Our approaches to teaching and learning
We are an inclusive learning and teaching environment. Our students enjoy pro-active support from an early stage in their degree which enables them to develop their own unique and successful learning strategies.
Flexible and supportive learning and teaching approaches
Our students experience a variety of teaching and learning environments, such as:
- science laboratories
- ‘Hive’ social learning areas that provide a mix of computer stations, flexible desk-space, and dedicated group-work booths and rooms
- computer laboratories
- design workshops
- field and industry visits
This in addition to standard classrooms and lecture theatres.
If you choose to study with us you will benefit from a learning experience that is student-centred and concerned with your personal development. Regular feedback from staff helps you to evaluate your own progress and your specific learning needs.
A virtual learning environment, linked to UWE Bristol's library, and on-line learning resources such as podcasts and discussion boards, encourage flexible, self-paced independent learning and underpins support for courses delivered via distance learning. For example, our masters in urban and regional planning is delivered entirely online and attracts students from across the world.
Technology is also having a role in our teaching with interactive polling and video capture being used to help support your learning. Investment has been made into the provision of Geographic Information Systems, where you can view recent third years work.
Learning and teaching partnerships
We have developed successful partnerships with local further education colleges and employers to deliver foundation degrees in areas such as river and coastal engineering and horticulture.
“I have immensely enjoyed my final year of this degree and think that the modules that I choose have been an influencing factor of this as I seem more stimulated by the topics that I have studied throughout the year. This has also helped me to narrow my potential future career path and to decide what to do immediately after graduation, involving volunteering work and travelling. Overall I think that this final year has seen my academic skills progress whilst allowing me to have an enjoyable, relaxed university experience.” - Year 3 BSc Geography student
High quality, professionally-recognised degree programmes
Our programmes comply with QAA Subject Benchmarks and several are professionally accredited, which enhances your employment prospects. Professional accreditation indicates that teaching, learning and research are aligned to high-quality professional development. You will also gain membership of a leading professional institution which is an important first step in your professional career.
"My course is highly relevant within the context of Bristol as an expanding city, as there are various relevant developments and changes within the area. Professional recognition is an important feature of my course and ensures that I am learning about the things, and developing the skills, that I will need in practice. It also enables me to join a community to help develop my career and meet likeminded people" - Year 3 BSc (Hons) Urban Planning Student
A focus on the real world
Many of the staff who teach on our programmes are researchers and professional practitioners in specialist fields such as water resources, sustainable tourism, river and coastal engineering, urban regeneration and climate change.
They bring real-life examples into the classroom that challenge existing preconceptions and allow you to apply your knowledge, and develop critical thinking and debating skills.
We are equally keen for you to practise in the real world yourself. This can take a variety of forms, from undertaking a placement or internship (such as through your holidays or between study years) to taking on a volunteering opportunity (such as at a city museum or as a mentor in a local school). The opportunity to study abroad offers a further dimension to your potential study plans.
Our variety of learning and teaching approaches encourages our students to develop adaptability and flexibility in their approach to seeking and receiving information in preparation for their careers.
Together with our dedicated employability team, we work closely to ensure you are able to develop both transferable skills (such as literacy, numeracy and team work) and specialist skills (such as GIS).
All our programmes offer the option of a placement year at the end of the second year.
Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)
PAL leaders are second year students who are trained to run weekly study sessions to support the needs of first year students. Leaders pass on their experience and knowledge of the course they have studied to new students. They also feed back to the teaching team who, if necessary, can revisit or clarify lecture material or offer additional support to first year students.
A personal touch
You will be allocated an academic personal tutor throughout your degree. Your Academic Personal Tutor will provide invaluable support and help to identify where improvement can be channelled to strengthen your development.