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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: The World as Story: Narrative, Self and Society (fusion online) (EFIE11085)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryHow do stories shape the real world in which we live? and how do they determine our perception of ourselves and the dynamic environments that we inhabit? In 'The World as Story' course students will critically examine the uses and abuses of the storytelling instinct in different spheres of social life and analyse the origins and effects of influential cultural narratives using both qualitative and quantitative data as evidence. They will come away with a better understanding of the forces that shape the narratives of our possible futures.
Course description The second-semester 'The World as Story' core course will focus on the personal and social power of narratives: the way they allow us to make (and make sense of) our public and private identities; the way they drive political discourse and action and influence economic theory and practice; the way they are marshalled for purposes of community education or corporate gain; and the way they can help us envision the future of planet Earth. The course will also ask students to reflect specifically on how datafication and automation are transforming the human encounter with story: enabling internet monopolies to monetise our creative instincts, providing the raw material for new forms of narrative and allowing algorithms to catalyse our social passions.

Intensive units will be team-taught by an interdisciplinary group of instructors and will include seminars, interactive collaborative activities and, subject to availability, a fieldtrip. Students will get the opportunity to bond as a cohort, but also to work in smaller groups and individually.

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
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, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9.5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 2, Online Activities 1, Other Study Hours 8, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 77 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 8
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment:

The course will be assessed by means of the following assessment components:

2000 Word Individual Essay (100%)

Formative Assessment:

Each course within Edinburgh Futures Institute includes the opportunity for you to participate in a formative feedback exercise or event which will help you prepare for your summative assessment. The formative assessment does not contribute to your overall course mark.

Research/Analysis Group Task

Working in small groups, select a 'global challenge' tied to one of the topics covered in the course and analyse the narratives that it has given rise to. You will use qualitative or quantitative data as evidence and present your findings to the class in the form of a collaborative report (a PowerPoint presentation or other suitable format).
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Summative Assessment Feedback:
- Course Organiser will provide mark and individual written feedback on the essay.

Formative Assessment Feedback:

Organiser will provide oral feedback immediately following the group presentations.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate competence in core skills including independent research, planning and writing, group collaboration and oral presentation.
  2. Show knowledge of the current social impacts and future implications of storytelling in relation to a variety of pressing global challenges.
  3. Critically analyse primary evidence - qualitative and quantitative data - to understand the processes of narrative formation, propagation and utilisation.
  4. Critically analyse and put into dialogue secondary academic texts from different disciplines dealing with the topic of narrative and society.
Reading List
The list of required class readings will be provided by the team-teaching instructors and may change year-to-year in accordance with staffing.

All mandatory readings will be made available digitally. Students will also have access to a separate General Bibliography incorporating both theoretical and skills/methods sources covering a range of fields.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course develops graduate skills in research, enquiry and communication (SCQF 1 and 4), and the attributes of intellectual autonomy and personal effectiveness in collaborative working (SCQF 3 and 5); and provides an opportunity to practice existing technical skills in data analysis (SCQF 2 and 4).
Course organiserDr Anna Vaninskaya
Tel: (0131 6)50 4284
Course secretaryMiss Abby Gleave
Tel: (0131 6)51 1337
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