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The University of Southampton

HUMA2007 Humanities University Ambassadors Scheme (Modern Languages)

Module Overview

This module is part of a national Ambassador Scheme set up in 2002 to allow university students to spend time in the school classroom, learning and putting into practice transferable skills while helping pupils and earning academic credit towards their degree. The module is aimed at students who wish to increase their confidence and develop their employability, giving you something additional to talk about on your CV and at job or further study interviews. The module is also a useful option for students who are thinking of teaching as a career. Students who undertake the module will spend up to forty hours within a local school, working towards a special interest project. The University of Southampton has run the scheme successfully since 2002/03 and place over 200 students in classrooms each academic year.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the practical and pedagogic challenges encountered when asked to teach a group of students who are within a particular age range yet display a diversity of learning requirements;
  • how, within a particular teaching environment (whether primary, secondary, or tertiary), teaching methods and approaches are ideally tailored to the specific needs of individual learners;
  • the unique role of Humanities/Arts subjects within the curriculum, at every level from 5 to 18;
  • the skills and attributes required of a Humanities graduate embarking upon a formal programme of pedagogic training, and consequent entry into the teaching profession.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • comprehend, in broad terms, how children/young people acquire knowledge and understanding at a particular point in their school/college experience;
  • recognise how the methods and material of teaching must properly acknowledge the age and the range of abilities of a particular class or group of students;
  • identify the means by which appropriate teaching material, properly utilised, can generate student interest, engagement, and performance;
  • gain an insight into the diverse nature of attainment and achievement;
  • reflect upon the nature of teaching in a suitably informed, critical, and analytical fashion.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate greater confidence when presenting your ideas and opinions in public, and when conveying a clear, unequivocal notion of what you require;
  • match your improved capacity for communication with improved organisational skills;
  • display a greater readiness to initiate and improvise, responding calmly to an unexpected change of circumstance;
  • recognise that effective teamwork relies upon a readiness to collaborate and compromise;
  • provide reflective feedback in a genuinely systematic, evaluative, and diagnostic fashion
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • appear responsible and confident in your supporting role to teachers and classroom assistants;
  • function within a classroom in an non-intrusive but productive manner;
  • create basic lesson plans, and relevant teaching material(s);
  • interact positively, individually and collectively, with children/young people; while retaining a suitable degree of distance, and fully respecting the teaching ethos of the school/college;
  • generate documentation that records fully your specific and overall experience(s) across the period you are working within the school/college;
  • manage a small-scale project related to the prominence of Humanities/Arts subjects within the curriculum.


The UAS entails your spending time outside of the University within a local school (primary or secondary) or college (tertiary) for approximately ½ day for 10 weeks, supported by tutorials on campus. During the placements you initially observe teaching; but gradually you become more involved in the classroom, ultimately carrying out a special project with the students (e.g. organising a visit, overseeing presentation of a group project to the rest of the class). You are of course a role model, providing staff and students in your placement with an opportunity to interact on a regular basis with a University of Southampton undergraduate. This places on you a certain responsibility, as does the fact that you are working with children/young children – standards and expectations are high, and you are expected to match the demands of both your placement institution and the University. If you are considering application in the course of Year 3 to a postgraduate programme in teacher training then this is invaluable experience, complementing any voluntary work you may hope to undertake in primary or secondary schools. Should you be a Modern Language student, who will be abroad in Year 3 then you will not find yourself in classroom abroad with no prior acquaintance of working in a school or college.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods: • induction sessions [weeks 0 and 1] to introduce the UAS and thoroughly prepare you for your placement; • tutorials [weeks 4, 6, 8, and 10] to address your needs in the context of your classroom experience; • a feedback tutorial [sometime weeks 12-15] on your assignments, and on your teacher’s final report; • Blackboard as an interactive support tool. Learning methods: • tutorials ensuring that you feel adequately prepared in advance of your placement, and providing support and advice in the course of your time in school/college; • classroom observation and teaching assistance (1/2 day a week) at your placement school/college; • teaching part or all of a class while on placement when deemed by you and your teacher that this is appropriate; • an honest and genuinely reflective teaching journal, posted as a blog on Blackboard; • a special project designed and delivered to some or all of the students in your designated class.

Follow-up work20
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Wider reading or practice24
Completion of assessment task30
Practical classes and workshops3
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

The three elements of the assessment are consistent with requirements for the UAS across the University of Southampton, and past experience has resulted in the current weightings. Assessment criteria for the presentation and the project report are available via Blackboard, and also conveyed to you in tutorials. The blogged teaching journal may feed into the project report.




MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation 25%
Project report 60%
Teacher’s report 15%


MethodPercentage contribution
Project report 60%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

The module covers the costs of your travel to and from your placement and the fee for undertaking a necessary DBS check in order to go into a school. The approximate cost is £100 per student. You are required to pay for your travel in advance and then to complete and submit a claim for reimbursement. The DBS check is paid for by the University.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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