BA Liberal Arts with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Liberal Arts in the Making: Reflecting, Connecting, Reimagining

Course unit fact file
Unit code SALC31122
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Liberal Arts is both an ancient and revived area of study, engaging with well-established traditions in humanities as well as new interdisciplinary formations. Central to the study of Liberal Arts is a practice of critical reflexivity in which students develop skills in negotiating and narrating their position in relation to different theoretical, and experiential challenges and inspirations. 

In this module, students will develop and analyse models and metaphors of cross-disciplinary synthesis and outline their own understandings of the connections made across their studies. Students will draw on concepts of reflective practice and reflexivity to consider how they have been shaped as responsive researchers through their passions, experiences, contexts, and communities. 

Students will engage with a range of interactive and creative resources and develop their critical and reflective responses. The assignment enables students to choose a topic and medium of their choice to best showcase their learning.


•    To enable students to synthesis and connect a broad range of theories and methods from across a student’s interdisciplinary undergraduate career;
•    To equip students with theoretical understandings of and skills in reflective practice and reflexivity 
•    To support students in creative and reflective strategies for interacting with their contexts and reimagining disciplinary texts and traditions 


Each week of the programme will look at a key theorist and/or aspect of relationality and reflexivity, encouraging students to consider both the methodology and theory of reflective approaches to learning and research, as well as to apply these ideas to make sense of syntheses and skills in their own degree programme. This will have a link to employability in addition to academic skills 

Teaching and learning methods

The course will focus on reflective learning as a pedagogical tool. Seminars will feature different approaches to reflective learning, and students will be encouraged to use these insights as part of their own reflections on their interdisciplinary learning in group discussions. Students will also be trained to develop learning resources to aid new students to use reflective learning in their own studies. The course assessment will bring together reflective learning as a pedagogical tool with an emphasis on students’ own courses and learning throughout their degree. E-learning tools will be provided to facilitate students’ reflections as required, including discussion forums to discuss seminar readings outside of classes, and a personal reflection journal to build notes ahead of the final assessment task.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course, students will have:
•    Critical understanding of reflective learning as a pedagogical tool and different approaches to/uses of it; 
•    Holistic appreciation of interdisciplinarity of courses taken as an undergraduate and how they have shaped the student as a graduate and a researcher.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
•    Synthesis of a wide range of materials;
•    Analysis of data and interpretation of demonstrably reasoned conclusions from experiences;
•    Appreciation of the importance of (inter)subjectivity and context when conducting research.

Practical skills

This course will enable students to develop the following skills:
•    Ability to implement reflective learning in own process (i.e. research, project, task);
•    Ability to lead reflective learning and aid others to implement it in their processes;
•    Decision-making through reflections.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

This course will equip students with:
•    Self-reflection that is suitable for a range of contexts;
•    Self-awareness;
•    Taking feedback from others;
•    Offering suitable feedback to others;
•    Communication and teaching. 

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative Weighting within unit (%)

'Unessay' plan

Formative n/a

'Unessay' (student chooses topic and medium)

Summative 100%


Resit Assessment

Assessment task

Reflective essay

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written (and optional oral) feedback on reflective essay plan


Written (and optional oral) feedback on summative assignment


Oral feedback on contributions to class discussions from peers and teaching staff


Recommended reading

•    Evelyn M. Boyd and Ann W. Fales, ‘Reflective Learning: Key to Learning from Experience’, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 23, No. 2 (1983), pp. 99-117.
•    Jennifer A. Moon, A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice (Oxon: Routledge, 2004).
•    Ann Brockbank and Ian McGill, Reflective Learning in Practice (London: Routledge, 2002).
•    Jeni Wilson and Lesley Wing Jan, Thinking for Themselves: Developing Strategies for Reflective Learning (London: Heinemann, 1993).
•    Maxine Alterio and Janice McDrury, Learning Through Storytelling in Higher Education: Using Reflection and Experience to Improve Learning (London: Kogan Page, 2004).
•    Deborah Sugerman, Kathryn Doherty, Daniel Garvey, and Michael Gass, Reflective Learning: Theory and Practice (Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 2000).
•    The Routledge International Handbook of Practice-Based Research, edited Craig Vear (London: Routledge, 2021). 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Wren Radford Unit coordinator

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