UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


CLIE staff develop successful Pre-Master’s course at UCL Qatar

3 October 2018

Toby Day teaching the Pre-Master's course at UCL Qatar

A Pre-Master’s short course for students studying on the UCL Qatar campus was designed and delivered by CLIE teaching staff in September.

Ariane Smart (Pre-Master’s in Architecture Coordinator) and Toby Day (Pre-Master’s in Architecture Teaching Fellow) developed Stepping Up to Master's, a two-week academic skills course which introduced students studying on the Museum and Gallery Practice MA or Library and Information Studies MA to Master’s level study.

Students were given a taste of the texts they would be expected to read and write during their degree and the standards of argument and criticality needed. Classes explored critical reading and writing practices with a particular focus on the literature review, which was highlighted as a challenging area for students studying on these programmes.

CLIE was approached by UCL Qatar in March 2018, following the success of another programme Ariane coordinated there between 2013-2015 - the Diploma in Academic Research and Methods (DARM) - CLIE’s first Pre-Master's programme that specialised in Heritage-related disciplines. After further discussions with UCL Qatar, a syllabus was devised based on DARM, covering themes which had relevance to both Museum and Library Studies students.

UCL Qatar Cafeteria

Toby, who also taught the course on site in Doha, said: “one of the highlights for me was class discussions around what these social institutions represented for the different students from different cultures.

The students also came from a range of academic backgrounds such as art history, architecture, local government, linguistics, and from all over the globe - Yemen, Ghana, South Africa, Croatia, India and of course, Qatar. We really learned a lot.”

The course received positive feedback from both staff and students; the UCL Qatar Director commented that: “the feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive, and particularly from those who had not studied for a while, or who were unfamiliar with the learning competencies and demanding standards we require of them.”