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					    The Faculty of Mathematics, Physics                    &   Natural
                 Sciences (S.M.F.N.)

First Degrees
      Biological Sciences
      Chemistry
      Computer Science
      Geological Sciences
      Geology and Topology
      Material Sciences
      Mathematics
      Natural-Risk Management
      Natural Sciences
      Physics
      Primary and Pre-School Educational Sciences
      Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage

Advanced Degrees
      Biological Sciences
      Chemistry
      Geological Sciences
      Material Sciences
      Mathematics
      Physics
      Natural Sciences

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
(Scienza Matematiche, Fisiche e Naturali – S.M.F.N.)
Via P. Bucci, Piazza Chiodo, Cubo 25B, III° Piano
Università Degli Studi della Calabria
Arcavacata di Rende (CS)

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Dean : Professor Roberto Bartolino
Phone: +39-0984-496828
1. The Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences hosts more than 2500 students
(enrolment statistics of the 2003-2004 academic year) and more than 150 faculty members who are
involved in the teaching and research which is carried out among the 12 Degree Courses offered
through the Faculty. The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (S.M.F.N.) was among one
of the three charter Faculties founded with the University of Calabria in 1972. Originally included
to fulfil the regulations of tertiary educational institutions, the Faculty of Sciences has, since then,
made important contributions to the development and economic progress of Calabria, through the
provision of solid scientific training and education, carrying out avant guard scientific research and
supporting technological innovations which fuel social development throughout the Region. In fact,
in addition to the numerous challenges facing the new educational establishment in 1974, was the
knowledge that this university was to become the primary tertiary educational institution in the area.
UNICAL and, with it the Faculty of Sciences, was therefore expected to provide not only education
per se, but also serve as a reference point for regional emancipation. Such challenges may have
actually contributed to attracting a population of founding professors and researchers to the Faculty
of Sciences who were not only young but also enthusiastic and willing to strive for „the project.‟
This belief and dedication has undoubtedly expedited the growth and development of the Faculty
which in a short time has established strong research groups with solid links to the international
network of scientific institutions, achieving international recognition for quality research in
numerous sectors of science. In addition, knowledge-transfer from the Faculty to various small-
scale high-tech spin-off enterprises which have since been established throughout the Province,
testifies to the deep-rooted dedication that the Faculty has for the economic development of the
region. In fact, along with more traditional business establishments, these new spin-off enterprises
offer students additional contexts for practical training, offering stages and experience with
industry-based research. Over the years, teaching within the Faculty has been informed by both
advanced basic science research as well as global technological advancements, leading to the high
quality of learning outcomes, which is reflected in the rapid placement of our graduates within local
as well as international job markets.

2. Organisation within the Reform
The Faculty of Sciences at the University of Calabria was one of the first to adopt the national
„riforma universitaria’ which was launched throughout Italy in the 2000 Academic Year and is
proud to have awarded its first group of First Degree recipients, on schedule, at the end of the 2003
Academic Year. There are currently 12 First Degree Programmes: In addition to traditional basic
science Degree Courses in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and Natural
Sciences, job-market-oriented First Degree Programmes in Computer Science, Restoration and
Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Natural-Risk Management, Material Sciences, Primary and Pre-
School Educational Sciences and Geography and topology have also been established. All curricula
of the First Degree aim to provide graduates the education and professional training necessary for
immediate and successful integration into the workforce.

2.1. The Credit System
The system of University Learning-Credits (Crediti Formativi Universitari: Art. 5 del D.M.
509/99), was adopted to recognise competencies and professional knowledge acquired through
university coursework. Central to this credit system is the concept of expected student workload.
Considering that a full-time student can reasonably dedicate 1500 hours per year to her/her studies
(lessons, laboratory, stages, autonomous learning etc.), a full-time annual academic load of 60
credits was defined, with each credit corresponding to 25 hours of „student work‟. The First Degree
is awarded following the successful completion of 180 credits of coursework in the chosen Degree
Course Curriculum.

Courses in the Science Faculty may be comprised of:
   1) only lectures whereby each credit corresponds to 8 hours of frontal lessons plus 17 hours of
      autonomous study or
   2) only laboratory activities in which each credit corresponds to 12 hours of contact time plus
      13 hours of autonomous learning, or
   3) a combination of both lectures and/or laboratory plus teaching-assistant-guided learning (i.e.

Such credit-to-workload ratios correspond to those suggested by the European Commission for the
European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), thus facilitating student-exchange and mobility between
our Faculty and other European institutions. In addition, in line with encouraging continuing
education across Europe, the Faculty may recognise and accredit other forms of training towards a
student‟s study curriculum. All lectures are accessible to the general public, however, only those
officially enrolled may sit the exams and obtain credits for the course. With the Reform, learning
content has also become more personalised as, in addition to mandatory coursework, students must
complete a portion of their studies through Elective Courses, choosing not only from those offered
by their Degree Courses, but by any Faculty throughout the University.

2.2. Organisation of First Degree Programme Coursework
Adopting the Reform involved not only revisions in didactics to re-dimension course contents to
suit the credit system of the new three-year curriculum, but also required pedagogic revision from
the point of view of teaching contexts and formats. In fact, class sizes in our Faculty are now
limited to no more than 60 students per class for lectures held by professors with even smaller
groups of 25-30 students for essercitazioni held by teaching assistants. In addition students now
have access to subject-tutors and peer-tutors who provide academic assistance on a more
individualised basis. Exam results and data from student evaluations confirm that such a teaching-
network has greatly improved learning outcomes with sound student-instructor rapport cited as one
of the main factors contributing to effective learning.

2.2.1. Common Faculty Coursework
The First Trimester usually commences on October 01.

      Students enrolling for the first time are urged to sit a Mathematics placement test which is
       usually held the first week of September. Where necessary, students will be encouraged to
       attend a pre-term intensive Preparatory Mathematics Course which is offered the last two
       weeks of September (2 hours per day, Monday-Friday).

      In the first Trimester of Year I, students attend four common courses –
             Introduction to Experimental Methodology (50900390)
             Differential Calculus (50900381)
             Introduction to Computer Science (50900385)
             English I° (50900011).

2.2.2. Assessment and Examination Regulations
Each academic year runs from October to June and is divided into three trimesters, Autumn, Winter
and Spring. By the 31st of October, students are required to submit their coursework curriculum
programme of that academic year to the President of the Degree Course Council. Those entering
after the first trimester may submit their annual coursework curriculum by the 31st of January.

Attendance is mandatory and the mode of evaluation (written or oral or a combination thereof) is
determined by the course professor. Each trimester terminates with an exam session (ca. two
weeks) during which students are examined upon the courses which were offered in the closing
trimester. The exam committee is formed by the professor who was responsible for the course and
by two other professors of the teaching team. Each committee is appointed by the President of the
Degree Course Council at the beginning of the academic year which is then responsible for the
course for the entire academic year. As each exam committee member grants a grade out of 10, the
course grade is expressed as a fraction of 30 with 18/30 being the minimum to pass and a maximum
of 30 e lode being awarded for exceptional work and performance throughout the course. Oral
exams are at the discretion of the course professors and, when required, are public. Those who do
not pass during the regular exam sessions are allowed to sit a „recuperation‟ exam during special
exam sessions which are held at the end of July and beginning of September.

While the grade of each exam reflects the quality of learning, the accumulated credits correspond to
the quantity of learning. Students receive the First Degree at the completion of 180 credits of
coursework of a chosen Degree Course Curriculum and after fulfilling the „Final Test‟ requirements
of their Degree Course (see the General Information of each Degree Course for Final Test details).
The final grade at graduation is a mark out of 110 which averages all the grades received (with
grades from each course being credit-weighted and normalised to a 110-point total: each lode is
worth 1.5 points out of 30 and is cumulated upon the weighted average) plus the marks obtained
from the Final Test. If the final total is above 110 points, the examination committee may grant the
graduating student honours with a final grade of “110 e lode”.

2.3. Further Studies
Following the First Degree, those who wish to continue their academic studies and become more
specialised in their areas may pursue the following higher degrees:

      First Degree Level Masters which is awarded after an additional 60 credits of corresponding

      Advanced Degrees (Laurea Specialistica) in a Degree Course after completing an
       additional 120 credits of coursework from the Advanced Degree Curriculum which is built
       upon the First Degree coursework.

      Advanced Degree Level Masters which accepts those already holding an Advanced Degree
       and is awarded following the successful completion of 60 credits of relevant coursework.

The „student work load‟ is maintained throughout these higher degrees such that, as with the First
Degree, 60 credits corresponds to one academic year of full-time study.

Advanced Degrees are already activated for all six basic science programmes of Biology,
Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Physics plus the programme in Material
Sciences. Finally, Doctoral Programmes are continuing on from the pre-Reform system in the
traditional basic science disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and
Natural Sciences, offering possible additional academic and research training which oftentimes
provides doctoral candidates an opportunity to accomplish part of their training in various
prestigious research centres throughout the world. An Advanced Degree is necessary for
admittance into the Doctoral Programmes. Those interested in pursuing a Doctoral Degree should
contact the Faculty.

2.4. The Science Honours College
The Faculty of Sciences, with contributions from the Region of Calabria, Municipality and Province
of Cosenza, the Business Innovation Centre of Calabria (B.I.C.), the Fondazione Rubbettino and the
Association of Calabrian Businesses (CALCATEL srl.), has founded a Science Honours College
(Fondazione Calabria-Scienze Oggi) which is modelled after exemplar Honours Colleges in both
Italy (e.g. Pisa and Pavia) and abroad (e.g. Grades Ecoles, in France). The aim of the Science
Honours College is to provide free accommodation and tuition to a limited number of students who
have demonstrated above-average performance in High School and passed a series of rigorous
entrance exams. In addition to the teaching-network provided to all students of the Faculty,
students of the Honours College receive additional supervision from senior students as well as
doctoral students since, beyond the normal coursework, Honours Students receive extra training
through seminars and stages which are designed to provide them with a wider experience-base
which should serve them as individuals who, once in the workforce, will actively contribute to the
regional development of Calabria and beyond.

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