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What to expect

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What we'll do

As part of your undergraduate studies, we aim to:

  • place you in an intellectually stimulating environment
  • teach you to question what you hear, and assess it accordingly
  • help you apply what you've learnt effectively and with integrity
  • give you the knowledge and skills to be an excellent communicator
  • help you fulfil your potential and give you excellent future prospects

How we'll do it

Each paper uses a variety of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, classes, seminars, and supervisions. Some papers include a practical element, which takes place in laboratories. Students can typically expect at least two lectures a week for each paper, and it is recommended that students write six supervision essays per paper. Students will receive additional supervisions on their projects and dissertations.

The individual papers employ a range of assessment techniques, including unseen written examinations, assessed coursework, literature and experimental reports, marked essays, oral examinations, and project reports and presentations. Examiners are appointed separately for each paper.

In each year of the course, examiners award marks and classes based on marking criteria approved by the relevant course organisers and Faculty Board. The marks for each paper are moderated to ensure that a fair and comparable distribution of marks is achieved across each subject. Students are awarded a class based on the aggregate mark of the subjects taken.

What your typical day might look like

10am: Lecture in the Department

11am: Work on your essay in the library, grab a coffee and check email, or chat in the student common room

12pm: Lecture in the Department

2pm: Run an experimental session in the lab for your research project

3pm: Supervision – head to lecturer's office with two other students for feedback and discussion of essays

4.30-5.30pm: Research seminar – talk from a visiting researcher to the lab, followed by discussion