Document Sample

                   Undergraduate Teaching Committee

      A meeting of the committee was held on 28 February 2006. The following
      people were present:

Alan Thomson (Chair)                      Gordon Blower
Chris Paice                               Shaun Fisher
Alan Collins                              Colin Pooley
Andrew Binley                             Julia Bland
Mike Kosch                                Mark Bryson
Martin Widden                             Daisy Khera
Andrew Whitehead                          Kenneth Harrison
Jane Taylor                               Simon Cresswell (Secretary)
                                          Jennie Brunton (in attendance)


1.    Apologies for absence

      Nigel Gill

2.    Minutes

      The minutes of a meeting held on 26 January 2006 were approved subject to
      making to following changes:

      Minute 4.7 Final year examinations: add summary of comment made by
      student representative

      Minute 7 Proposal to validate a new programme in Geography: add the word
      “Geography” to this sentence, to read as follows “It was hoped that this new
      programme would prove attractive to non-A-level Geography students.

3.    Matters arising

3.1   Start dates for new programmes in Engineering

      At the 26 January meeting members had questioned whether Engineering
      had the resources to launch a number of new programmes simultaneously in
      October 2006. The department confirmed that this would not be practical and
      agreed to discuss the matter further. The following revised start dates were
      proposed and received approval:

      MEng Nuclear Engineering: October 2006
      BEng/MEng Sustainable Engineering: October 2006

      BEng/MEng Energy Technology: October 2007

      BEng Biomedical Engineering: October 2007

      BEng/MEng Electronic Engineering with Micro and Nano Technology:
      October 2008

4.    Report of the Associate Dean

4.1   Admissions

      The Chair tabled a document setting out applications as at 28 February 2006.
      The following points were emphasised:

      applications across the faculty had fallen from 3425.5 to 3385;

      the figures did not include UFs from the previous year;

      applications to Biology had risen, largely due to the introduction of new

      applications to Environmental Science had also risen;

      the low percentage of firm acceptances in Psychology (13.3) and Physics
      (11.8) was of concern.

4.2   Space usage level

      The Chair drew members attention to low levels of usage of C1 and C2.
      Departments pointed to the value of this space if they were struggling to find
      appropriate teaching rooms.

4.3   Manual of Academic Regulations and Procedures

      The committee agreed to consider the draft Manual of Academic Regulations
      and Procedures by correspondence, prior to its submission to Senate.

4.4   National Student Survey

      Departments were asked to encourage students to complete the National
      Student Survey.

5.    Potential to develop new consortial programmes

      The Chair introduced a discussion of the types of consortial programmes that
      could be developed to boost student numbers. The following points were
      among those made:

      where applications to departments had risen, this had largely been due to the
      development of new programmes;
     a model would be developed to share income between departments involved
     in joint delivery of modules / programmes;

     impediments to new developments included the diversity of module delivery
     methods used across the faculty eg short fat versus long thin; and the relative
     weightings of the 2nd 3rd and 4th years;

     members advised that it was easier to develop new Combined Major
     programmes compared to Consortial programmes involving a larger number
     of contributors;

     a number of course combinations in Combined Science were difficult /
     impossible to timetable and choice associated with this programme could
     usefully be reduced;

     any move towards harmonising programme structures across the faculty
     should be started sooner rather than later, given the tendency for diversity to
     become magnified with each passing academic year;

     the Chair stated an intention to convene a group to consider what
     programmes might be developed that would lead to net additional
     applications to Lancaster. ACTION: Chair

6.   Lancaster University Personal Development Planner (LUPDP)

     The committee received and commented on a report from Dr Jennie Brunton
     (CELT) on the Faculty’s undergraduate participation report (that had been
     circulated earlier in the month to Deans and Part 1 Directors of Study).

     Members noted that LUPDP is an interactive on-line facility for personal
     development planning which aims to help students identify their learning
     processes and achievements as they progress through University.

     The on-line facility had been made available to 1st year undergraduates in
     2004 and at the start of the 2005-06 academic year was extended to 2nd
     years and post graduate taught students, but with a different version for PGR

     In a wide-ranging discussion the following points were among those made:

     PDP was here to stay and now existed in universities across the country;

     a number of software problems were being resolved;

     members debated students’ perceptions of the three subject part I system.
     Whereas it was possible that the university under-played its existence in
     promotional material, this had to be balanced against the fact that many
     departments had moved to double and even triple weight part I courses;

     some departments were concerned that the underlying ethos behind
     initiatives such as PDP placed too little value on students studying a subject
     out of pure academic interest;
     departments pointed to the difficulties they had encountered in engaging
     students with careers development. Optional and online initiatives had met
     with limited success so that now departments were developing stand-alone
     careers modules;

     Dr Brunton expressed concern that there was no personal academic tutor
     system across the board at Lancaster.

7.   Proposals to validate 2+2 programmes with the University of Science
     and Technology, Beijing

     The committee approved proposals to validate the following 2+2 programmes
     involving collaboration with the University of Science and Technology, Beijing:

     Name                      BEng Engineering
                               BSc Environmental Science
                               BSc Computer Science
                               Bsc Communication and Computer Systems

     Date of introduction      In Beijing: 2006-07
                               In Lancaster: 2008-09
     Total Credits             240 will be taught at Lancaster as a consequence of
                               students’ direct entry to Part II

     Members welcomed reassurance that the structure would allow sufficient
     opportunities for students to develop their English in advance of arriving in

8.   Proposal to validate a new programme: Engineering

     The committee approved a revised proposal to validate the following
     programme, subject to amendments being approved by Chair’s action. (At the
     26 January meeting of the committee the proposal had been referred back for
     further work.)

     Name                      BEng Biomedical Engineering
     Date of introduction      Part 1: 2007-08
                               Part II: 2008-09
     Total Credits             360

     In discussion the following points were among those made:

     Engineering had held further discussions with Physics and Biology since the
     26 January meeting of the Teaching Committee. Issues needing attention had
     included pre-requisites for certain modules, the use of Part I material and
     confirmation that the menu of Physics modules would in fact be delivered;

     Biology expressed concern at the title of the programme given the limited
     quantity of biomedical subject matter that would be covered; there was, for
     example, insufficient Biology to have a basic medical knowledge of the
     human body. Engineering agreed that the aims and outcomes over-
      emphasised the biomedical aspect of the programme and agreed to redraft
      them in line with what would be taught. ACTION: Engineering

      Biology re-emphasised that a number of its modules had quotas;

      Engineering confirmed that similar programmes existed at other HEIs;

      members considered that introducing the new programme would be in line
      with the university’s plan to develop a Medical School.

9.    Proposals to significantly revise existing programmes: Communication

      The committee approved proposals to make significant revisions to the
      following programmes:

      MSci Communication and Computer Systems

      MSci Information Technology and Media Communications

      MEng Electronic Communication Systems

      These had been proposed in light of student feedback and on the advice of
      the Institute of Electrical Engineers. The sequencing of the group and the
      individual projects would be reversed, and students would be offered an
      expended choice of MSc modules in their fourth year with a greater emphasis
      on marketing and commercialisation.

      The committee requested a number of amendments to the paperwork
      (completed): clarifying in section 24 of the proposal that the MSci 4th year
      includes an industrial placement; removing duplicated learning outcomes in
      section 7; acknowledging the role of accrediting bodies in quality
      management and enhancement section 28; acknowledging the value of VLEs
      for providing support for student learning. ACTION: Comm. Systems

10.   Proposal to validate a new module: Biology

      The committee approved a proposal from the Department of Biological
      Sciences to validate the following new module:

      Name and mnemonic       BIOL 104 Aquatic Ecology
      Date of introduction    2006-07
      Credits                 8
11.    Proposal to validate a new module: Environmental Science

       The committee approved a proposal from the Department of Environmental
       Science to validate the following module. Members noted that this module,
       which would commence after second year examinations had taken place,
       would serve to support (rather than hinder) preparation of the Earth Sciences

       Name and mnemonic         ENV 320 Geological Mapping
       Date of introduction      2006-07 (Summer Term week 8)
       Credits                   15

12.    Minor changes to the assessment of final year courses in Geography

       The committee approved a proposal from the Department of Geography to
       make the minor changes to the assessment of third year modules, as set out
       in the agenda papers.

13.    Notice of introduction of a previously approved revised second year:

       The Department confirmed that it would introduce its revised second year
       from October 2006.

       [ A revised second year for Engineering undergraduate programmes had
       been agreed by the then FAS Undergraduate Committee on 1 March 2005.
       The intention had been that this revised second year would be introduced in
       October 2005; however, owing to pressure of other commitments, the
       Engineering Department had opted to defer its introduction.]

14.    Any other business

14.1   Notice of major revisions to programme structures: Communication Systems

       The Department of Communication Systems gave notice of plans to move to
       a reversible Year A Year B structure at Part II, similar in nature to the system
       that had been adopted by Computing in 2004-05. In a brief discussion the
       following points were made:

       the proposal was being developed so late in the academic year that
       implementation should be deferred until October 2007, particularly since a
       number of academic staff in the department had not been enthusiastic for a
       2006 start in a prolonged debate;

       Communication Systems would also seek to make significant revisions to its
       Part I.

15.    Dates of the next meeting

       2.00 PM on 20 June 2006                       Deadline for items: 12 June
                             RESERVED BUSINESS


The following proposals were approved.

1. Dr Jonathan Trevelyan, Reader in the School of Engineering, University of
   Durham, to be appointed external examiner for the following programmes:

   BEng / MEng Mechanical Engineering
   BEng / MEng Mechatronic Engineering

   Period of appointment: 1 October 2005 to 30 September 2008

2. Prof. Nicholas Mark Dickinson School of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool
   John Moores University, to be appointed external examiner for the following

   Ecology and Environmental Biology and to contribute towards examining related
   Biological and Combined Major programmes

   Period of appointment: 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2009