Psychology students continue to go ‘beyond the headlines’ by Dr Alan J. Gow

Psychology students continue to go ‘beyond the headlines’
Psychology students continue to go ‘beyond the headlines’
For the second year, the work of some of our recent Psychology graduates has been showcased on “Research the Headlines”, a blog that “addresses the way in which research is discussed and portrayed in the media”. Alan Gow from the Department of Psychology tells us why he uses that approach as one of his assessments.

We often think about research-informed teaching, in which our own and others work might shape how we approach key topics and issues in our courses. There are different ways research-informed teaching can help students engage with a topic, especially in highlighting current trends or new questions being tackled. As well as research informing my teaching, there’s something I might call “engagement-informed” practice that I’ve been using in the 4th Year Psychology of Ageing course.

In any course, we want to ensure that our students not only get a firm grasp of their topic but that they develop a range of skills that might be relevant after they graduate. So one of the pieces of coursework is designed to help develop their abilities in communicating their specialised knowledge. The task was to describe an original research report exploring how lifestyle affects brain health in a manner accessible to non-experts, as well as evaluating the media coverage of that. At the end of June, Research the Headlines again showcased some of that work.

Research the Headlines is a blog from members of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) which discusses research and the media to help the public understanding of research and the process that takes this from “lab to headline”. Many of the Research the Headlines contributors use the ideas in their teaching. In the Psychology of Ageing coursework, a key aim of the “brain blogs” was to explain the important concepts and take-home messages, and to highlight issues in interpretation either in the media report or the underlying research.

Over the course of a week, the Research the Headlines “brain blog” showcase included the work of three students, all recent graduates in Psychology at Heriot-Watt:

Does keeping active have the potential to protect the brain’s functioning? by Sophie McWhirter

Use it or lose it: Can intellectual engagement offset cognitive decline in older age? by Calum Anderson

Alcohol: A Leading Health Risk or Protective Factor against Dementia? by Jennifer Stephen

No study paces? Masuma has the info in the first of her blog series…

This is the first in a series of blog posts written by NMasuma Mukit a SoSS student. During a series of blog posts, Masuma will give you an insight into her life as a Business Strategy Leadership & Change student here at Heriot-Watt and why she loves it! we hope that you enjoy the read, get a coffee and settle in…

No study spaces?!
Around this time of year, with exams approaching and as many deadlines as possible crammed into the final few weeks of the semester, study spaces are rare and hard to come by. On Campus, Elements is often too noisy (and the tables are too unclean for my liking), the computer labs are in terribly obscure places or they’re full of engineering students, and let’s not even talk about study space availability in the library. Now with work going on in the library and the endless tunnels and mazes we have to endure (I can’t be the only one with a terrible sense of direction, right?) to find an unoccupied PC lab in the uni, we need alternatives. Plus, where we study makes a big difference. There have been countless studies showing a positive correlation between office design and employee productivity. So it’s definitely important to switch things up a bit because a) you will most likely get bored and b) the library staff are probably sick of seeing your face by now. Below I’ve listed some of my fave spots around the city where I like to study (and yes I drink a lot of coffee):

Now the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is a good old Starbucks or Costa. These are great for individual studying – just plug in your earphones and go. The Starbucks on George Street, in particular, has a lovely view of the passers by outside. I personally prefer slightly more “moody” settings. For one with a real atmosphere, try Cult Espresso. An almost rustic coffee shop tucked away in Buccleuch Street, this place is a great place to study in a relaxing setting. Another excellent place to try if you’re in that neck of the woods is Natural Food Kafe. When I visited it was rather quiet, almost Pinterest-type setting with the lighting and the wooden tables, and (to me) really conducive to getting into study mode. They also have an interesting range of smoothies and other freshly made items on the menu, so a nice place to try with friends! Extra seating in the basement means you should have plenty of space for studying, whenever you go.

Starbucks Edinburgh
Starbucks Edinburgh

In the same vein, Brew Lab and Black Medicine are top spots for coffee and well recommended by students too. Another bonus is the proximity to other interesting, random charity shops and bargain stores which can provide a good break in between study periods. Peters Yard, just off Quartermile, is a beautiful little coffee shop with good cakes and some lunch options, too. I like coming here to study as I enjoy being amongst the hustle and bustle of people. It also offers nice views in a picturesque, green location, with indoor and outdoor seating – ideal for sunny days. This is also right next door to the Meadows, where I like to take breaks between study periods to stretch my legs.

Peters Yard Edinburgh
Peters Yard Edinburgh

Then Spoon on Nicolson Street is a good place for group work. Up a set of narrow, cobbled steps, this small café/bistro has good menu choices whether you go at breakfast, brunch or lunch, lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options, and very bright and interesting décor. You can choose to sit on the couches or around tables, and again enjoy the view of the busy street below. Study appropriate and very Instagram-worthy!
So there you go – a very short list of some of my favourite study places. Where do you like to study?

Thanks, Masuma! very insightful, if you have any feedback or thoughts on this post; please share them in the comments; this Blog is for you all the SoSS students out there so if you have a topic you want covering, send it into us in the marketing team and we will add it to the melting pot!

What is Logistics and Supply Chain Management? Our programme leader explores…

What is Logistics and Supply Chain Management and why does it matter?
A broad definition for Logistics and Supply Chain Management would be “Management of product, finance and information flow between the supply chain network”. The supply chain network comprises of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and end-customers, so basically, it’s all about meeting demand with supply.

It matters now more than ever because businesses are going global and face increasing competition, so it has become vital to provide the best service to customers at minimum costs. Logistics and Supply chain is critical to achieving this and therefore to a business’s performance.

How does it affect everyday life?

Every product we use and service we consume is in some way associated with Logistics and Supply Chain Management. It looks at design, production, transport, storage and distribution activities which are all aspects of products and services that we experience on a day to day basis.

What are future trends in Logistics and Supply Chain Management?

Right now the field is being revolutionised by the use of disruptive innovations and brand new technologies such as autonomous vehicles, additive manufacturing, Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, etc. These disruptive innovations are expected to have a significant influence on tomorrow’s businesses and all of our lives.

Finally, why should someone study Logistics and Supply Chain Management and why should they choose Heriot Watt University?

As I’ve said, every product and service depends on Logistics and Supply Chain in some way, and because of a current skills shortage, most of our graduates join tactical and managerial roles in Logistics and Supply chain management within 3 months of completing the MSc programme at Heriot Watt University.

Heriot-Watt has close to 20 years of experience in running our flagship programme in Logistics and Supply Chain management and it’s exclusively run by members of our world-renowned Logistics Research Centre. The studies are research-led but practice-driven and this means our students are ready for the ever-evolving needs of today’s supply chains when they graduate.

A Masters Degree, Friendships and Travel: Project Manager Carman couldn’t have planned it better

Name
Chau Lok Man (Carman)

MSc Degree
MSc International Business Management with Project Management

Undergraduate degree/university
Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

Nationality
Chinese (Hong Kong, China)

1. What drove your decision to study a Masters degree in your subject? Did you have a specific end goal in mind?

I wanted to explore something new for my further study that could be related to my previous study. I thought a masters degree in project management would advance my level of study and be beneficial to my future career. Nowadays, project management is essential to all kinds of organisations, no matter in private and business industries, or in public services. I hoped that studying in project management could enhance my understanding and upgrade my skills of project planning, execution, controlling and evaluation.

2. What was it about Heriot-Watt and your programme that made you want to study here?

The critical reason for me to choose Heriot-Watt was my programme title “International Business Management (IBM)” with a specific field of study in Project Management. The broader sense of curriculum brought me flexibility to explore other elective subjects such as Digital Marketing, HR and Finance. This curriculum enriched my Project Management learning and widened my knowledge in other subject areas. I was particularly happy to continue my learning in marketing through the elective courses in digital marketing and Marketing for SMEs. They are the practical courses which are not limited to reading and writing only, but also real project execution to produce videos and develop a start-up to raise funds for charity.

3. Can you tell us about a course or part of your degree you’ve particularly enjoyed?

I really enjoyed working with my friends as a team for most of the project assignments because International Business Management at Heriot-Watt has a great variety of students from different nationalities. We can make friends from all over the world and work together towards a common goal to finish the assignments. We exchanged ideas, learnt from each other, and shared interesting things about cultural differences. It was really a fantastic moment when we were celebrating after all the work was done. Friendship is one of the precious thing that I gained here other than anything in academic.

4. Can you tell us about a lecturer or tutor that has made a positive impact on your studies? How have you found the personal tutor system at HWU?

Professor Kate Sang is a wonderful supervisor. Whenever I ran into any questions or challenges about my dissertation, Kate was always offering a helping hand to provide irreplaceable advice and suggestions for me. She consistently guided me to the right direction while ensuring my thesis was my own work. Without her supervision and constant help, my dissertation would not have been possible. Her comments were not just valuable for my thesis, but also inspired me for my future career path.

5. Beyond your studies, how would you describe your experience of being a Masters student in Edinburgh and at Heriot-Watt?

Edinburgh is such a beautiful and peaceful city that totally differs from the hustle and bustle in Hong Kong. As an international student, I enjoyed travelling around the highlands of Scotland and Edinburgh in my free time. The natural scenes in the highlands are amazing and gorgeous. Taking part in the annual festivals in Edinburgh, like the Military Tattoo, was an unforgettable experience, to know more about Scottish culture and be immersed in such an exciting atmosphere.

6. What is your ambition for after you graduate? Do you think your Masters degree will help you achieve it?

I have not decided my future career path yet but I am sure that my Masters degree will be a meticulous preparation for any future job. I am interested in working on a range of projects, no matter in business or public services sectors. I value teamwork and look forward to working with a productive and supporting team. I believe that my master study in Project Management will definitely help me a lot and the experience of working with different people has boosted my interpersonal and communication skills.

During the Digital Marketing course in Semester 2, Carman and her classmates were set an assignment to create an authentic VLOG about their time at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. You can watch their video below.

Why Edinburgh sparkles in the darker months…

Edinburgh is an incredible city to study in.

Don’t just take our word for it; it regularly tops the polls for best place to live, work and study in Europe.
This week it reached the top spot of the Arcadis poll – read the full article here

This city knows how to put on a good show, we are constantly struck by the way both residents and visitors alike embrace a party, and this year’s holiday celebrations wont let us down. There’s so much to see and do, so if you are sticking around our campus this year, please get out into the city and take in some of the many fun filled events going on.

Here are some of our highlights:

The Edinburgh Torchlight Procession
Join in with the thousands of people that take to the streets on the 30th December to say goodbye to 2018; There will be Bagpipers, Drummers and its all to celebrate the end of the Year of Young People here in Scotland. The money raised goes goes to One City Trust, fighting inequality and exclusion in the City of Edinburgh. Buy your tickets here

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Torchlight Procession at Holyrood Park watch the fireworks display beyond an illuminated Palace of Holyrood House.

The Loony Dook
Its the first day of the year and one of our newer traditions here in Edinburgh is to start the year with a refreshing dip in the North sea..! Well why not, they started this in the 1980s and it seems to have stuck You can ‘dook’ in the safety of numbers both in South Queensferry under the Forth Rail Bridge or at Edinburgh’s beach resort Portabello – Portie to the locals. Or those of you less partial to freezing cold waters can just grab a hot chocolate and watch the rest of the fancy dressed brigade do it instead.

The Loony Dook on New Year’s Day in South Queensferry

The Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Ceilidh
Well who doesn’t love a Ceilidh right? We love them here at SoSS and have our own Postgraduate one in January to celebrate Burns Night, so if you want to practice your moves then go along and join this one in the street to see in the new year. This will be big and bold and has some of Scotlands leading Ceilidh bands at it too – Jimi Shandrix Experience, Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut, and Ceilidhdonia.

So that’s our faves from this years festive fun. We wish you all a very happy holiday, best wishes for the 2019. We put together a little festive message for you all to enjoy!
Heriot-Watt SoSS wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Penguins, beer and economic development…

Professor Paul Hare from our Accountancy, Economics & Finance Department spent two weeks in July in the Falkland Islands, working on a project for the EU concerned with evaluating the last two aid programmes in the Falklands funded by the EU. He writes for us below about his time there.

Continue reading Penguins, beer and economic development…

What can Blackpool donkeys teach us about exercise

Neil Gibson, Director of Sport, Performance and Health at Oriam: Scotland’s sports performance centre, and Programme Director within the School of Social Sciences recently published a paper looking at optimising recovery between intense periods of work. Here he explains how exercise and interdisciplinary research might help us organise and optimise how allowing people to choose their own recovery lengths might be something worth considering.

Director of Performance, Sport and Health for Oriam

High intensity training is in vogue. It’s being prescribed in CrossFit gyms to exercise classes and interventions designed to help people battle diabetes and manage their weight. But what exactly is it? Generally speaking, the ‘exercise’ part is prescribed using resistance training (lifting weights or moving your body in space), cycling, running or rowing either outside or on specially designed ergometers. The intensity, which is how hard the exercise is or is perceived to be, is often individualised in an attempt to make the stimulus more effective, as is the length of each repetition, from 30 seconds to four minutes. It is fair to say that there has been a reasonable amount of research done around how best to prescribe these bouts of exercise, however, in contrast, relatively little regarding how best to schedule recovery periods. Whether we are involved in periods of intense work in our jobs or during exercise, how we recover is paramount to how effective we are likely to be.
Continue reading What can Blackpool donkeys teach us about exercise

10 Fun Facts About Our Beloved City!

Are you thinking of studying in Edinburgh? Is Clearing the route you are taking into University? Seize the opportunity with both hands and choose Edinburgh as your city to study in. As proud ‘Dunediners’ (the old name for Edinburgh is Dunedin) the SoSS Recruitment and Marketing team have created some fun little-known-facts about the city they live, learn and work in. If this is the city you choose to study in, Edinburgh is brilliant and here are some reasons why!

1: Edinburgh hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972: in the Usher Hall (which is a beautiful venue on Lothian Road).

2: Edinburgh appears in Grand Theft Auto! (Rockstar North have their Head Office here) and they featured the two bridges: the Forth Rail Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge in GTA: San Andreas, we wonder if they will update this with the new third bridge the Queensferry Crossing…?

Continue reading 10 Fun Facts About Our Beloved City!

Internships; Your chance to outshine the competition in business

Strathberry Internship Opportunity
Strathberry Internship Opportunity

We are proud that here at SoSS we have fostered strong relationships with businesses and therefore can offer our students several fantastic internship opportunities during their Master’s programmes. An internship offers you, our students, the real experience that the teaching environment can never replicate, this fact alone makes the internship experience invaluable.

Currently, we have several companies working with us to offer internships to our students; many of these are globally located meaning their internship placements could be located across several locations or countries (even continents!) providing you with a global business & cultural perspective to your internship experience. An internship feeds into your course – for example, both the Array Marketing and Baxters Food Group internships are directly linked with your MSc dissertation project. Whichever way you look at it, being successfully recruited onto an internship will enhance your career prospects and business acumen in a way that your MSc programme couldn’t do alone. This is why we are so proud to be able to offer so many of these exciting opportunities to you our students!

Continue reading Internships; Your chance to outshine the competition in business

HW – a centre of excellence for translators and interpreters

Our Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies recently hosted the 2018 AGM of CIUTI (Conférence internationale permanente d’instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes), the oldest and most prestigious international association of university institutes with translation and interpretation programmes in the world. Delegates attended from 49 member institutions and interpreting was provided in English, French and German. The AGM was followed by the first ever CIUTI academic conference which was centred around the theme of translation and interpreting in an era of demographic and technological change. There were a total of 30 papers on the programme, covering topics as diverse as cognitive processes in translating; neural machine translation and tech training, as well as panels and a workshop. All were very well received, with the President of FIT, the International Federation of Translators, describing Heriot-Watt as a “true centre of excellence for training translators and interpreters for the future”.

The CIUTI event coincided with a visit from the Head of the Directorate General for Interpretation (SCIC) at the European Commission, Mrs Florika Fink-Hooijer, and Ms Cathy Pearson, also from SCIC. They met with staff members in LINCS and toured the excellent interpreting facilities in the Henry Prais Building. Discussions focused on possibilities for enhanced cooperation between Heriot-Watt and the European Commission; one strand of this will be Pedagogical Assistance where Cathy Pearson will return to Heriot-Watt in September to deliver interpreting classes to the new cohort of MSc interpreting students.