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Faculty of Humanities

Socially responsible graduates

Within Humanities we have over 16,500 students and as a University we produce more graduates each year than any other campus institution in the UK.

Through their education and broader experiences at Manchester, we want to ensure our graduates are not only skilled knowledge workers of tomorrow, but are also able to exercise important ethical, social and environmental responsibilities.

Within Humanities the majority of our degree programmes challenge our students to consider how what they are studying connects to society and the implications this may bring, including ethically, socially and environmentally.

Social responsibility in the curriculum

As a Faculty we also run the flagship 'Social Responsibility in the Curriculum' programme. This programme provides course leaders with the opportunity to bid for funding to incorporate a specific social responsibility element into their modules.

The aim is for students to be encouraged to think how their enthusiasm for their subject can communicate, connect or be relevant beyond the immediate demands of their course and activities have included:

  • Incorporation of external visits or short placements in the curriculum (to cultural venues, small businesses, local charities, public sector bodies, schools, voluntary sector, campaigning organisations)
  • Visits of relevant individuals or representatives of outside agencies to the module
  • Development of innovative assessment processes that orientate students to the outside world (eg challenging students to communicate research findings to an unexpected audience)
  • Creation of course materials that promote students’ work to non-university audiences (eg posters that present module content to a community group)
  • Incorporation of student projects or commissions that challenge them to explore the relevance of their subject/discipline area to contemporary events (eg using a module topic as part of Black History month or Manchester Science festival)
  • Innovative uses of technology where this enables new forms of communication, dissemination and engagement with external audiences (eg creating a website or YouTube channel as response to module content)

Over 50 course modules have been supported through this flagship programme since 2012 and feedback from students, the course leaders and external partners involved has been very positive.

Ethical grand challenges

The University is also committed to providing every Manchester undergraduate with the opportunity, by 2016/17, to confront key ‘ethical grand challenges’ through the completion of a common programme in each year of their undergraduate study.

This new programme will focus on three themes we believe will help equip our graduates for some of the most profound challenges of the 21st century: sustainability, social justice, and workplace ethics.

JustFest social justice festival

Humanities leads the social justice element of these ethical grand challenges and stages the Social Justice Festival ‘JustFest’ each year. JustFest brings to life issues in social justice through workshops, exhibition stalls and performances which include acting, music, rap and poetry and whilst primarily aimed at students also engages both University staff and the wider community.

Social responsibility within our schools

For more information on how the Faculty's Schools encourage socially responsible graduates please visit: