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Masters Programmes in Risk

Teaching & Learning Methods

We are keen to get to know our students and work with them individually to develop their learning. Students will be assigned a tutor at the outset of the course who will be fixed for the year of study. Students will also be assigned a dissertation supervisor with whom they will work with from January to September. The Course Director is available to meet students at any time. Teaching is delivered using a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals and workshops.

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 are of two types: i) to develop personal learning and; ii) to follow the seminars and workshops to consolidate learning from these and provide guidance on reading for what follows.

Practicals will be provided in some 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 allows 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).