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Impact and effectiveness of Industry-Focused Teaching in the Scottish workplace and the influence of subject discipline to its success.

Project Description

Project Summary

There is now, more than ever, a significant emphasis on the workplace as an educational environment to enrich vocational learning, support learners in sustaining careers and create a skills pipeline to meet future needs and jobs in growing fields. In Higher Education, it is crucial to respond to the skills needs of learners and create accessible learning opportunities focussing on preparing current and future generations of students for the changing working environment.

This professional-focused education is one of Robert Gordon University’s RGU distinctive features. The university has established extensive engagement with industry and professional bodies and work-based learning is an integral part of RGU’s teaching. Close collaboration with industry allows the university to develop a demand-led curriculum which is tailored to the needs of employers.

Full Project Detail

Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) have been developed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in partnership with employers, universities and professional bodies to provide work-based learning degrees, creating stronger links between industry and education, and upskilling workforces for the future. By repositioning the workplace as a learning environment, the university is delivering graduate apprenticeships across wide-ranging subjects with a geographical spread over most of Scotland, from the north-east to the highlands and islands and the central belt. We are engaged with a diverse mix of companies, from large multinationals to small organisations, across both the private and public sector as a result of the flexibility in our approach.

The aim of this project is to investigate the effectiveness of using industry-focused teaching in the Scottish workplace. In addition, to analyse available data from different disciplines (7 GAs programs across RGU) to establish their learning effectiveness and the potential influences to their relative success. In this project, the student will

1. Compare the effectiveness of non-traditional and traditional methods of teaching on learners’ satisfaction, knowledge, skills and self-confidence.
2. Identify if non-traditional learning methods (workplace based learning) leads to overall improvement in the learners’ knowledge and competency level.
3. Establish the influence and impact of internal factors, such as employer engagement and support, the relationship between a workplace mentor and student, self-motivation as well as the work environment, on the effectiveness of the GAs programs.
4. Establish the influence and impact of external factors, such as political landscape and econometric circumstances, on the pedagogical methodologies for the development of workplace-based degree-level learning programmes.
5. Establish within the current delivery of workplace-based graduate programmes their limitations against successful learning and methods for overcoming these.
6. Investigate the potential for an inter-disciplinary approach to developing workplace-based learning programmes.

Robert Gordon University is one of the top modern universities in Scotland for engineering research, with a track record of dynamic leadership and a reputation as an innovative and ambitious university. We have an established record of industry engagement, an outstanding record for teaching and learning, and one of the UK’s best graduate employment records.

If you have any questions regarding this PhD studentship, please email the following contact:
Dr Ghazi Droubi
T: +44(0)1224 262336

Entry Requirements
• First or 2:1 UK honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as; social science, engineering education, sociology or a related subject
o Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: social science, engineering education, sociology or a related subject is highly desirable
o Knowledge of pedagogical research is advantageous.

Key words
Graduate apprenticeship, industry-focused teaching, work-based learning, engineering education research, pedagogical research, professional-focused education, innovative learning model.

Subject areas
Education, Sociology

This is a fees-only funded PhD studentship within the School of Engineering at Robert Gordon University (RGU). The successful candidate will be based at RGU in Aberdeen and supervised by Dr Ghazi Droubi and Dr Phil Churn. Research is funded by the School of Engineering and interested candidates will have to secure their own financial support to upkeep their living costs.

Applications should be made by email to: Dr Ghazi Droubi

Reference: ENG19-04

Please see:

Deadline for receipt of applications is: 31st March 2018.

Funding Notes

Applicants are eligible for a fee waiver studentship for the duration of the 3 year award dependent upon qualifications and experience. This studentship will cover the tuition fees only for qualified UK/EU or overseas students. A condition of acceptance will be for the successful applicant to provide proof of their ability to cover living expenses.

Successful applicant is expected commence study in October 2019.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Robert Gordon University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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