School of Physical Sciences

Handbooks

School Handbook

Disclaimer

The School of Physical Sciences regularly reviews all taught undergraduate modules in line with University of Kent code of practice for quality assurance. Details of which can be found at http://www.kent.ac.uk/registry/quality/rescode2005/index.html

Please note that the information presented over these web pages is given according to the current state of knowledge.  The School of Physical Sciences may, at its discretion, introduce changes in the course or examination structure (including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of courses) and any significant variation from that presented here will be announced published to returning students via email/Moodle.

Unless otherwise stated in a module description, as far as can be reasonably anticipated, the curriculum, learning and teaching methods and forms of assessment do not present any non-justifiable disadvantage to students with disabilities.

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Specific School Regulations

(Generic University Regulations are available on tab four)

Modules and Module Registration

Each degree programme is modular.  Full time students must study modules amounting to 120 credits per year.  Modules consist of multiples of 15 credits.  In Physical Sciences most students take a reasonably fixed set of modules, depending only on their named degree.  Each module has a code consisting of two letters followed by three digits.  The letters indicate the subject area:

PS: Physical Science and Forensic Science
PH: Physics
CH: Chemistry and Forensic Chemistry

Foundation year and stage 1 students will be asked to register their modules online before they arrive at University or upon arrival. Should you be unable to do this remotely or if there are any queries regarding this then please contact Spsadmin@kent.ac.uk or visit the Taught Programmes Office (room 205, Ingram)

Further details of Modules

Attendance and Diligence

Much of the basic material is covered in lectures and you will find it very difficult to make a success of a science degree programme unless you attend all lectures.  Consequently, attendance at lectures in Physical Sciences modules is compulsory.

You should note: that attendance at lectures, seminars and supervisions, and the submission of written work, is obligatory. Failure to fulfil these obligations could, in extreme cases, result in you being required to withdraw from the university

Deadlines and Extensions

The deadlines for submission of written work will be clearly defined.  Work submitted after the deadline will not normally be marked and will be returned to the student with a mark of zero.  If you are unable to submit coursework by the published deadlines due to reasons of sickness or personal circumstances then, in order for any allowances to be made, you must adhere to the following procedures:

Short term absence

If you have missed lectures, labs, workshops or examples classes due to a short term illness (less than 5 days), or for any other reason, you should complete an Absence Form within 2 weeks of your return to study and return it to the Taught Programmes Administration Office.  Forms are available at:

 https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/local/undergrad/support.html.

Long term absence

All longer term illnesses (more than 5 days) and absences should be reported to your tutor as soon as possible. You tutor will help you to manage your studies and advise you on the best course of action for your individual circumstances.

You will be asked to provide a medical certificate or other means of verifying the reason for your absence, and should complete an Absence Form, within 2 weeks of your return to study, to accompany your documentation, and return it to the Taught Programmes Administration Office.  Forms are available at:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/local/undergrad/support.html.

Student Complaints

As a student you are entitled to receive competent teaching on all courses you take.  If you, as an individual or as one of a group of students, feel that the basic requirements of good teaching are not being met, or that there are other issues to do with a module or its lecturer(s) which you feel give grounds for complaint, you should raise the matter immediately
In many cases you will be able to sort out any problems on the spot by talking them through with the lecturer(s) of the module.  The Convenor of a module is the person who will normally consider any complaints not resolved in this way.  In the event that this process fails to generate a satisfactory solution, and especially in cases where the issue affects several students in your peer group, you should ask your elected year-group representatives to take the matter to the Staff Student Liaison Committee to be aired more widely.  Details of the Staff of the Staff Student Liasion Committee can be found at:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/local/meetings/staff-student-liaison/index.html

The Director of Undergraduate Studies and/or the Head of School may become involved in order to help resolve unusually difficult issues.  The key fact is that, as a School, we are committed to taking all constructive input seriously and to taking remedial action where this is found to be necessary.

Student feedback questionnaires, which are distributed at the end of each section of a module, enable your lecturers to pick up suggestions for future improvement.  The results from the questionnaires are discussed at the Learning and Teaching Committee module review meetings, where student representatives are present.  If you wish at the end of a module/academic year to make a case that the inadequacies of the teaching have affected your overall performance, it is important that you raised any complaint you may have had about that module, or about an associated lectuer, immediately it became a matter of concern to you.

The School’s Personal and Academic Support System also has a grievance procedure, for students who may feel it necessary to request that they are allocated a different tutor. This can be found online at:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/local/undergrad/support.html.

Use of Calculators in Examinations

Students are required to use calculators in their studies.  However there are restrictions in examinations to prevent students from having access to information which might give them an unfair advantage.  The present rules about calculators in examinations are that students will be allowed to use noiseless, non-mains, single-line display, non-programmable calculators without ascii memories in examinations.  This definition means that the use of graphical calculators is prohibited.

Successful Completion of Module

If you successfully demonstrate via assessment that you have achieved the specified learning outcomes for a module you will be awarded the number and level of credits prescribed for the module. Assessment methods vary between modules and assessment is designed so that achievement of the pass mark or above will demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes. Module specifications will state whether the pass mark has to be achieved overall and/or in prescribed elements of assessment. The pass mark is 40%

Condonement

If you fail a module or modules due to illness or other mitigating circumstances, the Board of Examiners may condone the failure and award credits for the module(s), up to a limit of 25% of each stage of a programme of study, provided that there is evidence to show that you have achieved the programme learning outcomes and provided that you have submitted written medical or other evidence to substantiate any claim of illness or other mitigating circumstances. The marks achieved for such modules will not be adjusted to take account of the mitigating circumstances but transcripts will indicate modules for which credits have been awarded via condonement. Each programme rubric specifies the modules in which failure cannot be condoned.
 
Failure in the modules PH300 Mathematics or PH301 Physics cannot be condoned.  A student who fails to achieve a mark of 40% or higher for each of the modules PH300 Mathematics and PH301 Physics will not be permitted to progress to Stage 2 of their programme.

Compensation

If you fail a module or modules but your marks for such modules are within 10 percentage points of the pass mark (ie 30% or above), the Board of Examiners may nevertheless award you the credits for the module(s), up to a limit of 25% of each stage of a programme of study, provided that your average mark for the stage is 40% or above and provided that there is evidence to show that programme learning outcomes have been achieved. The marks achieved for such modules will not be adjusted but transcripts will indicate modules for which credits have been awarded via compensation.  Each programme rubric specifies modules in which failure cannot be compensated.

In particular, no Stage 1 modules in any SPS degree programme will be compensated.  Thus Stage 1 must be passed without any modules being compensated in order to progress into Stage 2 of the degree programme.  A student who fails to achieve a mark of 40% or higher for each of their Stage 1 modules will not be permitted to progress to Stage 2 of their programme

Progression

When you have completed a stage of a programme of study other than the final stage, the appropriate Board of Examiners will decide whether you may progress to the next stage of the programme of study, or to another programme of study.

The normal requirement for progression from one stage of a programme of study to the next is that you should have obtained at least 75% of the credits for the stage and should have obtained credits for those modules which the programme specification indicates must be obtained before progression is permitted

Progression on MPhys with Year in the USA Programmes

This requires a high level of achievement at Stage 1. Students must achieve a threshold of 60% after the Stage 1 exams. This is calculated from the overall average of module marks.  If students don't meet this threshold they will be required to change their registration for the equivalent MPhys programme without Year in the USA option.
Table: thresholds for MPhys Programmes in Stage 1

Programme    Threshold   Deadline
MPhys with Year in the USA   60% overall average   May/June
other MPhys none none

Progression on programmes of MPhys with Year in the USA also requires a high level of achievement at Stage 2. Students must achieve a threshold of 55% after the Stage 2 May/June exams (overall average mark).  It is not allowed to reach this threshold by resit exams because of the deadline to confirm an exchange placement.  If students don't meet this threshold they will be required to change their registration for the equivalent MPhys programme without Year in the USA option. 

 

Progression on other MPhys Programmes

In common with national practice in physics, this requires a high level of achievement at Stage 2.  You must achieve a minimum of 120 credits and 55% as an average assessment mark across your stage 2 modules at the first attempt in order to progress into stage 3; a failure to achieve the 55% average will mean that you will be obliged to transfer to stage 3 of the BSc programme.  You must achieve a minimum of 120 credits and 50% as an average assessment mark across your stage 3 modules at the first attempt in order to progress into stage 4; Students who do not achieve this threshold will be required to transfer to the B.Sc. degree, which would be awarded on completion of Stage 3. Their marks will be treated as other students taking the B.Sc. degree.
Table: thresholds for MPhys Programmes in Stage 2

Programme    Threshold   Deadline
MPhys with Year in the USA 55% overall average May/June exams
other MPhys 55% overall average May/June exams

Please note: trailing modules within any of the MPhys programmes will not be permitted.

 

Progression for MSci Programmes

In common with national practice there are progression thresholds in place for the M.Sci programmes:

You must achieve 120 credits and a minimum of 55% as an average assessment mark in your first attempt at your stage 2 modules in order to progress into stage 3; a failure to achieve 120 credits and the 55% average will mean that you will be obliged to transfer to stage 3 of the corresponding BSc programme. 

You must achieve 120 credits and a minimum of 50% as an average assessment mark in your first attempt at your stage 3 modules in order to progress into stage 4. Students who do not achieve this threshold will be required to transfer to the corresponding BSc. degree, which would be awarded on completion of Stage 3. Their marks will be treated as other students taking the BSc. degree.

Application of the Condonement, Compensation and Trailing Provisions

The application of condonement, compensation or trailing provisions is limited to a maximum cumulative total of 25% of the credit for any stage.

The provisions for the condonement or compensation of failure or for the trailing and retrieving of credit will be applied only if you have failed modules amounting to 25% or less of the credit for the stage.

Trailing Modules
In an intellectually progressive science degree, each year’s study builds on the previous year and requires successful completion of all of the previous year’s study as a pre-requisite.  For this reason, the Boards of Examiners will NOT permit the trailing of modules in any Forensic Science or Physics degree programmes except at their discretion in exceptional circumstances.

Stage 1 Examinations

Before you can proceed to Stage 2 you must pass Stage 1. Each module is assessed separately with the contribution of written examination and continuous assessment explained in the module outlines. Written examinations take place in Summer Term. If you fail the module you may be offered the opportunity for re-assessment in August of the same year. You should note that in such circumstances it is not possible to repeat individual modules, or the whole year, if funding is available. Modules which are assessed by 100% coursework are designed so that you acquire skills through successful completion of assignments during the year. There is no end-of-year written examination. Consequently, if you fail one of these modules there is no opportunity to take a resit examination in August. No alternative assessment in August is permitted because these modules are designed to teach you skills within a specific context, throughout the academic year.

Pass Mark for Stage 1

To pass the Stage 1 examination candidates must be awarded 120 credits. The pass mark for all modules is 40%. Students should note that none of the Stage 1 modules may be trailed into Stage 2.

Stage 2, Stage 3 and Stage 4 Examinations

Students are required to successfully complete Stage 2 before being allowed to proceed to Stage 3.  Students doing a 4-year degree must successfully complete Stage 3 before being allowed to proceed to Stage 4.

Each module is assessed separately with the contribution of written examination and continuous assessment explained in the module outlines (Section B).  Written examinations take place in the Summer Term.  If you fail the examination you may be offered the opportunity to re-sit in August of the same year.  You should note that in such circumstances it is rarely possible to repeat course work and any continuous assessment marks will be carried forward to the re-sit examination.  Laboratory and project work cannot be repeated during the summer.  Students are allowed a maximum of two re-sit opportunities, but may be offered the chance to repeat individual modules, or the whole year.

Modules which are assessed by 100% coursework (CH620, PS602, PS620, PS720, PS740, PS700, PH307, PH500, PH512, PH520, PH600, PH603, PH616, and PH617) are designed so that you acquire skills through successful completion of assignments during the year.  There is no end-of-year written examination.

Pass Mark for Stages 2, 3  and 4

PASS MARK FOR STAGES 2, 3 &4
To pass the examinations at Stages 2, 3 & 4, candidates must be awarded credit in all modules under the Credit Framework (see below). For MPhys students there is a requirement to achieve a 55% overall average mark in the 2nd year in order to continue to the 3rd year of the course.  Students who do not achieve a 55% average will be required to change their registration to the corresponding BSc course.

Year Abroad Programmes (Physics)

Physics degree programmes within the School of Physical Sciences allow the possibility of studying for one year at a University in the USA. Physics degrees with a year in the USA are offered at MPhys level only.

These degrees enable you to experience the teaching of another institute and to learn something of the culture of another country. 

The year abroad is a challenging and often a very enriching experience but should not be attempted without a clear motivation and recognition of possible problems at both the academic and personal level.

The year abroad is the 3rd year of a 4-year programme.  You therefore follow the normal pattern of modules in the first two years.  You will need to discuss the arrangements with the Physics Director of Undergraduate Studies during the autumn term of the second year.  The contacts for exchanges are made directly by the University’s International Office in consultation with the Physics co-ordinator of the overseas university to establish a suitable programme of study.  You must inform your local authority and complete any required documentation.

During the year abroad, you will attend the required courses and sit the exams set by that institution, just as if you were a student there.  On return to the UK, you are required to write a report on the work done abroad and review the overall experience.  This document and the exam results form the basis for an assessment mark to be decided for the 3rd year of the degree programme.

The final year is spent at Kent and involves Stage 3 or 4 modules leading to an MPhys degree.

The mark from the year abroad counts as 20% of the overall degree assessment.  The marks are otherwise compiled with the same weighting as for the normal degrees (listed in the following section). The awarded degrees have titles carrying a specific indication of the year spent studying abroad.

Year in Industry Programmes (Forensic Science/Chemistry)

If you are registered for the BSc in Forensic Science with a Year in Industry, or a BSc in Forensic Chemistry with a Year in Industry, your third year is spent on an industrial placement working on some aspect of research and development.  Placements are competitive.  They should be arranged by the student early in the second year in consultation with their tutor and the industrial placement coordinator.

Assessment of the Year in Industry is by a written report, oral presentation and industrial supervisor's assessment.  The industrial placement co-ordinator will visit you during the year to assess progress. The mark from the industrial placement counts as 20% of the overall degree assessment.  The complete weightings are listed in the following section.

Progression on programmes of B.Sc. with a Year in Industry requires a high level of achievement at Stage 1. You must achieve 120 credits in your first attempt at your stage 1 module in order to progress into stage 2; a failure to achieve 120 credits in your first attempt will mean that you will be obliged to transfer to a non-year in industry programme

Please note that most industrial placements will involve the completion of a confidentiality agreement.

Programme Stage Weightings

Forensic Science, Forensic Chemistry and Physics with Forensic Science

Three year BSc degrees:
Stage 2 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 40%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 60%

Four year BSc degrees with a year in industry
Stage 2 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 32%
Assessment from Stage P - 20%
Stage 4 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 48%

Four year MSci degrees:
Stage 2 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 25%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 37.5%
Stage 4 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 37.5%

Physics

Three year BSc degrees:
Stage 2  examinations + continuous assessment marks - 40%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 60%

Four year MPhys degrees with a year abroad:
Stage 2 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 32%
Assessment from Stage P - 20%
Final year  examinations + continuous assessment marks - 48%

Four year MPhys spent entirely at the University of Kent:
Stage 2 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 25%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 37.5%
Stage 4 examinations + continuous assessment marks - 37.5%

*S/P = Sandwich/Placement

New, standard Stage weightings for the classification of degrees are being introduced by the University.  For SPS degrees, these changes affect the 4 year integrated Master's programmes (MPhys, MPhys with a Year in the USA, MSci) and the BSc with a Year in Industry.   The Stage weightings for all our other BSc degrees are unchanged.  Further information is at
      http://www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/qa/guidance/changesclassificationug.html
Degree results for students who entered Stage 2 in 2011-12 or earlier will continue additionally to be calculated by the stage weighting in effect prior to the introduction of the new scheme, with students to benefit from the better classification result achieved by either method.  So no student will be disadvantaged by this change.

Award and Classification of Qualifications

Certificates and diplomas may be awarded ‘with Merit’ and ‘with Distinction’ and Honours degrees are awarded with First, Upper Second, Lower Second or Third class Honours.

Full details of the requirements for these awards may be found in the Credit Framework Regulations at:  http://www.kent.ac.uk/registry/quality/credit/index.html

The Faculty of Sciences has agreed on the ‘average’ method of classification.

A candidate who has met the requirements of the Credit Framework for the award of an Honours degree will be placed in an honours Class.  The classification of degrees is based on a weighted average of the marks obtained over all modules in Stage 2 and above of the programme of study. 

The degree class is determined as follows:

                Weighted average mark (%)       Class
                70 and above                                     First Class Honours
                60 – 69.9                                              Upper Second Class Honours (2.i)
                50 – 59.9                                              Lower Second Class Honours (2.ii)
                Below 50                                              Third Class Honours

Note:  Although credits are normally awarded for a mark of 40% or above in a module, a student might obtain the credits required for award of an honours degree but have an average mark of less than 40% where some credits have been obtained via compensation and/or condonement.

The Board of Examiners may recommend, in exceptional circumstances that a candidate be awarded a class of degree higher than that which would be derived from the application of the conventions set out above.

Diploma Classification

To be awarded the diploma students must achieve 120 credits at least 90 of which are at level I or above.  The classification of 1 year diplomas is based on a weighted average of the marks gained during the year of study as follows:
                Weighted Average Mark (%)      Classification
                70 and above                                     Distinction
                60-69.9                                                 Merit
                Below 60                                              Pass

Viva-Voce Examinations

Degree and diploma candidates may be required to attend a viva-voce (oral) examination with an External Examiner, immediately prior to the examiners' meeting at which the classification of the results is decided.  Since it will not be known in advance which candidates will be given such an examination, all finals students, including candidates for the diplomas and MPhys/MSCi year 3 candidates are required to be available for examination on the examination board day(s), which will be specified in advance

Fallback Awards

A student who successfully completes one or more stages of an honours degree programme but does not successfully complete the whole programme will be eligible for a “fallback award” i.e. for award of a certificate, diploma or non-honours degree as appropriate.  The requirements of the credit framework to satisfy the learning outcomes of the fallback award must be fulfilled.  Further details on this are available via the School programme specifications available at:

http://www.kent.ac.uk/stms/studying/programmes/index.html

Physical Sciences  - Foundation Year information

Purpose of the Foundation Year

A foundation year course is managed and monitored by the Learning and Teaching Committee of the School.  The course is designed to provide the basic knowledge and techniques required for entry to Stage I of your chosen degree programme.

The School of Physical Sciences currently operates two Foundation courses:

  • Physics with a Foundation Year;
  • Forensic Science with a Foundation Year.

Physics with a Foundation Year

Students have to take 8 modules in the Foundation Year. Each of these modules is worth 15 credits.   Some (PH023, PH025, PH026 and PH027) are solely for Physics students, others (PH020, EL021, MA022 and EL024) are shared with other schools and are taken alongside their students.

Physics Students are required to take 120 credits obtained from the following modules:

Module                                                                                                                School with Primary Responsibility        
PH020   Algebra and Arithmetic                                                 School of Physical Sciences                         
PH023   Motion and Mechanics                                                  School of Physical Sciences         
PH025   Waves and Vibrations                                                    School of Physical Sciences         
PH026   Properties of Matter                                                      School of Physical Sciences         
PH027   Physics Tutorial Module                                                                School of Physical Sciences
EL024     Electromagnetics for engineers                                 Electronic and Digital Arts            
EL021     Calculus                                                                                Electronic and Digital Arts
MA022 Graphs, Geometry and Trigonometry                     School of Mathematics Statistics & Actuarial Science       

               

The assessment of the Foundation Year of the Four Year Degree Courses in Physics is by coursework (laboratory work, assignments and assessment tests) and a major written examination which is held at the end of the academic year.

Assessment tests related to the lecture courses on Physics, Mathematics and Electronics will be held during the mid-term and end of term examples classes in the Autumn and Spring terms. These will contribute to your overall mark for the foundation year.

Physics Foundation Year Examinations

(a)          The end of year examination will consist of 7 written papers:

PH020 Algebra and Arithmetic;  PH023 Motion and Mechanics; PH025  Waves and Vibrations; PH026   Properties of Matter; EL021 Calculus; EL024 Electromagnetics for Engineers; MA022 Graphs, Geometry and Trigonometry.

(b)          Each paper will be of 2 hours duration.

(c)           The module pass mark will be 40%. Progression to Stage 1 will depend on satisfying the criteria detailed in the CREDIT FRAMEWORK (Section E).  [Note in particular the sub-sections on condonement and compensation].

(d)          Students who satisfy the Examiners in the Foundation Year Examination may proceed to Stage I.

(e)          There will be a resit examination for each of the 7 modules listed above, in August of the same year.  Students should note that continuously assessed coursework and laboratory practical classes cannot be resat in the summer and can only be retaken by repeating the module the following year without the possibility of proceeding to the first year of their chosen degree programme.

Students obtaining an overall average mark 70% or above will normally be awarded a Distinction; for a mark of between 60% and 69% a Merit will usually be awarded.

Students who do not achieve a pass in May/June may be allowed to resit the examinations in failed modules in August.  Students are allowed a maximum of two resit opportunities.  All coursework marks are carried forward to the resit examination.  As stated above, coursework and practical work cannot be retaken so students will carry forward the mark originally awarded for such work (if marks have been awarded), unless the relevant module is repeated.

Students who successfully complete the first year of the course may proceed to any of the following Physics courses

  • PHYSICS
  • PHYSICS with ASTROPHYSICS
  • PHYSICS with FORENSIC SCIENCE
  • ASTRONOMY, SPACE SCIENCE & ASTROPHYSICS

Forensic Science Foundation Year

The foundation year course is managed by the Learning and Teaching Committee of the School.  The course is designed to provide the basic knowledge and techniques required for entry to Stage I of your chosen degree programme.

Forensic Students are required to take 120 credits obtained from the following modules:

Module                                                                                                                School with Primary Responsibility        
PH020   Algebra and Arithmetic                                                 School of Physical Sciences
PS021    Molecules and Analysis                                                 School of Physical Sciences
PS022    Chemical Reactivity                                                         School of Physical Sciences
PS023    Properties of Matter                                                      School of Physical Sciences
MA022  Graphs, Geometry and Trigonometry                     School of Mathematics Statistics & Actuarial
Science

 

One year's full-time undergraduate course contains a workload of 120 credits, each credit representing 10 hours' study time (including private study as well as timetabled classes).

The Forensic Science Foundation Year is divided into three 30-credit modules (codes PS021, PS022, and PS023) and two 15 credit modules (PH020 and MA022).

To pass the foundation year students must be awarded credit in all modules.  Credit will be awarded in each module where the student achieves a minimum mark of 40%.  An overall weighted average of 60% or more attracts a grade of Merit, and of 70% or more a grade of Distinction.

Students who do not achieve a pass in May/June may be allowed to resit the examinations in failed modules in August.  Students are allowed a maximum of two resit opportunities.  All coursework marks are carried forward to the resit examination.

Students should note that continuously assessed coursework and laboratory practical classes cannot be resat in the summer and can only be retaken by repeating the module the following year without the possibility of immediately proceeding to Stage 1 of their chosen degree programme.

Students who successfully complete the first year of the course may proceed to any of the following Forensic Science courses:

  • Forensic Science - BSc
  • Forensic Chemistry - BSc

Trailing of Foundation Year Modules

Students should note that none of the foundation year modules may be trailed into Stage 1.

Useful School Information

2013/2014 TERM DATES


Details of the University Term Dates can be found at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/about/termdates.html

 

Ways in Which the School will Contact You

E-mail - At your first registration you will have been given information on using the computers on campus.  You should become familiar with these as soon as possible, and log on to your Windows account before the first Monday of the Autumn Term if possible.  This is essential for communication with staff and students by e-mail and is likely to be our first point of contact with you electronically.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING EMAIL
Please note that e-mail is the primary route for communication within SPS;  it is regarded as your individual responsibility to check your e-mail at least once every day, to ensure that the ‘inbox’ has sufficient free space to allow for the reception of e-mails and documentary attachments. 

It is strongly suggested that you try to provide a minimum of 1 Mb of space within your ‘inbox’ at any one time (- although the mail server will make a small number of repeated attempts to send a message to you if your inbox is overly full, so you have a few days leeway before the incoming message would be lost). The serious consequence of failing to do this is that you will miss important notices (e.g. regarding lecture venue changes, coursework submission requirements, etc.).

Please note: that we regard a failure to read, and where necessary respond to e-mail communications as evidence of a lack of diligence it can therefore be used as such within any disciplinary process that may arise.

 
Text Message Alert - A text messaging alert service is available to students. This is an optional service which you have to subscribe to and is provided by the central university. Should an emergency announcement, such as a cancelled lecture, have to be made a text message would be sent to alert you to the situation.

Details on how to register are available at https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/local/undergrad/documents/How_to_Reg_for_text-message_Feb08.pdf

Notice boards - in the student study room on the ground floor of the school (G48).

Pigeon holes - in the student study room on the ground floor of the school (G48).

 

Module Registration

Where modules options are available the process of Online Module Registration is applicable. In most cases this is only for a selected group of students who will be contacted by the Administration team directly.
Should you have a module registration concern please contact the school’s Undergraduate Student Administration Office via email spsadmin@kent.ac.uk or by visiting the School administration office (room 205).
Students will not be registered onto modules after week 3.

 

Timetable

Normal teaching hours are from 9.00am - 6.00pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9.00am - 1.00pm on Wednesday.  Students should however note that it is, on occasion, necessary for teaching to take place on Wednesday afternoon. Teaching takes the form of lectures, laboratory classes, examples classes, workshops and seminars.  Your personal timetable is available from your Student Guide at http://www.kent.ac.uk/student/.
 
Changes to the timetable will take place please constantly review your timetable to ensure you are not missing events. In most cases an email will be sent from the convenor of the module to all students that are registered to confirm any amendments.

 

Lecture Etiquette

Teaching starts at five minutes past each hour and finishes at five minutes to the hour in order to allow ample time to get from one lecture theatre to the next.  Students should be aware of the others and refrain from talking or distracting during sessions.

A list of lecture theatre names and abbreviations is available from the University website: http://www.kent.ac.uk/timetabling/rooms/index.html

 

Group Allocation Information


Lists of groups for laboratory and workshop classes will be sent to you by email in the first few days of term.   Note:  that if you are doing a module run by another school, information on classes etc. will be posted on their notice boards/emailed by them.

 

Change of Address

If you change your address please inform the Undergraduate Administration Office by email to spsadmin@kent.ac.uk

Alternatively you can make the amendment yourself on-line via the Student Guide http://www.kent.ac.uk/student/

 

Student Study Room (Ingram G48)

The school has a dedicated student study room on the ground floor of the School which is for the exclusive use of SPS students.  The room contains a number of networked PCs, pigeonholes and notice boards and a small collection of books and journals.  Please help to keep the room tidy and in good condition for the benefit of all SPS students.  There is no eating or drinking allowed near the PCs in the student room.

 

Templeman Library

The Templeman Library contains multiple copies of all recommended text books for Physical Sciences modules.  Some are included in the Short Loan Collection to allow quick access for all students.
http://www.kent.ac.uk/library/

 

Computing Facilities

All students are provided with a login to one or more servers on the campus network.  These provide a range of facilities including email, access to the Internet, word processing, spreadsheet and display software, in addition to a range of more specialised packages. 

Computers are an essential tool for scientists, for communication, data analysis and scientific programming, and tuition is provided as an integral part of the courses offered in the school. 

Networked PCs or terminals can be found in the school’s student study room (Ingram G48) and laboratories, the colleges, library and computing centre.  Instructions on access to all computing services, email, the Internet and commonly used software is provided by the University Computing Service.

Further details can be obtained from the Student Guide http://www.kent.ac.uk/student/

 

The School of Physical Sciences Website

Our website contains a range of information about the school, course material, specimen examination papers, research and minutes of relevant meetings such as those of the Staff-Student Liaison Committee.  It can be found at http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/

Who’s Who Information

Tutors

System to be Withdrawn from Academic Year 2011/12 in Favour of a Student Support Advisor Role
Every student in the School of Physical Sciences is allocated a tutor.  You will find out who your year tutor is in your first few days at Kent.

The tutor is there to assist you with general advice on academic issues, and to offer pastoral support.  They will also be able to direct you towards other support services available on campus.  You should feel free to seek their advice whenever you are faced with an issue.

Tutors also deal with the initial stages of the disciplinary process within the School.  You may be asked to attend an appointment with your tutor if you have, for example, consistently failed to submit coursework on time.

Email is the best way of contacting your tutor to make an appointment to see them.  You will find a list of staff email addresses at the back of this handbook.  Most tutors may also post their “office hours” on the door of their room. These are times at which the tutor is available to see tutees.

A female member of staff is usually available (by referral from the tutor) to discuss personal issues with any student who would feel more comfortable talking to a female.

 

Senior Tutor

The Senior Tutor for the School of Physical Sciences manages the Personal and Academic Support System (PASS). He/She is assisted by the tutors.  The Senior Tutor has a predominantly disciplinary role. Year tutors refer students with consistently poor performance to the Senior Tutor who will often agree a learning contract with them, and support them as they attempt to get their studies back on track. Occasionally, the Senior Tutor may have to recommend to the Dean that a student’s studies should be terminated due to lack of diligence or poor performance. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen very often!

Additional and up-to-date information can be found at:
https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/local/undergrad/support.html.

 

Student Support Advisor

Student Support Advisor
From September 2011 the School will be replacing the current tutorial system by the provision of a dedicated Student Support Advisor. Mrs Christine Vickerman will take on the pastoral support role that is currently being taken by the tutorial team. The Senior Tutor role will remain.  This handbook and the relevant section of the School’s Pastoral website will be updated accordingly by the end of August 2011.

 

Director of Undergraduate Studies & Director of Learning and Teaching

Directors of Undergraduate Studies are in overall charge of all undergraduate teaching matters at a ‘strategic’ level, with a Director of Learning and Teaching assuming overall responsibility for the undergraduate programmes offered by the entire School of Physical Sciences. 

Details of the academic staff that currently hold these posts may be found on the SPS website, but if in doubt feel free to enquire in the Taught Programmes Office (Room 205 on the Second Floor of the School building).

 

Taught Programmes Office – Room 205 Ingram (formally the Student Administration Office)

The School’s Undergraduate Student Administration Office is located in Room 205 on the Second Floor. It is a “one-stop” shop for all student related matters. If you have any queries regarding your registration, modules, marks, intermissions or withdrawals you should go here. Staff there will also issue you with status letters and transcripts.  Opening hours for the Office will be advised on a term-by-term basis and published on the office door and at the end of the Taught Programmes Co-ordinator’s email signature.

 

Academic Staff List

NAME

E-MAIL

ROOM No  in Ingram Building

Dr M Alfredsson

M.L.Alfredsson@kent.ac.uk

217

Dr D Arnold

D.C.Arnold@kent.ac.uk

103A

Dr R E Benfield

R.E.Benfield@kent.ac.uk

313

Dr S Biagini

S.Biagini@kent.ac.uk

317

 

 

 

Prof M J Burchell

M.J.Burchell@kent.ac.uk

Room 1, Marlowe Building

Dr A Corrias

A.Corrias@kent.ac.uk

122

 

 

 

Dr G Dobre

G.Dobre@kent.ac.uk

113

Dr D Froebrich

D.Froebrich@kent.ac.uk

117

Dr S Gibson

S.J.Gibson@kent.ac.uk

107

Prof M A Green

M.A.Green@kent.ac.uk

201

Mr R Green

R.Green@kent.a.uk

 

Dr S J Holder

S.J.Holder@kent.ac.uk

319

Mr M Johnson

M.R.Johnson@kent.ac.uk

119

Dr S Lowry

S.C.Lowry@kent.ac.uk

111

 

 

 

Dr J Miao

J.Miao@kent.ac.uk

115

Dr G Mountjoy

G.Mountjoy@kent.ac.uk

215

Prof R J Newport

R.J.Newport@kent.ac.uk

213

Prof A Gh Podoleanu

A.G.H.Podoleanu@kent.ac.uk

301

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr J Quintanilla

J.Quintanilla@kent.ac.uk

108

Dr M Price

mcp2@star.kent.ac.uk

103C

Dr D Sayle

D.C.Sayle@kent.ac.uk

211

Dr C Shepherd

C.Shepherd@kent.ac.uk

301A

Prof M D Smith

M.D.Smith@kent.ac.uk

101

Prof P Strange

P.Strange@kent.ac.uk

219

Dr C J Solomon

C.J.Solomon@kent.ac.uk

109

Prof M J Went

M.J.Went@kent.ac.uk

311

 

 

School Administration Manager

Mr J.R. Redmond

J.R.Redmond@kent.ac.uk

211a

 

 

Taught Programmes Administration

Ms K L Harty
Ms S Welford

spsadmin@kent.ac.uk
Phone: 01227 823767

205

 

 

Student Support Advisor

Mrs C A Vickerman

C.A.Vickerman@kent.ac.uk
Phone: 01227 827311

207

 

Key Skills Statement

What are Key Skills?

Key skills developed in one context are useful in many others. They are personal and professional skills which enable you to perform effectively in University studies, graduate employment and your personal life. While there is no nationally agreed list of key skills, they are generally accepted as including:
+
•              communication;
•              information technology;
•              numeracy;
•              problem solving;
•              team building;
•              improving one's own learning and performance.

You will not necessarily acquire all of these skills from your degree course. Extra-curricular activities, part-time and vacation employment provide many opportunities for developing skills. The level at which you practise the different skills will probably vary and will depend on you as a person and on what you intend to do with your future.

key skills chart

 

Why do I need Key Skills?

Employers need staff who not only are good at science but also can operate as part of a team, have the potential to manage others, and can communicate clearly with a wide variety of people.
•              These skills give you the confidence and ability to get more out of your degree studies, your University life and your vacation employment.
•              Whether you go on to a higher degree or into paid or unpaid employment you will need to take responsibility for your own future learning and development.
•              With the increased number of graduates, many more now enter careers not directly related to their academic studies and key skills are vital in enabling graduates to be effective in a new field.
•              Business organisations have changed greatly, reacting to new technology, deregulation, recession, global competition and many other factors. The changes are happening fast and include delayering, customer-focusing, contracting-out and increased use of IT. If you are seeking such employment you will need the skills to cope with these new challenges and you will need to be flexible.
•              Employers could not be clearer in the message they are sending out - they need graduates who can be useful to their business as soon as they arrive. They are looking for "effective students", ones who know their own abilities, academic and interpersonal, and can apply them.

"The pace of change is reflected in the demands of employers for graduates who are flexible and adaptable … [and can] apply existing capabilities to new situations… [Graduates must be prepared to] take responsibility for their career and personal development and should be able to manage the relationship with work and learning throughout all stages of their lives."
Skills for Graduates in the 21st Century, the Association of Graduate Recruiters.

•              The traditional graduate trainee schemes are disappearing. One of the growth areas identified by the AGR (Association of Graduate Recruiters) in their report 'Skills for Graduates in the 21st Century' is graduate employment in the small and medium size enterprises (SME's). These organisations do not have the support structures of the large companies and graduates need to be self-reliant.

 

How can I develop Key Skills during my course?

•              become aware of the variety of key skills;
•              plan your own skills development;
•              participate fully in all course activities;
•              participate in the Student Union development programme;
•              attend selected development programmes coordinated by UELT http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt/
•              utilise the Kent Personal Development Planner on http://spider.ukc.ac.uk/PDP/sitefiles/Keynote_PDP-sitefiles/index.htm
and the Skills Menu provided by the careers advisory service on
www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/skillsmenu.htm

 

When will I practice these skills whilst at University?

The following examples indicate some of the opportunities available to practise a particular skill during your degree course. With these in mind you should be able to set yourself realistic development targets.  When you have looked up a particular skill, why not stop and think about how you could develop it

•              through your coursework, such as presentations, court reporting, crime scene mapping and project work;
•              through your extra-curricular activities, by attending societies such as the Forensic Science Society or the Space Science Society;
•              through part-time or vacation work, such as local jobs or Outreach work for your School.

 

Written communication

The ability to write concisely and convey meaning in a manner appropriate to different readers, presenting a persuasive argument.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              report writing;
•              essay writing;
•              poster designing;
•              writing for (student) newspaper;
•              secretary of societies - recording minutes of meeting.

 

Oral communication

The ability to verbally express ideas to others or give a presentation in a clear and ordered manner, including use of PowerPoint. Perhaps, simply, giving accurate instructions, or, more influentially, being a spokesperson.
Your skills could be developed by:
•              participation in tutorial groups/examples classes/workshops;
•              presentations to other students and academics;
•              committee work in societies, schools or faculty;
•              volunteer for a Kent SU programme e.g. Student Tutoring Programme or Course.

 

Negotiating

The ability to influence another person and reach agreement on a contentious topic, through mediation or bargaining.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              Student Rep. on Staff/Student committee;
•              settling accommodation problems with landlord;
•              negotiating on behalf of Societies/Colleges.

 

Numeracy

The ability to understand and interpret facts or ideas expressed in figures and non-verbal data. Enables you to estimate, spot accounting errors and manage a budget.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              processing laboratory data;
•              examples class and workshop problems;
•              UELT Maths and Statistics workshops;
•              managing your own finances;
•              treasurer of Societies/College committee;
•              charity fundraising.

 

Information Retrieval

Locating, collecting, classifying and summarising information (including data) in a systematic way.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              researching and reading for essays, course work, tutorial assignments and projects;
•              SPS skills modules;
•              Templeman Library: Library Skills Workshops;
•              using information databases including the Web;
•              vacation work e.g. in research or information management.

 

Computer literacy

Knowing how to use a popular word processing, spreadsheet and database package, and how to use email and the Web.

Your skills could be developed by:
 •             computer packages in coursework;
•              wordprocess academic work;
•              learn new computer packages through academic studies, vac. work, independently or take the European Computer Driving Licence
                http://www.kent.ac.uk/is/computing/training/ukc-students
•              using email;

Decision Making
Evaluating available information, identifying options and reaching effective conclusions. Making decisions which can be realistically implemented and taking responsibility for them.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              practical assignments;
•              participating in employers' vacation placements/workshops;
•              holding office with responsibility for events or budgets;
•              making career decisions;
•              choosing optional courses;

 

Teamwork

Working with others to effectively achieve a goal; involving co-operation, being sensitive, listening to other team members, sharing ideas.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              workshops and laboratory classes;
•              project work - sharing observations and analysis;
•              vacation work;
•              voluntary work;
•              team sports;
•              committee work - Students Union, Societies, Colleges;
•              charity fund-raising.

 

Self Evaluation

The ability to assess your own strengths and weaknesses and to take action to improve personal competencies such as study skills (improving your concentration, note taking, exam revision), time management (prioritising tasks), stress management (adaptability, flexibility). Involves thinking ahead, requires tenacity and encourages autonomy.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              organisation of practical/laboratory work;
•              working under pressure to meet deadlines, e.g. submitting coursework on time;
•              networking;
•              getting a good balance between your studies and extracurricular activities;
•              adapting to changes in your life, e.g. from home to university;
•              assessing your own skills development and improving your skills;
•              attending UELT workshops;

 

Project management

The ability to set objectives and time scales, to monitor them and see them through to completion. Working under pressure to meet deadlines.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              degree course project work;
•              vacation project work;
•              voluntary project work - e.g. through committees or Student Union work.

Planning
Reflecting and setting attainable goals; scheduling the sequence of work to achieve your goals.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              planning course work and leisure activities;
•              planning skills development and completing your skills action plans;
•              setting long-term goals e.g. planning your career, organising overseas travel or a year out.

 

Critical Analysis

The ability to evaluate information and, for most effective use, abstract just the relevant data.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              in academic studies e.g. reading, problem solving;
•              in committee work.

 

Commercial Awareness

Having an interest in and understanding of some of the economic considerations in business.

Your skills could be developed by:
•              participation in Student Science Societies;
•              use vacation work to find out about how businesses are run;
•              use the Web to find out information on companies;
•              reading newspapers, the Economist, popular science journals.

 

Problem Solving

The ability to identify the key issues of a problem, and to then use your knowledge and understanding to find a creative and appropriate solution. This may involve conceptual thinking, analytical thinking, strategic thinking, thinking on your feet, innovativeness and improvisation.

Your skills could be developed by:
 
•              workshops and tutorials;
•              research project work;
•              attending employers' vacation placement/workshops; 
•              organising (social) events for college or student society;
•              dealing with accommodation problems or travel plans;
•              work-based projects in vacations.

 

Personal Development Planning (PDP)

What is PDP intended to do?

PDP is intended to help students:
•              Become more effective, independent and confident self- directed learners;
•              Understand how they are learning and relate their learning to a wider context;
•              Improve their general skills for study and career management;
•              Articulate their personal goals and evaluate progress towards achievement;
•              Be more effective at monitoring and reviewing their own progress;
•              Recognise and discuss their own strengths and weaknesses;
•              Be better prepared for seeking employment, or self-employment, and be more able to relate what they have learnt to the requirements of the employer;
•              Be better prepared for the demands of continuing professional or vocational development, when they enter employment.

 

Implementation of PDP at the University of Kent

PDP at the University of Kent is conducted via an on-line system, rather than a paper-based system. This system, called “Keynote”, allows for students to download and save pages and print out their own word documents.  The system is student owned and operated. A student creating any PDP documentation owns the document. The individual student decides what might be shown to, or discussed with, a tutor or academic advisor.

The “Keynote” system is at:
http://spider.kent.ac.uk/PDP/sitefiles/Keynote_PDP-sitefiles/index.htm
Further details about PDP are at:  http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt-local/PDP/

University Handbook

The University handbook is centrally maintain information resource related to the rules and regulations of the University and the many support services. In some cases (and where permitted) the general rules of the University have been altered to reflect the programme specification for each of the programmes of study. Therefore please always ensure that you have read and understood the School Handbook in conjunction with this information. Further advice regarding regulations can be gained from your Director of Undergraduate Studies or from the School Taught Programmes Office (Spsadmin@kent.ac.uk).


 


University Regulations

Academic Regulations for Taught Programmes of Study

The following section has been inserted, following approval of the regulation:

5. Programme of Study and Module Changes

5.1 Stage 1 students are permitted to change their module choice(s) during the first three weeks of the Autumn Term and during the first two weeks of the Spring Term (where the student commenced studying the module in the Spring Term).

5.2 For all other Stages, students are permitted to change their module choice(s) only during the first two weeks of either term (where the student commenced studying the module in that term).

5.3 In all cases, module changes will be permitted subject to available classroom space for the chosen module and subject to the requirements of the student’s programme of study.

The updated regulations can be accessed at http://www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/qa/regulations/taught/regs_taught.html

 

School of Physical Sciences, Ingram Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NH

Enquiries: email us

Last Updated: 20/09/2013