School of Physical Sciences

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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 Online 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

Please note that the majority of our programmes have only compulsory modules so do not require online module registration. If your programme has module choices, you will be emailed directly by the School about how to register them.

If you have any queries please contact Spsadmin@kent.ac.uk or visit the Taught Programmes Office (room 205, Ingram)

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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.

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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 procedures defined below.

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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;

For foundation and stage 1 students please submit the form through moodle within 2 weeks of your return to study:
https://moodle.kent.ac.uk/2015/course/view.php?id=3723

For stage 2, 3 and 4 you should complete the form below within 2 weeks of your return to study and return it to the Taught Programmes Administration Office:
https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/local/undergrad/passdocs/Absence_Concession_UG_Form_Apr2013.pdf

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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;

For foundation and stage 1 students please submit the form through moodle within 2 weeks of your return to study:
https://moodle.kent.ac.uk/2015/course/view.php?id=3723

For stage 2, 3 and 4 you should complete the form below within 2 weeks of your return to study and return it to the Taught Programmes Administration Office:
https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/local/undergrad/passdocs/Absence_Concession_UG_Form_Apr2013.pdf

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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 available online at the end of the teaching section of a module, enable your lecturers to pick up suggestions for future improvement.  The results from the questionnaires are discussed at the Education 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/documents/pass/Grievance Procedure.pdf

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Use of Calculators in Examinations

The present rules about calculators allowed for use in examinations are that they must be cordless, battery-powered, silent and non-programmable, with only single- or dual-line display, and without ascii memories. This definition means that the use of graphical calculators is prohibited.
Calculators in the Casio fx-83 and fx-85 series fulfil these requirements.
 
Lids to calculator cases should not be taken into the examination hall.

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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%

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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, PH321, PH322 and PH323 cannot be condoned. A student who fails to achieve a mark of 40% or higher for each of the modules PH300, PH321, PH322 and PH323 will not be permitted to progress to Stage 2 of their programme.

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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

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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

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Progression on MPhys with Year Abroad Programmes

This requires a high level of achievement at Stage 1. Students must achieve a threshold of 120 credits and 60% (overall average mark) at the first attempt. 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 the Year Abroad option.

Thresholds for MPhys Programmes in Stage 1
Programme Threshold Deadline
MPhys with Year Abroad   60% overall average   May/June
other MPhys none none

 

Progression on programmes of MPhys with Year Abroad also requires a high level of achievement at Stage 2.
Students must achieve a threshold of 120 credits and 60% (overall average mark) after the Stage 2 May exams. (This deadline is necessary due to the time required to arrange an exchange placement in the following months.) If students don't meet this threshold they will be obliged to change their registration for the equivalent BSc programme.

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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.

Thresholds for MPhys Programmes in Stage 2
Programme Threshold Deadline
MPhys with Year Abroad 60% overall average May/June exams
other MPhys 55% overall average May/June exams

 

Thresholds for MPhys Programmes in Stage 3
Programme Threshold Deadline
MPhys with Year Abroad 50% overall average May/June exams
other MPhys 50% overall average May/June exams

 

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

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Progression for MSci Programmes

Stage 2: You must achieve 120 credits and a minimum of 60% as an average assessment mark across your stage 2 modules at the first attempt in order to progress into stage 3 of the M.Sci.  A failure to achieve 120 credits and the 60% average will mean that you will be obliged to transfer to stage 3 of the corresponding BSc programme.

Stage 3:  You must achieve 120 credits and a minimum of 55% 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.

There is no specific progression threshold for the M.Sci at the end of Stage 1.

MSci with a Year in Industry: You must achieve 120 credits in your first attempt at your stage 1 modules and an overall mark of 60% or greater as an average over all assessments in order to progress into stage 2; failure to achieve this means you will be transferred to a non-year in industry programme.

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Progression for MChem Programmes

In common with national practice, there are progression thresholds in place for the MChem programmes.

Stage 2: You must achieve 120 credits and a minimum of 60% as an average assessment mark at your stage 2 modules at your first attempt in order to progress into stage 3. A failure to achieve 120 credits and the 60% average will mean that you will be transferred to stage 3 of the BSc programme.

Stage 3: You must achieve 120 credits of a minimum of 55% as an average assessment mark at your stage 3 modules at your first attempt in order to progress into stage 4.  A failure to achieve 120 credits and the 55% average will mean that you will be transferred to the BSc programme and graduate.

MChem with a Year in Industry: You must achieve 120 credits in your first attempt at your stage 1 modules and a minimum of 60% as an average assessment mark at your stage 1 modules in order to progress into stage 2.  A failure to achieve 120 credits at the first attempt and a minimum of 60% as an average assessment mark at your stage 1 modules will mean that you will be transferred to a non-year in industry programme.

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Application of the Condonement, Compensation and Trailing Provisions

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

The provisions for the condonement or compensation of failure 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 Chemistry, Forensic Science or Physics degree programmes.

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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. Please note that in certain circumstances it is not possible to repeat individual modules, or the whole year, irrespective of available funding. 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.

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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 both trailing of and compensation of stage 1 modules is not permitted.  A student who fails to achieve the pass mark of 40% or higher for each of their stage 1 modules will not be permitted to progress to stage 2 of their programme.

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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.  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 are designed so that you acquire skills through successful completion of assignments during the year.  There is no end-of-year written examination.

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Pass Mark for Stages 2, 3 and 4

To pass Stage 2, 3 & 4 examinations, candidates must be awarded 120 credits in all modules per academic year.  Please note the progression threshold requirements students are required to achieve to enable continuation onto the next year of their degree programme (as noted above in the relevant programme threshold tabs).

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Return of Exam Scripts

The University does not return examination scripts to students. General feedback on examinations can be sought directly from the module convenor but it is not be possible for students to review their own scripts.

Students can request to see feedback comments from markers as written on examination scripts via a Freedom of Information request. Please visit https://www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/foi/request.html for further information.

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External Examiners Annual Reports

The External Examiners Annual Reports can be found through the following link: https://www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/qa/extexaminers/eers/.

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Year Abroad Programmes (Physics)

Physics degree programmes within the School of Physical Sciences allow the possibility of studying for one year at a University abroad, in the USA, Canada or Hong Kong. Physics degrees with a year abroad 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 and 4 modules leading to an MPhys degree. The awarded degrees have titles carrying a specific indication of the year spent studying abroad.

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Year in Industry Programmes (Chemistry, Forensic Science/Chemistry, Physics)

If you are registered for one of our BSc degrees 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.

Please note that acceptance onto the course is not a guarantee of a placement. The responsibility of finding a placement is on the student, with help and support from the department. If you cannot find a placement, you will be required to change your registration for the equivalent BSc programme without the Year in Industry option.

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 10% of the overall degree assessment.  The complete weightings are listed in the following section.

Progression on programmes of BSc with a Year in Industry requires a high level of achievement at Stage 1. You must achieve 120 credits and an average of 60% in your first attempt at your stage 1 modules in order to progress into stage 2; a failure to achieve 120 credits or a 60% average 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.

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Programme Stage Weightings

Chemistry

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 35%
Assessment from Stage S 10%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks 55%

 

Four year MChem degrees
Stage 2 examinations + continuous assessment marks 20%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks 30%
Stage 4 examinations + continuous assessment marks 50%

 

Forensic Science and Forensic Chemistry

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 35%
Assessment from Stage S 10%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks 55%

 

Four year MSci degrees
Stage 2 examinations + continuous assessment marks 20%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks 30%
Stage 4 examinations + continuous assessment marks 50%

 

Physics and Astronomy

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 40%
Assessment from Stage A Pass/Fail
Final year  examinations + continuous assessment marks 60%

 

Four year BSc degrees with a year in industry
Stage 2 examinations + continuous assessment marks 35%
Assessment from Stage S 10%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks 55%

 

Four year MPhys spent entirely at the University of Kent
Stage 2 examinations + continuous assessment marks 20%
Stage 3 examinations + continuous assessment marks 30%
Stage 4 examinations + continuous assessment marks 50%

 

*S/A = Sandwich/Abroad

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.

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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.

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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

 

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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

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Degree Time Limits

In order to remain eligible for an award, students must complete their programme of study within the time limits set out below. These time limits include any periods of intermission and any period of time in which a student is repeating part of the programme of study, and apply to both full-time and part-time students. Programme specifications specify the normal period of time over which the programme will be completed.

  • Undergraduate certificate or diploma: 6 years
  • Foundation degree: 6 years
  • Bachelors degree: 8 years
  • Extended Masters degree: 8 years
  • Graduate certificate or diploma: 4 years
  • Postgraduate certificate: 4 years
  • Postgraduate diploma: 6 years
  • Masters degrees (graduate entry): 6 years

This information and more can be found in the credit framework at https://www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/documents/quality-assurance/credit-framework/creditinfo.pdf

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Physical Sciences - Foundation Year information

Purpose of the Foundation Year

A foundation year course is managed and monitored by the Education 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:

  • Chemistry with a Foundation Year;
  • Forensic Science with a Foundation Year;
  • Physics with a Foundation Year.
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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
PH026Properties of Matter School of Physical Sciences
PH027 Introductory Physics Laboratory and Communication Skills School of Physical Sciences
EL024Electromagnetics for engineers Electronic and Digital Arts
EL021 Calculus Electronic and Digital Arts
MA022 Graphs, Geometry and Trigonometry School of Mathematics Statistics and 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.

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Physics Foundation Year Examinations

  1. 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.
  2. Each paper will be of 2 hours duration.
  3. 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].
  4. Students who satisfy the Board of Examiners in the Foundation Year Examination may proceed to Stage 1.
  5. 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
  • ASTRONOMY, SPACE SCIENCE & ASTROPHYSICS
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Forensic Science with a Foundation Year

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 and 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 Foundation Year course may proceed to Stage 1 of any of the following Forensic Science courses:

  • Forensic Science - BSc
  • Forensic Science - BSc with a Year in Industry
  • Forensic Science - MSci
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Chemistry with a Foundation Year

Chemistry Foundation Year 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 and Acturial 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 Chemistry 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 who successfully complete the Foundation Year course may proceed to Stage 1 of any of the following Chemistry courses:

  • Chemistry - BSc
  • Chemistry - BSc with Year in Industry
  • Chemistry - MChem
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Useful School Information

Term dates

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

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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 quickly as possible, and log on to your Windows account before the first Monday of the Autumn Term if able.  This is essential for communication with staff and other 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 your inbox has sufficient free space to allow for the reception of e-mails and attached documents.

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 becoming full, so you have a few days leeway before an incoming message should 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: we regard a failure to read, and where necessary respond, to e-mail communications as evidence of a lack of diligence. This can be used as evidence of 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.

You can register for text message alerts in your SDS account under "Details & Study".

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

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

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Module registration

Foundation and stage 1 students: all of your modules are compulsory and will be automatically attached to you with no need to register.

In the small number of cases where module options are available, the relevant students will be contacted by the SPS administration team directly.

Should you have a module registration concern, please contact the School’s degrees programme office via email spsadmin@kent.ac.uk or by visiting the student counter at room 205 (open term-times Monday-Friday 09:00-12:30, 14:00-17:00).

Students will not be able to swap registered modules after week 3.

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Timetable

Normal teaching hours are from 09:00-18:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 09:00-13:00 on Wednesday.  Students should however note that it is occasionally necessary for teaching to be extended until 2pm. Teaching takes the form of lectures, laboratory classes, examples classes, terminal classes, workshops and seminars.  Your personal timetable is available from your Student Guide at http://www.kent.ac.uk/student/.
 
Changes to the timetable can take place during term, so please review your timetable regularly to ensure you are not missing teaching or 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.

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Lecture etiquette

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

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

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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: if you are doing a module run by another school, information on classes etc. will be posted on their notice boards or emailed by them.

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Change of address

If you change your term time address; make the amendment online via the Student Guide at http://www.kent.ac.uk/student/

If you change your home address; please amend this by visiting Student Records Office via https://www.kent.ac.uk/student-records/students/change-of-address.html

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Student study room (Ingram G48)

The School has a dedicated student study room on the ground floor of the Ingram building, which is for the exclusive use of SPS students.  The room contains a number of networked PCs, the supervision box for submitting coursework, the student pigeonholes and notice boards, and a small selection 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.

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Templeman Library

The Templeman Library contains multiple copies of all recommended text books for Physical Sciences modules. The Core Text Collection service supports all SPS modules by providing books and journal issues on the reading lists, which are in high demand.  Only registered UKC undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff can borrow from the collection. 
http://www.kent.ac.uk/library/students/index.html

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Computing facilities

All students are provided with a login for the campus network.  This provides access to a range of facilities including email, the Internet, word processing, spreadsheet and display software, and more specialised packages that your modules may require. 

Computers are an essential tool for scientists; for communication, data analysis and scientific programming. Tuition in these 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/

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Who’s Who Information

Academic Adviser

When you register with the University a member of the School’s academic staff will be assigned to you as your Academic Adviser. You should meet your Academic Adviser at least once per year. If you are starting out at Kent then you should meet with your adviser once per term in your first year of study, the first meeting being within two weeks of the start of the academic year.

Your Academic Adviser is there to help you with your academic and professional development. They will help you reflect upon your academic progress so that you can reach your full potential and they will advise you on the opportunities that are available to help you gain and enhance employability skills.

Your Academic Adviser will not deal with any non-academic problems which you may have. For non-academic issues you should speak to the School’s Student Support Adviser, via spssupport@kent.ac.uk

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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.

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Student Support Adviser

The School’s Student Support Adviser works as a member of the PASS team alongside the Senior Tutor.
From September 2011 the School changed from the old ‘Tutor’ system to that of having a dedicated Student Support Adviser covering the pastoral support role, primarily any non-academic issues seriously affecting a student’s academic performance (not simple everyday issues).

The role includes advising on appropriate specialist services available to students from central University services (i.e. not School services) in relation to educational needs, health or wellbeing conditions and other non-academic (pastoral) issues concerning students. These issues may require a student to claim a PASS Absence or Concession which cannot be signed off without medical or other professional evidence. Students considering intermission or withdrawal should make an appointment to visit the SSA.

The Senior Tutor role (As Chair of the PASS team and SSLC) will remain, concentrating on managing the disciplinary aspects of PASS including plagiarism, academic integrity and liaison with academic staff regarding Inclusive Learning Plans (ILPs).  This handbook and the relevant section of the School’s Pastoral website will be updated accordingly as required.

Mrs Christine Vickerman C.A.Vickerman@kent.ac.uk
Phone: 01227 827311
Room 209,

 

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Director of Undergraduate Studies & Director of Education

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

Details of the academic staff currently holding these posts can be found on http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/index.html however if in any doubt, feel free to enquire at the Student Counter, Room 205 Ingram Building or email spsadmin@kent.ac.uk

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

The School’s Undergraduate and Postgraduate student administration office and student counter is located in Room 205, 2nd floor, Ingram Building.  If you have any queries relating to registration, modules, marks, transfers, intermissions or withdrawal, etc., please visit the Student Counter.  Opening hours for the counter are 9.00am-12.30pm & 2.00pm-5.00pm Monday to Friday during term times. Hours are reduced slightly out of term time and are published on the Student Counter door or can be requested by emailing spsadmin@kent.ac.uk

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Academic Staff List

For a full list of staff please see our Staff List.

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School Administration Manager

Clair Gould C.A.Gould@kent.ac.uk Room 211a,
Ingram Building

 

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Taught Programmes Administration

Kim Harty
Susan Welford
spsadmin@kent.ac.uk
Phone: 01227 82 7243
Room 205,
Ingram Building

 

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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

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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.
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How can I develop Key Skills during my course?

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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 or other available training;
  • 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;
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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.
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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;
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Personal Development Planning (PDP)

What is PDP intended to do?

PDP is intended to help students:

  • Integrate their academic, personal and career and development
  • Be more effective at monitoring and reviewing their progress
  • Be more aware of how they are learning
  • Recognise and discuss their strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify opportunities for learning and personal development outside the curriculum
  • Be better prepared for employment, and more able to relate their learning to employers
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Implementation of PDP at the University of Kent

At Kent PDP is a student-led activity supported by academic schools. It is embedded into the curriculum by each school. There is a University e-portfolio, MyFolio which is designed to help students keep a record of their achievements and reflect on their development.

Further details about PDP can be found here.

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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: contact us

Last Updated: 18/11/2016