We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the programme of study we offer, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.
To help you develop the above-mentioned skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods. They may include:
- Lectures - listening to experts sharing their knowledge and discoveries in challenging and provocative ways. Students are expected to 'read-around' the subject matter of their lectures, adding to their understanding and developing their critical faculties and analytical skills.
- Seminars - where you present and discuss your ideas and knowledge in smaller groups and debate interpretations and opinions with other students.
- Tutorials - are your opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor, usually in small groups.
- Workshops- are problem solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff; these sessions usually involve students working in groups.
Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the more rigorous demands of a degree.
More about teaching and learning at the University of Birmingham.
Ioana Cerasella Chis, MA Social and Political Theory (2015), "I thoroughly encourage students to reflect on the political significance of their work and experience at university, and to seek to find ways in which their academic work and socio-political thinking can be used outside of the confines of the institution, as well as within it. Engagement with social movements and activist circles on and off-campus would facilitate this greatly."
Christopher Jones, Social and Political Theory (2013), "Thoughtful tutors with a critical approach to Social and Political theory make Birmingham a stimulating place to engage with contemporary debates and radical ideas from the past. The course has given me exactly what I wanted - the chance to take on new ideas and sharpen my perspective on society and politics."
Elio Di Muccio, MA in Social and Political Theory (2013), "This MA gave me an excellent grasp of social and political theory and asserted its usefulness in the production of cutting-edge research. My classmates broadened my disciplinary horizons and self-critical capacities trough stimulating debates which make my daily experience of society rich, revealing and enjoyable. The tutors are prepared, approachable and enthusiastically involved in my intellectual development. They have helped me develop academic rigour and a multiplicity of theoretical perspectives from which to approach social scientific debates old and new.
The topics covered gave me a solid foundation with which to engage in methodological debates and useful criteria for the selection of methods relevant to the object of study. The course also inspired me to research independently: its flexible structure gave me a considerable degree of autonomy with regards to the application of what I learned in concrete research projects and empirical case studies. A truly formative experience."
Enhancing your Student Experience
In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.
Some of these are targeted to help you build skills and experience for your CV, others are more open events designed to expose you to high-level speakers on current debates relevant to all Government and Society students.
Read our students' experiences and profileson the school website.
Departments from across the School of Government and Society are all based within the recently refurbished Muirhead Tower. Following a £50million refurbishment, Muirhead Tower offersstate-of-the-art teaching and research study facilitiesincluding free wifi throughout the building and dedicated study areas for postgraduate research students.
Muirhead Tower comprises 12,000sq.m of floor space between two towers. The tower includes a number of sustainable features including solar shading (known in the trade as brise soliel) to control temperatures, as well as low energy fans; timed lighting to reduce energy waste; natural ventilation systems and a heat source taken from the University’s combined heat and power generator.
The space has been designed to create modern, attractive spaces for teaching and researchaccommodating 150 academic offices, 230 "hubs" for post graduate research students, teaching rooms for up to 100 people and a 200 seat lecture theatre.