I remember back in first year (which seems a long way away!) I was thinking about what it would be like to do course outside of my degree programme and if it was even possible?
As I did my research and talked to a few friends, I came across a gem: the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning or UCIL for short. UCIL provides an opportunity to get more out of your degree, to do units outside of your discipline. UCIL is open to every undergraduate student of any discipline and is a great opportunity to try something new and gain valuable skills which can make you more employable.
There’s a wide range of course units to choose from. These units fall under a range of themes, such as culture & community, languages, business enterprise or sustainability. There is definitely something for everyone!
The courses are designed to be engaging as well as help you understand more about society. For instance, a course unit on law for non-law students, From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: A History of Forensic (how cool is that?!) or Diverse Britain in a Globalising World. I mean if I could, I would probably pick all of them to study…
On top of learning something new, you’d be getting something more out of your degree and meeting people from across different disciplines. these units also help you develop key skills to aid you in the world of work, such as: leadership, team work and enterprise skills.
My personal experience
As mentioned in my previous blog, I am interested in becoming a teacher. Whilst I was browsing though the courses in UCIL I came across a unit called ‘Leadership of Learning’, where you learn about teaching in the 21st century and leadership within that in either primary or secondary schools. This was a great opportunity for me as not only did I get the opportunity to see if teaching is the career for me, but I also got to learn about the leadership skills needed in an education setting.
The course started off with a few lectures, where there were group discussions and we got the opportunity to plan and deliver a short lesson on the subject of our choice. The next part of the course was to do a work experience placement over the semester, the lecturers provide you with a placement, but if you have a school in mind they help you arrange it. over the semester you keep a journal of the things you learnt whilst on placement. The final assessment is a write up of what you have learnt about effective learning and leadership.
The chance to do this unit was incredible, I not only learnt about teaching, I gained skills in leadership and got a good amount of work experience which helped me in my PGCE application.
It is definitely something worth doing, especially if there’s something you are Interested in but aren’t doing in your discipline.
For further info, please check out the link: http://www.college.manchester.ac.uk/