Finally, we reach the last question of this series about 9 GSD students’ impressions of their course. If you recall, the first question I asked was to rate their course on a scale of 1 to 10. Here we find them exploring what was hiding behind their original, numeric answer.
Q5) Finally, what do you think about the course so far?
GSD & Business: “I like the fact that we can learn in different ways: group presentations, essays and so on. I am a bit worried about future employment though. Nobody has the degree we are going to have, so we won’t know for sure about the “value” of our degree until we get out there ourselves.”
Some see the GSD course uniqueness as a plus, some as a worry, but I think that it is fair to say that concerns about employability are common for all students. If you want advice about your future, we have our own Careers adviser, Chris Manley (C.J.Manley@warwick.ac.uk).
GSD & Economics: “I’ve really come to understand the importance of having an open mind and listening to everyone else’s viewpoints. We’ve all come from different backgrounds, and so there are many different sides to every problem, something I had never even considered before now.”
GSD & History: “I like it, because we cover in more depth the social and economic aspects of sustainable development, and we get to understand how changes are possible, but also with people coming from around the world with different backgrounds gives an extra dimension to the course and enriches it in my opinion.”
GSD & Life Sciences: “The course so far is good; the reading has ‘settled down’ a bit, so it’s easier to get it all done. I gave the course a score of 8, because I am definitely enjoying the course and finding it interesting, but I also am thinking about other courses I could have done.”
GSD & PAIS: “I’m pretty happy with the course in general, the tutors are good and the course is interesting. But I needed a little time to adapt first, it wasn’t easy at the beginning to understand how to work on my own with that kind of course. We have a lot of reading to do – which I’m not fond of as we already have loads of reading for PAIS – and two contact hours a week for each module may not be enough to study each subject in-depth; and even though the workshops are nice, I’m not really learning anything during them.”
The PAIS student’s concerns are interesting, and I would like to get back in touch with that student in a few months’ time to see how they are getting on and whether they have adapted and understood the nature of the course better.
GSD & Philosophy: “I am enjoying the seminars and having discussions about what I have been reading, and David [Beck] is very helpful if there is ever a problem. Philosophy is challenging, which is good, but also means I have to set aside more time to complete philosophy work than GSD work.”
GSD & Psychology: “I think it is important to address the global environmental issues, and I feel privileged to be part of the first cohort at Warwick that directly addresses these issues. So far, I am really enjoying it, and I think most of my concerns are related to how the course is structured. For instance, I would like to attend my partner department’s academic skills sessions, but since my home department is GSD I have to attend the GSD ones instead.”
GSD & Sociology: “Having had such a positive experience with the cohort and having so many good discussions, it’s been impossible not to enjoy it”
GSD & Theatre Studies: “I love the fact that if you have any questions for any of the lecturers, they will happily answer them for you. I would say that the only downfalls are the drama-GSD lecture clash and the fact that our drama and GSD assignments seem to be due at the same time, and I personally find the social principle module hard to engage with (maybe especially since I’m not in the lecture because of the lecture clash).”
Some of the concerns raised here are structure-based and specific to the fact that is a joint degree, as well as the fact that this is the first year this course has been running, so hopefully these issues will be resolved in the near future.
We have an SSLC (Student-Staff Liaison Committee), where one student from each joint degree meets to raise course-specific issues. There is also the module feedback form, where you can express how you found each module, so all these concerns can be addressed.
I’ll finish by saying this: it is very much our course and we can shape it in the way we want it, so that we can get the most out of it. It is tricky to please so many different people, coming from 9 different disciplines, but hopefully, everyone can find a way in which they can enjoy GSD!
Hope you enjoyed this series, and if you have any comments, post them below or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!