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Liberal Arts at St Mary's Liberal Arts image

The ubiquity of oral communication often means that we fail to analyse and develop our skills for good conversation, argumentation and debate. We underutilise our range of abilities and fail to hone our skills for persuasive communication. Over the two years students are encouraged to become more aware of their voice and of the act of communication. In a learning context, emphasis is placed on the link between clear communication and rigorous thought.

In year 1 students are introduced to the basic principles of presentation and argumentation enabling them to build their confidence for speaking in public. Through a series of practical workshops involving discussions, argument and debate, students develop their skills in listening and talking. A basic question underpinning the sessions is: "How do I sound to others?"

Year 2 workshops build on the presentational skills developed in year 1 and use the common experience of the interview as a focus for activities. Moving on from presentation, students develop the skills of interrogation. These skills have practical application in the workplace and also in academic discourse.