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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MODL5012M Skills and Issues in Intercultural Studies

30 creditsClass Size: 32

Module manager: Dr Haynes Collins

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of undergraduate degree (or equivalent) and an excellent command of your foreign language(s).

This module is not approved as an Elective


This module aims to introduce students to the field of intercultural studies, both in pragmatic terms (cross-cultural communication training) and in terms of the study of key issues in intercultural contact in the contemporary world, examined from a cultural, historical, political and/or theoretical perspective. Students will be introduced to the key principles of the discipline and encouraged to put those principles into practice.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be familiar with the key principles of cross-cultural communication, and able to identify and analyse instances of cross-cultural communication difficulties, both their own and those of others, as well as suggest solutions to those difficulties. This will contribute to their achieving the specified programme learning outcome of taking a proactive and self-reflective role in working and developing professional relationships with others.

They should also be able to discuss coherently, knowledgeably and critically a selection of key issues in intercultural studies as they affect the contemporary world.

In so doing they will demonstrate their achievement of the following specified programme learning outcomes:
- the demonstration of specialist knowledge and mastery of techniques relevant to the discipline;
- the proactive formulation of ideas and hypotheses, and the development, implementation and execution of plans by which to evaluate such ideas and hypotheses;
- and the critical and creative evaluation of current issues, research and advanced scholarship in the field.

Skills outcomes
One of the main, but largely untraditional (at UoL) skills outcomes for this module is that, on completion, the student should have increased intercultural sensitivity that will enable him/her to act and react effectively and responsibly in cross-cultural situations.

This is a very important skill for enhancing employability at an international level (business, diplomacy, aid work, etc) and links directly to the specified learning outcomes of the programme for which this module is compulsory.


The syllabus for this module comprises a series of six 1-hour classes which focus on intercultural communication (weeks 1-6) and a weekly lecture/seminar of 2 hours (1-hour lecture followed by 1-hour seminar discussion) focused on a particular concept or theme in intercultural studies. Topics covered will change from year to year depending on staff research specialisms and availability, but will include for example colonialism (the legacy of), globalisation, migration and diaspora, transnationalism and hybridity. The intercultural communication skills element will cover definitions of culture, identity and stereotypes; essentialism; othering; communication variables; non-verbal communication; and the analysis of 'critical incidents'.

The cross-cultural communication skills element will cover definitions of culture, identity and stereotypes; communication variables; non-verbal communication; and the analysis of 'critical incidents'. The syllabus for this component will be based on Fons Trompenaar and Charles Hampden Turner's Riding the Waves of Culture, 2nd revised edn (1997) and Fred E. Jandt's An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identities in a Global Community, 5th edn (2007).

Jandt's textbook also provides a useful bridge between the skills and issues parts of the module in its additional focus on particular cultural identities in the contemporary world. Where it is feasible, the module coordinator will also sit in on the different sessions of the module in order to be able to help students draw conclusions in the final revision session.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours274.00
Total Contact hours26.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

- Mid-term assessment preparation: 66 hours
- End-of-semester essay preparation: 120 hours
- Private reading (4 hours per hour of contact time): 88 hours
= Total: 274 hours.

Arguably every and any moment of daily life may feed into students' learning experience in terms of heightening their awareness of intercultural skills and issues.

However, while students are directed to pay attention to this for the mid-semester assessment, it is impossible to factor into prescriptions for private study/independent learning.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through assessment of mid-semester assignment (reflective log) and through weekly class discussions (informal).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Reflective logFor submission by mid-semester - 1 x essay (2,000 words) of a cross-cultural 'critical incident' experienced by the student.34.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)34.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 66.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)66.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 07/10/2020 10:53:24


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