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    Teaching the global city: developing a foundation degree on contemporary London

    Cox, Rosie (2006) Teaching the global city: developing a foundation degree on contemporary London. The Literary London Journal 4 (2), ISSN 1744-0807.

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    This paper traces the development of a new Foundation Degree (FD) about contemporary London that has been developed at Birkbeck, University of London. The development of this degree raised a number of issues both about how we think about academic subjects and how we think about London. Foundation Degrees are undergraduate awards made up of 240 CATS credits at Certificate and Intermediate level -– that is equivalent to the first two years of a Bachelors degree. At Birkbeck they normally take two years and two terms of intensive part-time study to complete and provide access to the final stages of a Bachelors award. Foundation Degrees are defined as being vocationally relevant[1] and have to be designed and delivered with the active involvement of employers. Working to such a remit raises questions about which employers should be consulted and how their opinions should be treated. These issues are relevant to all of those in higher education who are developing FDs but were worked out in specific ways in the context of London –- a place, or a subject, that has largely been studied from historical and literary perspectives. In describing the development of the FdA ‘Understanding London’, this paper questions why London is both more popular and seemingly less problematic when approached by the arts than the social sciences.


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