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SSC-Meeting--30th-April-2008

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					SSC Meeting- 30th April 2008 (1) Apologies: None Present: AP, SM, BC, Sandish Benning, Zoe Wilcox-Dunnant, Chris Clarke, Laura Blake, Nicholas Barker. (2) Minutes of the last meeting approved (3) Matters Arising 1. BC thanked all those who helped out at the departmental open days, extending special thanks to Debbie. 2. [(5) 1.] Work on the possibility of an LEA mentoring scheme for disabled students is said to be still in progress. 3. [(7) 3.] BC has spoken to the careers service, who have said to be very willing to come in to the department and offer numerous sessions and talks for philosophy students. BC has offered to survey interest in having careers help and raised the possibility of having a talk for 3rd years in the summer term, and a talk for current 2nd years (next year’s 2rd years) to have theirs in autumn term 2008, with the possibility of 1st years having one in the 2nd semester. 4. Committee were informed that Michelle Montague will be joining the department from the next academic year, with interests in Philosophy of Mind. 5. AP informed the committee that 2nd and 3rd year unit descriptions would be available in the coming week. 6. AP gave committee members a copy of a draft policy for formative feedback for the School of Arts, which are to be read and then discussed at the next meeting. 7. Referencing and plagiarism were brought up as problematic, and the possibility of more information for students, including a writing guide and rules of referencing, was raised. (4) 3rd Year Report 1. Nicholas Barker highlighted a problem with slow turnaround in getting the marks back for finals essays, which was reiterated by Sandish Benning. SM offered to follow this up last year, as well as ensuring that all students know they have the option to get their mark, should they wish, in order to gauge their progress. 2. Sandish Benning noted that students were not using the SSC as much as they could; the possibility of making students more aware of what the SSC does by making announcements in core lectures, and introducing selves as reps to make all students aware, was raised. (5) 2nd year report 1. Laura Blake asked, on behalf of Daneal, head of the philosophy society, about the possibility of using the departmental garden for a philosophy barbeque. SM kindly offered to attend and lock the premises on the night. 2. Laura Blake highlighted the intense pressure put on 2nd year students, single honours in particular, who have up to 7 exams this year. The possibility that essays could be changed from formative to summative, with around 20% of each unit being assessed by essay, was raised, as a way of relieving some of the pressure on students at exam time by allowing them to attain some

credit throughout the year. This matter would be raised at the next Undergraduate Studies Committee meeting. 3. SM discussed the possibility of offering the Schopenhauer and Nietzsche unit to both 2nd and 3rd years, with added content and contact hours for 3rd years, as of the next academic year. 4. Laura Blake told the committee that many students had little or no idea about the process surrounding finals essays. SM informed committee that he would be sending out a document with all the information students would need on it. (6) 1st Year Report 1. It was suggested that first year students still don’t feel they have enough contact hours. 2. The possibility of better suggestions of online resources, and more publication of those available for students was raised. 3. The difficulties students found with transferring from joint to single honours philosophy was highlighted. SM offered to raise this issue at the next Departmental Meeting, but conveyed doubts that the policy would be changed. (7) Postgraduate Report: 1. Chris Clarke highlighted a deadline issue. Committee was informed that there was a misprint in the Handbook, with the essay deadline being printed as July 4th, but the later changed to May 30th. Some students were found to be unaware of the change of deadline, and hence, were unprepared to hand in on that date. SM said that allowances would be made for lateness due to the fact that there was a misprint, and that students could be offered some possibly compromise hand-in date between the two. An E mail with details would be sent out. 2. MA’s & PhD’s asked whether or not postgrads could ask questions in Work in Progress seminars, and Chris Clarke felt that often, postgrads found they didn’t want to ask basic clarifying questions in order to avoid possibly frustrating senior members of staff. SM responded by saying that the department wants posgrads to contribute more, and that postgrads are equal participants in the seminars. It was suggested that postgrads could go ahead of those asking their second question, and the need for more aggressive chair was highlighted. 3. [3) {(7) 1.}] SM announced that he and Antony Everett would be putting on a session about jobs, publishing and the market for MA’s and PhD’s.


				
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