Semester 2 courses: January - May Please note... Classes will run Monday to Friday 9am to 12pm with at least 2 hours self-study required per day. Academic Development and Reflection Summary Academic Development and Reflection offers you a unique opportunity to reflect, independently and with others, on your learning on the other four courses. You will also undertake a self-directed project exploring an aspect of your academic discipline from an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) perspective. Content Weekly sessions will focus on your self-directed exploration of language / academic skills as used in your field, helping you to develop a critical understanding of expectations in your discipline. You will also reflect on your learning on the other four courses, considering relationships to your own discipline. Self-directed learning will align to the University’s Student-Led, Individually-Created Courses (SLICC) framework: View the Student-Led, Individually-Created Courses (SLICC) framework here > This will involve choosing a topic for exploration, conducting enquiry into this area, and critically reflecting on your learning experiences in a final written report. Reflections on learning will involve small group discussions on learning across courses, followed by individual reflections utilising a variety of tasks and genres. Assessment You will be assessed on a self-directed project exploring an aspect of academic language and literacies in your discourse community. The project genre is chosen by you and all projects are assessed through a 750-word reflective report. You will also receive formative feedback on your investigations and reflections at regular intervals. Learning outcomes On completion of this course, you will be able to: Make autonomous decisions regarding their own aims and approaches to learning. Reflect on and strengthen their ability to learn both collaboratively and independently. Demonstrate an improved ability to research and present on language / academic skills used in their field. Communicate reflective language learning and criticality in a written report. Academic Writing Summary In ‘Academic Writing’, you will have the opportunity to explore the practices, conventions and language features of successful writing in your specific discipline. You will finish the course with an enhanced awareness of what makes good writing in your subject area, and with the skills to successfully engage in your chosen postgraduate programme. Content Classes will explore the threshold concepts, using each concept to help you better understand expectations in your discipline. The threshold concepts will also provide a framework for developing your academic language, e.g. language for structure and organisation, for working with literature, and for communicating your critical voice. The threshold concepts may include: Audience and purpose Argument and evidence Academic style Criticality Collaboration As you develop your awareness and skills, you will build up towards your final assessment, a Reading into Writing Task. This assessment also measures learning in ‘Reading, Research and Enquiry’, and there will often be links between the two courses. Assessment You will be assessed on a 'Reading into Writing Assignment', based on a topic and genre relevant to your intended postgraduate discipline. Dialogic formative feedback loops are built into the writing process, and mapped across both courses (Academic Writing and Reading, Research and Enquiry), including a draft plan, a sample paragraph, and a critical reading task. Learning outcomes On completion of this course, you will be able to: Understand and use threshold concepts in academic writing. Write clearly and appropriately, using a wide range of grammar and vocabulary appropriate to the text and context. Synthesise and critically evaluate content from sources to create an argument. Listening and Note-taking Summary In ‘Listening & Note-taking’, you will listen to extracts from talks and real lectures from the University of Edinburgh, and take notes on the main points and relevant areas of detail. In addition to discussing the content of the recordings, you will also focus on how lecturers organise and signpost their ideas as well as how they communicate their evaluative stance. Postgraduate study involves a great deal of listening in the wide variety of genres in which academic information is communicated today, including live or recorded lectures, seminars and other discussion forums, videos, podcasts, webinars, and meetings with students or academic staff, in-person or online. On ‘Listening and Note-Taking’ you will develop the effective critical listening skills you will need combined with efficient and reliable strategies for making notes you can make use of in a variety of study tasks. Content The content of the listening and note-taking tasks also provides input for the ‘Speaking at University’ course, and will be based around a series of issues in Higher Education, relevant to postgraduate students in all disciplines, and likely to include: University of Edinburgh Graduate Attributes Student experience and wellbeing Internationalisation and decolonisation in UK Higher Education Sustainability and climate change An issue of your own choice. The skills you develop on the course will be formally assessed in the final Listening assessment, which will involve listening to and making notes on a recorded lecture, and using your notes to demonstrate your critical understanding of the lecture content. Assessment You will be assessed on taking notes on a time-limited online lecture and will use your notes to complete a summary sheet. You will also receive regular formative teacher and peer feedback on your performance on listening and note-taking throughout the course. Your preparation for the assessment is further supported by practice listening tests which use the same format and will familiarise you with the test procedure. Learning outcomes On completion of this course, you will be able to: Understand and respond critically to academic lectures. Make critical use of a range of appropriate listening and note-taking strategies. Use lecture content in a range of academic writing and speaking tasks, texts and contexts. Reading, Research and Enquiry Summary In ‘Reading, Research and Enquiry’, you will develop skills and strategies for engaging with a variety of academic texts in your subject area. You will learn about research skills and practices in your discipline, and how to use reading and research in your work, allowing you to make your own contribution to knowledge in your field. The course content hours will include guest lectures from across the University of Edinburgh, and will equip you with an enhanced awareness of the reading and research skills needed for postgraduate study. Content You will focus on specific skills related to reading and research. You will unpack these for your discipline and practise them in your own work. You will also develop your academic language, particularly the features that help you read effectively. The skills covered in the course may include: Reading for a purpose Critical text selection Using genre knowledge Identifying arguments and evidence Critical evaluation Digital literacies and research skills Using research questions As you develop your awareness and skills, you will build up towards your final assessment, a Reading into Writing Task. This assessment also measures learning in ‘Academic Writing’, and there will often be links between the two courses. Assessment You will be assessed on a 'Reading into Writing Assignment', based on a topic and genre relevant to your intended postgraduate discipline in conjunction with the Academic Writing course in PGPEP 2. Dialogic formative feedback loops are built into the writing process, and mapped across both courses (Academic Writing and Reading, Research and Enquiry), including a draft plan, a sample paragraph, and a critical reading task. Learning outcomes On completion of this course, you will be able to: Read and understand academic texts in their discipline, making critical use of genre knowledge. Demonstrate emerging awareness of expectations and practices in their discipline, including research skills. Critically engage with arguments and evidence, making use of strategies appropriate to their purpose. Speaking at University Summary Effective spoken communication skills are essential for full and successful engagement in your postgraduate studies. Speaking at University will develop your skills and confidence in participating in the range of group and individual academic speaking tasks you will encounter on your degree programme. You will improve your ability to express your thoughts clearly and appropriately in such contexts. The course will help you take a more active and constructive part in group discussions, and you will become more skilled in delivering effective presentations. Content Weekly classes will involve analysis of aspects of language used in, as well as practice of, discussion and presentation activities. The classes will be based around a range of topics relevant to postgraduate studies. You will make use of both written and spoken sources, and there will be links with the ‘Listening and Note-taking’ course. Developing your academic speaking skills on this course over the Semester prepares you for the final Speaking assessment, in which you demonstrate the presentation and interaction skills you have acquired in an individual oral presentation and question-and-answer session on a topic in your academic discipline. Assessment You will be assessed on a short (7-8 minute) individual oral presentation with follow-up interactive question-and answer session. Preparation is supported by regular formative feedback loops based on practice presentation and Q&A tasks. Learning outcomes On completion of this course, you will be able to: Use clear and appropriate English to engage in a range of academic speaking contexts. Engage meaningfully and respond critically, co-creating knowledge in group discussions. Present a clear, engaging and coherent argument in a presentation genre relevant to their discipline.