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Embedding Transferable Skills and Enhancing Student Learning in a Political Science Research Methods Module: Evidence from the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alistair Clark


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U.K. government policy is placing a heavy emphasis on “essential” and “employability” skills in an effort to help individuals cope with changing social and economic circumstances. Delivery of these skills falls to a range of education providers. This is a particular difficulty for university lecturers who teach non-vocational students who are increasingly concerned about their ability to compete in the job market after graduation. Transferable skills are therefore a key issue in student learning and support in U.K. political science, as well as other disciplines. Through assessment of one U.K.-based political science research methods module, this article suggests effective group-based ways of embedding such skills for political science students in a way that puts the student, and not the teacher, at the center of the learning process. These ideas are confirmed by survey evidence. In particular, student group research projects underline the idea that instructors should go beyond the classroom to help students apply theory. Importantly for both U.K.- and non-U.K.-based lecturers, the assertion can now also be extended to include transferable skills in addition to learning and applying theory.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clark A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PS: Political Science and Politics

Year: 2011

Volume: 44

Issue: 1

Pages: 135-139

Print publication date: 14/01/2011

ISSN (print): 1049-0965

ISSN (electronic): 1537-5935

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1049096510002039


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