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									                                                            Minutes: FASS PG Courses Committee, 21/4/09




FACULTY OF ARTS & SOCIAL SCIENCES

DRAFT Postgraduate Courses Committee

Minutes for a meeting Tuesday April 21, 2009

Present:       Frank Dawes (Chair)
               Stephen Constantine (History), Tony Heward (TQSO), Deborah Sawyer
               (Religious Studies).

In attendance: Bruce Bennett (ICR), Judit Kormos (LAEL), Anne-Marie Fortier (Sociology).


SECTION A: Preliminaries


1.     Apologies for Absence

       Ali Cooper, Neil Manson, Emma Rose.


2.     Minutes of the Last Meeting

       Document attached: Minutes, FASS PGCC 4/11/08

       The Committee approved the minutes of the meeting of November 11, 2008 as an
       accurate record.


3.     Matters arising

       It was noted that all action points had been followed up except item 4, the PG Dip/MA
       European Institutions and Public Policy and associated modules proposed by DELC.
       The required revisions had not been made, nor had the proposals been entered in the
       LUSI system. The TQSO had suggested a deadline of January 7 and had sent
       several reminders to the Department. The Committee recalled that it had convened a
       special meeting during the summer vacation to discuss the proposal and it was now
       seriously concerned over the department’s lack of progress. It was stated that a)
       proposals had been poorly framed and had needed to go through two further PGCC
       meetings, b) committee members and the TQSO had all spent a great deal of time on
       these proposals and c) there seemed to be no reciprocation on the part of DELC.
       The Committee further recalled that it had met during the summer vacation because
       of an apparent need for the programme to be approved at short notice and stated that
       it would not be disposed to repeat this process.




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SECTION B: New Programme and Associated Modules


4.      Linguistics and English Language (LAEL)

4.1     MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages by Distance

        Document attached: MA TESOLD

        Date of Introduction: 1/10/09              Director of Studies: Judit Kormos

4.1.1   The Committee heard that this scheme was intended for language-teaching
        professionals who wished to further their knowledge of TESOL. It would offer
        students the opportunity for part-time distance learning, basing their coursework and
        dissertations on their own professional contexts. The programme was based on two
        face-to-face programmes taught at Lancaster and Hong Kong, which were both
        financially successful. However, there had been a decline in recruitment recently
        which LAEL believed was caused by competitors’ offering TESOL programmes by
        distance. In order to reverse this trend, LAEL intended to recruit from an overseas
        market. For this segment, there were significant obstacles to taking a 12-month
        programme in Lancaster: namely costs and leaving their work and families for that
        length of time.

4.1.2   This proposal had been given chair’s approval for viability by Gordon Hands, the
        Associate Dean for Resources. It was noted that the existing face-to-face
        programmes would continue in parallel with the new scheme, and that the new
        programme and its modules would be conversions of existing teaching materials
        taught face to face.

4.1.3   In discussion, the following points were made:

           i.     The conversion of modules from proximal to distance learning was
                  potentially a lengthy process. However, the Department had built up a
                  significant level of expertise in this area and was intending to stagger the
                  introduction of new material.
           ii.    Students would be strongly advised to attend an introductory 3-day
                  residential at the beginning of the programme. However, it was recognised
                  that overseas students might be unable to attend for genuine reasons, and
                  so material would be made available on-line.
          iii.    Forms of assessment would be the same as those for the face to face
                  programmes and some would be formative. Students would be required to
                  contribute to Moodle discussions otherwise they would not be allowed to
                  submit coursework. In addition, they would write learning logs or diaries
                  which would be accessible to the director of studies, who would provide
                  feedback. The Chair stated that there were well developed criteria for
                  reflective journals in LICA and would provide examples for LAEL.
          iv.     Modules would be made available on-line at staggered, pre-determined
                  intervals, so that students needing to intercalate would need to do so in 12
                  month blocks.
           v.     The rules for distinction were consistent with the LAEL variants approved by
                  the former Faculty of Social Sciences.

4.1.4   The Committee commended the Department on the quality of the proposal and
        agreed to recommend approval of this item.

        ACTION: Frank Dawes to provide example of reflective journal criteria for LAEL.




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                                                             Minutes: FASS PG Courses Committee, 21/4/09



4.2     New Modules Associated with the MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other
        Languages by Distance

        The Committee agreed to recommend approval of the six modules set out below. It
        was noted that these were all versions of existing face-to-face modules.

4.2.1   LING530 Second Language Learning (distance)

        Document attached: LING530              Module Convenor: Judit Kormos
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/09           Module Weighting: 20 credits

        In this module, students would examine the theoretical questions at the core of
        learning a second language: namely how different theories of learning informed
        language teaching.

4.2.2   LING531 Trends and Issues in Language Teaching Methodology (distance)

        Document attached: LING531              Module Convenor: Gila Schauer
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/09           Module Weighting: 20 credits

        This module would examine two main areas of development in English language
        teaching: namely, a) teaching and learning methods based on the classroom as a
        learning environment, and on wider educational and socio-cultural contexts; and b)
        the place of discourse and pragmatics. Participants would discuss some of the ways
        in which underlying concepts had been translated into practice, and some of the
        emergent professional issues.

4.2.3   LING532 Communicative and Pedagogical Grammar (distance)

        Document attached: LING532              Module Convenor: Andrea Revesz
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/09           Module Weighting: 20 credits

        This module focused on questions and difficulties arising from the teaching and
        learning of second language grammar. Discussion would be informed by linguistic
        theory, research into second language acquisition and its pedagogy, and from
        participants' own experience of learning and teaching grammar.

4.2.4   LING533 Managing Innovation in Language Education (distance)

        Document attached: LING533              Module Convenor: Alan Waters
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/10           Module Weighting: 20 credits

        There had been many innovations in language education, many of which had proved
        to be problematic for classroom practice. The aims of this module were to examine
        some recent examples of innovation and evaluate their implementation.

4.2.5   LING534 Culture and the Language Learner (distance)

        Document attached: LING534              Module Convenor: Gila Schauer
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/10           Module Weighting: 20 credits

        This module would provide an introduction to concepts and research methodologies
        that analysed the effects of culture on the language learner.




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4.2.6   LING535 Second Language Classroom Research (distance)

        Document attached: LING534               Module Convenor: Martin Bygate
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/10            Module Weighting: 20 credits

        This module was intended to develop students’ ability to evaluate research methods
        in language classrooms. They would undertake sample research tasks, and the
        module would provide a link between other taught components and the dissertation.


SECTION C: New Modules


5.      Institute for Cultural Research

        The Committee noted that the two modules below were submitted in the context of
        other revisions to ICR’s PGT provision (set out in item 9). The modules would form
        part of the remodelled MA Film and Cultural Studies which would follow on from the
        BA scheme of the same name, without overlapping, and the intention was to appeal
        to ICR’s final year undergraduates, who formed a significant proportion of the PGT
        intake. The modules could be taken by students on the MA Media and Cultural
        Studies and would be available to students in other departments. It was confirmed
        that the films needed were either in the main University Library or ICR’s own
        collection and that the handing-in date for essays was in the term after which
        students took modules.

5.1     CULT922 Apocalypse Then: New Hollywood Cinema

        Document attached: CULT922               Module Convenor: Jonathan Munby
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/09            Module Weighting: 20 credits

        This module would provide an advanced introduction to New Hollywood cinema.
        Students would analyse a selection of historically and aesthetically significant films
        and discuss a range of relevant critical writing. In addition, they would explore the
        ways in which popular cinema reflected political and social changes, and the ways in
        which commercial cinema could function as an arena for experimentation.

5.2     CULT924 Science Fiction Film Cultures

        Document attached: CULT924               Module Convenor: Bruce Bennett
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/09            Module Weighting: 20 credits

        This module would examine the interrelationships between cinematic technique,
        changing social and historical contexts, and scientific and technological development.
        Students would analyse selected films from a variety of cultures and periods, and
        would analyse the ideologies and value systems underlying images of the future.
        Various topics would be covered, including, among others, space exploration and
        alien invasion.

5.3     The Committee agreed to recommend approval of items 5.1 and 5.2.

        ACTION: Department to enter details of the modules in the LUSI approvals system.




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6.      Sociology

        The Committee commended the 2 modules below as additions to the Faculty’s
        provision for research students.

6.1     SOCL938/FASS 529 Key Thinkers in Feminist Post-structuralist Thought

        Documents attached: SOCL938;             Module Convenor: Anne-Marie Fortier
        FASS529/SOCL938 Summary of survey
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/09            Module Weighting: 20 credits

        The Committee noted that it was the Department’s intention to establish a series of
        modules on ‘key thinkers or key perspectives’ which would be available to new
        research students (as part of the FASS RTP, with a FASS mnemonic) and available
        to Masters students (with a SOCL mnemonic). These modules would be offered for
        credit or for auditing without credit. A survey of the proposed module was conducted
        among current MA and PhD students in Sociology and in other FASS departments,
        and a strong interest was demonstrated in a module on post-structuralist feminist
        thinkers. It was expected that the module would focus on no more than 3 thinkers,
        who might be changed, depending on the availability and interests of staff. However,
        the linking theme would be the epistemological and methodological implications of
        feminist thought for selected debates (such as identity, among others).

6.1.2   The Committee agreed to recommend approval of this item.

6.2     SOCL939 Undertaking and Completing Doctoral Research in Gender and Women's
        Studies

        Document attached: SOCL939               Module Convenor: Anne-Marie Fortier
        Date of Introduction: 1/10/09            Module Weighting: 0 credits

        This module had existed for a number of years as a workshop for postgraduate
        research students, initially under the Department of Womens’ Studies. Since the
        establishment of the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, the workshop had
        been opened up to FASS students from outside CGWS who were doing research in
        this subject. The workshop had continued to recruit good numbers, and this proposal
        was made in order to formalise it within LUSI.

6.2.2   In discussion, the following points were made:

            i.    Each session would have a related task as a basis for discussion.
           ii.    Outside speakers would contribute on, for example, research ethics.
          iii.    Not every session would be appropriate for all participants, and so
                  attendance of the whole module was not essential in any one year.
                  Students sometimes took the sessions over 3 years and repeated some of
                  them in different years.
          iv.     Students would be at very different stages of their research and there would
                                    st rd
                  be a mixture of 1 -3 year PGRs. Students asked interesting questions of
                  each other and found the informal contact with their peers stimulating.

6.2.3   Recommendation

        The Department to consider proposing the module as part of the Faculty RTP. This
        step might widen recruitment and bring some revenue into the Department.
        ACTION: AMF to discuss with RTP Director.

6.2.4   The Committee agreed to recommend approval of this item.




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7.    Religious Studies

      R.ST402 Spirit Possession in Contemporary Social Contexts

      Document attached: R.ST402               Module Convenor: Andrew Dawson
      Date of Introduction: 1/10/09            Module Weighting: 20 credits

      This module was proposed as part of the Department's overhaul of PGT provision (as
      set out in item 12). Spirit possession had become an inter-disciplinary subject,
      treated in a range of academic forums and popular contexts. This module would
      examine relevant themes and issues in the light of theoretical insights from a range of
      disciplines.

7.1   The Committee agreed to recommend approval of this item.


SECTION D: Revisions to Existing Programmes and Modules


8.    Faculty Research Training Programme

      Document attached: FASS529               Date of Introduction: 1/10/09

      The Committee agreed to recommend approval of a proposal to change the
      weighting from 10 credits to 0, for the modules below.

         FASS508 Elementary Data Analysis and Computing for Social Research I:
           Descriptive Statistics
         FASS508d Elementary Data Analysis and Computing for Social Research I:
           Descriptive Statistics (distance learning)
         FASS509 Elementary Data Analysis and Computing for Social Research II:
           Hypothesis Testing
         FASS509d Elementary Data Analysis and Computing for Social Research II:
           Hypothesis Testing (distance learning)


9.    Institute for Cultural Research

      Document attached: ICR Revisions                           Date of Introduction: 1/10/09

      The Committee agreed to recommend approval of the following proposals:

9.1   New Module Titles

      Existing                                     Proposed
      CULT921 Critical Debates in Cultural         CULT921 Critical Debates in Media, Film
       Studies                                       and Cultural Studies
      CULT923 Critical Methods in Cultural         CULT923 Critical Methods in Media,
       Studies                                       Film and Cultural Studies

9.2   Modules to Lay Down

      CULT901 What is Visual Culture?              CULT906 Popular Visual Culture
      CULT902 Film and Visual Culture

      These modules had been part of MA Visual Culture, which had been laid down.




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9.3    Notification of Minor Change to Module Syllabus

       CULT921 Critical Debates in Media, Film and Cultural Studies

       Change to 30% of the syllabus; new sessions would be on the analysis of key films
       and film theories.


10.    Linguistics and English Language

       Scheme Revision

       MA TESOL (Hong Kong)

       Document attached: MA TESOL HK PG Dip            Date of Introduction: 1/10/09

       The Committee agreed to recommend approval of the addition of a PG Diploma
       exit point for students who did not complete the MA. However, members agreed to
       seek advice on the question of back-dating this approval to 1/10/05.
       ACTION: TQSO


11.    Politics and International Relations

       MA Politics: Pathway and Modules to be Laid Down

       Document attached: Politics: pathway laid down   Date of Introduction: 1/10/09

       The Committee agreed to recommend approval of the following:

           i.     MA Politics (Complexity) to be laid down, because the core module
                  convenor would be head of department.
          ii.     The following modules to be laid down because of lack of enrolments:
                        POLI434 International Political Economy: Intellectual Foundations
                        POLI436 Complexity, Politics, Policy & Society


12.    Religious Studies

       It was noted that the Department was in the process of rationalising and simplifiying
       its PGT provision. The Committee agreed to recommend approval of the proposals
       set out below, which were part of a plan to increase the uptake of individual modules.

12.1   MA Religious Studies: Scheme Revisions

       Document attached: R.ST Revisions                  Date of Introduction: 1/10/09

       Existing                                           Proposed
       5 pathways, including a generic                    Lay down pathways in Asian Religions;
          ‘Religious Studies’ pathway                       Ethics and Religion in Context;
                                                            Religion, Culture and Society;
                                                            Studying Spirituality
       Students take 4 x 20 credit modules and            Students to take 5 x 20 credit modules
          1 x 10 credits
       Dissertation: 90 credits, 25,000 words             Dissertation: 80 credits, 20,000 words




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12.2   Scheme to be Laid Down

       MA Religion and Education

       This degree scheme had been superseded by the MA in Education and Religious
       Studies, administered by the Department of Educational Research.

12.3   Module Revision: R.ST400 Studying Religion

       Document attached: R.ST400 Revisions             Date of Introduction: 1/10/09

       Increase the weighting to 20 credits, because it was overloaded at 10.

12.4   Modules Laid Down

       Document attached: Religious Studies:            Date of Introduction: 1/10/09
       Proposed Modules to Lay Down

       R.ST404 Judaism                                  R.ST405 Modern Jewish Thought
       R.ST412 Religion, Ethics and Postmodern          R.ST414 Studies in Asian Religions
          Thought
       R.ST420 Method in the Study of Asian             R.ST425 Roman Catholic Theology Since 1965
          Religions
       R.ST426 Recent Roman Catholic Christology        R.ST431 Analytical Philosophy of Religion
       R.ST432 Contemporary Philosophy of Religion      R.ST434 Religion and Spirituality in the Modern World
       R.ST437 Myth                                     R.ST439 Theories of Religion
       R.ST441 Women and Spirituality in Western        R.ST474 Hinduism: Goddesses and Women
          Religious Traditions
       R.ST483 Research Methods in the Study of         R.ST484 Japanese Buddhism
          Religion
       R.ST485 Modern Islamic Thought                   R.ST487 Religion and Film in the West
       R.ST488 Religion and Spirituality in Britain     R.ST489 Contemporary Ethical Issues
          Today
       R.ST490 Women Re-imagining the Divine            R.ST492 Ritual and Spirituality
       R.ST493 The Turn to 'Mind, Body and Spirit'      R.ST494 Pilgrimage and Sacred Journeys



13.    Sociology: Scheme Revisions

       Document attached: SOCL Revisions                Date of Introduction: 1/10/09

13.1   The Committee agreed to recommend approval of the following:

13.1   MA Sociology

       Addition of these modules to the range of options in this scheme:

                POLI409 Globalisation, the State and Democracy in the Third World
                POLI411 International Political Economy and the ‘Digital Age’
                POLI432 Theorising Security and War

13.2   MA Gender and Women’s Studies; MA Feminist Cultural Theory and Practice

                ENGL407 The Noir Thriller from 1930 to ‘the Near Future’ to be added to the
                range of options in these schemes.


14.    Date of Next Meeting

       Tuesday May 26, 2.00-4.00, MR5, IAS. Deadline for papers: 12.00 Tuesday May 12.

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