Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Undergraduate Course: Students as Change Agents (EFIE08003)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryUse your learning to make a difference! Working in collaboration with students from different disciplines, you will tackle 'real life' complex challenges as they are faced by local communities. This is an experiential learning course where you will get support and training to develop your skills in areas such as problem solving and critical data analysis and use these skills together with your understanding of academic theories and methods to propose a solution to the challenge.
Course description This is a highly practical course where you will work in small groups of students from different disciplines to learn and apply the skills of being a 'change agent'. You will get training in core skills such as team working, problem solving and data analysis, and develop an understanding of the mindsets that underpin successful challenge-led learning such as confidence, innovation, resilience and integrity. You will research the context of a complex problem which impacts on society, the economy or the environment and gain a deeper understanding of the interdependency of local and global challenges. You will apply this learning to a live project proposed by an external partner, working collaboratively to develop innovative ideas to tackle the challenge. The experience will help and require you to reflect on your personal development and gain greater clarity on your values, skills and vision for your future. The challenge questions and external partners change every year; they might cover complex issues such as 'How do we improve the mental health of children living in Scotland?', 'How do we reduce food waste in the university's cafeterias?', or 'How do we encourage sustainable tourism in Edinburgh?'

The course launches with a session where external partners outline the challenge. After that, students will spend the majority of their time working in groups to interrogate the data provided on the challenge they will be tackling, and to research the wider context from multidisciplinary angles, with the aim to develop and present innovative ideas to address the problem. Groups are supported by coaches who will be at hand to answer questions. Weekly sessions provide training in change agent skills, in a mix of presentations, videos and guided activities to help students develop confidence in basic data analysis, problem solving, communication and presentation of results. Groups will receive feedback on their projects from staff and peers throughout the course, and the external partners will also be available to answer questions. The final output will be a business style impact report outlining the group's thinking about the challenge project. This will be presented to the partner in an open forum where students will be encouraged to meet with representatives of the organisations that have provided the challenge topic.

The business style report will also form part of the course's assessment, together with an individual reflection on the learning journey and how each student's research and skills development has contributed to the group project.

In order to succeed on this course, students will need to be prepared to work in teams. This will include organising and allocating tasks to be completed by each team member, independently and reliably executing these tasks by set deadlines, and taking joint responsibility for dealing with problems within the team.

Please note: this is the credit-bearing version of a course that can also be taken as non-credit-bearing, extra-curricular activity through the 'Students as Change Agents' project offered by the Careers Service.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  70
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 14, Online Activities 6, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Other Study Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 164 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) 10 hours scheduled group-work
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will be assessed on a pass/fail basis; no marks will be given. The assessment is on coursework only, there is no exam.

There are two components of assessment, one of which is a group assignment and the other individual piece of work. Both components must be passed.

A) Group assignment
Groups will outline their proposed solution to the challenge in the following output:
A written business style report that describes the approach to the challenge, the data and methodology used, the results of the data analysis and the recommendations based on these results. The report will be approximately 3,000 words long and contain some visuals. It will be assessed on the quality of data analysis, the level of critical awareness of the challenge in wider contexts, the clarity and appropriateness of the language, and the quality of the presentation. (LOs 1, 3, 4 and 5)

The group assignment will be submitted for assessment by one student on behalf of the whole group, and all students on the group will receive the same result (pass or fail). The submission will be via Learn/Turnitin in week 11 of the semester. The report will also be presented to the external organisation that has set the challenge.

B) Individual reflection
Each student will produce an individual reflection on their learning process and how their research, knowledge and skills set has contributed to the group project. It will be assessed on the depth and quality of the reflection - including critical evaluation of the individual's contribution to the group output - as well as on structure and clarity of language. The reflection will be 1000 words long. (LOs 1, 2 and 4)
The reflection will be submitted via Learn/Turnitin in week 12 of the semester.
Feedback Students will receive verbal feedback from both staff and their peers on their contribution to the group projects throughout the course.
They will receive written feedback on both their group projects and their individual reflections within 15 working days after submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a deep awareness and understanding of the key issues around a life challenge which affects society/economy/environment, and the ability to critically and ethically analyse data to tackle this challenge.
  2. Evidence development of the core skills, tools and mindsets of a 'change agent': critical thinking, team working, problem solving, design thinking, collaboration, confidence, innovation, resilience and integrity.
  3. Work collaboratively within an interdisciplinary group and with external host organisations to apply these skills, tools and mindsets in order to develop fresh thinking around the group's challenge and to propose a solution to the challenge topic.
  4. Take personal responsibility for carrying out specific research and evaluate its relevance to the group's task.
  5. Communicate the results of their research and analysis in a format that is appropriate for different target audiences, including external (non-academic) host organisations.
Learning Resources
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Undertaking this course will enable each student to develop their abilities in team working, organisation and time-management as well as their skills in communicating effectively with a range of stakeholders. Students will develop skills in research and enquiry to identify and creatively tackle problems, and they will draw on the depth and breadth of their learning to engage with the communities around them.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sabine Rolle
Tel: (0131 6)50 3670
Course secretaryMiss Katarzyna Pietrzak
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information