Teaching and learning methods
'The lecturers... are always approachable and they will be more than happy to share their cutting-edge research findings and knowledge with you... The teaching style on the course was always excellent. I appreciated the small class sizes and the seminar-style lectures, as they really made you feel involved in sharing information and opinions.Tom Killalea, MSc. Graduated January 2012
Lectures in the core modules will follow a pre-planned syllabus. Each will start with overview-style review, by a member of staff, leading to identification of core readings for exploration in later lectures. There will be some variety in the detailed style and content of lectures, ranging from more traditional delivery through to more interactive, seminar-style delivery, including some staff-led, student presentations.
Seminars will be provided by Durham University and external staff, to allow students to experience a broader range of thinking on a topic, and to interact with associated subject experts. They will also be used as a focus for student-led material to be provided to the programme cohort.
Workshops will be built around specific topics, to be explored in-depth, through interaction between staff and students. Students will be encouraged to identify case study topics around which they can focus their work to interpret and apply the concepts introduced in this course and to focus their reading. Staff will assist in developing their understanding and appreciation of the material identified by students.
Tutorials will follow the seminars and workshops and will consolidate learning from these and provide guidance on reading for what follows. They will provide a forum for the summative assessment. Where appropriate to the student the tutorial support may be by email, telephone, webcam, or video conference.
Practicals will be provided in some optional modules, notably those that have a technical element, to allow students to put specific technical skills into practice. Field trips, either day trips, or residential for longer periods, may be used to support practical and technical training in some elements of the programme, where the nature of the material makes this appropriate.
All students will write a Dissertation on a selected and approved aspect of risk research, with a format dependent on whether the student chooses a research-based dissertation or a vocational-based dissertation. This will allow the students to learn how to produce a coherent and stand-alone piece of work, sufficient to demonstrate either their capacity to conduct academic research or research in the risk industry. Dissertations will be supported by an individual supervisor (and vocational partner, in the case of the vocational dissertation) except that during July and August support will be provided by a dissertation team. The two variants on this element of the programme will be
1. Research-based, for students wishing to undertake an academic-facing project, of their own choosing, subject to the constraints set by the route through the programme that they are following.
2. Vocational-based, for students which to undertake a vocationally-focused project in collaboration with a private or public sector partner and where the ‘dissertation’ will take the form of a partner-framed question, student-framed project, leading to both a reflective diary and a consultancy-style report.