The Graduate Development
Programme at UWE
The Graduate Development Programme at UWE
We want to help all our students to realise their full potential – to ‘start here’ and be able to ‘go
anywhere’ they want. We want you to succeed – to get the best degree that you can, to develop your
own personal interests and abilities, to be well prepared for whatever future you choose, whether
that is competing for a position in a profession closely mapped to your degree programme, entering
the competitive graduate job market, or staying on at University for advanced studies, and of course,
we want you to enjoy studying with us.
The Graduate Development Programme (GDP) has been developed for students by the University and
the Students’ Union. GDP is an essential and integral part of your subject programme and we hope
very much that you will enjoy and benefit from participating in GDP sessions. GDP has been planned
to enable you to:
• Manage the transitions into your first year at UWE and between your different stages and levels
• Feel a valued member of UWE and your subject degree group
• Develop your ‘learning skills and styles’
• Learn how to work effectively within a peer group
• Develop a rounded appreciation of your subject programme and see the connections between
your modules and further afield
• Plan your own ‘preferred future’ and develop those graduate skills, abilities and attributes that
you feel you need; and last, but certainly not least
• Recognise, describe and demonstrate your academic achievements and development of graduate
All undergraduate students at UWE will participate in GDP, but only the students on your subject
programme will take your GDP. Students on all the many different programmes at UWE will develop
graduate skills, but GDP must operate within your particular subject in order to make it real and
relevant to you. So, in addition to this introduction, there’s also an official generic UWE GDP
Specification (see www.uwe.ac.uk/gdp) and a GDP description for your specific subject programme.
What happens in GDP?
GDP operates in two ways – firstly, by identifying where personal development activities happen
in your subject programme and then making these explicit to students and staff and secondly, by
supporting student progression via small peer-group sessions facilitated by a staff tutor. These
FLAG (facilitated learning group) sessions aim to develop group and cohort identity, encourage
peer-group activities and prompt you to think about your personal development planning. These
sessions will be timetabled either within or outside subject module time.
What’s GDP about?
The key educational aims of GDP (see the GDP Specification) relate to student experience;
learner development; personal development and employability and ‘preferred futures’ and GDP
outcomes are listed under the headings knowledge and understanding; intellectual skills; subject,
professional and practical skills and transferable skills and other attributes.
How long is GDP and how much time does it involve?
GDP lasts throughout all your undergraduate degree programme, with the focus changing
at different stages – for example, recognising and developing your learning styles and skills is
emphasised in the first year (Level 1), whereas ‘employability’ is a predominant focus in the second
year (Level 2) and academic achievement and ‘the future’ are obviously important for Level 3.
FLAG sessions are timetabled for a minimum of 12 hours in Level 1, eight in Level 2 and four at
Level 3, but details vary with each programme and there will be the chance to organise your own
What happens in FLAG sessions?
An important aspect of GDP is the small peer-group FLAG sessions. You’ll meet your fellow student
FLAG members and your FLAG tutor (from your subject programmes) at the beginning of the year.
FLAG sessions are not like lectures or seminars but are places where students learn with and from
each other. They are designed to give you the chance to discuss and reflect on important aspects
of graduate development, how GDP relates to your subject programme and on topics relevant to
you and your own personal development and progression at UWE. FLAG sessions will be themed
on specific GDP topics – sometimes planned by tutors but also with opportunities for you to decide
what the FLAG topic should be. Clearly your participation in and contributions to FLAG sessions are
expected and essential – not just for you but for your fellow students.
Attendance and achievement on GDP
It’s essential that you attend the FLAG sessions – really important not just for you but for the rest of the
group as well (you’ll be meeting the same group every session). Successful completion of GDP requires
attendance at the FLAG sessions (minimum attendance of 75 per cent) and completion of the GDP
Record of Engagement. Details of when and how this is to be completed will be discussed by your FLAG
tutor. A GDP Certificate will be awarded to successful students and the end of each year. In addition,
students who complete all three years of GDP will be awarded a UWE GDP Certificate of Achievement
with their degree certificate.