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Unit information: Communities, Education and Ways of Knowing in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Communities, Education and Ways of Knowing
Unit code ENGL20118
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mrs. Thomas-Hughes
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Communities, Education and Ways of Knowing is the third in a series of cumulative units which are designed to support students in the development, execution and critical evaluation of their community-engaged projects as part of their undergraduate studies on the English Literature and Community Engagement BA.

The unit aims to introduce students to cross-disciplinary perspectives and contestations around the ways that spaces of learning, knowledge and expertise are constructed, enacted and framed in contemporary society

Students will be introduced to a range of perspectives from disciplines including education and sociology and will be supported to critically engage with these perspectives in relation to their own community-engaged project practice.

Community engagement is a practice-led discipline and students are expected, as a core part of this unit, to commit at least 30 hours to the continued development and execution of their own community engaged project. Student will be expected to evidence their practice through reflective journals. At this point in their studies students have typically established or are in the final stages of establishing their community-engaged projects.*

This unit will support students to consider the nature of learning spaces, knowledge and expertise in relation to their own projects. To aid this, students will be introduced to a variety of facilitation and participatory techniques used when managing groups, drawn from sources including participatory and community-based research and third sector and practitioner toolkits. As part of this unit students will receive skills-based training on group dynamics and conflict management.

As part of this unit students will receive an observational visit from their community-engagement tutor and an accompanying feedback report which they will be expected to utilise as part of the unit’s summative assignment. **

  • Where the project designed in the previous unit proves unsuccessful or for any reason, this unit aims to support students’ undertaking of a new project idea.
  • There are some circumstances where a student might have been unable to establish a project during this unit and, consequently, will be unable to receive a feedback report from their community-engagement tutor to utilise as part of this assessment. If students have not set-up a project and had an observational visit by week 20 of the academic year, then they will be offered a project coaching session with the site-visit officer where they will have the opportunity to undertake a detailed review of the practical work they have already undertaken and develop an action plan for taking their CE project forward.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically and reflexively consider the nature of knowledge and expertise in contemporary society and use this to support their work community-engagement practice
  2. Demonstrate the ability to reflect analytically on participation within their own project, including the range of participants who engage and the literary works that are utilised.
  3. Utilise, and reflect on, formal feedback from the site-visit officer (or equivalent where project format does not facilitate a site-visit).
  4. Demonstrate ability to use reflexive writing to intersect taught content with community engaged practice. 

Teaching details

This unit is normally taught through a series of 3-hour seminars delivered across the academic year. Seminars utilise a range of teaching methods including lectures, practical-activities and small group dicussion. Seminars are supported by a range of asynchronous learning activities. As part of this unit students have access to a one-to-one mentor who will support and guide thier communtiy engaged practice. Students also typically have access to two Saturday writing re-treats which provide a guided space for developing their academic writing skills.

Assessment Details

1 x 4000-word essay (including response to site visit report if appropriate) [ILOs: 1- 4] 100%


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ENGL20118).