Innovation in psychology teaching

Award for the University of Lincoln's undergraduate course.

The University of Lincoln’s undergraduate course has won the BPS Award for Innovation in Psychology Programmes. It has been praised by the Society for its peer support, annual undergraduate research conference and staff–student partnerships for programme design.

This award is made annually by the Society’s Education and Public Engagement Board and recognises innovative course design, delivery or assessment that benefits students and raises standards in teaching and learning. Lucy Horder, Partnership and Accreditation Manager for the BPS, said the Society saw a number of commendations in Lincoln’s provision. She explained: ‘We define commendations as anything that makes a demonstrable, positive impact rather than anything that is particularly distinctive when compared across the rest of the sector.’

The programme was commended for its outreach programme, excellent staff and student relationships and the ‘community’ feel within the School of Psychology. Horder added that its programme also focused on employability and opportunities for placements for students, she added: ‘The visiting team were particularly impressed with the Employability Boot-Camp, a week-long focus on careers and employability skills to be delivered once exams are over.’

Professor Timothy Hodgson, head of the School of Psychology at Lincoln, said: ‘This is a great honour for the School. When I started working in Lincoln five years ago I discovered a different approach to undergraduate education, exemplified by really positive working relationships between staff and students. There just isn’t a them-and-us atmosphere between students and staff here.

‘We pride ourselves on listening to our students’ views and on letting them participate in areas such as peer support, improving feedback, modules and teaching. So I am absolutely delighted on behalf of everyone in Lincoln that we have been given the award for innovation in psychology programmes.’

Sam Jones, who is set to graduate the Lincoln course this summer, said the staff–student partnership had been apparent throughout his time at the university. He added: ‘The staff are incredibly receptive to feedback and genuinely want to ensure that students here not only do well but also enjoy their time here at Lincoln, with students having the opportunity to make an impact on their course, whether that is the co-development of marking schemes or acting as peer support. All these elements put together mean that we have a great community that is comfortable working side by side with each other and isn’t based on one side being superior, but instead being genuine collaborative partners.’

Other students echoed Sam’s thoughts, another third-year student, Verity Harris, said: ‘The psychology course at Lincoln has an excellent relationship between staff and students; they make each student feel valued and that their contributions count. There is a real sense of community that really adds value to each course.’

- Ella Rhodes

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