Tag Archives: undergraduate

Oxford Brookes launches brand new Criminology course


The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences are pleased to announce the launch of a new undergraduate degree in Criminology.

The course has been designed to tackle fundamental questions behind what makes an act or action a crime and look at how crime can be analysed from both a social and political perspective. It will include topics as diverse as crime and punishment through the ages to Robo-Cops and ASBOs.

The course will be taught from an interdisciplinary perspective spanning the fields of Social Sciences, History and Law and the University’s commitment to research-led teaching will be a prominent feature in this new degree programme.

We are very excited about the launch of this new course. It has been developed in close collaboration with external stakeholders, current students, recent graduates and with advice from expert colleagues in the field.

Richard Huggins, Principal Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University

Criminological theory expert Richard Huggins, who has over two decades of research expertise around substance use and misuse, homelessness and social inclusion, will act as programme lead for the new course. Speaking about the launch of the new programme he said: “We are very excited about the launch of this new course. It has been developed in close collaboration with external stakeholders, current students, recent graduates and with advice from expert colleagues in the field. The course offers students a varied, interdisciplinary and up-to-date programme in criminology in a global context.”

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Britain’s only professor of Criminal History, will offer the historical approach to the teaching of criminology. Anne-Marie specialises in the history of violent crimes and has previously been the recipient of a Brookes Union teaching award for her inspirational lecturing style.

The course will also offers some law options for students especially interested in the policies and processes of the criminal justice system.

The course is currently accepting applications for an enrolment date of September 2017. To find out more or to apply please visit the Criminology course entry page.

New first year offering for Brookes’ Philosophy course

Philo news

The Philosophy Course at Oxford Brookes has introduced two new modules into the first year syllabus. The modules: Global Philosophy in Religions and Human Nature will pose questions such as ‘How can philosophy help us to lead a flourishing life?’ and will complement the already diverse yet cohesive module list available to students.

Philosophy at Brookes investigates the history of philosophy in great detail. It examines prominent issues in areas such as science and religion, and takes the view that the work of great philosophers of the past is relevant to contemporary concerns. The course also explores how the work of historical philosophers impacts upon debates that are central to modern philosophy.

Traditionally, the course has been grounded in the Western approach to teaching philosophy; however the new modules will add a more distinctive element to the course through examining philosophy from a non-western approach.

‘For the new academic year we have added two exciting new first year modules to the Philosophy programme. They will add both breadth and depth to the programme and will enable students to explore issues that have interested philosophers for centuries and are of great contemporary relevance’.

Dr Mark Cain, Programme Lead for Philosophy.

More information on the BA Philosophy course can be found here.

Law launches a new solicitor mentoring scheme

Mark O’Brien, Head of the School of Law and William Downing, Partner Blake Morgan

Mark O’Brien, Head of the School of Law and William Downing, Partner Blake Morgan

The Oxford Brookes Law School has recently set up a new mentoring scheme to give current undergraduate students the opportunity to gain insight and experience into the world of legal practice. Working in conjunction with Blake Morgan, one of the UK’s leading Law firms, this programme will involve legal staff acting as mentors for Oxford Brookes students. The mentors will provide guidance on anything from discussions on areas of practice, CVs, application forms, application strategy and interview preparation through to wider career management issues. 

“The new Blake Morgan Mentoring Scheme provides an invaluable opportunity for our law students to obtain guidance and support from lawyers in a leading law firm.”

Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer and Project coordinator

The scheme will specifically focus on offering mentors to those students who do not have existing links into, or experience of, the legal profession. 

3rd year LLB student Natalia Cabezuelo Martos is taking part in the scheme and hopes to study the LPC in London once graduating before becoming a solicitor, specialising in either Commercial, Financial or International Trade Law.

Speaking about the scheme she said: “I hope I can get some first-hand information on what the day to day life of a solicitor is like, as well as gain advice on applying to training contracts and vacation schemes. Moreover I hope that having this experience on my CV will enhance my chances of getting some more relevant work experience.”

Speaking about the launch of the new scheme, Mark O’Brien, Head of the School of Law said: We are really delighted that we have been able to offer our students such a comprehensive and genuinely enriching experience as they navigate the competitive path of entry in to the legal profession. This is quite a large scale mentoring venture, and permeates all aspects of the firm. We hope this opportunity will be a useful ‘first step’ for our students and assist them in developing their professional networks, and gaining ‘real world’ insight into life in practice.”

Information about studying for the LLB at Oxford Brookes University can be found on the School of Law webpages. 

National Teaching Fellowship accolade for Brookes Lecturer


An Oxford Brookes academic has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy (HEA); the most prestigious award for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning. This is the ninth National Teaching Fellowship to be given to those working at Oxford Brookes in the past seven years.

Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer (Student Experience) and University Teaching Fellow at Oxford Brookes, has been recognised for his teaching values and approach to law education.

I feel honoured and privileged to receive this award, which recognises the central importance of learning and teaching in higher education.

Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer and University Teaching Fellow at Oxford Brookes University

Marc’s desire to bring the study of law to life is evident in his commitment to experiential learning. His teaching seeks to bridge the academic and the professional in the context of the curriculum and extra-curricular activity.

Marc has designed an undergraduate skills module around simulation and experiential learning, organises university mooting and client interviewing competitions and coaches student teams for national and international competitions. In recent years he has coached the winners of the English-Speaking Union Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition, Commonwealth Mooting Competition, Oxford Inter-Varsity Mooting Challenge, and Inner Temple Inter-Varsity Mooting Competition. His University Teaching Fellowship projects have involved producing mooting and interviewing films as an open learning and teaching resource.

His students have also acknowledged Marc’s excellence in teaching and for significantly enhancing the student experience by awarding him the winning spot in the ‘Above and Beyond the Call of Duty’ category in the annual Brookes Union Teaching Awards.

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme celebrates outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education.

Each year, when I read about our new National Teaching Fellows, what stands out for me are the comments made by their students who describe them as innovative, engaging, entertaining, genuine and passionate about teaching. This year is no exception.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive of the HEA

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Humanities and Social Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference 2012

Over 30 undergraduate students took part in the Undergraduate Research Conference on a sunny spring day in March, in Headington Hill Hall’s beautiful Music Room and Green Room.
Students displayed posters describing research they are undertaking in subjects ranging from  attitudes to mental illness in the USA, to the history of medical research on human cadavers in the medieval England, to the psychology of conspiracy theorist, David Icke.
Several students presented research inspired by a trip to India and looked at issues such as the changing attitudes and behaviour of the British Raj, female sexuality in India and beliefs around figures from the Hindu pantheon such as Ganesh and Hanuman.
Associate Dean for the Student Experience, Dr Brian Marshall, commended all the students for the high quality of the work, and the fact that many had chosen to present work beyond their dissertations and taught modules. He said he was particularly impressed with how well the students spoke about their research as people came round and visited their displays. The university aims for all students to develop research literacies during their time at Brookes, and the conference gave ample evidence that many are taking this up alongside other skills in presentation and personal development.
The winner of the prize for the best poster was Grace Loydon whose display on trafficking of women was an excellent stand-alone source of information on the topic. The winner of the oral presentations was Sarah Conder, who gave a polished and expert talk on the New Growth and the social development of South Africa.
The Conference was organised by Dr Alysa Levene, Reader in History and Principal Lecturer in the Student Experience. Thank you to all the students and staff who supported the event.

Oxford Brookes Undergraduates Attend Prestigious Research Conference

Tara Bentley, third year historian, reports on her visit to the British Conference on Undergraduate Research

On 19 March a group of Oxford Brookes students attended the British Conference of Undergraduate Research hosted by Warwick University. Over two days this academic conference showcased the very latest research being undertaken by graduates from across England through spoken papers, lectures and poster presentations. This is only the second year this conference has been running for but it has been hugely successful and a great opportunity for students to share their experiences and encourage undergraduate research to be accepted as work of scholarly value.

On arrival we were all whisked into the first lecture where keynote speaker, Professor Gillian Hundt, gave an insightful and inspiring talk about her own experience as a social science researcher. Her tales of living amongst the barge communities on the canals in France and her work on women and families in the Middle East conveyed important issues researchers may face in the field. After a buffet lunch we all took part in a speed-networking session which, similar to speed-dating format, encouraged us all to talk to lots of people about our research in an allotted time. It was useful in helping us define our research and listen to others as well as breaking down some nerves before the paper sessions. I met some very interesting students, one researching the behaviour of Giraffes in enclosures and another on the support nurses get in dealing with patient deaths and palliative care, all making me feel really part of an inclusive research community.

Finally the time came for me to deliver my paper. I was nervous but soon got into the swing of it and although I ran over time I got a good reaction to my paper based on my dissertation research on the voluntary hospital’s coordination efforts in the later inter-war period. It was a great opportunity for me to practise my presentation skills and public speaking and I learnt a lot from the day. Next year the conference will be hosted by Plymouth University and if you are interested in taking part, then please visit for more details.

Sign up now for the Undergraduate Student Research Conference 2012

A showcase for undergraduate research across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Conference is an informal marketplace for undergraduate students to give short oral presentations or present posters, websites and DVDs of their research for academic modules or extra-curricular work.

How will you benefit from taking part?

  • Being involved in the conference will enrich your CV and develop invaluable skills
  • Share your work with peers and academic staff
  • Learn from personal feedback and discussion, and gain multi-disciplinary skills in summarising your research
  • Develop and improve your communication, presentation and digital media skills
  • Find out more about publishing your work online or in print

Harcourt Hill: Wednesday 28th March 2012 14.00-16.00. Glasgow Room

Headington: Thursday 29th March 10.30-12.30. Headington Hill Hall

For further information contact Dr Alysa Levene,

Or go to to register.