Project 3.3

Knowledge, curriculum and student agency

Project methods

This is a multi-method, longitudinal and internationally comparative study. We will chart students’ progress through their undergraduate degrees, the processes by which they develop understanding, and the different trajectories that they follow. This will take us to the heart of the relations between knowledge, pedagogy and student identities.

Basic methodological information:

  • Longitudinal study: following students throughout the course of their degree (from October 2016 to July 2020).
  • Multiple sites: four chemistry and four chemical engineering degrees; two in the UK for each discipline and two in South Africa.
  • Comparative study: (i) between disciplines of chemistry and chemical engineering; (ii) between the UK and South Africa.
  • Rich data: interviews with students and staff, course material, institutional and national policy documents.

Specifically, the collected data will include:

  • interviews with selected students once per year (altogether 400 interviews);
  • video recordings of selected classes and interviews with the people leading the classes (altogether 28 sessions and 28 interviews);
  • class survey at the final year of the programme (up to 800 students);
  • curriculum documentation, including programme and module handbooks;
  • examples of students’ assessed assignments;
  • publicly available students’ association documents where existing;
  • institutional policy documents;
  • national policy documents;
  • disciplinary bodies’ policy documents.