School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

In the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, we offer a dynamic, enriching educational experience, built on our international reputation for research and teaching excellence. We strive for independent, interdisciplinary and critical knowledge and understanding across the humanities and social sciences.

You said: You wanted the College to offer more academic support

  • The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology appointed a dissertation co-ordinator for postgraduate students.
  • The Department of Philosophy piloted new study skills exercises in its first year-undergraduate modules.
  • The Department of Politics introduced additional dissertation workshops for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • The School’s Learning Support Officer provided further information to students about their personal tutors and recorded a short video about how to access Birkbeck’s learning resources.
  • The Department of Psychosocial Studies has started a supervised group discussion for students to raise questions and concerns about the course, which has been successful in addressing issues.
  • The Department of Psychosocial Studies also ensures that a staff-student exchange happens each term. The BA Course committee systematically looks at feedback and adapts and develops teaching and assessment accordingly. There is ongoing work around the participation and performance of BME students on the course.

You said: Good-quality assessment and speedy and useful feedback are important to you

  • The Departments of Applied Linguistics and Communication and History, Classics and Archaeology gave students faster and more effective feedback on their essays while maintaining rigorous internal and external marking practices.
  • The Department of Geography piloted a new system of tutorials to help students reflect on the feedback they received on their assessments and to develop an individual plan of action with the support of a tutor.
  • The Department of Philosophy changed the way that it assesses its first-year undergraduate module on logic and student performance significantly improved as a result.
  • The Psychosocial Studies dissertation module was rewritten based directly on feedback from students.

You said: you value getting support with personal development and employability

  • The Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication invited students to explore different career options via vocational seminars delivered by professionals working in the field. It has also supported the student-run Birkbeck Applied Linguistics Society.
  • The Department of Geography introduced a new compulsory module for BSc Environmental Management students ‘Managing environments’, which allows students to develop more work-relevant skills and knowledge and enables them to gain membership of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). It also ran a series of events to give current students and alumni the opportunity to interact with professionals in their subject areas and gain advice on their career plans.
  • The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology held options fairs to provide students with further information on module choices and employability issues.
  • The Department of Politics ran a series of employability events, which included presentations from researchers working in the House of Commons and the European Parliament.

You said: The College could offer better services to support your experience

  • The Department of Geography introduced an exciting new programme of UK-based and international field trips.  Field trips enable students to learn new skills and to apply their knowledge in new environments. Students now have an opportunity to take trips to Delhi, Berlin and Mallorca, as well as weekends to Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and many day-long field trips within London and South-East England.
  • The School appointed a new Learning Development Coordinator, Rose Raymond, who works with students from all departments to provide academic support and encourage learning development.