Pre-course reading

AUA PgCert optional pre-course background reading

Getting started

AUA PgCert optional pre-course background reading

We understand that embarking on study can be a real challenge. As an applicant to the programme your range of experience and academic level of study will vary so in order to help you prepare for self-directed learning we have provided a list of resources we hope you find useful – these cover study skills, reflection and HE knowledge areas. Full reading lists will be made available to you on the Nottingham Trent Online Workspace (NOW) when you have enrolled.

The programme focuses on two main areas; HE knowledge and becoming an effective practitoner. Familiarising yourself with the prospectus will help you understand the structure of the modules and the self-directed nature of the programme, you can find it here: Prospectus

A good place to start is with study skills; these will help equip you for reading and writing at level 7 academic study. A reading list of useful study skills texts and online resources has been included for you below.

Resources

We recommend that you access resources at your own institution’s library in preparation for embarking on the programme.  It is likely that your institution will also have study skills sessions that you can access as a staff member. Once you have enrolled on the PgCert you will be able to use NTU’s Library (both online and on site) as well as their student study skills resources.

Pressed for time?

If you only have time to read just one thing, read Jennifer Moon’s book on reflection. If you have more time, look also at the four links under knowledge.

Study skills

Study skills: reading and writing for academic study

There are a number of study skills guides available. Not everyone engages with the same material or style of presentation, so the main thing is to find one which works for you.  The following are recommended:

  • Helyer, Ruth (2010), The Work-Based Learning Student Handbook. (Palgrave)

NTU recommended text for learning returners undertaking work based study.

  • Cottrell, Stella (4th Edition 2013) The study skills handbook (Palgrave)

NTU recommended text for learning returners/mature students

  • Barnes, R. (2nd edition, 1995) Successful study for degrees (London: Routledge) An entertaining and intelligent look at learning and studying
  • Northedge, A. (2005) The good study guide (Milton Keynes: Open University) A useful guide to studying with plenty of practical suggestions and exercises to work through.
  • Open University (2006) Skills for OU Study [Online] Open University, available at open.ac.uk/skillsforstudy
  • Terry, J. (2005) Moving on (Collaborative Widening Participation Project: Coventry University, University of Worcester, University of Warwick) Contains useful advice and tips, specifically for mature learners returning to education. Available worc.ac.uk/movingon/Moving%20On.pdf
  • University of Manchester (2008) Study Skills guidance for Postgraduate Students [Online], University of Manchester, Faculty of Humanities, available at: humanities.manchester.ac.uk/studyskills

Critical reading

For more guidance on critical reading see the University of Leicester Study Guide:

www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/writing-resources/critical-reading

Critical writing

For information on critical writing at level 7 the University of Birmingham have this useful resource: A Short Guide to Critical Writing for Postgraduate Taught students,

intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/libraryservices/library/skills/asc/documents/public/pgtcriticalwriting.pdf

The following University of Manchester resource is very comprehensive and is quoted extensively in other guides on academic writing:

www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk

The following are good additional resources about learning and thinking:

  • Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical Thinking Skills:  Developing Effective Analysis and Argument, Basingstoke: Palgrave
  • Dweck, C. (2012), Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential, Robinson

Reflection

Reflection

We highly recommend Jennifer Moon’s text on reflection within learning.

Moon, J. A. (1999) Reflection in learning and professional development: theory and practice (London: Kogan Page).

Part 1 contains an excellent summary and critique of the way in which reflection has been applied by academics across various disciplines. In Part 2, Moon develops her argument about the place of reflection in learning. Part 3 contains a number of practical suggestions for developing reflection in learning.

More additional readings on reflection:

  • Brockbank, A., McGill, I., Beech, N.C., (2002), Reflective Learning in Practice, Gower.
  • Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development (New Jersey: Prentice Hall).
  • Schön, D. A., (1987), Educating the Reflective Practitioner, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
  • Schön, D. A. (1994) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, Temple Smith, London.
  • Walker, D., (1985) Chapter 3 in Boud, D., Keogh, R., & Walker, D. (eds.) (1985) Reflection: turning experience into learning Kogan Page, London.
  • Zubizaretta, J. (year not listed) Idea Paper #44 The Learning Portfolio: A Powerful Idea for Significant Learning [online]. Ideaedu.org

Available at: ideaedu.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/IDEA_Paper_44.pdf [accessed: 21 December 2016]

For more on this see the University of Cumbria guide which analyses an extract of reflective writing:

my.cumbria.ac.uk/Public/LISS/Documents/skillsatcumbria/ReflectivevsAcademicWriting.pdf

Knowledge areas

Knowledge areas

The following readings will give insights into some key developments in UK higher education:

gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-success-as-a-knowledge-economy-white-paper  this is the Westminster government’s white paper from May 2016

scottishuniversitygovernance.ac.uk/consultation-process – this relates to the changes in Scottish university governance arising from the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016

gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/highereducation/review-of-he-funding-and-student-finance-arrangements – this is the Diamond report into funding higher education in Wales.

economy-ni.gov.uk/topics/higher-education – this is the higher education site for the Northern Ireland government Department for the Economy. Unlike England, Scotland and Wales, there is no separate higher education funding agency in Northern Ireland, and government seems to have a very direct relationship with the four NI university institutions

Most importantly you should ensure you keep up to date with the THES and the AUA Perspectives Journal

PgCert in Higher Education Administration, Management and Leadership