The Tutorial Action Plan (TAP) for the master’s degree in Analytical Philosophy, approved by the Academic Committee on 10 June 2013, has been designed in accordance with the guidelines laid down in the document “Information, guidance and support for students: tutorial action at the University of Barcelona”, approved by the Governing Council of the University of Barcelona on 10 July 2007.
1. Background and requirements
Since it was introduced, the master’s degree in Analytical Philosophy has attracted an intake of 15-20 students each year. It provides training that will put students in a position to begin doctoral research of the highest international quality in the field of analytical philosophy.
Approximately half of the candidates accepted are international students – a reflection of the fact that the degree is taught entirely in English and that all academic activities are carried out in this language. These candidates require a certain amount of extra guidance due to cultural differences that can lead to a degree of difficulty in bureaucratic processes and other administrative matters.
The master’s degree is also offered as a “conversion” course for students who do not have specific undergraduate training in philosophy but who wish to explore the possibility of conducting advanced research in the discipline. Candidates with this profile receive special attention to ensure that they acquire a coherent base of training in philosophy and are able to channel their academic interests in this discipline.
Additionally, many of the students are likely to be interested in pursuing a career in academia and will therefore require assistance in identifying a suitable topic for the doctoral thesis.
In accordance with the guideline document referred to above, the general aim of the TAP is to ensure that students receive the necessary advice and guidance throughout the period of study for the master’s degree. It has been designed to assist students in making reasoned decisions about their studies and career orientation, to bolster their academic performance, and to contribute to their development both academically and personally.
The tutors appointed under this TAP are expected to:
- contribute to the distribution of information among students and indicate key resources for gaining access to this information;
- ensure that the students’ academic progress is monitored closely and accurately, taking a role in optimizing learning models and, in particular, in improving learning processes for those students without prior training in philosophy;
- provide students with academic guidance and help to plan subject choices on the basis of the specialization chosen;
- record all information and feedback provided by students during tutorial hours;
- take part in training and exchange activities related to tutoring.
The master’s degree coordinator, who also serves as the TAP coordinator, is expected to:
- monitor and ensure the correct implementation of the TAP;
- oversee the evaluation and updating of the TAP;
- coordinate and monitor the work of tutors;
- provide advice and facilitate access to relevant resources and strategies;
- take part in training and exchange activities with other TAP coordinators.
3. Actions and activities
In accordance with the functions and responsibilities of the tutors and the coordinator outlined above, the TAP envisages the following actions and activities:
- Comprehensive guidance to students on the content, curricular pathways and general aims of the master’s degree: specializations, subjects (compulsory and optional), Final Project.
- Advice to students on the configuration of their curricular pathway, giving due consideration to specific factors such as their previous studies (background in philosophy or other disciplines, etc.), general academic interests, special requirements, etc.
- Distribution of information among students and guidance on resources for gaining access to this and other information at the Faculty of Philosophy, and support for related initiatives carried out by the Faculty library.
- Provision of information on international mobility opportunities.
- Recording of feedback and information provided by students about the teaching process, and transmission of this information to the Academic Committee, to allow the identification of strengths and weaknesses and the drafting of proposals to improve academic activities.
- Allocation of tutors to each student at the beginning of the academic year, ensuring that students are distributed as evenly as possible between available tutors (tutors should be allocated between March and June of each academic year).
- Coordination with International Relations units and the directors of UB welcome programmes for international students and exchange students.
4. Organization of the TAP
Each of the points that make up the Tutorial Action Plan for the master’s degree in Analytical Philosophy will be discussed, drafted, reviewed and approved by the Academic Committee.
The coordinator of this TAP is also the coordinator of the master’s degree. The Plan shall be valid until such time as it is modified or annulled by the Academic Committee.
The Academic Committee appoints tutors from the master’s degree teaching staff. Proposals are made by the TAP coordinator on the basis of each teacher’s interest in tutorial work and teaching quality and their availability to participate in training and exchange activities on tutoring.
Students are allocated tutors at the time of enrolment. Tutors are assigned randomly and efforts are made to ensure that each tutor is responsible for a similar number of students. The tutor assigned to Spanish exchange students will also serve as coordinator of the TAP.
Students may request a change of tutor by writing to the TAP coordinator. Tutors may change the students they are assigned subject to the authorization of the coordinator.
The TAP coordinator works with the tutors to draw up a calendar of activities for the academic year, detailing the dates and objectives of coordination meetings with tutors and, where appropriate, proposing dates and objectives for each tutor’s meetings with his or her students.
The TAP coordinator will call a joint meeting for all tutors and students at the beginning of the academic year and a meeting for tutors at the end of the year. Other meetings with tutors may be arranged during the year.
5. Monitoring and evaluation
The Academic Committee will record the number of hours of tutorial work carried out by each teacher and the extent to which each student makes use of the tutor they have been assigned, as well as the views of the students, the tutors and the coordinator on the success of the TAP each academic year.
For the evaluation stage, additional information on access to the master’s degree and academic performance may also be collected.
At the end of each academic year, the Academic Committee will evaluate all of the information recorded and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Plan. This evaluation will be used to formulate proposals for improving the TAP and summarized in a report issued by the Academic Committee.