Impact of Change in Student Demographics on Foundation Year Pathway Courses: A Case of Business and Economics Pathways

  • Anyarath Kitwiwattanachai University of Essex
  • Nilufer Demirkan-Jones University of Essex
Keywords: Contextualized, Embedded, Mapped (CEM) model, student demographics, Business and Economics pathways


Essex Pathways Department has historically offered undergraduate pathways courses (Year 0) to EU and Overseas students. In April 2016, the University decided to also offer these pathways courses to Home students. To meet the different needs of Home students, the Department needed to revise the curricula and the way in which the courses are delivered. This paper discusses three areas: First, it details the process of change and modification to our pathways provision by focusing on the Business and Economics Pathways. On this particular pathway course, Home students unexpectedly became the largest group. Secondly, the paper covers the how subject specific modules are supported by closely linking them to an Academic Skills module, which now utilises Sloan and Porter’s (2014) Contextualized, Embedded, Mapped (CEM) model to ‘scaffolding’ student learning. Thirdly, the paper describes the challenges faced by academic staff and the initial and long-term measures taken to resolve them. The paper concludes by outlining the Department’s vision for the course provided in 2018-19.



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Author Biographies

Anyarath Kitwiwattanachai, University of Essex

Anyarath ( is a Course Director of the Foundation Year at Essex Pathways Department, University of Essex. Her teaching subject is Economics. Her biography can be found at

Nilufer Demirkan-Jones, University of Essex

Nilüfer ( is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Essex Pathways at the University of Essex. She holds a BA and PhD in Linguistics and an MA in Applied Linguistics. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has substantial experience in most aspects of teaching and learning including Management of Educational Change, Curriculum Design and Evaluation and Teacher Education. Since joining the Department in 2004, Nilüfer she has developed and taught a number of modules on the Department’s pre-undergraduate, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and has also undertaken supervision of MA and PhD students. She has contributed to the planning, management and administration of the Department, aligning its priorities with the University’s strategic direction. She is a member of the University’s Senate and Council.