SOUE News Issue 7

Changes to the Engineering Science Course

Richard Stone, Chairman of Faculty Michaelmas 2005-2007

The content of all the first and second year courses has been reviewed and revised, and the lectures organised so as to reduce any overlap. The third and fourth years have had a significant re-ordering of material. As new options have been introduced in the last decade or so, this has led to some Year Four material being common to more than one paper. Even within courses where the title has not changed there has been evolution, so it has been timely to review the course as a whole. The main burden for the review fell on Stephen Duncan who gallantly morphed from being a member of the Review Group to chairing it.

The most obvious change has been the introduction of second year exams. This follows the pattern of other sciences (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences), and the changing examination patterns in schools - modularisation means that students are no longer used to preparing for exams over two years. Another significant change has been the sub-division of B and C papers (of Years Three and Four) from 32-lecture courses to 16-lecture ones, and the doubling of the number of B and C papers to be taken. In some cases, material in the B and C papers has been re-allocated, so that material which is needed by more than one C paper is taught in a B paper. The shorter lecture courses give students greater choice and flexibility in the way they assemble their final year courses.

The proposed changes in the structure of the current Engineering Science MEng course can be summarised:

The current Part II comprises both three C option papers and final year project (weighted as three units of assessment), and this weighting and content will be unchanged.

Transferable Skills is perhaps the area where there has been the greatest change in the core syllabus, and the strand with the least satisfactory name. Transferable Skills is being used as a term to describe all the lectures that are not in the engineering core. It includes Design, Dimensional Analysis, Risk & Safety, Ethics, Management, Computing and many other topics.

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