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Liberal Arts at St Mary's Liberal Arts image

All students take three modules of subject studies in Year 2. Two of these modules will be delivered by the lecturers of the subject department. The third module is a collaborative learning experience provided by lecturers from across the whole Liberal Arts programme.

We are committed to the development of student skills in the Liberal Arts programme skills that will enable the student to learn effectively now and lay the habits for life-long learning; skills that will equip the student for future engagement in work and society. Given the emphasis on present and future application of the skills gained on your degree, we have been careful to design the programme to equip you for life and learning in the 21st century.

In the Year 2 module, students will continue to develop the skills covered in the Year 1 module but with an enhanced focus on employability. Through a combination of lectures, workshops and placement experience, students will be guided to apply theoretical considerations about the active agent to personal practice in the workplace. They will be given the opportunity to explore and evaluate the impact of their academic subject on the workplace and on their personal employability.

Writing Skills
(Mr Jonathan Worley, co-ordinator)

Over a two year cycle, students will have opportunities to develop strategies for writing skills relevant to their chosen subject area. Topics considered will include:

Reading skills students will explore a number of ways of reading texts to facilitate interest, inquiry and comprehension. Reading as social practice (i.e. discussion of texts, textual power) will be central. A range of textual genres particular to the subject under consideration will be explored. Topics: disciplinary epistemology, genre, genre reading, mastery of a department's requirements, introduction to department's bibliographic style sheet.

Writing Skills students will explore writing as a form of inquiry social practice and the making of meaning, as it applies to their particular discipline. Topics: peer review theory and practice; disciplinary boundaries, genre within the discipline and essay structure; paragraphs, and what counts as argument and evidence; common grammatical failings and disciplinary variations.

Oral Skills
(Fr Feidhlimidh Magennis, co-ordinator)

Over a two year cycle, students will have opportunities to develop strategies for oral skills relevant to their chosen subject area. Topics considered will include:

Presentational Skills students will explore techniques and methods for making presentations in a range of contexts encountered in their subject area.

Teamwork skills students will explore the dynamics of small group interactions, and develop techniques and methods to optimize their performance in a range of interactive contexts.

The Individual in the Economic Environment
(Miss Joan Campbell)

Changing economic structures and employment patterns have placed new emphases on the role of the individual. The human person now plays key roles in the economy both as employee and as consumer, the start and the end of the production process, so to speak. In these lectures, students examine various approaches to interpreting and understanding those roles.

A key development in the modern labour force has been the growing focus on flexibility. Individuals must be flexible in order to carry out a changing series of tasks and even to change their employment several times during their working life. New forms of work have arisen which have redefined the relationship of the individual to the labour force. These changes have led to new patterns of decision-making within organisations. Leadership and the processes of communication have changed to facilitate these new patterns. Students will examine and critique various models which have evolved to manage change and include the individual worker in the organisational culture of today. A key part of that culture is its ethical dimension, and attention will be paid to this issue.

The individual as consumer also has in increasing influence on the economic environment. In concrete terms, consumers are a significant source and contributor of capital in the economy. Thus, the individual needs to have a heightened financial literacy to engage in and to navigate this environment. The final sections of this unit will examine the implications of recent economic trends for education in financial literacy.

Career and Personal Development
(Dr Tom Patton)

This unit provides students with the opportunity to apply their acquired knowledge and understanding of the world of work to their own personal situation. Students continue to develop the skills needed for career development.

Work Related Learning

Students are placed individually in a work environment for six weeks in semester 2. Students are asked to complete a number of assignments during the period of placement. While each placement will have its own particular features, the programme is designed to provide students with the opportunity to shadow and assist management personnel in the host organisation and to observe the role of management competencies within the workplace. The period of placement links to the college-based programme in two ways: students should be able to link aspects of theory covered in taught modules to practical experience; and to further develop their skills of communication, interpersonal development and research. Potential career opportunities should also become a focus for each student with the range of support facilities provided by the College Careers Officer being explored.