Service Learning
A teaching tool connecting community and classroom

BA Degree Connect

BA Degree / Connect

In 2007, the NUI Galway launched seven new four year BA Programmes which enable students to connect with each other in small groups that share a special interest and together connect to the larger world beyond the university. The programmes will welcome the first cohorts in September 2008 and students will have opportutnies to integrate theory to practice in real world settings including placements within community and public bodies. The BA Programmes include: BA with Childrens's Studies, BA with Creative Writing, BA with Film Studies, BA with Human Rights, BA with Irish Studies, BA with Theatre and Performance and BA with Women's Studies.

BA with Human Rights

Course Director: Noelle Higgins
Programme Title: BA with Human Rights
Subject: Placement
Year: Third year
Participants: c. 16 students
Hours: c 35 hours per week
Length: One semester
Community Partners: Various Irish and international non-governmental organisation and human rights organisations.

The BA with Human Rights Programme offers students the opportunity to engage with the local and the international community through a placement opportunity in semester 2 of the third year. The programme gives students the opportunity to undertake work placements outside of the university setting to develop practical skills and experience the reality of a career in the field of human rights. It helps the students to apply the theoretical information which they have attained through the academic modules on the programme to real life human rights issues. This placement is similar in style to a traditional internship, however it is an integrated requirement of the academic programme. Students can choose to work in a human rights environment which is suited to their interests in organisations based in Ireland or abroad. Placements vary from year to year but examples of organisations where our students have undertaken placements to date are the ISPCC in Galway, the Red Cross in France, Equitas in Canada and Geneva for Human Rights in Switzerland. The placements provide students with the opportunity to become actively involved in the day to day work of these organisations and in wider human rights community.

BA with Women's Studies

Course Director: Mary Clancy

Mary teaches courses in history and research in Adult Education, Global Women's Studies and History in National University of Ireland, Galway. A graduate of NUI, Galway, she has taught history and women's studies at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She participates at public level though public talks, organising conferences, radio and TV documentaries, through the medium of Irish and English. She works with European colleagues through the research alliance, Atgender, writing and editing teaching texts. Mary has published on women's suffrage, politics and life-stories, is a member of GenderARC, and is currently joint editor of Saothar: Journal of the Irish Labour History Society.

Course Title: Placement module, BA with Global Women's Studies
Subject: acquisition of professional experience
Third year
varied, c6 on average
20 - 30 hours per week (ordinarily c25 hours).
Length: Semester One: preparation in class and meetings; Semester Two: six weeks in placement.
Community partners:
Students are placed in a range of community settings including, to date, the following organisations: Galway City Museum, Galway City Partnership, National Council of Women, Rape Crisis Network, teaching computers to adults, SIN student newspaper, Flirt FM, Connemara Community Radio. Internationally, students have studied in Germany and completed placement in Nigeria (Women and development).

Core objectives; to enable students to gain professional experience, skills and knowledge of benefit to their Degree studies in areas of personal and professional interest such as advocacy, equality, journalism, teaching, public sphere work; to enable students to apply existing theoretical and practical skills; to enable the organisation to complete a defined piece of work with the help of the student. Ideally, the student and host organisation agree a title, such as ‘Research Assistant'.

Students are advised of ethical guidelines regarding the importance of privacy, anonymity, confidentiality and well-being throughout their studies and during placement preparation and attend a workshop organised by the Careers Office. The course requires each student to meet Gárda vetting requirements. The course co-ordinator monitors placement progress through regular communication and students are required to submit weekly progress reports (c350 words, non-assessed). There is an end of module assignment (3,000 words) for assessment. The assignment requires especial analysis of personal and professional objectives achieved (with specific reference to projects undertaken), additional training or study (as relevant) and networking and contacts gained. The assignment draws upon the placement experience and consultation of readings and resources. Outcomes: students will acquire a range of competencies in professional development, including independent thinking, technology and completion of projects.