Alumni & friends

E-news February 2015
Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

In what has been another outstanding year for our Faculty, and the University at large, I’m delighted to be able to share a few of the highlights with you.

Research by academics across all six of our departments has been recognised as of the highest quality and of international importance, according to the Research Excellence Framework - the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK Higher Education Institutions.

Building work has begun in earnest on 10 West, the new home for our rapidly growing Department of Psychology. It’s expected to be finished by this time next year and will offer state of the art laboratories and teaching rooms.

Our academics are increasing becoming the go-to people for reasoned and informed comment. Many have appeared in the media this year to discuss everything from the Scottish Referendum to the raising of the UK terror threat level, and we are expecting this UK election year to be even busier for them.
In terms of teaching, we have seen a 19 per cent rise in applications for our undergraduate programmes, as well as a 13 per cent rise in applications from overseas students. To meet this growing demand we have developed a number of new courses - International Development with Economics, Economics and Mathematics and Physical Activity and Health.*

We were also delighted to be able to fund two students from our Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies - Alex Polkey and Nipuni Perera – to attend the One Young World summit in Dublin this year. It is great to know that our students aspire to being young leaders and contribute to social change. You can watch Alex's delegate speech on our website.

We never forget that our success is in part due to our alumni and friends, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have supported us. It really does make a huge difference.

You can find out more about the work of the Faculty, along with news from across the University, in the following stories.

With best wishes,

Professor Ian Butler, AcSS
Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


The Alumni Relations team

* Subject to final approval.

Faculty news  

The language of success

Bucking the national trend, our language courses are proving ever more popular, and we’re keen to see this continue. Over 160 schoolchildren and their teachers visited us recently to take part in Spotlight on Languages: an event designed by us to inspire the next generation of linguists. From the enthusiastic feedback we received, the future is bright for languages at Bath.

Teaching of the highest order

On the subject of languages, our Director of Language Learning and Teaching, Dr Steve Wharton, received the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques. He was awarded the Order by the French Cultural Counsellor, Monsieur François Croquette, for services to French Culture and Education.

Helping the blind to ‘see’ 

Researchers from our Department of Psychology are helping to develop better treatments for blind and partially-sighted people using ‘The vOICe’: a device which converts camera images into sounds. You can watch Dr Michael Proulx and Dr David Brown demonstrate the device on BBC Points West.

One for the books

We’ve just held a book launch to celebrate the publication of seven books by colleagues from our Department of Education. Published in just the last few months, the books cover subjects including how both poverty and disability impact on education.

University news and alumni updates   

Scholarship Ceremony

Scholars, donors, family, friends and members of the University came together last weekend to celebrate the achievements of our students and to thank the donors for their generous support. You can watch the ceremony online.

Alumni named in New Year Honours list    

Several of our alumni have been recognised in the New Year Honours list, including good friend of the University, Roger Whorrod, who received an OBE for services to Philanthropy in Higher Education.

Making prehistory

Dr Nick Longrich, a palaeontologist from our Department of Biology & Biochemistry, has discovered a new dinosaur. He identified the species while studying fossils which had been kept in a Canadian museum for 75 years. The new dinosaur is called Pentaceratops aquilonius and is similar to Triceratops.

New Year, new challenge

If your New Year’s resolution was to learn something new, why not sign up for one of our MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses). There are no entry requirements and courses can be taken either as a free study taster, or simply as a way to explore a subject you may be interested in.

Upcoming events

Get Connected London – 10 February

If you’d like get ahead in finance and management, come along to the Abbey Bar for the insider’s guide to forging successful careers in the City. You can view our volunteers online. 

Boston alumni reception - 17 February   

For a great opportunity to meet fellow Bath graduates and new people in the network, come along to the Skywalk Observatory. The event is free and is open to alumni and their non-alumni guests.

Get Connected Bath – 10 March   

Come back to campus for careers insights from top Bath graduates. Get everything from application and networking tips to how to enter your profession of choice from some of our most successful alumni. Register online to get a free drink on arrival. 

Singapore Reception - 11 March  

Join us at Raffles Hotel for drinks and canapés, and a chance to hear our new Dyson Chair of Design Engineering, Professor Gareth Jones, discuss 'The Importance of Innovation and Creativity in Business'. The event is free to attend and you are welcome to bring a guest. 

Get Connected London – 14 April 

We are holding an event for those of you who would like to develop a charity, NGO or policy career. Come along to the Amnesty International Office to hear from a panel of alumni already working in the sector.  

Reunion Weekend – 8-10 May 

Bring back good memories and create some new ones at our Reunion Weekend. Everyone's welcome, with a special invitation to those who graduated in 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995. Book now online now. We’re looking forward to welcoming you back.

This year’s Annual General Meeting of Convocation will also be held during the Reunion on 9 May 2014. An election will be held at the meeting; for further details visit our website.