Social responsibility in teaching and learning

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.

Social responsibility in the curriculum

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.

As a Faculty, we 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 about how their enthusiasm for their subject can communicate, connect or be relevant beyond the immediate demands of their course and activities have included the following.

  • Incorporation of external visits or short placements in the curriculum (to cultural venues, small businesses, local charities, public sector bodies, schools, voluntary sector, and 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 a 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 Ethical Grand Challenges take place in each year of study.

These online activities and workshops allow humanities students to explore three of the biggest challenges facing the world in the 21st century - SustainabilitySocial Justice and Workplace Ethics.

They are also part of the Stellify Award, the University’s most prestigious extra-curricular accolade for undergraduates. ‌

Sustainability Challenge Photography Competition

Humanities students can also take part in the Sustainability Challenge Photography Competition which engages students with sustainability issues.

Students can submit a photo and caption to raise awareness of a sustainability issue that matters to them.

Photographs can be taken on any device – phone, tablet, or camera.

Whilst primarily aimed at students, it also engages both University staff and the wider community.

University College for Interdisciplinary Learning (UCIL)

The University College for Interdisciplinary Learning (UCIL) course units give students the chance to study something new as part of their degree programme.

UCIL offers several units which focus on topics of social responsibility, focusing on current global issues and societal challenges.

These interdisciplinary course units are also designed to be accessible to all students, no matter what degree they are studying.