This project involved detailed and thorough consultation with current and prospective students in line with Competition and Markets Authority guidance.
The change of programme and award title to Creative Performance was identified as beneficial for students through a particularly rigourous process of consultation.
We conducted an internal survey with over 100 students, using Survey Monkey, which revealed a number of strong options, including Creative Performance. We then consulted with three of our close feeder colleges, speaking directly with groups of Performing Arts students about their preferences and understandings of various degree title, whereupon it emerged that Creative Performance was the clear favourite and the most broadly attractive. This approach would clearly be applicable to most other disciplines and settings.
What is the impact?
The impact it will have on students is twofold. First, it will simply reduce confusion and mistaken expectations resulting from an inappropriate degree title. Prospective candidates now have a clearer idea of what the degree entails as soon as the see the title, rather than needing to read the ‘small print’. Ultimately, we believe this will improve recruitment but even more significantly will improve retention, as we are more likely to attract the ‘right’ students for the degree.
Secondly, we believe it is a more distinctive and therefore more advantageous degree title for graduates, denoting an advanced programme of study as opposed to ‘Performing Arts’ which (according to our market research) sounds like a BTEC-level qualification.
To support transitions, student retention and develop graduate attributes the department of Computer Science offer an innovate peer mentoring system that involves mentoring throughout the student’s life from pre-entry into employment.
Many students coming to university will go through a transitional period. They have to adapt to new ways of learning and teaching, as well as living away from home, often for the first time. The Department’s Mentor Scheme helps new students with this transition.
How it works
First year students (mentees) are matched to current undergraduate students; usually second years. They meet on a regular basis to discuss a wide range of issues such as:
new ways of studying
settling into accommodation
assignments, essays and exams
finding housing for second year.
First year students can ask questions which they may not feel comfortable asking tutors, are not covered in the course handbook or are of a personal nature, and will get reliable and relevant advice from their peers. They also get to know other people on their course a lot better.
What are the benefits?
Students who choose to become a mentor in their second year develop important employability skills. In a competitive job market graduates need to be able to demonstrate transferable skills. This is a wonderful opportunity to develop, enhance and evidence those skills, such as:
The implementation of the Roll of Honour which recognises and rewards students’ outstanding academic and personal achievements and inspires other students to achieve their full potential [SOURCE: Periodic Review of Business School].
How is it innovative or distinctive and transferable to other settings?
Outside of Edge Hill, this is actually quite common in other Business Schools. The true benefits start to appear after a couple of years because you are able to discuss each year with incoming level 4 and 5 students and make a link between their current behaviour and future performance. The transferability is high because each subject area could adjust categories to suit own areas. It then becomes about communication.
What impact has it had/will it have on students (directly or indirectly)?
“We expect the true benefits to start to emerge this year with incoming l4, l5 students but even this year some of the graduates had achieved higher on their final year thesis projects because they were aware (via our conversations) that the Honour Roll exists. There is also an opportunity to extend employability links for both departments and graduates because we have professional bodies involved in prize-giving for certain programmes, for example the Chartered Management Institute. Next year, we will be looking further for professional bodies to provide prizes as a way of making links between attainment and professional success clear”.