All our programmes are professionally and/or vocationally relevant.

Just by undertaking a course you're demonstrating a willingness to engage in professional development. In some of our programmes, reflecting on this process is central to the educational experience, and in other programmes you'll often be asked questions like: "How does that relate to your circumstances?” or "As a result of this experience what changes will you make to…?”

Take a look at the following video to understand more about reflective learning and how this differs from what you might be used to.

Reflective learning video

View the reflective learning information video transcript

In many cases it is beneficial to include some of your reflection in your writing. This will strengthen your writing if you have shown the reader that you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses in your practice.

Undertaking this reflective process is extremely important and a skill which many people need to develop.

Once you begin your programme, you will have access to a range of resources to support you with your professional development and reflective activity.

What is reflection and why should I do it?

Reflection is a process of exploring and examining ourselves, our perspectives, attributes, experiences and actions/interactions. It helps us gain insight and see how to move forward.

Its power lies in being able to help you develop your understanding of the way you learn, the subjects you are studying and to define your longer-term goals. It can help to promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills, both of which are key to academic success, but it has further uses that relate to life skills: it is an essential part of personal development and prepares you for the world of work, encouraging you to develop the habit of analysing your actions or events and considering the consequences. (Gillett, Hammond and Martala, 2009, p.164)

Reflection is often done as writing, possibly because this allows us to probe our reflections and develop them more thoughtfully. However, it can also take the form of a conversation with a 'critical friend', tutor or mentor.

Reflection attempts to move beyond simply describing events. It aims to:

The kinds of things that people reflect on tend to fall into three broad categories:

Specific events

An activity or task in class.

Longer processes

A project, assignment, course or progress over a semester/year.

Critical incidents

Something which had a significant impact on the writer (positive or negative).

Reflection is often seen as a cycle which can be gone through once or carried out again when a set of goals or actions are planned as a result of the first cycle.

Reflection process diagram