Academic Skills Centre

Prepare to Succeed: new MOOC launched

Fri Jun 23 12:19:00 BST 2017

EPQ MOOCThe EPQ has become increasingly popular for students as it provides an opportunity for skills development beyond A Levels, helps them distinguish themselves from other students and prepare more fully for university study, enhancing their study and research skills. It also helps students strengthen their university application. An EPQ is a recognised qualification for university admission, and for the majority of courses, the University makes alternative offers to students who complete it. 

Commenting on this latest development, Mike Nicholson, Director of Student Recruitment & Admissions, said:

“The delivery of this MOOC represents one of many new ways we are adopting to support and engage student and teachers in schools at the earliest possible stage, prior to applying for university. We want to use the MOOC to not only provide high quality support to post-16 students in disadvantaged areas, but also enhance the quality of student applications by improving study outcomes.”

Entitled ‘How to succeed in your EPQ: the nuts and bolts of completing your project’, the three-week course supports students to look at the main reasons to undertake an EPQ, explore the extended research process and assessment criteria, and get practical advice on time management and delivering their EPQ presentation successfully.

The core content of the MOOC has been developed by Lead Educators, Clive Lee and Diana Hopkins, both Course Leaders in the Skills Centre, providing academic and English language skills to University students at all levels together with Emma Stuart Edwards, Subject Librarian, who plays a key role in working with students in schools to support development of their research and information skills. The team bring many years’ experience of teaching effective communications, academic writing and study skills. One of the University’s students, Mollie Coleman, a second year undergraduate studying Computer Science, who appears in the MOOC, said:

“Not only does an EPQ look impressive when you apply to University but it actually helps you in your studies when you get there. For example, doing an EPQ was the first time I had to use referencing and write a bibliography. This is academic convention for university-level essays and so I now feel really confident with referencing because I had that head start.”

The EPQ MOOC launched on 19 June with further registration dates available including 17 July and 14 August 2017. 

The MOOC has been developed and delivered by cross-institutional project team, led by Sarah Williment, Head of Academic Skills Resources, Skills Centre, and Robbie Pickles, Head of UK & EU Student Recruitment, Student Recruitment & Admissions, with the project team comprising Lead Educators, Diana Hopkins and Clive Lee, Skills Centre, Sam Wenman, Widening Participation Outreach Programmes Manager, Marie Salter, e-Developments Manager, Centre for Learning & Teaching and Emma Stuart Edwards, Subject Librarian, Library. Annette Hayton, Head of Widening Participation was the External Reviewer. Students and staff from Ralph Allen School also contributed. 

Further information: Robbie Pickles, Head of UK & EU Student Recruitment