Integrating practical skills training with experiential learning

Programme

Practical Skills

We have designed a unique 17-week programme, reflecting the 17 SDGs. Our curriculum aims to provide students with the transferrable skills needed to work with business and non-academic partners to deliver real-world change.

Reflecting on that, we cover three broad areas:

Ethics — How do we know what is right?
We offer coaching in responsible leadership, underpinned by values, purpose, and character.

Evidence — How do we know what works?
We provide students with applied research skills relevant to business, policy, and community engagement.

Engagement — How do we deliver impactful change?
We deliver training in project management, organisational change, and effective communication.

Our training sessions are delivered by an inspiring range of external speakers and Oxford faculty, including industry experts and academics. Past speakers have been drawn from senior leaders in organisations such as diverse as David Connor, Founder of 2030hub and Dr Dianne Regisford, Green Party candidate for the Oxford City ward.

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Field-Lab placements

Central to the Lab experience is a 4-week field-based research placement in collaboration with a partner organisation. 

The field-lab placements involve team-based research projects, designed by students in collaboration with the partner organisation, and culminating in the delivery of an implementable and evidence-based proposal relating to one or more of the SDGs. 

For example, in our sustainable tourism partnership with easyJet holidays, these Field Labs have been in Mediterranean holiday resorts. In 2021-22, these were Majorca and Tenerife. 

Inter-disciplinary learning

Our student Fellows are drawn from across the University. Although a majority come from the social sciences, our Fellows also come from humanities and sciences backgrounds.

Global challenges are complex and require inter-disciplinary solutions. In order to deliver those solutions, the Lab builds teams that transcend academic disciplines. This provides a rare opportunity for students to learn across disciplines.

Diversity

Our cohorts are diverse in terms of background and experience. The Lab views diversity as a strength, that enables excellent, innovation, and creativity.