Three UNNC modules recognised as National Level First-Class Modules

21 April 2023


20 April: Three English teaching modules offered by the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) -  "Introduction to drama", "Process Engineering Project" and "Design, Manufacture and Project" - have been successfully selected by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China as the second batch of National Level First Class Undergraduate Modules.

So far, UNNC has had five National Level First Class Undergraduate Modules. Following on from the Finance, Accounting and Management BSc (Hons) being awarded National Level First Class Courses previously, UNNC has become the first and only Sino-foreign University to have both national first-level programmes and modules.

“Introduction to drama”

The module is compulsory for second-year students of English Language and Literature in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. It aims to help students understand how drama functions as a medium of performance to present information to others in a shared space. The module includes an analysis of classic plays such as Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Chinese drama The Donkey, as well as the study of special categories of drama such as realist plays like A Doll's House to develop students' ability to identify and analyse the various factors that constitute a dramatic performance.

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In addition, the module also aims to develop students' creativity, encourage them to develop directorial plans to adapt and put theatrical performances into practice. During the learning process, students adapt some animated scripts, movies, and Chinese legends into drama and perform them. Students' performance practice takes place in professional rehearsal rooms, and are guided by experienced theatre practitioners, who also instruct students in the use of the school's photography and video resources.

The module is convened by Dr Derek Irwin from the School of Education and English, who has been teaching the module for six years. "I combine the advanced practices of the University of Nottingham and the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, and keep innovating. I am pleased to see the increasing popularity of the module and that more and more students are participating in drama activities outside of the classroom," he said. In recent years, the module has expanded to include more plays from around the world for students to study.

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The “Process Engineering Project”

It is a compulsory module of the Faculty of Science and Engineering offered to year three Chemical Engineering students. The module guides students to deepen their understanding of the series of physical and chemical knowledge behind steady-state and non-steady-state phenomena in chemical processes, and to ultimately achieve the level of being able to apply theory to the design and operation of chemical processes through integration.

The teaching team includes Dr Di Hu, the module convener, and Professor Cheng Heng Pang, Deputy Director of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, both have been awarded the Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in the UK.

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It is worth mentioning that the idea of "experiential learning in engineering education" proposed by the team has passed the evaluation of the Higher Education Academy in the UK. Through organising factory visits, and utilising professional simulation software, the module allows students to experience testing and operation in the industry first-hand, encouraging students to take an active role in their own learning process, thereby strengthening their understanding and the application of relevant concepts and knowledge.

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“Design, Manufacture and Project”

The other recognised module, “Design, Manufacture and Project”, is a professional module designed for year three students of Mechanical Engineering, and also emphasises the practical application of theory. For example, the module introduced the "amphibious vehicle" project to teaching over the past few years. In this project, students are required to design and manufacture a miniature vehicle that can operate on land and water or underwater, carrying a specified load with a designated amount of energy. The project design process is integrated into the weekly lectures to help students apply their knowledge. The project helps them complete their final projects and deepen their understanding of the profession.

The teaching team for the module consists of experts and scholars from different countries and regions. The module is convened by Dr Adam Rushworth, Assistant Professor in Materials and Manufacturing, who has over ten years of teaching experience and is highly regarded by students. "The module is very attractive and interesting. The teaching is systematic, approachable, and very friendly. These lectures are also very helpful," said a student of Mechanical Engineering.

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UNNC emphasises small-class teaching and collaborative learning. By assigning various tasks, it helps students to develop active learning habits and skills, apply their knowledge in practical and innovative ways, improve capabilities in teamwork, independent and critical thinking, and decision making.