Independent Study

Module Number: P65030

Module Leader(s)/Tutors: Nicola Timbrell,

This module takes place during Semester 2

This module offers you the opportunity to design a course of study to suit your own interests and concerns; organise and carry out a work schedule set by yourself; and to determine a set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria in collaboration with the module leader and a supervisor.

The independent study is a very flexible piece of work. You may want to pursue an individual interest, to develop an area of work you have particularly enjoyed during the earlier part of your course, to study an aspect of publishing that is not specifically taught during the course (such as newspaper publishing), to conduct a study based on your publishing work experience or an industry placement, and/or to tailor a study to fit in with your career or business plans.

Practical projects (such as digital or print publishing projects) are possible for an independent study, but it is important that your study demonstrates an intellectual objective or reflectively addresses an issue relevant to the publishing industry. Practical projects such as this must be accompanied by an analytical report.

Independent studies are more usually carried out on your own, but can be in pairs, or in a small group. In the case of pair or group you must think about the assignment of roles and also the implications for assessment.

Before embarking on an Independent Study module you should contact the module leader and/or a possible supervisor to discuss your proposal. A written Learning Contract must be completed and approved by the supervisor and module leader before study can commence.

It's a wonderful opportunity to make part of your course exactly what you want it to be.

It works like this. You bring your idea to the Module Leader and talk it over - and you can discuss it with anybody else in the department. (You work with a staff member as supervisor during the course of your Independent Study.) When you have decided what you want to do, we ask you to draw up a learning contract with us. We help you with this, of course. Then you, your supervisor and the module leader all sign the agreement.


The learning contract tells us what you are going to do, what you are going to achieve by doing it, when you plan to complete the various stages of your project, and also how it will be assessed. You can even be one of the markers yourself - in fact, we encourage this.

Then you go away and do it.

If your project involves making something like a book or a website, we will require you to write a reflective report about this as part of your programme of work.

Independent Study students have produced a very wide range of different projects in the past: there have been children's books, websites, newsletters, marketing plans, promotional materials, reports on technical processes in various parts of the publishing industry, and so on.

Whether you know exactly what you want to do or merely have a vague idea, come and share your idea with us. We'll help you find a way to make it happen.

Contributes to: Publishing