Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title European Development
Originator Professor R.J. Buswel
Department Division of Geography & Environmental Management, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, NE1 8ST
Tel. +44 (0)191 227 4515
Fax. +44 (0)191 227 4715

This 10 credit, Level III (Final Year) unit is an attempt to develop student-centred learning via a 5000 word client-based report on an aspect of West European development chosen by the student. It follows from earlier units on aspects of the geography and environment of western Europe and from skills-based units that have included work on report writing and presentations.

The intention is for the student to negotiate a consultancy-type topic with a client (a tutor) under simulated, role play conditions; the client determines the final brief, however. There is an attempt to try to reproduce the sort of real-world activity that graduates are often asked to undertake for employers. The assignment produced for assessment purposes is a consultant's report composed and designed along 'industry standard' lines, distinguishing it thereby from the conventional academic essay on the one hand and the research-based dissertation on the other. In addition, the student has to give an illustrated presentation of the report's major findings to an audience of peers and tutors; 20% of the marks are awarded for this.

Sources for the report are varied but include statistics and surveys produced by European countries often in a language other than English, European Union sources - especially reports from the Commission, documents produced by professional agencies, newspapers and academic publications. The University is fortunate in being a European Documentation Centre and this acts as a major source for most of this secondary information.

Whilst largely empirical the report should have an applied focus set within a strong policy context, often including reference to national and EU funding sources for many of the proposals analysed and reported upon.

Staff-student contact is limited to an introduction to the unit, agreeing the topic, negotiating the brief and assessing the presentation and the final report.

Relevant References:


Role play

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Page created 3 February 1997
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