMEs
  • Membership organisations (Institute of Food Science & Technology)

This scoping exercise has confirmed the deficit of specialist skills and knowledge in areas which the proposed programme will address. Specific requirements identified include the need to respond to consumer demand for clean label products, implement procedures such as ingredient substitution (for enhanced health benefits and replacement of animal derived materials) for the expanding restricted diet markets (halal, kosher, vegetarian, vegan etc.) in the UK and international markets. There is also a need to address the changing demographic and develop niche products either to prevent or control chronic disorders such as obesity or cardiovascular disease, or to service new and expanding market segments such as the elderly.

An integrated programme addressing these specific topics, in particular key areas of national significance such as the application of nanotechnology to the food and drink sector, is not currently available. This programme will address this market failure and increase knowledge and understanding of key areas with applied sector specific benefits. The workforce upskilling will equip businesses with the scientific understanding necessary to encourage innovation and provide beneficiaries with greater market penetration and enhanced range of product development. This will lead to increased competitiveness and economic growth, creation and preservation of employment.

The industries surveyed have confirmed that the blended learning delivery mode proposed for the part-time programme route is also advantageous, due to minimal time spent away from the workplace by part-time participants.

This programme is designed to equip graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to pursue careers in the area of food science & technology, either in industry or within the regulatory authorities. In addition, the transferable skills embedded throughout the programme will benefit graduates considering a change of career and equip them to enter other areas of employment (e.g. management, new product development or sensory science).

The programme has been developed with significant input from the Institute of Food Science & Innovation extensive industry contact database. Employer liaison meetings will be held every 6 months with the Programme Team to review new developments in the industry. These meetings will act as a platform to review content of the programme, ensuring that new industry developments are incorporated into teaching and learning. The programme will therefore remain current and relevant to both students and industry employers.

The programme is therefore clearly linked to the University's learning and teaching strategy to increase employer engagement and involvement with curriculum development. This is fully in-line with University Corporate objectives to increase employer-driven provision. 

Graduates of the MSc programme should be able to:

  • Deal with complex issues systematically and creatively and communicate findings to specialists and other professional groups;
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in problem-solving across a variety of areas;
  • Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding and to develop new skills to a high level and possess the necessary qualities and transferable skills at an advanced professional level. 

Postgraduate study involves the development of reflective practice, such that the student can modify personal professional activity, critically evaluate scientific information sources and methodologies and possess the ability to perform such activities autonomously. 

Typical career opportunities include:

  • New product development
  • Production management
  • Quality assurance
  • Technical management
  • Food safety & quality systems
  • Auditing and regulatory affairs
  • Product buying
  • Consultancy
  • Business start-up and entrepreneurship

The programmes of study in the Institute of Food Science & Innovation fully embrace the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The  University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students.  The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for.  At a departmental level all programmes are developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:

  • Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality. 
  • Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
  • There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.
  • The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues.  Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.
  • Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking enhances equal opportunity to all students.
  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.
  • All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.
  • All lecturers are aware of diversity issues and discharge their PAT roles with knowledge and sympathy and all students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise. 

The programme Management Team will meet at least annually to discuss issues raised either by staff or students through Staff/Student Liaison meetings. A staff away day, will be held once each year to review progress and discuss issues, such as teaching, learning and assessment issues and to further long term development strategies.

In the assessment, student module evaluation forms are completed and analysed at the conclusion of each module. This process provides an opportunity for students to evaluate their own approach to studying and learning. In addition, each Module Tutor is required to complete a tutor module evaluation form. At the end of the academic year, the Programme Leader is responsible for completing the Annual Programme Monitoring Report (AMR) form, which contributes to the Institute's Annual Report.

The monitoring is supplemented by regular Programme Cohort meetings which function as Staff/Student Liaison Committees (SSLCs) for Distance and Part-time students. These meetings with staff take place at least once every academic year to discuss course delivery, resource issues and other items identified by students. In addition, all students can raise issues regarding individual Modules and/or the general programme with the Programme Leader at any time through their course of study. Minutes of all SSLCs will be considered at Programme Team meetings and displayed via the VLE.

 

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