Each module of the MSc Sustainable Food and Natural Resources masters programmes can be completed in one of two ways:
Distance Learning: Meaning a typical eight-week residential module is completed entirely through the virtual learning environment and other online learning tools.
On site residential block: Meaning lectures, practicals and seminars are delivered through a 5-6 night residential stay at CAT, which is followed up with online and distance support for private study and completing assignments over the remainder of the eight-week module.
Students may take the entire masters programme, or just individual modules, by distance learning.
Online Learning tools
All lecture and seminar materials are made available to all students through a virtual learning environment.
The online learning platform promotes regular interaction between students, academic tutors and support staff and means that distance learning students are made to feel part of the Graduate School of the Environment community even if they never get to meet other students face to face. It also facilitates student access to a full range of teaching resources and materials, which will include written lecture notes, tutor hand-outs, handbooks, bibliographies, primary sources, additional reading, e-journal articles and extracts.
Distance-learning modules are typically arranged as a sequence of teaching activities over an eight-week period. We employ a range of activities including reading written lectures and papers, interactive online participation in practicals, seminars, and discussions, one-to-one or group tutorials online (eg VOIP/Skype) or by phone by prior arrangement. Distance learning students complete the same assignments as those taught through on site residential blocks.
Online discussion facilities enable students to discuss and resolve issues related to their studies. In addition, the module tutor and support staff use this facility to address any common academic issues, and to contact students where necessary. It is essential therefore to have easy and regular access to the internet and reliable email.
Whilst much of the work is individual, enabling students to set their own schedule, for some modules students are expected to participate in group discussions or chat sessions, or to work together with other distance-learning students as a group on a project.
All students have access to the Athens electronic journal database, membership of SCONUL scheme (providing access to other University libraries), and the programme website.