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Transcript: GSD Open Day Presentation

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> Hi everyone and welcome to our Overview Session on our Global Sustainable Development (GSD) programmes here in the School for Cross-faculty Studies at Warwick. My name is Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla, I'm the Head of the School for Cross-faculty Studies, I’m also an Associate Professor here in GSD and I’m here with several of my colleagues today and also some of our students. I’m going to ask them to introduce themselves before we continue with the session. Peter?

Dr Peter Dwyer >> Hi everyone, my name is Dr Peter Dwyer, I’m a Teaching Fellow and the Director of Student Experience and the Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> Bodrun?

Bodrun Nahar >> So hi everyone I’m Bodrun Nahar and I’m the Employability and Placement Manager for the GSD degree programmes.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> Thank you, Daveena?

Daveena >> Hi everyone, my name is Daveena, I’m a final-year (single honours) GSD student and I did a study abroad at Monash, Australia.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> Very good and Mishaal?

Mishaal >> Hi I’m Mishaal, I’m a final-year Psychology and GSD student and I did a full year in industry last year.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> Indeed, thank you. So we're going to be talking today about our programmes, about GSD, about our modules, and about our assessment etc. Peter will then talk about our student support and about the study abroad opportunities. Bodrun will continue and talk about placement and employability opportunities, and then Mishaal and Daveena will step in to talk about their experience as students throughout the presentation.

So we always like to start this presentation with the question ‘what is Global Sustainable Development?’ If you had to define it, what would be the key words that you would use? How would you define this term? It’s quite important to understand what Global Sustainable Development is to be able to understand our programmes.

The way our programme is built is very much around the definition that you can see on this slide (2:01). So for us, the definition that we use is Global Sustainable Development as ‘the need to balance the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of development, for people living now and for future generations’. So we very much look at the three key pillars: society, economy, and environment. We also of course discuss what has been called the 'fourth pillar of sustainable development', which is governance. Our programme is built around that as you will see when I continue later on talking about the different years of our programme.

But before I go into this, I’d like to tell you a little bit more about our teaching methods. We use what is called a transdisciplinary approach and if you go to our web pages you will see that our staff come from very different disciplines. All our staff are involved with different disciplines in their teaching and in their research. We also have students that come from very different backgrounds, have very different interests, and you can see that with the fact that we have a single honours degree in GSD but we also have 11 joint honours degrees, which means that we have students from different disciplines mixing together and bringing together in our seminars the different expertise and the different training they are getting from their partner degrees or from our own degree in GSD.

We also use what is called a problem-based and solution-focused approach. We look in our seminars, in our modules at those big and complex questions to which no one has yet found an answer and no big organisations like the United Nations or the World Health Organization, for example, still haven't found a solution. So what we do in our seminars is that we ask those complex questions and we'll try to see if we can come up with different solutions with the approaches that we have learned, with the information that we have gained from the training and the teaching that our students have received.

It's also what we call the research-led teaching and it refers to the fact that we are all research active and that we use our research in our teaching, but it also means that we consider our students as researchers and we do that from very early on. In the first year, for example, students are being trained to carry out the first research project which is called the GSD Project. It's a project about sustainable transport, where students are put together to come up with a solution to a complex problem around sustainable transport. In the second year, students are then asked in some of our modules to write their research paper but they have to come up with their own original research question which is a skill in itself and really not always easy for a student to acquire. Then after that, our students are ready in their final year to write their final-year dissertation. This is their big research project and all our students, whether you study a single honours degree or a joint honours degree, have to write a dissertation. For that again they have to come up with their own original research question. So our students are researchers from the start, from the first year until the end of the programme.

They can also be collaborators. The University has a programme which is called the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) that students can apply to, to work over the summer on a research project with a member of staff and it's often related to the expertise or the research project of the member of staff. So those are different opportunities that you will have if you study with us here at Warwick and in GSD.

Now a little bit more about the teaching itself. We have lectures, but we don't have lectures every week. We try to avoid traditional lectures, we like interactive lectures - we believe it's important to have our students engaging with the lecturer, so we don't often talk at you, we listen and we talk with you about specific topics. We also do a lot of seminars, small-group seminars. As you can see (6:02), this is one of my seminars where you can see Mishaal sitting there in fact. We do small group teaching, small group discussions around the specific topics we are talking about on that day. This allows us to get to know our students really well but also for our students to know us, so it creates a really nice relationship between students – yourself – but also a relationship of trust and understanding.

We also do a lot of field trips. Of course (due to COVID-19) it is quite limited this year, unfortunately. We tend to do either small field trips, medium-sized field trips, we also have bigger field trips. Examples of small field trips are for example in the Food module that we have in the second year, students have gone to a farm, or they have gone to visit a food bank. To give you an example of a bigger field trip last year linked to my module about Human Rights and Social Justice in Latin America, we were going to go for 15 days to Cuba to get a better understanding of the concepts we had learned in the classroom, but within a specific country. Unfortunately, the week before we travelled it got cancelled due to the pandemic. But we really hope that at some point we'll be able to do this again. Those are optional field trips with opportunities that we offer to our students.

Before I move to the next slide I’d like to ask Daveena and Mishaal if they would like to add something related to this maybe that comes from their own experience. Daveena?

Daveena >> Hi, I just wanted to say that the teaching methods are so flexible and so adaptable to everybody's unique learning style. Personally, I don't like reading a lot and I told my lecturers that and they made sure that there was a whole host of content that wasn't focused purely on reading but still had the same academic rigour as any other type of learning and I just felt that they were incredible.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> Thank you Daveena. Mishaal, do you want to add something?

Mishaal >> If I could just add that your whole learning experience is just so enriched because of the type of lecturers that you have and because of the type of students that you study with. So on that table on the slide (8:06) we have someone from an Economics side, from Psychology… we all sit together and we have different perspectives and so when you do join GSD and you sit in a seminar together, it's just so different from any other non-GSD module that I take. So I think it's very interesting and it just makes learning a whole lot of fun.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> Thank you very much. So, let's move now to the next slide which tells you a little bit more about the degree itself. If you study GSD you study a BASc (Bachelor of Art and Science) and you can study it either as a single honours degree, or a joint honours degree. If you do a joint honours degree I will come back to that afterwards, but it means that you do half of your degree with us and half of your degree with the other department. You can study GSD by staying three years at Warwick, but you can also study GSD within three years, with an experience abroad as part of your second year would then be abroad - this is what Daveena did last year and what Peter will tell you a little bit more about afterwards. Then you can also study GSD as a four-year degree with a year abroad or with a year on work placement, which is what Mishaal did and we'll tell you a little bit more about it afterwards.

If I move now to this slide (09:24), so you see now that I’m going to go into each year separately to give you a bit of understanding of how each year is organised. When you join GSD in the first year as you will see from here on the slide (09:35) we have four core modules. These are modules that you are required to take and they add up to 60 CATS and each core module equals 15 CATS. So 15 CATS is 15 credits and it reflects the amount of time you're expected to spend on the module per term. 15 CATS modules are modules that are taught in one term and as you can see in the first year we have Economic, Social, and Environmental Principles of GSD. So our first-year core modules are very much designed around the three pillars of Global Sustainable Development. Then you do the GSD Project module which is another core module, in which you apply all the knowledge that you have learned from the three other core modules with your first research project. That research project is a group project. If you are a single honours student then you still have 60 CATS that you have to fill with optional modules, because a whole year adds up to a total of 120 CATS. So as a single honours student, you will take either optional modules within the School for Cross-faculty Studies and here are two examples of optional modules you can take with us (10:43), or you take optional modules outside of the School as long as they have a GSD focus. You will be supported by your personal tutor to choose those optional modules, because sometimes in the first year it can be a bit overwhelming when you have this huge amount of modules that you can choose from, but the personal tutor will help you with that and will also need to approve your choices because we need to make sure there is this ‘GSD focus’ because it's still a GSD degree. If you are, however, a joint honours student, then the remaining 60 CATS you will have to take in your partner department. So this is how the first year is organised.

The second year is slightly different in the sense that we move away from the pillars of sustainable development and we focus now on key themes of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). So as you can see we have three optional core modules around the topics of Inequalities, Health, as well as Food. If you are a single honours student, you have to take two of those optional core modules - those are 30 CATS modules that are spread across the whole year. You then have again 60 remaining CATS that you have to take either within the School and here again, you have two examples (12:01) but please visit our webpage because this is not just an exhaustive list, or you can take optional modules outside of the School to add up to those 60 CATS, again as long as there is this ‘GSD focus’ within those modules and it has to be approved by your personal tutor. If you are, however, a joint honours student, then you will have to take one optional core module that adds up to 30 CATS, another module with a GSD focus to get to those 60 CATS in GSD (it could be another optional core module or it could just be an optional module) and then 60 CATS in the other department. I'm going to show you a video now of our colleagues talking about their teaching so that gives you a better idea of who we are, what we do, and how we do things.

GSD: Meet our team video (12:48) >>

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins >> So the approach that we take to teaching sustainability I think offers a really good grounding for students in all major aspects of sustainable development such as the social, political, the economic, and the environmental.

Dr Alastair Smith >> I’m a hugely interdisciplinary academic, I’ve done training in history, politics, economics, anthropology, so I’ve really lived the interdisciplinary dream. And I suppose what excites me about teaching is the opportunity to guide students along their own journey through that interdisciplinary trajectory.

Dr Jess Savage >> So my area of expertise is on the development of marine protected areas in Cambodia and coastal communities throughout South East Asia. The idea here is that we’re working together with local fishermen to find ways to protect the environment whilst still enabling them to fish, and working collaboratively towards a sustainable future.

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins >> My research is into the politics and sociology of climate change, particularly in the Caribbean. This is a really important area as people in the Caribbean are on the front-lines of environmental harm, and yet they are the least responsible, and they have the least resources available to cope.

Dr Alastair Smith >> In terms of my research, I’ve worked quite a lot with the sustainability of food and food supply chains. I’ve worked with small farmers in Malawi, I’ve worked on various islands thinking about island food security and sovereignty. A recent project was based in Columbia, looking at the production of cocoa leaf by small farmers. All this feeds into my current teaching, so I’m teaching on the Environmental Principles module where we’re looking at issues such as land-use change where my research ties in, and I’m also leading part of the Food module in second year where obviously my understanding of sustainability issues from my research can be brought into the classroom on a daily basis.

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins >> My research into the sociology and politics of climate change in the Caribbean feeds into my teaching on the social aspects of sustainable development. We often don’t think about the social and political dimensions when we talk about sustainable development, and that’s partly why it’s so important that as part of our degree, we have a core module that’s entirely dedicated to teaching students about those social and political dimensions of sustainability.

Dr Jess Savage >> I’m a really strong believer that the best place to learn isn’t always going to be a classroom. Thankfully, here at the University of Warwick, we’ve got some amazing natural habitats and I like to use those in place of a classroom and immerse students in these environments so that they can learn about ecological processes in the natural habitat.

Dr Alastair Smith >> I’ve become really intensively interested in the quality of educational experiences, getting students actively engaged, helping them understand how to research policy briefings, how to pitch these ideas to decision-makers.

Dr Jess Savage >> We’re training our students to be culturally aware, to be able to immerse themselves and to meet people and understand the drivers for global change that we’re currently experiencing. Ultimately, we’re empowering our students to engage actively with the sustainable development agenda, to help us flip the narrative in global change from negative to positive.

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins >> I’m Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins.

Dr Jess Savage >> I’m Dr Jess Savage.

Dr Alastair Smith >> I’m Dr Alastair Smith.

Dr Jess Savage >> And we teach GSD at the University of Warwick.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> So once you reach final year you have, as I mentioned before, one core module in GSD which is a Dissertation. Whether you're doing a joint honours degree or a single honours degree, you will still have to do the Dissertation in GSD. Then the remaining 90 CATS if you're a single honours student will be either again modules within our School or modules outside of our School with GSD focus. If you are a joint honours student you will have to fill the 30 CATS within GSD and then 60 CATS in the partner department, as I’ve mentioned many times already. Our Dissertation, however, is slightly different in the sense that we allow students to write a traditional dissertation, but also if they feel that they would be able to express the outcomes of their research in a different way, in a creative way, then we allow that to happen too. I’m going to show you a video now of one of our students who graduated not last year but the year before, and who decided to go down the route of a creative dissertation, just to give you an example of the type of work our students do but also the type of output they decide to create, once they have conducted their research.

GSD: Research to fix the future video (16:48) >>

Rhys >> Global Sustainable Development (GSD) is essentially making sure that we live in the present without depleting the resources of future generations, and within the course, we look at the three core pillars of sustainability which are the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability. Within this, we look at the big questions of today such as climate change, inequality, poverty, and depletion of natural resources.

My favourite aspect of the GSD course at Warwick is the final-year dissertation. This is an opportunity for students to intervene in a genuine real-life issue, and the best thing about this is that you can do so in a creative way.

I decided to research student mental health within my dissertation, due to the widespread media attention garnered over the last few years. Specifically, I decided to advocate for art therapy on university campuses, and to do this I curated art from both prospective and current students, and I also facilitated a panel discussion which I organised.

Within the research I found that there was, in fact, a huge amount of support for the idea of art therapy being available to UK students and on top of this, the research went well and I’m actually presenting my research at a conference in London on the theme of student mental health at universities.

Because I enjoyed the dissertation so much, I decided to apply for a research Master’s. I’ll be starting an MPhil in educational research at the University of Cambridge where I will research student mental health in the context of neoliberalism.

I’m Rhys, I’m a GSD student.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> Okay before I let Peter take over, what I just wanted to add (as I’ve mentioned many times now) is about our joint honours degree programmes. So as I said before, we have 11 joint honours degrees and what I think it's important to know is that as you've seen it means that your degree is equally split between the two departments, however, GSD is still your home department. That means that we will provide all the support that you need, for example, a personal tutor or Employability and Placement Manager will also be the one that will be helping you in this department etc. So I think it's important to understand that yes it is a joint honours degree, but GSD is still your home department. Peter will tell you a lot more about what this means now, so this is it from me.

Dr Peter Dwyer >> Thanks Stéphanie. So yes just to remind you, I’m the Director of Student Experience and I guess one of the key things for us is that we recognise that you're making a big change in your lives as you become part of the exciting community in GSD, and you're learning to collaborate and work with both each other and also our team of academics. I’m here also to help you navigate GSD and the University and its processes and procedures and that's to help make your journey as smooth and I guess as hassle-free as possible as we would like to make it.

So as Stéphanie said, we want you to see GSD as your home, whether you're a single honours student or a joint honours student, we want you to see GSD as your first port of call, it's a place you turn to for advice and guidance. I’m one of the two Directors of Student Experience in GSD - my other colleague, Gioia Panzarella, looks after the honours-level (second- and final-year) students and I look after the first-year students. So our job is to work with you, but it's also to work for you and to accompany you on your journey throughout your first year and your honours years as well. We're really here to help answer any questions about your studies and other related matters. But not just that, we also have several other structured systems and processes in place to help provide you with that sort of extra support in your journey. It's really important that you get that support because obviously making that transition to university life is different and we really do recognise that.

One of the other key support mechanisms is the personal tutorial system. You'll be allocated one of the academics from GSD and they're there regularly for you to go and get any advice or guidance about your studies and they can signpost you to all the other expertise, support, and advice that's available at Warwick University as well. Again, this is a key mechanism we have to help you navigate that transition to becoming a GSD student and collaborating and working with our team of academics.

Another part of the mechanism is the senior personal tutorial system. Gioia and I oversee the personal tutorial system and we're there for extra support again if you want to come and see us, if you didn't want to speak to your personal tutor about something, so we can give that extra bit of support as well. We have very specific office hours every day just so you can come and see us and that's again really important for us because we just want you to see, as Stéphanie said, GSD is your home - we want you to see us as the people you turn to for help and support along your way.

Okay so we really take your participation and views very seriously and that's why we've set up something called the Student-Staff Liaison Committee as another mechanism of support. This is where we get you to elect your course representatives and Mishaal can talk about this later because she was involved in it. Your representatives from your courses are there to represent you and talk to us about the course. One of our colleagues, Gioia, sits on it as well - she's the staff part of the liaison and they're there to talk about anything to do with the course. You can give us feedback on anything - maybe you want to tell us that you'd like a different form of assessment, or maybe you'd like some more field trips that you saw Dr Jess Savage involved with that in the video - that’s the place for you to tell us that. Or maybe you just want to tell us we're doing something really well, you can also tell us that through the Student-Staff Liaison Committee. There are other ways you can give us feedback through course module evaluations, but these together represent a kind of quality assurance guarantee that we're giving to you about our teaching and learning in GSD.

Another part of the support mechanism is we run a number of other supportive courses to help you develop. The Principles and Praxis workshops are weekly workshops and they're there to specifically help you make that transition to the world of academia. Academia is an incredibly inspiring, exciting place, but it can be a little bit bewildering for those of you who are not really used to it or familiar with its conventions and cultures, so the Principles and Praxis workshops are there to help you get used to the new world of Higher Education. It’s delivered by me and other colleagues from GSD and across the University and it's there to help you adjust to those joys and demands and the trials and tribulations of academic life such as learning to manage your time, how to write at degree level, how to prepare and make the most out of seminars and lectures because they'll be different to the type of teaching you've had before.

You get lots and lots of choices and options of things to do at GSD and one of which is to study abroad. You can do an integrated study abroad and this means you have a unique opportunity to study at Monash University in Melbourne or their campus in Kuala Lumpur. I've been lucky enough to travel to both of those places and they're both brilliant places to explore and learn about GSD. You don't need to make any decisions now, once you're here at GSD we'll talk to you about the processes of applying for Monash. Once you're there you're out of sight but you're certainly not out of mind - you still have your personal tutor (at Warwick) and they'll be there to regularly keep in touch with you. Most importantly about the integrated year abroad is that we want you to have fun and explore wherever you are, but it does count towards your degree, so we want you to work hard but of course we also want you to play hard as well.

You also get the chance to do an intercalated study year abroad. Warwick has lots of partner universities all across the world and you can take a non-credit bearing year abroad between years two and three of your studies at Warwick (this means that the year abroad doesn't count towards your overall degree). You actually pay a reduced fee to Warwick as well and I don't have time to go through all the reasons, but literally the world is your oyster when it comes to that sort of intercalated year abroad. Let’s have a look at a video now about some our students’ time in Monash and then we'll talk some more.

GSD: Unique study abroad programme (25:42) >>

Lara >> Studying Global Sustainable Development (GSD) here at Warwick, you get the chance to participate in an integrated semester abroad in Monash, which has campuses both in Australia and in Malaysia.

Amici >> I didn’t hesitate for a second because I think it’s an amazing opportunity for us students to be able to learn from different cultures and from different disciplinaries at the same time by travelling and meeting new people.

Lara >> When I first moved to Monash, I went to the Australian campus and I had an amazing experience. Everybody was super nice, super welcoming, and the atmosphere was really young and vibrant.

Liam >> The style of teaching at Monash is quite similar to Warwick in terms of lectures and seminars (which they call tutorials over there).

Lara >> The flexibility that we were given to choose modules at Monash from the wide range of choices that they offer was amazing. I, for example, took Environmental Law, which focused a lot on Australia, so I learned a lot about their environment.

Liam >> I took a module called Prosperity, Poverty, and Sustainability in a Globalised World and this is one of the modules with interactive learning. It was really awesome and really beneficial to my learning. I learned so much about development, sustainability, and all of this in a globalised world.

Amicie >> I think more than the teaching it’s also the fact that you are surrounded by people with different backgrounds. For example, talking about migration in France and the UK or in Europe in general, and in Australia it’s extremely different, so hearing from even the students’ perspectives and how they make sense of these global issues in their everyday life.

Liam >> Monash University has a great environment for student societies and clubs where you can join plenty of sports clubs and societies based on your own interests. I joined a club called Monash SEED, which is a society based on microfinance and social enterprise. When I came back to Warwick, me and my co-founder realised that there was a big gap here. We created a new society called Warwick SEED and partnered with them [Monash SEED], which promotes alternative career paths and social impact careers and social enterprise.

Amicie >> I also took the opportunity to travel, notably doing some wwoofing (so it’s volunteering in organic and permaculture farms). Being able to learn from these farmers who are every day rethinking the way we connect with the land and interact with each other and learning from all these new sustainable practices has been really, really interesting and valuable for me.

Liam >> It’s a perfect opportunity to explore new cultures, a new side of the world within your three-year degree programme. Given the organisational skills I learned at Monash University from its assessment structure when I came for my third year at university [at Warwick], I was more able to handle the workload with my dissertation and the variety of different modules that I had here.

Lara >> Getting to know Melbourne and cities that I would have never gone to otherwise was such a great experience. I think everybody should do it.

Amicie >> My name is Amicie.

Lara >> I’m Lara.

Liam >> I’m Liam.

Lara >> And I’m a GSD student at Warwick.

Dr Peter Dwyer >> So Daveena, would you like to say something about your time at Monash?

Daveena >> Yeah so following up from that video, I didn't really want to go to Monash, I was really scared to leave the little bubble I had at Warwick with all my friends and the support from my tutors but I went anyway and I travelled with three other girls from GSD that I really hadn't spoken to before and funnily enough we became best friends and we had a great time travelling. We helped each other and supported each other when we were moving into campus and that was a really great thing about having all your GSD peers there with you - you're all doing something for the first time. The module choice was incredible. Even though my year did get cut short because of COVID-19 and I actually studied online, the support from Warwick and from Monash was impeccable, there was nothing that they couldn't do and to help make the time difference or just learning online a lot easier. My personal tutor was always there to help me and I found it an incredible experience and I’m sure if you go at a later point you'll find the exact same thing.

Dr Peter Dwyer >> Great, thanks for that Daveena. Just a little bit more from me - just finally continuing our theme of supporting you in your studies in GSD we also run a number of certificates to help you develop your professional skills as a student, but also to help you prepare for any internships or placements and also to help start building your skills and attributes for that all-important world of work after GSD. Talking of the world of work and placements and employment I’ll now hand you over to our Employability and Placement Manager, Bodrun.

Bodrun Nahar >> Thank you Peter. So hi, as I mentioned I’m Bodrun Nahar and I'm the Employability and Placement Manager for the GSD degree programmes. Now I’m sure you all know, it has always been the case and it still is, it's a very competitive job market out there. We want to make sure, along with everybody within GSD, my role has been created to support you in developing employability skills so that it makes it that a little bit easier for you to find a job after graduation.

I work with you in a number of different ways. It can be providing with you with one-to-one support, advice, and guidance on any points related to your career. I also deliver employability skills sessions and that's actually designed to reflect on your needs. Another key part of my role is collaborating with employers. We want to make sure that you start connecting with employers from very early on in your studies and this is something that I will support you with. Another key part of my role is supporting you throughout the whole placement cycle. Now while you are at Warwick University studying GSD, one of the key ways that we encourage you to develop your employability skills is by engaging with work placements. The School actually offers you two options that you can undertake which will be recognised as part of your degree programme.

I’ll talk about them very briefly. One of them is the Certificate of Professional Communication. This is a short course which is designed to develop your understanding of the working environment. After you've studied this, you then go and work for an organisation for a month. The other option that you do have is the year-long placement. Peter mentioned earlier about the intercalated (year-long) study abroad, and this is the intercalated (year-long) work placement. So essentially, instead of doing a three-year degree, you do your four-year degree and in your third year, you go out to work for an organisation for a minimum of seven months, up to 12 months. All your learning takes place in the working environment and then in your fourth year, you come back and do your final year. Now, this is something that we very much encourage you to consider, but you don't have to make that decision when you enrol. You don't even have to make it in your first year, but you definitely do need to start considering it in your second year, because that's when you actively start looking because you're going to start the following year. What I’d like to do is very quickly ask Mishaal, who actually took a year-long placement, for her to share her experience with you. So Mishaal if you'd like to just talk about your work placement, please?

Mishaal >> Hi so as I said I study Psychology and GSD and I did my year-long placement at Warwick Estates (the non-academic side of the University), working in their Energy and Sustainability Team. I'll tell you a bit about how I decided to do a placement. As Bodrun said, it wasn't a decision I made in my first year. Second year came around and I was on the bus back to Leamington and I was just speaking to one of my course mates who mentioned this thing called placements, like year-long placements and I was like ‘hmm that sounds interesting' and she was like ‘oh the job market is so competitive, we need to get experience’. As an international student, I was like ‘okay all of those things sound very important to me’. Soon after I did the Certificate of Professional Communication which led me to do a short summer placement, as Bodrun said. That short summer placement then gave me the skills to apply for my year-long placement. I worked with the non-academic side of the University, I developed a communication strategy for them, I was the liaison between different councils, I was given the autonomy to lead on my own projects, I was helping developing policies for the University. The whole time throughout my placement I had support not only from Bodrun, not only from my personal tutor, but also from the Director of Student Experience. Whenever I needed to just vent about anything or ask a little question about anything, there was always support. What I would say is that it's just so important to do a year-long placement because you learn different skills compared to when you do a four-week placement. It’s just given me so much confidence now in my final year as I’m applying for graduate jobs, because I can anticipate what the working world will require of me so I would highly recommend doing a work placement.

Bodrun Nahar >> Thank you Mishaal. Mishaal actually did the Certificate of Professional Communication and the year-long placement, so she's very motivated in that respect. It’s open to you to do both as well, so you don't need to choose one or the other, they're both available to you. One of the things that Mishaal mentioned is the support – yes, we want to make sure that you are supported throughout the whole process and this is something that we will work with you on and it really depends on your needs so please don't worry that it's something that you'll have to do by yourself. Anything to do with your degree, any queries, any concerns, or anything that you would face throughout your degree programme, you're not going to be on your own. There will be someone there to support you and this is one of the areas that we will do that as well.

You might be thinking ‘where can I do my placement?’ The GSD degree programme is very attractive to employers and I work with employers from a number of different sectors who are interested in GSD students. The reason for that is because they are aware that your GSD degree programme has been designed to develop your employability skills, right from the beginning. That is actually filtered down, whether it's in our teaching style, or whether it's in our assessments. You will have the skill sets that employers are looking for and I just wanted to give you a very small sample of the different types of placements and roles that our students have gone on to do (36:23), so you can see it's very broad. You’ll see the list of employers as well, so we've worked with employers from lots of different sectors - whether it's intelligence, education, the government. This is really to showcase to you that when you do GSD, you may have a job in mind, but don't let that dictate your career. Use this opportunity to explore different career paths, see it as a testing field. Do undertake work placements, as many as possible because I can assure you and as Mishaal mentioned that not only will it develop you professionally, it will also allow you to understand yourself. The three years that you will be studying or the four years is a growth period and it's really important that you experience every element of that and a work placement will allow you to do just that. Do consider it and also remember that we're here to support you throughout the whole process.

Dr Peter Dwyer >> Thank you Bodrun. As you saw from the Monash video, students at GSD are at the forefront of setting up a range of exciting societies, from Warwick SEED to Globus (which is a really topical online magazine). Daveena will now tell you a little bit about the GSD Society and Mishaal will tell you a little bit about the Student-Staff Liaison Committee.

Daveena >> Hi so yeah I joined the GSD Society in my first year and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I didn't know whether it be just more academic stuff on the weekends. It turns out it's not, it's a great community of first, second, and third years, and even fourth years, of all different courses - single honours, people who do joint honours. It’s just really a nice space to have a chit chat with other people, learn about what they're doing, they do some great social events. It's a good way to build a GSD family and get to know other people that you wouldn't have normally. It's so welcoming and there are so many different opportunities that you can have within the society. You can work for Warwick Cup and Warwick SEED and Globus, but you can also just use it as a place to find friends and have a good chat about your life.

Mishaal >> I'll talk a little bit about the Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC). I joined the SSLC in second year for Psychology and Global Sustainable Development. Just the idea of me being a student and being able to communicate any issues that my peers felt in our course to people like Peter, people like Gioia, who have direct control over our experiences at GSD was just such an amazing opportunity. Any problems we have, if there's a module that is somehow causing us problems, if there is some allocation issue, we have our SSLC meetings every month and we sit together with other SSLC representatives and talk through how we can fix our problems and how we can make the student experience better. This also helps you really polish your leadership skills, so if you're really interested in all of that then the SSLC is a great place to start.

Dr Peter Dwyer >> Great, thanks Mishaal. As Mishaal said, our students don't wait till they leave GSD to make a difference, they make a difference while they're at GSD and you'll see this from our final inspiring video from Luke.

GSD: Be the change you want to be (39:48) >>

Luke >> To me, there are three pathways which a student can take within their lives. The first pathway is that they can ignore the world issues which we’re currently facing. Secondly, you can choose to acknowledge these issues but not do anything about it. Thirdly, you can recognise these issues are happening and you can be the change that you want to be. This is what a Global Sustainable Development (GSD) student represents. They notice these world issues and they want to make a change within our society.

One of my greatest passions is tackling food insecurity throughout the world. Millions of people are still going hungry every day, and this is one of the biggest problems which our society is facing at the moment. GSD’s all about studying these problems in great detail and working to develop solutions from this, and so I’ve received a lot of support from the GSD community in starting up a social enterprise called Food Intercept.

We’re collecting edible fruit and vegetable waste from Coventry Food Market, we’re taking this fruit and vegetable waste to Mum’s Kitchen, a kitchen in Coventry which employs single minority women and provides financial and social support to them. Mum’s Kitchen is turning this edible food waste into meals which we’re now selling within the GSD common room. Using the profits which we make from these sales, we’ve been able to provide financial and social support to the single minority women within Coventry. Therefore, we’ve been able to make a sustainable impact within our community and use the lessons which I’ve learned from GSD to help solve problems in the local area.

It’s making these small changes within our society that are going to incrementally build up and make the big changes which we need in order to achieve global sustainable development.

I’m Luke, I’m a GSD student at Warwick.

Dr Peter Dwyer >> So if you want to apply, the entry requirements are all on our website. Obviously, we welcome applications from students from all around the world and those either might be doing other alternative qualifications to A levels like International Baccalaureates. We do ask for a second personal statement as well in which that's an opportunity for you to really shine and tell us why you really want to do GSD and how you'll benefit from it.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla >> If you have additional questions after this presentation, please join our Q&A Sessions and join our Taster Session. I wish you all a very good day and thank you very much for joining us today, bye.