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Department of Political Science

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You Shaped the SPP

Your feedback is vital to help us make changes for you and for future students, in the same way previous students’ feedback helped make some of the changes you’ve seen during your time at UCL.

Find out how many of the suggestions you've made through your student representatives, your module evaluations, the National Student Survey, and the Postgraduate Taught Survey have resulted in positive changes for your student experience:

Undergraduate 

Teaching and Curriculum

You said

  • You would like more choices of elective modules, with a greater diversity of topics.

We did

  • We designed eleven new undergraduate elective modules that will be introduced in 2022-23.
  • They cover a wide range of topics in all the political science disciplines.
  • We will be offering a new module on LGBTQ+ Rights, Latin American Politics, Critical Theory and International Relations, Decolonisation and Global Justice
Student Space

You said

  • You would like to have a student common room and kitchen facilities in the SPP.

We did

  • In 2019 we set up the student common room at 30 Tavistock Square.
  • In 2022 we added a kitchenette to allow students use microwave facilitates, sink, and fridge space.
Assessment and Feedback

You said

  • Assessment deadlines are too close together and workload sometimes feels unmanageable.

We did

  • In 2021-22 we created a new essay deadlines model, which helps us to distribute your essay deadlines with maximal spacing and efficiency.
  • We reduced the assessment load in several UG modules (from 2022-23)
Student Wellbeing

You said

  • There is not enough wellbeing support, or access to support and services can be limited.

We did

  • In 2021-22 we expanded our Undergraduate Tutor Team so that they are better able to attend to students.
  • We also appointed a new Student Support and Wellbeing Officer (Jolanta Skorecka).
  • We now provide workshops on to all UG students on Assessment and Examination, Wellbeing, Motivation and Time Management.
  • We provided our staff with a detailed Personal Tutor handbook and personal tutor training so that they are better able to support you.
Career Support

You said

  • You would like more career-focused extra-curricular activities

We did

  • In 2020 we appointed a Careers Officer in the Department who coordinates a variety of activities throughout the year.
  • In 2021 We launched the Political Science Careers week, with UG targeted talks, workshops and training. 
  • In 2021 We added ten more undergraduate research internships at CUSP.
Organisation

You said

  • It’s difficult to remember all the information shared during induction week. 

We did

  • We set up an induction Moodle page with Inductions recordings and documents.
  • Our Professional Services Team started hosted information sessions on essay submission and extenuating circumstances requests, with time for Q&A.
  • We set up Student Information Hubs on Moodle to provide a one stop shop for students

Course specific actions  

Politics and International Relations

You said

  • You wanted to be able to take languages as electives
  • You wanted to able select Q step modules as electives.

We did:

  • We approved both requests.

Philosophy, Politics and Economics

You said

  • You asked for a Study Abroad option

We did

  • We have designed a Study Abroad Year, and appointed a Study Abroad Officer to assist students who would like to take up on this option.

Postgraduate

Class sizes

You said

  • You would like to have smaller class sizes

We did

  • In 2019 we reduced the class sizes in core modules to fifteen students.

Student space

You said

  • You would like to have a student common room and kitchen facilities in the SPP.

We did

  • In 2019 we set up the student common room at 30 Tavistock Square.
  • In 2022 we added a kitchenette to allow students use microwave facilitates, sink, and fridge space.
Assessment feedback

You said

  • Assessment deadlines are too close together and workload sometimes feels unmanageable.

We did

  • In 2021-22 we created a new essay deadlines model, which helps us to distribute your essay deadlines with maximal spacing and efficiency.
  • We reduced the assessment load in several PG modules (from 2022-23).
Student wellbeing

You said

  • There is not enough wellbeing support, or access to support and services can be limited.

We did

  • In 2021-22 we expanded our Postgraduate Tutor Team so that they are better able to attend to students.
  • We also appointed a new Student Support and Wellbeing Officer who can provide help to all our PG students (Jolanta Skorecka)
  • We provided our staff with a detailed Personal Tutor handbook and personal tutor training so that they are better able to support you.

 

Academic support

You said

  • You would like more support on writing academic essays in political science.

We did

  • From 2021 we launched a series of academic writing sessions in terms 1 and 2 that are open to all PG students and help them to read effectively and write essays.
Learning community

You said

  • You want more extra-curricular activities and a better learning and social community in the SPP.

We did

  • From 2021 we are collaborating with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, to offer students fun workshops on to help students learn how to speak to an audience, work on their body language, online interviews and more
  • From 2022 we more than doubled the funding available to each programme for student-led activities, including end of year social events.
Careers support

You said

  • You would like more career-focused extra-curricular activities.

We did

  • In 2020 we appointed a Careers Officer in the Department who coordinates a variety of activities throughout the year.
  • We created an active PG careers newsletter.
  • In 2021 We launched the Political Science Careers week, with PG targeted talks, workshops and trainings.
Dissertation supervision

You said

  • You would like more supervision support for your dissertations.

We did

  • We designed a wide framework of dissertation support beyond the supervisions, including dissertation workshops, summer surgeries and writing sessions. 

Course specific actions  

EMPA

You said

  • Students with an Economics background felt that the PPEA module covers materials they are already familiar with

We did

  • We changed the programme structure so that PPEA is no longer compulsory for students with an Economics background, and allow them to them other modules instead.
MPA

You said

  • Students with an Economics background felt that the PPEA module covers materials they are already familiar with

We did

  • We changed the programme structure so that PPEA is no longer compulsory for students with an Economics background, and allow them to them other modules instead.
Democracy and Comparative Politics

You said

  • Students with an Economics background felt that the PPEA module covers materials they are already familiar with

We did

  • We changed the programme structure so that PPEA is no longer compulsory for students with an Economics background, and allow them to them other modules instead.
European Politics and Policy

You said

  • Students with an Economics background felt that the PPEA module covers materials they are already familiar with

We did

  • We changed the programme structure so that PPEA is no longer compulsory for students with an Economics background, and allow them to them other modules instead.
Global Governance and Ethics

You said

  • Students with an Economics background felt that the PPEA module covers materials they are already familiar with

We did

  • We changed the programme structure so that PPEA is no longer compulsory for students with an Economics background, and allow them to them other modules instead.
International Public Policy

You said

  • Students with an Economics background felt that the PPEA module covers materials they are already familiar with

We did

  • We changed the programme structure so that PPEA is no longer compulsory for students with an Economics background, and allow them to them other modules instead.
Human Rights

You said

  • Students on the programme wanted to be able to take more methods modules as they are helpful for their career prospects.
  • Students requested more practice-focused content to the course.

We did

  • We changed the programme structure so that students can take both Introduction and Advanced Quantitative Methods modules.
  • We added the new core module "Doing Human Rights Work", starting in Fall 2022. 
Legal and Political Theory

You said

  • You want more extra curricular events

We did

  • In 2021 Professor Swift added a session on how to apply for a PhD in political theory. He also organised an outdoor  walk so that students on the programme get to know each other.
Public Policy

You said

  • You don’t like taking part in large lectures.

We did

  • In 2020 we restructured the PP programme so that there are more compulsory modules, an a better spread of students across them.
Security Studies

TBC