The Graduate Development Programme at UWE

The Graduate Development Programme at UWE

The Graduate Development

Programme at UWE

September 2007

The Graduate Development Programme at UWE

An Introduction

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 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

student-led sessions.

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.

September 2007

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