Nottingham nominated in Guardian University Awards 2014

17 Dec 2013 15:17:35.707

The University of Nottingham is in contention for two Guardian University Awards after being nominated for both teaching excellence and distance or online learning.

The University has been shortlisted for its Nottingham Open Online Course (NOOC) in the distance or online learning category; while the School of Pharmacy’s five-year undergraduate programme, which launched in September, is nominated for teaching excellence.

The Awards showcase and celebrate the outstanding innovation, creativity and impact of UK universities in delivering world-class teaching, research and engagement.

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Nottingham Open Online Courses

Nottingham Open Online Courses (NOOCs) are free online courses built with open education resources that are open to all students and staff at The University of Nottingham in the UK, China and Malaysia.

Dr Sarah Speight, who leads the University’s NOOC team, said: “We feel that we have come up with a winning format. We’ve had 1,500 enrolments on the Sustainability NOOC, which has just finished its second run. Being shortlisted for a Guardian University Award tells us that other people can see the potential of the format too for organisations that are looking to build their community across time-zones.

“Where the NOOC has been very effective is in opening up conversations between academics and learning technologists about creative ways of teaching and learning online.”

The NOOC was designed to cater for different groups with varied wishes and needs — both undergraduates and postgraduates, students from all academic disciplines, and students from all contexts and cultures.

Dr Speight said: “This was very important to us — the course was about Sustainability, but it had to be sustainable in itself too. In other words, it needed to be repeatable, replicable, scaleable.

“The key to all of these ideas is that the teaching and learning being discussed provides opportunities for staff and students across Nottingham’s campuses to work together — it's the cross-campus engagement that is the distinctive feature of a NOOC.”

Five-year pharmacy undergraduate degree

The University’s innovative five-year undergraduate Pharmacy programme with integrated pre-registration training opened for the first time in September. It is the UK’s first pharmacy degree to fully integrate scientific, clinical and pre-registration training, providing students with an education to allow them to stay at the cutting edge of the modern profession.

To qualify as a UK pharmacist registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), pre-registration training is normally completed as a one-year employment following the degree. The Modernising Pharmacy Careers (MPC) Programme Board, however, recommends that in the near future all English pharmacy degrees should adopt a five-year structure including such training.

Dr Stephanie Allen, from the University’s School of Pharmacy, said: “Our motivation for launching a five-year course prior to implementation of these recommendations was to enhance the training of students up to the point of their registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). By creating such a programme now, the course is a leading model within the pharmacy sector that will help the Department of Health in the future nationwide implementation of the MPC recommendations.

“The School believes that the UK must retain its position as the leading country for the training of pharmacists across the world. Recent changes to UKBA visa regulations however, threaten the appeal of UK pharmacy degree programmes to international students, as many students worry that they will not be able to gain the required employment for their final pre-registration year; there is no longer a guaranteed right to work in the UK post-graduation. The new course overcomes this issue as international students will, for the first time, be able to complete their UK training to the point of GPhC registration on a student visa.”

Guardian University Awards

The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 26 February.


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More information is available from Dr Sarah Speight, School of Education, on +44 (0)115 846 6465,; or Dr Stephanie Allen, School of Pharmacy, on +44 115 951 5050,; or Fraser Wilson, Communications Officer, on +44 (0)115 846 6691,

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Sarah Speight, School of Education, on +44 (0)115 846 6465,; or Dr Stephanie Allen, School of Pharmacy, on +44 115 951 5050, 

Fraser Wilson - Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 6691 Location: University Park

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Published Date
Monday 13th January 2014

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