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COSMOS Project: Personal Development Planning

Module description

The increase in international student numbers on campuses would have a direct impact upon the student experience. This project aims to use a mixed method approach to explore the experiences of domestic and international students attending the courses. The focus will be in terms of building students’ collaborative and intercultural skills and development of sense of belonging in the community. A whole student lifecycle approach will be adopted to address the causes of observable gaps in success and progression for international students. The project evaluation outputs will be utilised to improve supportive peer activities, increase meaningful interaction between staff and students, and help students improve their transition effectively.

Full module specification

Module title:COSMOS Project: Personal Development Planning
Module code:BUS9906
Module level:
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Angela Christidis - Convenor
Module credit:
ECTS value:


Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

Recent studies indicate that academic and social integration of overseas students in the destination country often plays a major role in their academic performance, employability outcomes and integration into the wider community. Research has also found that “sense of belongingness” contributes to academic success and cross-cultural interaction.

The aims of this project are to:

  • Foster cohesion and enhance understanding between international and domestic students
  • Consider social, cultural and education impacts of international students on domestic students
  • Enhance interaction and integration between international students and host communities
  • Implement strategies and activities to promote intercultural integration and intercultural competence
  • Improve academic staff’s ability to interact with students from culturally diverse background

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand cultural differences and develop a better understanding of different cultures and world views.
  • 2. Communicate effectively in an intercultural environment and reflect on experiences through the lens of culture.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Identify your attitudes and perspectives regarding cultural diversity in your discipline.
  • 4. Understand the potential consequences of your approach to cultural diversity in the local and wider community.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Increase your self-awareness and enhance your skills for communicating with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • 6. Identify and build upon personal values, skills, strengths, and experience.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Intercultural Cafes20Taking place during scheduled weekly café.
Intercultural Competence Workshops6Two planned workshops each term.
Online activities and PDP coaching4Project induction and ongoing PDP coaching with the project lead.
Applied Personal Development Planning120Guided and independent learning which will be applied throughout the course of study in consultation with the project lead. It will include a mixture of activities, workshops, self-development reflection, and feedback.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Reflective journal or e-portfolio of evidence (useful for your personal/career development planning)Weekly (equivalent to 200- word journal)1-6Written and verbal feedback from project lead
Engagement with online discussion forum in relation to relevant areasOnline discussion contributions1-6Online discussion feedback from peers and project lead/team members

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method

Syllabus plan

Through a series of intercultural café, intercultural competence workshops and extra-curricular activities, students can expect to explore the skills of communication and networking, teamwork and collaboration, continuous improvement, developing self and others, building and sustaining authentic relationships. In addition, through optional e-portfolio building, they are expected to demonstrate and evidence the behaviours of confidence, self-awareness, motivation, adaptability, resilience and enthusiasm.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bennett, J. M., & Bennett, M. J. (2004). Developing intercultural sensitivity: An integrative approach to global and domestic diversity. In D. Landis, J. M. Bennett, & M. J. Bennett (Eds.), Handbook of intercultural training (pp. 147-165). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Cottrell, S. (2017). Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis, Argument and Reflection. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Holliday, A., Hyde, M. and Kullman, J. (2016). Intercultural Communication: An advanced resource book for students.
  • Jandt, F.E. (2021). An introduction to intercultural communication: Identifies in a global community. Los Angeles; London: SAGE Publications.
  • Piller, I. (2017). Intercultural communication: a critical introduction. Edinburgh University Press.

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