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Satellite Sites at UCL – A Different Distance Learning Experience

Henry T Lancashire14 June 2018

UCL is centered in and around Bloomsbury, London. Visitors’ first impressions are shaped by the Portico and Cruciform Buildings. However UCL has and continues to expand beyond its central London roots. New locations including UCL School of Management in Canary Wharf, London, and UCL East in Stratford, London, are placing students away from UCL’s main student body, but closer to relevant industries and different communities.

Image of UCL Portico Building and UCL Cruciform Building

UCL’s Portico Building and Cruciform Building in Bloomsbury.

Some UCL locations are interwoven with other activities taking place at or near their site. This is particularly relevant to UCL’s many departments based in or around hospitals. For example UCL Institute of Child Health is adjacent Great Ormond Street Hospital, and departments including UCL Medical School and the Department of Primary Care and Population Health use space within the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead. Sites outside and on the outskirts of London, such as the Mullard Space Science Laboratory and the UCL Observatory, house departments which have relocated for space or environmental reasons.

“[The] concept of learners studying a course via ‘distance learning’ can conjure thoughts of remote people disconnected from the university’s campus life. But it shouldn’t be this way.” – UCL Distance Learning.

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Are Intercalated Programmes Connected?

Henry T Lancashire9 February 2018

A programme or departmental level approach to UCL’s Connected Curriculum (CC) may miss the potential in some programmes. In particular, where students cross between departments or faculties, or choose from a very wide range of options. The integrated BSc (iBSc) programme builds research-focused teaching into the third year of the six-year UCL Medicine MBBS BSc programme; however, these 1-year programmes are run, taught, and examined separately from other MBBS BSc years.

“Active engagement with UCL’s Connected Curriculum means that students are encouraged to integrate this research intensive [iBSc] into their ongoing medical studies and across all modules taken during the year.”

UCL Introduction to iBScs.

UCL medical students choose from one of 18 iBScs run across six UCL faculties. The programmes emphasise in depth study of a subject and an extended research project. Integrated BSc programmes have been criticised for increasing the length and cost of already demanding medical degrees (1,2), in addition there is anecdotal evidence that students consider the iBSc as separate and less important than other MBBS BSc years. However, benefits have been reported for students with iBScs, including; increased involvement in research (2); a chance to develop in depth skills (3,4); higher marks in subsequent years (5–7); and improved career prospects (8,9).

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