BSc International Disaster Management & Humanitarian Response / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Professional Experience Project

Unit code HCRI20220
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This course offers students the opportunity to undertake an individual placement or collaborative work based project with a humanitarian organisation, non-governmental organisation or charity.

There will be two pathways:

1] Students will work cooperatively with a group of (3-6) enquiry-based learners who collaborate on a  ‘real world’ project typically proposed by the external organisation and defined by the organisation’s business needs. A member of the organisation will act as a supervisor/mentor, but the team project is likely to be based predominantly off-site (based at the University) with potential visits onsite (at the organisation).

2] Students will arrange a placement at an external organisation.

 

The course is supported by a series of lectures and workshops. The students will gain understanding of the complex issues surrounding professional development and collaborative working towards humanitarian action, through researching literature and then developing management strategies that balance practical outcomes and examine critically concepts of humanitarian professionalisation. In preparation for the work-based project, the course will teach students non-academic writing, with a focus on writing for the policy-focused audience and will include an assignment of writing a policy brief.

Pre/co-requisites

HCRI20220 this module is only available to students on a IDM&HR degree programme,(please check your programme structure for further details).

This is an optional unit in Semester 2 of level 2 for BSc International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response

Aims

The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to:

  • Connect their academic learning with professional experience
  • Make professional networks
  • Receive feedback from a professional body about their employability and advice on how to improve this through varied experiences.

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The professional humanitarian workplace
  • The agendas and practical priorities of humanitarian organisations
  • The required skills and education to be employable in the humanitarian sector

Intellectual skills

  • Develop a critical understanding of the challenges and opportunities that are faced when working for a professional humanitarian stakeholder
  • A reflection on how this connects to the conceptualisations of humanitarianism gained throughout the degree.

 

Practical skills

  • Information retrieval – ability independently to gather, sift, synthesise and organise material from various sources (including library, electronic and online resources), and to critically evaluate its significance.
  • Time management – ability to schedule tasks in order of importance.
  • Applying subject knowledge – use of discipline-specific knowledge in everyday situations Research – ability to plan and implement an effective research project.
  • Improving own learning – ability to improve one's own learning through planning, monitoring and critical reflection; to evaluate and adapt strategies for one's learning

 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Develop communication skills for a variety of audiences
  • Work effectively in a team and engage stakeholders
  • Develop, plan and achieve individual research outcomes
  • Develop analytical skills and the ability to articulate ideas verbally and in writing
  • Develop confidence articulating ideas and opinions during group discussions

Employability skills

Other
Employability would be enhanced by further developing a number of skills and attributes. The following could be used in the workplace and could be an addition to the CVs of those who have undertaken this module: - Editorial and analytical skills - Evidence-led decision-making - Policy-focused writing - Putting together and maintaining arguments (useful for a marketing/awareness campaign or business case) - Oral and communication skills ¿ especially in terms of comprehending large amounts of information and drawing reasoned conclusions - Meeting deadlines - Working autonomously and in groups

Assessment methods

Policy brief  50%
Presentation  0%
Reflective Essay 50%

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written feedback on assignments

Summative

Verbal feedback via 1 on 1 meetings with students

Formative

Verbal and peer feedback on practice group presentations

Formative

 

Recommended reading

Building Trust in Diverse Teams: The toolkit for emergency response. 2007

http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/building-trust-in-diverse-teams-the-toolkit-for-emergency-response-115413

           

James, Eric (2016), The professional humanitarian and the downsides of professionalisation. Disasters, 40(2), 185-206 .https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26283645 

           

Fiori, Juliano et al. (2016), The Echo Chamber Results, Management, and the Humanitarian Effectiveness Agenda. http://humanitarianeffectivenessproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SC_Humanitarian_Affairs_Team_The_Echo_Chamber.pdf

           

ffrench-Constant, Laura (2014), How To plan, write and communicate an effective Policy Brief: Three Steps to Success. https://www.researchtoaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/PBWeekLauraFCfinal.pdf

           

Amulya, Joy (2011), What is reflective practice? (Center for Reflective Community Practice:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

http://www.communityscience.com/images/file/What%20is%20Reflective%20Practice.pdf

           

Bolton, Gillie (2014), Reflective practice: writing and professional development (4th ed.; London: SAGE).

 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 14
Practical classes & workshops 4
Placement hours
Placement 70
Independent study hours
Independent study 112

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Catherine Arthur Unit coordinator

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