Public Lectures, Research Seminars and More!

Throughout the year, Edge Hill University hosts a number of public lectures. These are can be in subjects such as my own, Biological Sciences, or others, such as Education or History.

Banded archerfish (Toxotes jaculatrix). Lithograph, published in 1884.

Recently, my personal tutor and department head of biology, Dr Paul Ashton, gave his inaugural lecture titled “Contemplate an Entangled Bank” after the opening to the final paragraph of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Paul’s lecture was on the culmination of his work to date, from lime trees to sedges.

The Biosciences Department also hosts research seminars typically at lunchtime, as well as public lectures in the evening. Previous research seminars from this term were on biogeography (the origin of the Lusitanian flora), a rare genetic disease (Fanconi Anaemia), and how plant-atmosphere interactions shine a light on the origin of flowering plants. Although the schedule for 2018’s public lectures is not yet released, check back HERE for details! I attended Dr André Antunes’ talk, “Living on the Edge: Life in high salinity environments” last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also of note for the department is “ENTO’18: The Good The Bad and the Ugly” – an annual entomological conference which this year is being hosted at Edge Hill University during the 29th to the 31st of August.

The Geography department also holds public lectures in the Geosciences building, the most recent two being a lecture on coastal vulnerability to climate change and rising sea-levels, and perceptions of “Globalisation, Sustainability and Culture” in regard to “the Identities of old/new Empires and their colonies.”

Conferences and talks are held by the Faculty of Health and Social Care in their own building, as well as the Tech Hub and the Manchester campus – particularly for open days, where the Operating Department Practice programme is held. Conferences are also held by the faculty, such as the Digital Ecosystem event.

Education students have an interesting research seminar scheduled for early 2018 on January 11th – The Teaching and Learning of Britishness and Fundamental British Values, by Dr Sadia Habib, who has also published a book on the topic. Past seminars and lectures have included teaching in South Africa, lesson study, and educational responses for the future.

The Department of Performing Arts also has had many events throughout the year, two workshops of which were on Mindfulness and Butoh in Dance Movement Therapy. Another inaugural lecture was held by Professor Stephen Davismoon earlier this month.

Finally, students of English, History and Creative Writing have enjoyed lectures on The Politics of the Neo-Victorian Freak Show, how the illustrations of Sherlock Holmes affected the success of Doyle’s success, and “what it meant to be a girl in the late Victorian period and how women editors played a role in shaping the modern girl,” in a paper reading by Dr Beth Rodgers.

As you can see, Edge Hill University offers numerous lectures across the board of courses! I’ve found that attending these talks for my subject has allowed me to get an idea of which topics I find enjoyable both inside and outside the curriculum.

Assignments

It’s nearing the end of the university year which means that I have a ton of assignment deadlines at the moment. University assignments differ somewhat from the ones I had to do whilst I was at school, and the procedure for handing them in is extremely different. Before I started at Edge Hill I had lots of questions about assignments, so I’ve written this for anyone who might be in the same position. However, every department has their own way of doing things, so bear in mind that I only know about the procedure for those studying English Literature.

Once we’ve written an essay, the first thing we do is upload it to an online system called Turnitin. This checks the work for plagiarism, after which you are given a similarity percentage. Our tutors use this to check that our work is all our own, and that is why we very often get reminded about how important it is to reference accurately. For English Literature, we use the MHRA style of referencing. It can be difficult to use at first, but I found it quickly got a lot easier with practice.

We are also required to hand in a physical copy of our work, which most tutors will annotate and add feedback to when they mark it. There are lots of regulations regarding how work should be presented, such as spacing and font size, but you’ll be told about all those things when you start the course. Assignments are always submitted alongside a coversheet which has your name and details of the essay on. We pick these up from the copy room which is located next to where we hand our essays in. Here’s what the English Literature coversheet looks like:

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In the English and History department we hand our assignments in in drop boxes located down the Clough corridor. The boxes are emptied at 4pm each day and stamped so they know which day you handed it in (not that it matters as long as it’s before the deadline.) Once they’ve been marked, our tutors either hand our essays back to us during seminars, or leave them in the English and History office for us to collect.