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Cohort culture and the student voice in creative and media subjects in UK higher education.

Hiles, M., 2019. Cohort culture and the student voice in creative and media subjects in UK higher education. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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HILES, Marzenna_Ph.D._2018.pdf



Within Higher Education, the specialist versus generalist discussion is dominated by discourse around the merits of acquiring in-depth specialised skills (BIS, 2009; BFI, 2017). Here in the UK, we are told that students care most about outcomes and future employment (HEPI-HEA, 2015) and that HEIs are well placed to fill the gap between education and industry. Within film production degrees, Cohort Specialisms provide a vehicle to teach these highly specialised skills; enabling groups of students to attain industry-based expertise through parallel pathways that negate mobility between them. However, existing research into cohorts, also known as learning communities, stems from North American studies based on undergraduate Liberal Arts degrees, or adult post-graduate courses, and may have little relevance to our own HE system. With mounting pressure upon academics, particularly through initiatives to assess teaching quality (UK NSS and TEF), there is clearly a need to understand the impact of this distinct organisational pedagogy, from the student perspective. In response to the UK NSS, this study offers another platform for student voice and explores undergraduate experience on a UK film production degree that utilises Cohort Specialisms. Applying Q Methodology to elicit students’ subjective views, provided unexpected findings that challenge our understanding of student needs. Despite being enrolled on a highly specialised course, not all students welcome the opportunity to gain specialist skills; many yearn for a more general education and to pursue knowledge for its own sake. This questions government rhetoric that drives employability agendas into the curriculum, submerging the student view that welcomes learning in its own right. Hence, this thesis opens up a discussion around the role of highly specialised organisational pedagogies – Cohort Specialisms – within Creative and Media degrees, and other subject fields. It posits a definition of cohorts that promotes exclusivity and is more aligned with UK Higher Education.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:cohorts; specialist; film production; higher education; q-methodology
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:31873
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:25 Feb 2019 15:01
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:14


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