Code of Good Practice

The teaching programme

1.1 The undergraduate programmes of study are kept under review by the Director of Education and (in the case of MA programmes) the Directors of the MA pathways (Ancient Drama and Society, Roman Myth and History, Homeric Studies, Hellenistic Culture, Ethics Religion and Society, Alternative Histories through Art and Archaeology, Food and Culture). These Directors are responsible to the Department and the Associate Dean of Education in the College.
1.2 Proposals for new degree programmes or modules may be submitted by any staff member or members. They are referred for consideration to the Department Meeting, the Department Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) (or the Department Postgraduate Board of Studies in the case of MA programmes) and the College Education Committee. They are then submitted to the Accreditation Committee of the Faculty Board of Undergraduate or Postgraduate Studies and hence via the University Teaching Committee and APC to Senate.
1.3 At registration all students receive an outline of their individual programme timetable and receive the web-address of the Department Handbook (and postgraduate handbook, if appropriate), containing all material relevant to the learning process. During induction, students are requested to fill in a slip indicating whether they prefer a hard-copy or a CD-Rom of the Department Handbook which is made available to them at the start of term.
1.4 All students are provided in advance with information relevant to the following year's modules to enable them to make informed choices.
1.5 The registration of FCH and JYA students and of students taking one module within the Departments part of another degree programme is administered by the Director of Education (in association with the Tutor for FCH and JYA students).

Monitoring

2.1 Module evaluation is carried out at the end of each year through anonymous on-line questionnaires, by peer-review (with report forms), and in some cases by group interview of students. Results of student questionnaires are analysed, and form the basis of Module Reviews which are scrutinised by the Department Meeting, SSLC (or the Postgraduate Board of Studies) and College Education Committee. Module Reviews form the basis of annual reports on the undergraduate programmes and MA programmes. These reports are monitored by a Programme Review Meeting (PRM) within the Department, and audited by meeting of the College Education Committee.
2.2 The Department SSLC consists of four staff members (including the Director of Education) and nine undergraduates, including representatives from each of the 3 years of the Department's teaching areas (single and combined). The names of student representatives, together with photographs and email addresses, are posted on the Department notice board, as is a copy of the latest minutes. The student Chair of the SSLC also attends the Department Meeting.
2.3 At postgraduate level, there is also a Postgraduate Board of Studies, comprising a representative from each of the MA programmes, a representative from each year of the three years of the PhD programme, the Director of Graduate Studies, the Directors of each of the MA programmes, as well as the other members of the Department.
2.4 The operation of Combined Honours programmes falling partly outside the College is monitored by Boards of Studies for each programme, including staff and student members from the relevant Departments.

The teaching process

3.1 All students are provided with an on-line description for each module outlining, among other points: aims, intended learning outcomes, learning/teaching methods, syllabus plan, assessment criteria and indicative basic reading list.
3.2 Module sheets are often supplemented by further handouts relating to essays, seminars, or lectures.
3.3 Essay titles, providing an adequate degree of choice, and seminar topics are distributed at the beginning of a module or of each semester, together with Bibliography indicating which items have been removed to Ready Text.
3.4 The content and topic of assessed oral presentations are agreed in advance by student and lecturer. Detailed feedback, including responses from students and lecturer, is given afterwards.
3.5 Essays and language work are returned to students as soon as possible (within one week in the case of language work) with constructive comments and a numerical mark. When essays are returned, normally all level 1 and 2 students are given the opportunity of a tutorial, and all level 3 essays are returned with a tutorial.
3.6 Full-time staff are available each week at times indicated on their office-doors or Department noticeboard and at other times to discuss queries relating to a module and its assessment.
3.7 In the event of a difficulty between a student and a module-teacher, either party may consult the student's personal tutor, the Director of Education, or the Head of Department.

Academic progress of students

4.1 The academic progress and pastoral care of students is kept under scrutiny regularly in Department Meetings: reports on students causing concern are made on a pro form a and recorded in an on-line database administered by College staff.
4.2 In the case of poor attendance or poor work, a student may receive a written or verbal warning from the tutor, or in more severe cases a warning from the College Dean. If progress continues to be unsatisfactory, the student is referred to the Dean of the Undergraduate or Postgraduate Faculties and the Board of the Faculties. Details of the disciplinary procedure are provided in the College Taught Handbook.
4.3a Students with study problems are encouraged to seek the assistance of the Study Methods Counselling Service, the discipline Senior Tutor or the College Representative for students with special needs.
4.3b AccessAbility should identify students with special needs at the beginning of their first year. Students are also requested during induction to fill in a form declaring any special needs, and their first point of contact in the Department is their personal tutor. They are encouraged to take part in programmes provided by AccessAbility.
4.4 The academic progress of all students is recorded on an online database, which contains continuous assessment marks, examination marks, and comments.
4.5 All students are required to meet their personal tutors regularly (at least once each term and as requested by tutor or student) to discuss their progress and other matters of concern. Special emphasis is placed on meetings with first-year students, for whom extra tutorials are arranged to support key skills and study methods. At least once a year tutors and students will discuss a Personal Development Plan (PDP), using a form of web-based questionnaire.
4.6 The Department expects all students to be aware of, and abide by, the student responsibilities set out in the College Student Handbook.

Staff development

5.1 The Department professes, and displays, a firm commitment to the enhancement of the learning and teaching process. Individual teachers undertake to note the suggestions and criticisms of students (from questionnaires or SSLC) and of colleagues (through peer-review and appraisal) and, where appropriate, to act on them; the Department, through the Head of Department, undertakes to encourage individual teachers to do so.
5.2 The Department holds regular teaching for a for all full-time and part-time teachers to review and disseminate best practice in teaching. Examples of best practice arising out of peer review are also disseminated through a short report by the Head of Department and Director of Education.
5.3 All teachers are committed to enhancing their teaching through reference to their own research.
5.4 The Director of Education and the Directors of the MA programmes have responsibility for reviewing annually the effectiveness of degree programmes and making recommendations for improvement, including the effectiveness and appropriateness of teaching methods.

The code of good practice

6.1 The Code of Good Practice will be made available to all students at the beginning of the academic year.
6.2 It will be reviewed annually by the Department Meeting.
6.3 The SSLC will be invited to comment annually on the Code of Good Practice.

 

Revised: September 2017