My Master in Research (MRes)

22nd October 2019 Max Curle

It has been a long time since I have written a blog post, and the reason I am doing this one is partly because I have to… more to come on that in a minute!

Over the summer I decided to do, and now I have started a Masters degree, specifically a masters in research, even more specifically a Masters in research in Sports & Exercise Science.

I have been thinking about this for a while with a view on my future, and that maybe one day I would like to go into teaching and/or lecturing. So when I discovered that London Metropolitan University was running an MRes I investigated further.

It turns out the course is unique; fundamentally it is split into two parts, a research project, and a teaching component. Karl the course leader, was my triathlon tutor when I completed my level 2, so we have known each other a while, which won’t help my final grade but makes me feel better as he passed me on my triathlon coach!!! Also being LMU alumni has its financial benefits.

I opted to do the course over two years, instead of the usual 1-year, as I still have a number of large bills to pay and need to work. Meaning the research project is for year 2, despite having to already start thinking about it … a lot.

The teaching component will prepare me to lecture in higher education (university). There are two modules I have to do to set me on the path to do this.

Higher Education Work Placement:

Module Summary and Description
The module offers an introduction to real-life teaching in a higher education institute in the student’s area of academic inquiry. Students will be required to develop, deliver and evaluate teaching content in their particular field, to support the teaching in their academic area.

Module Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Plan, deliver and evaluate discipline specific teaching content.
  2. Engage in the delivery of a range of teaching, learning, assessment and feedback methods to a professional standard (at least 120 hours).
  3. Engage in consistent and appropriate communication with colleagues, superiors and research supervisor(s), and adhere to health and safety, legal and ethical obligations.
  4. Reflect on, and critically evaluate his/her performance in relation to the UKPSF, and discipline specific requirements.

Module Syllabus/Content
The total number of placement hours required for sucessful completion of the module is 120 hours. The content of which is to include:

  • Placements (as approved by the research supervisor)
  • Professionalism
  • Ethical, legal and equal opportunity issues
  • Subject specific knowledge

Placement hours will contain a range of the following:

  • Assisting in development of teaching material
  • Assisting in development or delivery of teaching sessions (lecture, seminar, tutorial, practical, etc)
  • Assisting in assessment (invigilation and marking – as 2nd marker)

Alongside the placement hours, the module will include the following:

  • Group seminars discussing teaching, assessment and course design theory to underpin teaching
  • Seminar discussing reflective writing, oral presentation skills and own development within the boundaries of the UKPSF

And ……

Facilitating Student Learning:

Introduction
Facilitating Student Learning (FSL) is the first module in the overall PGCert LTHE core programme, and it is also available as a stand-alone option for participants who wish to qualify as Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

It is a work-based learning course, where much of the raw material you will use will be derived from your own current practice, supported by a specific programme of workshops, critical reflection, peer review and observations of practice and reading.

Module Aims
The FSL module thus aims to enable new and experienced staff, in both academic and professional service areas, who have responsibilities for student learning and achievement to develop their professional competence in the facilitation of student learning in higher education in a critically reflective and scholarly manner, armed with an understanding of how students may learn best, and aimed at enhancing the student learning experience – in the context of London Met’s diverse student body in particular.

The FSL module requires me to keep a digital reflecftion of each lecture, hense the blog! Whilst I was at it I may as well blog on the course as a whole.

The FSL module requires me to keep a digital reflecftion of each lecture, hense the blog! Whilst I was at it I amy as well blog on the course as a whole.

The course started 3 weeks ago and for me things have moved on a lot. I graduated with my BSc in 2004. 15 years ago… I feel old. I studied at LMU before Karl did. And of the 6 others on my course 4 are straight off their undergrad degrees. Although I have studies quite a lot in that time, it has always been distance learning. Meaning that I was left to my own devices, whilst my methods probably weren’t the most effective and effeciant, they were MY methods and they worked for me, to the extent I passed my PG Dip in Sports Nutrition, pretty well I might add.

Anyway…. the computer systems and databases are beyond me, completely. I have had to book extra sessions with a specoalist librarian to get to grips with them all. Data analysis was never something I liked so I will have to concentrate a lot to get up to speed.

The HEWP module (above) is a little daunting as I will teaching the undergrads, not helping out a little bit at the back of tutorials, but standing at the front leading a 2-hour lecture! I have done a few guest lectures/presentations over the last few years, so as long as I am one step of the UG’s I will be OK… I reckon.

I have finalised what I want to do for my research project and once I have it through the ethics committee have the offical proposal accpeted I will share more.

It feels strange to be back in lectures after all this time, but I am looking forward to putting in some work and doing my best.

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