The Water Science core includes an assessed tutorial component with personal academic tutors in small groups of about five students. In this module study personal skills are developed, career ambitions explored and academic discussion takes place around a defined syllabus in Water Science. Academic coursework in the Level 1 tutorial module examines the themes that emerge from the topics discussed in the first year Water Science modules, such as:
The Hydrological Cycle
Changing Water Resources
Water Quality and Health
Integrated Basin Management
and through such enquiry develops a range of academic study skills.
The skills developed include:
The planning of work routines and the setting of academic and personal targets;
Library use and how to build an effective reading programme; styles of note making/annotation and bibliographic referencing;
Data gathering, analysis and interpretation;
Water Science Reporting and Essay Writing and examination technique (students are introduced to good writing skills and the qualities used to assess written work).
The development and assessment of these study skills will take the form of two short assignments. In the first semester, for example, these might involve Library skills: in the second semester, research skills in the gathering and reporting on secondary or local field data. The marks for both these assignments will be used in the final assessment. In addition, a minimum of four essays must be submitted as required by the tutor and the marks from three of these will be used in the final assessment. Topics for essays will vary. They may include themes such as those dealing with key aspects of the atmosphere and the water cycle, global biogeochemical cycles, changing water resources, or, the relationship between society and water management. They may also introduce broader themes and cross-disciplinary issues which impact on water scientists such as the impact of land use and climate change on water resources. Students will receive timely feedback from the tutor after each piece of work on how they may improve subsequent essays.
The tutorial module offers students the opportunity to engage directly in their learning, to contribute to discussion and give presentations on their work in a small group setting.
Alongside its academic role, discussion can take place on CV building and careers opportunities. A tutor's judgement of the overall performance of a student over the full programme forms a final, minor component in module assessment.
The tutorial module is designed to be a complementary module for students taking Part One Water Science. It provides a basis for close and regular supervisory contact with students throughout the year, a means to explore the major themes of Water Science, and a forum to develop study and transferable skills, particularly with respect to library based research and essay writing.
Module objectives / Learning outcomes
The module has three specific objectives.
As a source of close, working contact, it can more effectively address the general academic and pastoral problems confronted by students during their first year.
Each Water Science Tutorial Module is designed to have its own independent academic syllabus. At Level 1, this will focus on exploring the themes that run through the Water Science programme and which are best dealt with as a separate thematic overlay to the Level 1course. On completion of this, tutorial students should be cognizant of the range of issues in Water Science and how water scientists and managers address these issues.
It will address a defined range of study skills, enabling students to cope more effectively with the basic demands of academic study, develop transferable skills, and enable them to exploit more fully the possibilities offered by the Water Science programme. Upon completion, students should have well developed skill sets that allow them to effectively use the library and internet to research material, write water science essays based upon academic research and discuss knowledgeable the societal issues relating to water science as well as the critical scientific challenges.
Jones, J.A.A.. (1999)
Global hydrology: processes, resources and environmental management. 2nd. Longman, Harlow,399pp.