Placement student working with manufacturing robot

Practice-based learning

Sustainable development features strongly in a significant number of the hundreds of placements and work based learning projects that take place each year:

Hands on Bristol

Students in UWE Bristol's Architecture and the Built Environment department have the opportunity to be involved with collaborative, project-based work through Hands On Bristol.

Hands on Bristol is a collaboration between the Bristol School of Architecture, University of the West of England and the Bristol community, that seeks to encourage and strengthen knowledge exchange between education programmes and local communities through collaboration in live projects.

Hands on Bristol gives local groups and specialists the unique opportunity to transform spaces across Bristol. Previous projects have included:

  • self-built pocket parks
  • light installations
  • densification proposals
  • a community cinema
  • recycling clothes shop
  • community art interventions and greening the high street.

The possibilities are broad and endless. Using a built environment challenge posed by community groups or organisations as the starting point, architecture students work through a number of steps to develop and deliver a design brief for a project. Working with communities has helped to develop practice-ready professional experience for UWE Bristol graduates, whilst stitching a bond between the student and the city. Many of the proposals developed are self-build and (almost) zero-budget solutions.

Widening Occupation Weeks

Students studying Occupational Health undertake a compulsory two weeks of volunteering at the start of their second year of study as part of Widening Occupation Weeks (WOW).

The aims of WOW are to enable students to: 1.Develop knowledge of what occupations are available in the community 2.Gain personal experience of community involvement 3.Reflect on social and cultural contexts of different occupations 4.Reflect on demands of a range of occupations 5.Consider the relationship between the individual, the group, the environment and the occupation.

MSc Sustainable Development in Practice

UWE Bristol's MSc Sustainable Development in Practice Masters is a cross-disciplinary programme, consisting of modules run by all four of UWE's faculties. The course facilitates interdisciplinary staff and student working on real life sustainability challenges and projects.

ParkHive project

During 2015 UWE Bristol staff began the Bristol ParkHive project.

This project is designed to increase awareness and use of public green space in Bristol. It has employed graduate interns and given students from across UWE Bristol the opportunity to engage in a truly multidisciplinary real life project. Students have gained new skills and valuable experience in working on a live, interdisciplinary project.

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