Enhancing the Taught Postgraduate Pre-Sessional Experience

Helen Durham, School of Geography


With the internationalisation of higher education and an increasing number of programmes offered by online distance learning, the implications of the different academic, cultural and experiential backgrounds of students has made the transition to postgraduate level study more challenging.

As the University of Leeds expands its PGT programmes, ensuring that students can ‘step-up’ to Masters level study, or adapt to distance learning, will become a challenge that many Schools will face.

In view of the diversity of these incoming students, the project seeks to research students’ ‘readiness’ for starting a taught postgraduate course in a discipline requiring strong quantitative methods and technical skills by identifying gaps that exist between the actual and desired digital literacy skills and basic data and information system handling capabilities of students starting on a postgraduate degree in Geographical Information Science.

It explores the introduction of ‘taster’ resources that can be packaged in different ways, e.g. pre-sessional training, pre-course reading equivalent, late arrival activities, outreach resources and to enhance their experience, academic skills and digital literacy in preparation for study.

READ Helen’s LITE Final Project here.

READ Helen Durham’s first blog: Will online distance learning mean the end of campus-based programmes?