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                                       FACULTY OF SCIENCE

                            FOR SESSION 2008/09

The Annual Faculty Academic Quality Assurance and Enhancement Reports are the mechanism for
providing the Quality Monitoring Committee with assurance that good quality assurance and enhancement
procedures are in place in each of the faculties. The information provided in these reports informs reports
to Senate and Court as well as the Quality Assurance Agency and the Scottish Funding Council. The
Reports also form part of the documentation provided for Enhancement-led Institutional Review. The
revised template for session 2008/09 has been restructured into four sections: Section A seeking responses
for which information can be gathered early in session 2009/10, Section B seeking responses that will be
dependent on information from the Planning Office and the Careers Service, Sections C and D to give an
opportunity for the Faculty to provide more up-to-date information and Section E for the conclusion.

                                              SECTION A


1.1   Please provide an overview of the Quality Assurance structure at Faculty Level.

1.1.1 In the Faculty of Science, responsibility for overseeing Quality Assurance and the Enhancement of the
      Faculty‟s Teaching and Learning provision rests with the Vice-Dean (Academic), acting on behalf of
      the Dean. This officer attends Senate (if not an elected member) and is a member of the various
      University committees and groups charged with promoting learning and teaching.

1.1.2 The Vice-Dean is assisted by a Faculty committee structure, at the centre of which is the Academic
      Administration Committee (AAC), to which the Faculty‟s Board of Study has delegated the following
      functions. The Committee:

      1     considers and makes recommendations to the Board of Study on all matters pertaining to
            learning and teaching, and student administration;
      2     ensures quality assurance in the design and delivery of courses at all levels, scrutinising
            programme specifications, curriculum content, regulations and annual course reviews and
            scrutinising also the outcomes of external assessments including accreditation visits by
            professional bodies;
      3     monitors and where necessary takes action to enhance the effectiveness of the various processes
            that affect the student life cycle, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, including the
            admissions selection process, counselling, the advisers of study system, registration,
            timetabling, credit-based degree structures, the arrangement of semesters, postgraduate
            supervision, student-staff committees and all aspects of student feedback;
      5     receives reports from all Boards of Examiners and Appeals Committees on matters relating to
            student progress and the conduct of degree examinations and where necessary takes action
            aimed at their enhancement;
      6     receives reports from Faculty Review Groups on matters pertinent to its remit, and advises the
            Board of Study thereon.

1.1.3 AAC is served by a small number of sub-committees and reports to the Faculty‟s Board of Study.
      Where necessary, recommendations from AAC and the Board on matters pertaining to teaching and
      learning are forwarded to the University Senate. Annex 1 shows the committee structure in
      diagrammatic form.

1.2   Please comment on how the actions identified in the Faculty’s last Academic Quality Assurance
      and Enhancement Report have been carried forward and on the impact these have had on the
      academic quality of the Faculty’s programmes.
      At the conclusion of the Faculty‟s report for session 2007/08, the following quality assurance and
      enhancement issues were flagged.

      The restructuring of curricula and the preparation of revised regulations to meet the requirements of
      the Undergraduate and Integrated Masters Framework.
      As predicted, academic administration in session 2008/09 was dominated by this process. The
      opportunity was taken, wherever possible, to promote curriculum renewal and a review of both the
      extent and the mode of assessment. It is anticipated that the new system will have a generally positive
      impact on quality.

      The desirability of looking at wider access and the retention performance of students admitted
      through the GOALS initiative.
      Little action was taken in this regard. This general issue remains a project worth pursuing with help of
      Schools and Colleges Liaison. Associated with it is the Faculty‟s Natural Sciences degree which in
      the past has functioned, inter alia, as one that favours wider access in the sense that it admitted
      candidates with non-standard entry qualifications. During 2008/09, concerns about the quality of this
      degree‟s outputs led to a decision to review its future. The review took place at the end of semester
      one session 2009/10. The report is anticipated to include recommendations that will tend to diminish
      the degree‟s „wider access‟ profile, though that theme will still be pursued through the Summer School
      and departments‟ discretion in administering their recruitment.

      The comments in the Student Barometer about the need for a better welcome and induction package
      for overseas students will require consideration.
      Recent Student Barometer results have shown Science to be the Faculty most likely to be
      recommended by its existing overseas students. Within the Faculty, induction arrangements for these
      students are conducted at departmental level and departments continue to strive to improve their
      processes. The collaborative MPharm programme with the International Medical University (IMU) in
      Kuala Lumpur produces over two-thirds of the Faculty‟s annual intake of overseas undergraduates and
      the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), the host department, takes
      pains to ensure that the induction process begins even before the students arrive in Glasgow. This
      includes talks delivered at the IMU on developments in pharmacy practice in the UK (much of which
      is built into the teaching in any case), a talk entitled „Living and Working with the NHS‟ delivered by
      the Strathclyde Director, presentations by the British Council and a representative of the Strathclyde
      International and Graduate Office about living in the UK, and about Glasgow and life at Strathclyde.
      In the future, more reference will be made to wider career and possible research opportunities for
      students with the MPharm degree. Graduates („seniors‟) from previous years are also invited by IMU
      to pass on their own experiences of living as a student on campus at Strathclyde.

      Monitoring the introduction of the new University-wide compensation scheme in 2009/10 and the
      phasing-out of the Faculty‟s own compensation scheme
      In Science, the University scheme will be phased in over three years, with first years in 2009/10, first
      and second years in 2010/11 and years 1-3 in 2011/12 while, in parallel, the Faculty‟s Average Mark
      Scheme (FoSAMS) will be phased out, applying to years 2-4 in 2009/10, years 3-4 in 2010/11 and
      Integrated masters year 4 in 2011/12. The impact of the new scheme will not be known for sure until
      the June 2010 general exam boards. Some modelling has been carried out that suggests that
      progression may suffer, as the University scheme is less generous than FoSAMS. However, it is
      hoped that revisions to assessment regimes introduced along with the curricula restructuring may
      counterbalance that effect.

1.3   Please provide details of the course and class approval and renewal procedures operated by the

      In the Faculty, courses are designed by subject specialists within Departments and therefore Course
      and class approval requests originate in Departments and then proceed to the Faculty‟s Academic
      Administration Committee (AAC).

      The Faculty‟s intranet provides the necessary forms which are based on those used in the University‟s
      procedures. Thus, Course approval requires a rationale for the course (including evidence of need and
      demand, consonance with Faculty and University strategic plans) academic issues (including aims and
      objectives, content and curriculum, modes of delivery, modes of assessment, benchmarked standards)
      student-centric issues (from admissions policy to career prospects) external influences, resource
      implications, likely competition, any articulation or collaboration implications, and a risk assessment.
      Regulations for the course are required together with a Programme Specification and Class
      Descriptors for any new classes.

      Class approval/amendment follows the above very closely and should be accompanied by course
      regulations and Class Descriptors.

      Assuming approval at AAC, the proposals proceed to the Board and then onto the University Senate
      and Ordinances & Regulations Committee for ratification. Following the Board stage, the Programme
      Specification and Class Descriptors are stripped out, so that the University-level committees see the
      rationale and regulations only. The Programme Specification and Class Descriptors are available from
      the Faculty Office if required.

      Throughout the above, the Vice-Dean (Academic) is frequently involved in refining proposals, and
      also has delegated authority to act between AAC meetings to expedite business, powers that are often
      used during the summer vacation. Similarly, the Dean occasionally exercises his delegated authority
      on behalf of the Board of Study.

1.4   Please provide details of the link between quality assurance at departmental and faculty levels.

      The link between quality assurance at departmental and Faculty levels is provided by the Vice-Dean
      (Academic) and the membership of the Academic Administration Committee. The AAC comprises
      one representative from each department (except SIPBS, which is allowed two) and the Course
      Director for Natural Sciences. This is the „front-line‟ quality assurance link, but it is important to
      remember that the Dean and the Heads of Departments have a responsibility for quality assurance and
      it is on their behalf that the Vice-Dean and the AAC members act.

      The departmental representatives, for instance, compile the annual course reports that allow the
      Faculty to scrutinise quality assurance at departmental level. Initially light touch, these reports are
      now more detailed and separate returns are required on undergraduate and postgraduate teaching
      activities. These reports and other information provided by the departmental representatives on AAC
      contribute significantly in providing the departmental examples that appear in this report.

      Through the AAC, the Faculty-Department links work in both directions – such reports as noted above
      travelling from Department to AAC while the Vice-Dean is able to communicate latest developments
      at the Education Strategy and Quality Management Committees of the University to departments
      through the AAC.


2.1   Please confirm that the 5-year rolling plan of Departmental and other Reviews is accurate and
      provide an explanation for any drift in the proposed timetable.

      The rolling plan (available on the Common Folder for Corporate Services) for reviews of Departments
      and Faculty-wide courses within the Science Faculty is accurate. There has been no slippage.

2.2   Please list the Departmental and other Reviews (e.g. Strategic and Excellence Reviews) carried
      out in session 2008/09 (Reports in full should be forwarded to GMAP, the Recommendations
      should be attached as an Annex to this Report).

      Session 2008/09 saw the first Faculty review of SIPBS which was formed from the merger of 5
      departments and began operating on 1 August 2006. It was reviewed over two days in February 2009.
      Annex 2 is the departmental response from SIPBS which addresses each recommendation of the

      Session 2008/09 also saw a University/Faculty Strategic review of the Department of Physics and the
      Institute of Photonics (IoP), chaired by the Principal, prompted by concerns about the former‟s
      showing in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and about the financial sustainability of both. The
      review was on 28 May 2009. Annex 3 sets out the recommendations only of this report. (Note: This
      could not be construed as a Faculty Review, involving an assessment of teaching and learning.
      Consequently a full quinquennial Faculty Review of Physics, including teaching and learning, was
      undertaken in October 2009 and will feature in next year‟s report. The IoP is a research non-
      departmental unit and is not subject to quinquennial reviews).

      Although strictly speaking not a review outcome, mention should, nonetheless, be made of the work of
      the Mathematics and Statistics & Modelling Science (STAMS) merger group during this session
      which culminated in their merger to become the Department of Mathematics and Statistics on 1
      August 2009.

2.3   Please detail any significant developments or issues other than those in learning and teaching
      (which should be dealt with under section 5) arising out of Departmental Reviews or Excellence
      Reviews conducted in session 2008/09, including any follow up and the Faculty’s proposed
      response to these.

      None to report.

2.4   Please list any accreditation visits/reviews by Professional and Statutory Bodies that took place
      during session 2008/09 and report the outcome. If these have made any recommendations in
      respect of improvements to learning and teaching, how are they to be addressed? If these have
      highlighted areas of good practice which might be applicable elsewhere in the University, please
      note these below. (Reports in full should be forwarded to GMAP).

      The following accreditation reviews by Professional and Statutory Bodies took place in 2008/09.

      Computer & Information Sciences
      Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (for the Department‟s Information
      Services degrees) in 2008 – re-accredited for 5 years.

      Pure & Applied Chemistry
      The Royal Society of Chemistry in 2009 for all degrees – re-accredited for 5 years.
      The Forensic Science Society for the MSc in Forensic Science and the MChem in Forensic and
      Analytical Science in 2009 - accredited for 5 years.

      Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
      Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain for the new „2+2‟ Collaborative MPharm degree with
      the International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur. Accredited for 5 years (without any conditions
      or recommendations).

      None of the above accreditations involved anything other than minor recommendations. All Faculty
      departments can say that almost all of their principal degrees are accredited by the appropriate
      professional body (assuming that body exists).


3.1   Are there any areas in which Faculty practice was not consistent with the University’s Policies
      and Procedures for Teaching and Learning or with any of the supplementary Guides listed

      below? If so, please give details and the reasons for deviating from normal University practice
      in each instance.

               Academic Strategy 2006-09 (May 2006)
               Policy and Code of Practice for Collaborative Courses leading to Award or Joint Awards of
                the University and Flexible and Distributed Learning (including e-learning) (June 2005)
               Procedures and Guidelines for Course and Class Approval (December 2003)
               Dealing with Applications from Students with Criminal Convictions (November 1999)
               Dealing with Instances of Possible Academic Dishonesty (November 2001) (update
                approved by Senate in June 2009)
               Procedures and Guidelines for Faculty Board Reports to Senate (March 2004)
               Departmental Reviews (October 2008)
               Guidelines and Procedures for the Management of Support for Undergraduate and
                Postgraduate Disabled Students (March 2005)
               Policy and Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Programmes (May 2005) (currently
                being updated)
               Procedures and Guidelines for Postgraduate Instructional Programmes (December 2003)
               Guidelines for Examiners of Research Degrees (October 2005)
               Policy, Procedures and Guidelines for Summative Assessment (May 2005)
               Framework for Professional Doctorates (December 2005)
               Procedures and Guidelines for External Examiners of Instructional Courses (October 2005)
               Student Complaints Procedure (May 2007)
               Policy on Students‟ External Engagement (November 2006)

      We believe all our procedures are in line with the University policies and procedures noted above.

3.2   Are there any aspects of the guides to policies and procedures which the Faculty believed
      required reviewing? If so, please give details.

      The Faculty raised in its previous report the suggestion that the Policy and Code of Practice for PG
      Research Programmes and the Guidelines for Examiners of Research Degrees might be revised and
      possibly combined into a single document. This would still be our preference. Indeed, the Faculty
      would welcome an across-the-board review to merge related policies and procedures wherever


4.1   Please comment on any significant issues raised by external examiners at class/course level in
      their 2007/08 reports and the actions taken in 2008/09 in response to them.

      In Computer & Information Sciences (CIS), the external for the Computer & Electronic Systems
      suggested there was not enough project choice for the CES students, but confirmed in his January
      2010 report for 2008-09 that this had been satisfactorily addressed.

      In Mathematics, the external did comment that the University convention on self-certification
      (accepting self-certification for short illness because often doctors refused to provide certification for
      less that 4 days) was open to abuse. This perennial issue was passed to the Vice-Dean Academic who
      raised it with his opposite numbers in other faculties and with Registry. However, there is no
      resolution to date.

      In 2006/07, an external examiner for Physics advised that Physics and Mathematics should agree a
      single algorithm for determining the classification of Honours candidates on the Maths and Physics
      degree. Despite an agreement in early 2007/08 to use the Maths algorithm, misunderstanding led to
      the Physics Board recording an assessment of the students under their algorithm. The same external
      stated that „this should be reconciled as a matter of urgency‟. This was done and the Maths algorithm
      was applied at the June 2009 exam board. This case is significant as it was the catalyst that led the

      Faculty to develop a common Honours algorithm during 2007/08. The final version was approved in
      October 2008. It will apply to students entering 2009/10 onwards, although departments may choose
      to apply it earlier if students are fully informed in good time.

      Two other issues were raised for Physics. In response to earlier comments, 2008/09 saw the
      introduction of a 2-point scaling routine which is applied, at the discretion of the lecturer, to classes
      which exhibit abnormally low or high average mark and pass rates. Secondly, to alleviate the external
      examiner‟s concerns over the impact of the project viva, the Department introduced a training viva
      that takes place in weeks 1 and 2 of 2nd semester.

      In Pure & Applied Chemistry, external examiners commented that the algorithm for the calculation
      of the classification of its degrees was „final year heavy.‟ This was addressed at departmental level
      (also to accommodate the requirements of the Royal Society of Chemistry) and the changes are
      consonant with the new Faculty algorithm, just mentioned. Another external examiner commented that
      it would be helpful to introduce small group tutorials and this was done in 2008/09.

      In the SIPBS, a key issue for the external examiners at the MPharm Board in June 2008 was the large
      number of vivas. SIPBS was asking all students who failed any classes to undergo an oral exam, as
      well as those students on borderlines. The policy was revised for the June 2009 Board and only
      borderline students are now given orals.

      The external examiners for the Biomedical Sciences Honours asked for more guidance regarding
      expectations of student performance. In 2008-2009, two routes were pursued – (i) asking staff to
      provide more detailed annotation on answer scripts to indicate particularly strong/weak areas of
      performance and (ii) staff providing external examiners with bullet-style model answers indicating
      what should be present within students‟ answers. These changes were well received by the externals.

4.2   Please comment on any significant issues raised through the 2008 National Student Survey,
      Pyramid discussions and the three First Year questionnaires (Induction (wks 5-6), Engaging in
      Learning (before Easter), What’s it like so far? (term 3).

      Please comment on
           actions to be taken
           the way in which the Faculty has responded to students.

      The 2008-09 NSS survey shows CIS performed better than the University average in the areas of
      Academic Support, Learning Resources and Overall Satisfaction. However, CIS performed poorly in
      the areas of Assessment and Feedback, and Organisation and Management. After the CIS annual
      monitoring meeting on 30 June 2009, the Teaching Committee has recommended that all lecturers
      produce a Learning Contract with Students which states clearly the dates of assessment and describes
      the nature of the feedback to be provided. All staff have been made aware of the Faculty's policy that
      feedback should be provided within two weeks of work being submitted.

      Similar comments about feedback were made by students in Chemistry. The Department addressed
      these comments in a variety of ways. For example, it now returns placement assignments marked with
      feedback to the students on 4th year industrial placements while they are still on placement, so that
      they have prompt feedback. Elsewhere, students write up laboratory reports as they work through
      their practical classes. These are marked and returned to them within two weeks of submission. Other
      comments included complaints that some lecture rooms were hot and cramped (and the Department
      continues to raise this point with Estates Management) and that equipment often seemed out-of-date.
      This is a long-standing problem. The Department invested some capital in teaching equipment in
      2008/09, but argues for a major initiative to make a real difference.

      In SIPBS, feedback was also the issue foremost in both undergraduate and postgraduate instructional
      students‟ minds. This was addressed during 2008-09 by discussing with student representatives the
      nature of the feedback provided and what they might reasonably expect. The review highlighted a
      mismatch between staff and student perceptions of what constituted feedback. SIPBS is sharpening

      up feedback procedures and continuing to engage with its students about the nature and extent of
      feedback given.

      There was insufficient response from students in either Mathematics or STAMS for them to be
      included in the National Student Survey.

      Physics has raised some generic points about the number of questions in the internal surveys and
      about the results being presented on a Faculty-wide basis. Regarding the latter point, since
      departments are ultimately responsible for maintaining and improving the effectiveness of their
      teaching and learning provision, if areas where improvement is needed cannot be identified at
      departmental level then the effectiveness of these internal surveys is compromised.

4.3   Please comment on any significant issues raised through the Postgraduate Taught Experience
      Survey (PTES) which are relevant to the Faculty’s Departments.

      Please comment on
           actions to be taken
           the way in which the Faculty has responded to students.

      The survey highlighted no specific issues that our departments saw the need to specifically address.

4.4   Please comment on any significant issues raised through the Postgraduate Research Experience
      Survey (PRES) which are relevant to the Faculty’s Departments.

      Please comment on
           actions to be taken
           the way in which the Faculty has responded to students.

      No Department was aware of issues raised by this survey.

4.5   Please comment on any significant issues raised through the IGrad Survey which are relevant to
      the Faculty’s Departments.

      Please comment on
           actions to be taken
           the types of feedback and responses to students

      The International Student Barometer results show University-wide rather than Faculty-specific issues
      under subject headings that include the learning environment, the living environment and the support
      environment. So, a Faculty analysis is very difficult. Added to that, the summer 2009 survey had a
      very low return from Strathclyde‟s overseas students compared to previous years (only 16%), so it can
      be easily argued that the statistics are unreliable. Perhaps Science can take some comfort from this
      because, whereas previously, when respondents were asked to what extent they would encourage
      others to come to Strathclyde, Science students had showed the most positive results among the
      faculties, this was no longer the case. On this benchmark, Engineering‟s students were the most
      satisfied, with Science very slightly behind Business and Law Arts & Social Sciences.

      No Department reported on issues raised by this survey.

4.6   What steps did the Faculty and its Departments take in session 2008/09 to obtain effective
      student feedback? Did student feedback in the Faculty identify any issues that had implications
      at University level or areas of good practice which might be applicable elsewhere in the
      University? If so, please detail.

      The Faculty views the formal Student-Staff Committee arrangements and the Class/Course Evaluation
      arrangements as efficient and robust mechanisms for maintaining effective dialogue with, and

      feedback from, students. Minutes of departmental Student-Staff Committees are scrutinised at the
      AAC where assurance is sought that any matters of significance that have been raised have been
      appropriately resolved. Some specific developments are worthy of mention.

      In Chemistry, a summary of the results from class assessment forms are distributed to staff for
      analysis and discussion. As well as regular Student-Staff Committee meetings, the Department holds
      meetings with a group of disabled students to gain feedback on their experience. Some Chemistry
      students also volunteered to participate in the Pyramid discussions dealt with at 4.2 above.

      The CIS Teaching Committee formulated a policy for all staff concerning feedback and circulated a
      standard questionnaire for completion by all UG students by the end of Week 10 in each semester. For
      taught postgraduates, a comprehensive questionnaire was distributed to all students at end of semester
      2 (covering both semesters and all taught classes). Staff were also encouraged to obtain feedback via
      „one-minute‟ papers and other appropriate means on a week-by-week basis.

      Mathematics and STAMS posted the minutes of their Joint Staff-Student Liaison Committee (with
      relevant actions and outcomes) on SPIDER for all students to view. Other items of information and
      feedback were also disseminated to students via SPIDER.

      In Natural Sciences, students are encouraged to join the Student/Staff committees in their subject
      areas and are also told to contact the Course Director with any concerns.

      Following from the 2008/09 National Student Survey, Physics are developing a questionnaire to find
      out what Physics students regard as effective feedback on their work. As to reacting to feedback, in
      direct response to its Student/Staff Committee, the Department has revised the way students are
      notified of the available projects and how these projects are allocated to the students.

      SIPBS initiated the detailed discussions with students on effective feedback referred to in 4.2 above.

4.7   How did the Faculty monitor issues arising out of Staff/Student committees? How were actions
      communicated back to the student body?

      The Faculty‟s Academic Administration Committee received and scrutinised the minutes of each
      Department‟s Student-Staff Committees. The actions from those meetings are communicated back to
      the student body by the student representatives themselves, and by the departments, frequently by
      posting minutes on SPIDER. Some departments‟ minutes include appendices detailing actions taken
      following each meeting, and all are being encouraged to follow this example.

4.8   Please note any specific follow-up action and monitoring arrangements in relation to feedback
      from students and other stakeholders such as employers.

      None reported.

4.9   Has the Faculty introduced any other initiatives for feedback other than the above?

      Physics reports that staff are making increasing use of personal response systems to gain immediate
      feedback at lectures that confirms whether or not students have grasped key concepts. This approach
      ties in with assessment etc, but is a route to obtaining on-the-spot feedback that may be more
      beneficial to students in the long run.

4.10 Has the Faculty taken any steps to address any generic issues raised by the Departments?

      One suggested reform is that the Faculty should be more prescriptive in the management of
      departments‟ Student-Staff committees, asking each Department, for example, to hold two per
      semester and to report the minutes and follow-up actions to the next available AAC (at present, the
      Faculty sometimes has to chase departments for these minutes, with the result that issues raised can be
      „dead‟ by the time AAC sees the minutes).


Through the work of the Joint APC/QMC Working Party, the following courses in the Science Faculty were
given permission to be at variance with the 20-credit Framework for Undergraduate and Integrated Master‟s
Study as approved by Senate:

           MChem and BSc with Honours in Chemistry with Drug Discovery
           BSc with Honours in Applied Chemistry
           MSci in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
           BSc Mathematics and Computer Science
           BSc Mathematics and Physics
           BSc Mathematics Statistics and Accounting

5.1   Does the Faculty have any high level reflections on the impact of the introduction of the 20-
      credit framework?

      While the above list shows only a few courses operating outwith the new 20 credit framework, many
      more sought exemption unsuccessfully. The Faculty remains supportive of the arguments put forward
      by Pure & Applied Chemistry that it be allowed to operate the degrees listed above at variance with
      the Framework because of the demands made by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

      Across the Faculty, departments found some difficulties in adjusting to the new framework, whether
      these stemmed from accreditation issues or a fear that the new system would diminish student choice
      and flexibility. For most science degrees, some of the choice available under the old 10 credit system
      was lost as accreditation and core syllabus requirements had to take priority. Students on joint degrees
      such as the BSc Honours Mathematics and Physics now faced overloaded curricula in years 1 and 2
      which was not an issue under the old framework. It has been argued that the new approach makes
      interdepartmental and interfaculty courses harder (not easier) to develop and was cited as a factor in
      the withdrawal of the joint Science-LASS BSc Honours Biomedical Sciences & Psychology degree as
      it could not be made to fit the framework. Another side-effect has been that the topics covered by
      discrete credit-bearing personal development planning classes have had to be embedded within other
      classes, raising questions as to whether PDP will continue to receive the attention it was once felt it

      Notwithstanding all of the above, the Faculty also sees merit in the new framework. It has provided
      the opportunity for curriculum renewal and a review of both the extent and the mode of assessment.
      For example, in Physics, the 1st year material now matches that taught in the Advanced Higher Physics
      curriculum. The Faculty is, generally, phasing in the new framework, year by year, so work on the
      20-credit framework during 2008/09 focussed on the 1st year curriculum. We expect to see benefit in
      more efficient operation of the General Examination Boards because the students will be doing fewer
      classes and will have less choice of optional classes. We would prefer to see the outcome of the
      General Examination Boards in June 2010 before pronouncing on the overall impact of the new
      framework and of the new University-wide compensation scheme that is accompanying it.

5.2   Please describe any changes to the Faculty’s portfolio of degree programmes that were
      implemented in session 2008/09 (additions/deletions). Please outline the rationale behind any
      such changes.

      No new courses were introduced in 2008/09. The following „deletions‟ were processed in 2007/08
      and implemented in 2008/09:

      (i)   withdrawal of the BSc pass degree in Biomedical Sciences, as part of a wider re-design of the
            Biomedical Sciences degrees preparatory to the introduction of the 20-credit framework and
            preparatory to seeking (successfully) accreditation from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences

      (ii)   suspension of recruitment to the BSc Honours Bioscience and Teaching and BSc Honours
             Chemistry and Teaching degrees in response to both limited demand and resource questions
             affecting the Education and Science faculties.

      Additionally, Physics completely restructured its degree programmes. It removed its MSci degrees in
      Applied Physics, Photonics, Biophysics, Physics with Mathematical Finance and Physics with Visual
      Simulation, together with its BSc degrees in Applied Physics and Laser Physics and Optoelectronics.
      It now offers only three degrees: the MPhys, the BSc (Hons) Physics and the BSc (Hons) Physics with
      Teaching. The ousted degrees had received few UCAS applications (< 20), very few of which
      matured into actual students. As many of the deleted degrees had specialised classes in years 2-5, the
      reform relieved the academic staff of a significant teaching burden. Under the new portfolio of
      degrees, students wishing to specialise in a given area can choose suitable combinations of Level 4
      and Level 5 classes to allow for the necessary specialisation.

5.3   Please highlight any major external factors (government initiatives, policies of specific client
      groups) that impacted in 2008/09 on the Faculty’s degree programmes and indicate how the
      Faculty dealt with them.

      The University‟s position on the „Bologna process‟ is welcomed, that wholesale revision to achieve
      compliance is inappropriate and that, instead, courses should be developed opportunistically. But the
      Faculty would still welcome some clearer guidance from the University as to exactly what is
      compliant, what is not and what will require attention.

      During 2008-09, SIPBS responded to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain‟s
      consultation on the principles of pharmacy education by participating in RPSGB-led meetings and by
      making written submissions to the RPSGB.

5.4   Please comment on any significant changes in Teaching Learning and Assessment (for example
      in curriculum design and/or modes of delivery/assessment) in session 2008/09.

      Chemistry began planning for the use of formative assessment throughout 2 nd year with the aim of
      improving the student experience and ultimately the pass rates for the classes in this year. This is
      being supported by four Teaching Fellows in session 2009/10 onwards.

      In Mathematics and STAMS, all new postgraduate research students began to undertake three
      Scottish Mathematical Sciences Training Centre (SMSTC) courses unless otherwise exempted due to
      previous qualifications.

      In 2008/09, Physics, as discussed above, introduced formative assessment for final year project
      students in the form of training viva voce exams. Other innovations were the use of personal response
      systems in 1st year lecture courses to give students formative feedback during lectures and peer-based
      marking of 1st year tutorial solutions. Regarding the latter, as these marks counted towards final
      assessment, they were then checked over by the staff responsible for the tutorial. However, peer-
      based marking was discontinued in 2009/10 session – students did not like marking other students‟
      work and handing in after the tutorial meant that formative feedback to students from the tutor was

      In SIPBS, a major review of the MPharm curriculum was initiated in parallel with the RPSGB
      consultation on the principles of pharmacy education which will lead to new standards for pharmacy
      education. The MPharm review is ongoing and will be concluded when the new standards are
      published in 2010. Note also the comments on feedback review at 4.2, which inevitably embraces
      assessment issues.

5.5   Please comment with respect to 2008/09 on

          the Faculty’s approach (other than through the revision of courses for the introduction of
           the 20-credit framework) to embedding employability in the curriculum and in its teaching,
           learning and assessment strategies, and generally to developing graduate attributes

      Science degrees deal with disciplines that drive the technological world that we live and work in.
      Being generically enquiry-based and about problem solving, be that in the laboratory or as a more
      abstract intellectual pursuit, they are intrinsically about employability. Our departments are all
      research-intensive, and the research ethos and activity feed into and inform our teaching of necessity,
      particularly in the fast-moving sciences that are changing the shape of society. Therefore, graduate
      attributes are inherently embedded in all science courses. However, an important part of the Faculty‟s
      approach to curriculum renewal for the introduction of the 20-credit framework was to highlight the
      need to make that explicit in class and course documentation, and in delivery. Additionally, some
      specific departmental developments can be mentioned.

      CIS has long emphasised employability in its degree programmes by stressing teaching skills such as
      the ability to design, implement and test computer programmes, as well as presentation and report-
      writing. Some of the degree programmes involve industrial placements. (In 2009-10, the CIS
      reformulated its Industrial Advisory Board so that it can focus on the relationship between curriculum
      development and employability).

      Chemistry has strong links with the Careers Service and their Science Advisor addresses 2nd year
      students (a seminar on CV writing), 3rd year students (a seminar on interview techniques before they
      embark on their 4th year 12 month industrial training project) and final year students (a seminar on job
      prospects). Additionally, the Science and Engineering Advisors give a number of presentations to the
      students on the MSci Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering course. All Chemistry students
      also participate in a Transferable Skills course which features in each year of study (full details of
      which are available on request) but which features, inter alia, in year 1 Information Technology Skills,
      in year 2 Chemical Drawing skills, scientific writing skills and team skills, year 3 oral and other
      presentation skills, in year 4 an opportunity while on placement to enhance all of the above in „real‟
      situations and in year 5 further presentation skills.

      In Physics, key skills associated with employability, such as report writing and communication skills,
      continue to be embedded in many practical and project training classes.

          any new initiatives in relation to the Faculty’s engagement with the quality enhancement
           themes and other developments in Learning and Teaching.

      In Chemistry, problem-based learning was expanded in the teaching of the MSc in Forensic Science.

      First year engagement has long been an important aspect of Natural Sciences „reception‟ All students
      were interviewed and their plans for the academic year discussed. Those on the pass degree stream
      were invited to think about the possibility of transfer to Honours at the end of the year. This prospect
      is often a sufficient spur to engage with coursework, providing a reward for good performance. Exam
      marks often exceed the average for related degrees, despite the lower entry standard of the Pass

      Physics recognises the importance of the First Year Experience. New students saw the same member
      of staff for all Physics lectures in 1st semester, and meet with their counsellor in the first week of term.
      Those staff involved were chosen for being „student friendly‟. Assessment strategies were also to the
      fore. Physics introduced significantly more formative assessment through various means including
      viva training, personal response systems and laboratory report writing in 1 st-3rd year, as well as peer
      based marking in 1st year tutorials and 3rd year project training classes. Students also designed
      assessment criteria for project training classes. Research-teaching linkages are, of course, important
      throughout Science. In Physics, as part of a recruitment initiative, new PhD students were asked to
      write talks suitable for S4-S6 schools pupils on the latest research developments in, for example,

astrophysics, plasma physics etc which could then be taken into schools showing how research is
influencing modern society.

Through 2008/9 the Faculty progressed the development of the Mathematical Skills Support
Centre, funded by the University‟s Education Excellence Funding. (The Centre opened in September
2009 in time for the start of the 2009/10 academic year).

The Faculty made good use of the Interns@strathclyde scheme to offer more high-flying students the
opportunity to undertake project work in a research environment over the summer, augmenting similar
opportunities offered through the Nuffield and Carnegie Summer Bursaries and by any of the
scientific professional bodies.

For research students the Faculty, in collaboration with the Careers Centre, introduced a Careers
Event run in May. This was very well received and will be run again this year, possibly jointly with
the Faculty of Engineering. The Researchers’ Induction Day was run again in late October and was
much appreciated by the incoming research students.

    any changes made in respect of learning and teaching arising from the recommendations of
     departmental reviews undertaken in the previous two sessions (i.e. 2006/07 and 2007/08)
     and evaluate their success in addressing the issues raised by the review.

Chemistry underwent its Faculty Quinquennial Review during 2007/08. One recommendation asked
the Department to review its policy of double marking in the undergraduate final year, seen as
demanding of staff time. A „lighter touch‟ marking system since introduced. The Department‟s
External Examiners have raised no objections.

    the steps taken in the Faculty to enhance teaching, learning and assessment in accordance
     with the strategic aims identified in the Academic Strategy?

In Chemistry, the planned introduction of the Teaching Fellows (2009/10) aims to improve
completion rates for full-time undergraduates.

    how the 12 assessment principles have been used to review and improve assessment?

Through AAC, the Faculty stressed the need for its Departments to look to the 12 assessment
principles when redesigning its classes and courses for the new 20-credit structure. There is clear
evidence in the course proposals approved by the Faculty that a variety of assessment regimes are
being employed within and across our courses, addressing the assessment principles where

The following are particular points raised by departments.

In Chemistry, the 12 assessment principles were disseminated to all teaching staff and the Teaching
Committee and Year audit teams considered them during the annual review of assessment.

CIS staff have been encouraged to consider ways of engaging more directly with students through
different feedback mechanisms.

In Mathematics, a „Maths Skills Test‟ has been introduced to ensure consolidation of basic algebraic
skills and increased use has been made of continuous assessment.

Physics is introducing more formative assessment, extending the use of class tests to lead to the award
of credits, and involving students in the design of assessment criteria.

In SIPBS, the principles are informing an ongoing review of assessment within all its degree
programmes. For the MPharm, this review is in parallel with the RPSGB consultation on new

      standards for pharmacy education and the review of the MPharm to be concluded when the new
      standards are published in 2010.

      STAMS has a strong track record of innovative teaching and learning developments and intensive use
      of continuous assessment through project work.

5.6   Please provide examples of good practice in teaching, learning and assessment that came to light
      in session 2008/09 through annual monitoring which might have relevance to other parts of the

      Chemistry is phasing in the use of personal response systems into lectures.

      CIS has implemented forums for each class to facilitate group discussions, provide advice about
      problem-solving, example solutions, commented solutions etc. This is a very rich form of feedback
      which is still being piloted by a subset of academic staff. Meanwhile, the „crime scene and court
      exercise‟ delivered as part of the MSc Forensic Informatics degree was praised by both students and
      external examiner. While resource intensive, the benefit to the student learning experience was high
      and the exercise subsequently commended for its strong practical element delivered within a realistic
      setting that provides students with the opportunity to put theory into practice.

5.7   What issues arose from annual monitoring? What actions were taken to deal with them?

      Following an annual monitoring meeting in June 2009, CIS has agreed a brief handbook will be made
      available to all students at the start of each class which should contain schedules of dates for issuing
      and submitting coursework, the amount of time students are expected to study and what form that
      studying should take, and what kind of feedback will be provided. It was agreed that for each class,
      students should be asked to complete the class questionnaire produced by the Teaching Committee.

      In Chemistry, it became apparent that students found Organic Chemistry especially challenging. A
      new structure and syllabus has been introduced in 2009/10, following a thorough review of teaching in
      this area. Also, 4th year Chemistry students complete a year in industry, during which they have to
      complete three distance learning assignments and then an examination when they return for their final
      year of study. The Department held a meeting with the students and took on board their comments
      about the assessment for this class. Subsequent changes were made to the timing and scheduling of the
      examination and the nature of the feedback the students received. Involving students in the discussion
      about assessment proved a good experience.

5.8   Did the Faculty identify any issues to do with undergraduate, postgraduate instructional or
      postgraduate research programmes which might have implications at University level? If so,
      please detail.

      See concerns about the new University-wide compensation scheme (1.2) and the 20 credit framework

5.9   Please comment on the Faculty’s approach to monitoring Continuing Professional
      Development/Lifelong Learning and highlight any significant issues that arose in session

      In Science, our experience is that formal CPD is generally related to acquiring a specific academic or
      professional qualification rather than running short courses specifically designed and delivered to
      order. Indeed, one issue we have is in persuading our departments to highlight appropriate PGI
      provision as CPD. MSc courses in Chemistry (Forensic Science), CIS (Information and Library
      Studies, Information Management), SIPBS (Clinical Pharmacy, Analysis of Medicines,
      Pharmaceutical Quality and Good Manufacturing Practice) and Physics (High Power RF Science and
      Engineering) could all be headlined as CPD provision. More specific CPD provision is the
      Independent Prescribers Certificate for Pharmacists and the Forensic Science Society Professional

      Postgraduate Diploma suite which is validated by the University (see 5.10). As such, all our CPD
      provision is monitored and quality assured through our normal academic procedures.

      Chemistry has commented that it tries to encourage this type of activity (its relationship with the
      Forensic Science Society is a striking example of good CPD work) but a difficulty continues to be the
      timing of courses which clash with other commitments in the Department and wider University.

5.10 Please comment on examples of good practice in Continuing Professional Development/Lifelong
     Learning that might have relevance to other parts of the University.

      In 2008/09, Chemistry, through its Centre for Forensic Science expanded its long-standing validation
      arrangements for the Forensic Science Society by introducing the „Professional Diploma‟ whereby
      students taking the FSS‟s classes may accrue credits towards a Strathclyde-awarded Diploma. (In
      March 2010, Senate will be asked to approve an arrangement that would see this extended to include a
      „Professional Masters‟).

      An exciting development in 2008/9 was Chemistry‟s agreement with GlaxoSmithkline Beecham for a
      joint programme of research projects leading to the award of MPhil degrees. Currently, negotiations
      with GSK to expand this to a PhD programme are well advanced.


6.1   Was the University’s provision of learning resources (library/IT provision, teaching
      accommodation etc) adequate? If not, were improvements sought and effected?

      General comments
      The Faculty is conscious of the present debate concerning Library non-staffing resources (book and
      journal purchases) and „entitlement‟, as seen from the perspective of the University‟s RAM. This must
      not prevent us from the essential task of building our electronic subscriptions resource which
      continues to lag behind that of several of our competitor institutions.
      The new RAM (which had its first full year of operation in 2008/09) highlighted the need to use space
      more efficiently but has had the unfortunate effect of driving some lab-based departments into
      substantial deficit from which it is difficult to see them recovering. The Faculty is seeking solutions,
      in partnership with the University, but feels that the detail of the RAM as regards laboratory
      accommodation must be reviewed.
      A growing concern relates to teaching equipment. Despite the Faculty‟s allocations of equipment
      monies and an overseas allowance, departments‟ stocks of equipment that can be used for teaching are
      becoming out-of-date and, in some instances, almost unserviceable. Newly refurbished labs are often
      housing old equipment that looks bad for prospective students and disheartening for actual students.
      Research labs, by contrast, are well provided for. The situation may require an injection of capital
      from the University.
      Departmental perspectives
      Chemistry’s Quinquennial Review in 2007/08 highlighted a number of resource-related
      shortcomings, not all of which had been resolved by 2008/09. The Department found it disappointing
      that heating and cooling problems in some teaching and laboratory accommodation still existed,
      despite several discussions with Estates Management. The Department (like Maths, below) requested
      that broad sweep blackboards should still be available in the lecture theatres it used. This was partly
      addressed by Estates but some rooms allocated did not have adequate facilities for teaching Chemistry
      courses. However, the Department did request and receive adequate locker space for its

      Mathematics and STAMS again stressed the lack of blackboards available in central pool teaching
      rooms, and the shortage of large capacity teaching rooms which impacts on increased teaching loads
      due to repetition of lectures etc. It also complains about the inaccuracy of information contained on

      the Learning Services‟ website obtained via Pegasus in relation to room booking that details the
      capacity, layout and facilities of each room.

6.2   Were there any potential challenges that might be of interest at an institutional level?

      None reported.

6.3   Were any specific staff development challenges highlighted?

      The Faculty is anxious to ensure that training developments available to Academic Staff (in some
      cases mandatory) are equally accessible to Teaching Support Staff. Thus, for example, the Faculty
      invites all Academic Professionals to attend its PGR Supervisors Induction Training. We would
      appreciate clarification on the requirement for Teaching Support Staff (including Fixed-Term
      Employees) to pursue the PG Cert/Diploma in Educational Studies and eligibility for membership of
      the HEA.


In completing this section, Faculties should refer to the standard annual datasets produced by the
Careers Service and the Management Information Profiles

7.1   Please comment on any developments in respect of the employment of the Faculty’s graduates
      (undergraduate, postgraduate instructional and postgraduate research).

      The following concerns those who graduated in 2008 – it is too early to comment on 2009 Graduate

      In terms of undergraduates, Science graduates‟ destinations followed a general pattern for all
      Strathclyde graduates in 2008. Fewer entered employment [65%, down from 69.5% in 2007], more
      went on to further study [27.5% compared with 22.4% in 2007] and slightly more were unemployed
      [5.9% compared with 4.8%]. In terms of postgraduates, there was a little change to the distribution of
      Science graduates‟ destinations between 2007 and 2008, with 66.7% entering employment (down
      from 86.5% in 2007) as a result of more pursuing further study options such as MRes or teacher
      training. Although entry to primary teaching was oversubscribed, more opportunities were available
      in secondary teaching, depending on the subject area (notably in Mathematics, Physics and CIS

      A further concern is that 20% of all Science graduates (admittedly less then the University-wide
      figure of 25%) were classified as under-employed (ie not in appropriate level graduate jobs) within
      the first six months following graduation. There is an emerging trend of students failing to engage
      with the job market until after the completion of their studies. No matter how much the Careers
      Service and departments prompt students, ultimately, the choice to engage with the job market rests
      with the students themselves.

      Main recruiters for Science included the National Health Service (NHS), Boots/Alliance, Lloyds
      Pharmacy, Co-operative Pharmacy and Prudential. But, significantly, graduates whose courses had
      included work placements generally performed better in the job market. This suggests that
      departments should aim to include more work experience within courses.


8.1   Please comment on the ways in which the Faculty progressed with the duty to provide access to
      the curriculum for disabled students and on the Faculty’s strategies for implementing the
      Disability Equality Scheme.

      The importance of the University‟s Disability Equality Scheme (UDES) is well understood and the
      Vice-Dean (Academic) represents the Faculty on the University‟s Disability Committee. Compliance
      with the UDES is devolved to departments, with the Faculty monitoring that compliance through the
      Academic Administration Committee, principally through receiving the Student-Staff Committee
      minutes which should highlight any issues relating to disability. The annual course review exercise
      conducted by AAC also questions departments about their implementation of the UDES. Departments
      try to foster a climate in which disabled students are more likely to disclose their disability.

      Across the Faculty, many classes have content available on SPIDER and/or the University‟s VLE,
      enabling students to use specialised screen-reading software or zoom-in tools. Departmental
      Disability Coordinators work closely with the Disability Service to ensure that proper provisions are
      made with respect to curriculum access and assessment.

8.2   For all academic departments within the Faculty, please note those that completed Teachability
      reviews of access to the curriculum for disabled students in session 2008/09 and summarise the
      main action points which emerged.

      In our report for 2007/08 we advised that that Chemistry and Physics had completed and that CIS,
      the about-to-be-merged Mathematics and STAMS, and SIPBS were undertaking their Teachability
      reviews between February and July 2009.

      The CIS Teachability review was submitted but considered to be lacking some details. A
      resubmission of the survey is pending. A holding report for the merged Department of Mathematics
      and Statistics was sent to the Disability Centre in September 2009. A further, post-merger, review is
      anticipated. Physics had submitted its report in 2008, but it was returned for amendments, re-
      submitted in October 2009 and has not yet been signed off by the Disability Service. SIPBS
      completed its Teachability review in July 2009 and received a positive response from the review
      panel, being commended for its very strong commitment to the development and management of
      accessible curricula.

      Chemistry had been the first to undergo a successful review. Its report led to the training course for
      postgraduate demonstrators being modified to include specific details associated with supporting
      students with disabilities, an increased involvement of disabled students in discussions about
      refurbishment, purchasing of equipment, etc, the use of video support in teaching laboratories (to be
      phased in to all teaching laboratories, so far as resources allow) and the routine use of microphones for
      all undergraduate lectures. This Department is at the forefront of responding to the UDES (collecting
      data, promoting staff development, managing lectures, tutorials, labs and placements etc) and further
      details of the many actions it is taking are available on request from the Faculty Office (or the
      Department itself).

8.3   Was the Faculty confident that information regarding the needs of disabled students was being
      conveyed to relevant staff and dealt with appropriately?

      Yes. Mathematics is perhaps typical. At the commencement of each semester, the Departmental
      Disability Coordinator (DDC) informs all members of staff within the department of their obligations
      in relation to the UDES and advises them of the relevant information in relation to PEGASUS and the
      Disability Service. The Department in turn implements all issues that have been identified. Disabled
      students are informed of the provision that is being made for them and are advised of the DDC within
      the Department.

      There was an issue raised by the Disability Service regarding the apparent infrequency of some staff
      accessing PEGASUS for information about their disabled students (though in this respect, Science had
      the best record) but this was due to some departments taking a centralised approach – that is to say,
      one person or a small team was acting as the co-ordinator, consulting Pegasus and passing the
      information onto the appropriate staff.

      However, Physics believes that how relevant staff are told about a student‟s disability could be
      improved upon. At present, as soon as a disabled student‟s needs have been identified, the necessary
      adjustments are posted on PEGASUS and to the departmental disability coordinators. But these
      adjustments can be posted at any time and so teaching staff must check the disabled section on
      PEGASUS every day to ensure that they pick up on any changes to the disabled students in their
      classes. Understandably, this does not happen. A better approach might be to ensure that there is
      proper integration between Disability Service, PEGASUS and the Class Catalogue so that when a
      student is identified as having additional support needs for given classes the lecturer is notified by
      email rather than having to check PEGASUS on a daily basis. This requires Departments to maintain
      the correct information on the Class Catalogue regarding class information, which can be managed
      more effectively by the Departments.

8.4   For each department within the Faculty, note the arrangements that were in place for seeking
      feedback from disabled students about accessibility of teaching and teaching materials, and
      summarise the key points made by disabled students.

      In Chemistry, the Department consults with the disabled student body twice per academic year (prior
      to the Student Staff Committee meetings). No key issues were raised by the students.

      The CIS Disability Coordinator distributed questionnaires as part of the „Teachability‟ review and e-
      mails all disabled students to establish a two-way channel of communication. The DDC regularly
      informs CIS staff of disabled students and their requirements, as well as resources such as the
      Teachability website.

      In Mathematics and STAMS, after each diet of examinations, students for whom special needs
      examination arrangements have been made, are contacted and asked for formal feedback regarding
      teaching and/or examination arrangements. Feedback is also sought from postgraduate students who
      were involved in the invigilation process and from staff for whom arrangements were made in relation
      to students taking their classes.

      In Chemistry, the Department consults with the disabled student body twice per academic year (prior
      to the Student Staff Committee meetings). No key issues were raised by the students.
      Physics runs an annual survey in Semester 2 and this is issued to all students and staff taking or
      teaching any class in Physics. The DDC meets with each student who has disclosed a need on a one-
      to-one basis. No issues have been raised to date. Disability also forms part of standing issues on the
      Departmental Committee giving staff a chance to give feedback on necessary adjustments.

      SIPBS also consults its disabled students formally, but also encourages informal anonymous


9.1   Please provide summary information on student appeals and student complaints dealt with at
      Faculty level in session 2008/09 (number of instances, outcomes).

      See Annex 4 for the summary information on appeals in session 2008/09.

      With respect to student complaints that came to the attention of the Faculty, three arose during
      2008/09, one each involving the Centre for Forensic Science (Chemistry), Physics and SIPBS. None
      was upheld

9.2   Is the Faculty aware of any trends in the number and content of cases?

      Appeals are increasing at an alarming rate, and are consuming a very substantial proportion of the
      Faculty Office‟s time (principally that of the Assistant Faculty Officer). Complaints are, by contrast,
      very few in number – but these too can become very time consuming and involved.

9.3   Does the Faculty have any reflections on issues arising out of student appeals/complaints?

      The Faculty supports the comments received from SIPBS that “there is definitely an increasing
      tendency for students to appeal weak performances – particularly overseas students. Some of the
      appeals evidence we have started seeing is of very dubious veracity”. We may need to be more
      rigorous in the process for accepting appeals and the criteria for supporting them. It has been
      suggested that we should not accept non-contemporaneous medical or other evident (ie medical
      certificates or other evidence written some time after the illness or circumstance forming the ground
      for appeal) in support of an appeal. At the moment, the great bulk adhere to the published deadlines,
      but a steady trickle arrive at any time in the year. As some of these are found to be legitimate cases,
      one hesitates to adhere too strictly to the deadlines, though the sheer weight of appeals business may
      require us to do so.


10.1 Please comment on any issues specific to the internationalisation agenda.

      The advent of the new Points-Based System of immigration with effect from March 2009 is relevant
      to any discussion of internationalisation, affecting the process of admissions and introducing
      attendance monitoring for all students from overseas. Preparations were in hand throughout 2008/09.
      Each department has had to introduce mechanisms for monitoring attendance. The immediate impact
      of PBS seems to have been far less harmful to admissions than had been feared, but there have been
      difficulties. The effectiveness and impact of the new system is being monitored.

               Please provide details of specific initiatives to assist with integration of international

      Physics has set up its own International Recruitment Office. Apart from work on attracting new
      overseas students, it meets with all non-UK home and overseas students, recruited or attending the
      Department through an Erasmus exchange, and has regular informal lunches for them twice per

      For SIPBS, the advent of the 2+2 MPharm programme for Malaysian students from the International
      Medical University in Kuala Lumpur saw preparations for the induction of the first cohort to transfer
      to Strathclyde . This was in addition to the existing induction for students on the traditional
      collaborative MPharm with the IMU (5+3 semester model) who arrive in June each year. The new
      induction programme was delivered successfully in September 2009.

               Are there any particular challenges or problems with the internationalisation of
      learning that the University should be aware of?

      CIS reports that, despite having drawn students‟ attention to the University's policy concerning
      academic dishonesty as well as to literature produced by the Department providing examples of
      good/poor scholarship, a number of international students continue to demonstrate poor scholarship
      when completing coursework. Commissioning coursework is possibly even more of a problem.

      SIPBS reports that the Points-Based System of immigration has increased the administrative burden
      of the admissions processes for the IMU programme.

             Have there been any particular initiatives to encourage the Faculty’s students to
      undertake part of their curriculum abroad?

     Faculty-wide comments

     ERASMUS Student Mobility Activity

      SCIENCE        Incoming Erasmus Exchange Students           Outgoing Erasmus Exchange Students
      2008/09                       55                                20 (plus 4 on work placements*)
      2007/08                       63                                               14
      2006/07                       45                                                8
      2005/06                       48                                               14

     The Faculty has a well-developed programme of exchanges under the ERASMUS Student Mobility
     scheme. The above figures show the extent of that activity. They also show the imbalances between
     incoming and outgoing students, but these are accepted for strategic reasons (often, the exchanges
     encourage recruitment of other students who do bring fees, or help to nurture research activities).
     Also, the viability and value of the exchange agreements is continually reviewed, in line with
     University policies in these matters.

     In addition to the traditional ERASMUS study placements, 4 students from Chemistry took
     advantage of the new ERASMUS work placement initiative for the first time in 2008/09. The
     undergraduate students undertook 12 month placements with industrial partners in The Netherlands
     and Germany as part of their Integrated Masters degrees. The industrial placements have been well
     received and the associated ERASMUS funding provides an increasingly popular incentive to students
     to undertake part of their curriculum abroad.

     Departmental Perspectives
     Apart from Erasmus exchanges, Chemistry has two distinct initiatives:

     (i)    JCEMolChem – An EU-funded exchange scheme with Canada (Universities of Montreal and
            Ottawa). During 2008/09, PAC received 4 students and sent out 2 Strathclyde students, each for
            a period of 4 months. One member of staff visited Montreal for one month.
     (ii)   American Chemistry Society IREU scholarships – PAC has received 3 students who carried out
            research projects for a period of 6 weeks.

     Additionally, the Department holds several meetings each year with undergraduate students to discuss
     options for study abroad. Postgraduates are encouraged to participate in the JCEMolChem scheme.

     In Physics, Biophysics students can now take their final year project at a Czech University.

     Have there been any specific developments to enhance the international dimension in the

     None reported, though it may be noted that Science by its very nature has a global (if not universal)
     curriculum that is continually being updated in the light of scientific advances.

10.2 Have there been any specific issues relating to progress arising out of academic dishonesty on
     the part of international students.

     Chemistry reports an increasing problem with plagiarism amongst overseas students on the MSc
     Forensic Science. New information has been put in place from the start of the course to try and
     counter the trend but the past two years have been particularly problematic in this regard with one
     student from each year making a complaint about their treatment on the course based in part on the
     fact they failed the MSc as a result of their plagiarism.

     SIPBS points to the “I can‟t fail” mentality of some overseas students that leads them to commit
     academic dishonesty. Additionally, there is difficulty with the veracity of evidence presented in the
     support of appeals. This is by no means confined to international students, but in that context there are
     sometimes questions about the provenance or genuineness of medical certificates issued by overseas

     medical institutions or doctors, sometimes in respect of an ailment that has occurred to the student
     while in the UK for which there has been no face-to-face consultation.

                                               SECTION B


In completing this section, Faculties should refer to the standard annual datasets produced by the
Planning Office. (Note: GMAP is exploring alternative ways of taking forward analysis of ethnic origin
and disability)

11.1 Please comment on trends in respect of Undergraduate and integrated master admissions.
     Within this analysis please comment specifically on the following for session 2008/09:

       -   the breakdown of entrant students (mature, overseas, gender balance, intake from non-
           standard backgrounds – i.e. Wider Access programmes/FE colleges etc)
       -   changes in mode of study (ft/pt/dl) required by students;
       -   general entrance standards.

       Undergraduate (full-time & part-time FTEs)*

                                       Intake                             Population
                          2006/07       2007/08    2008/09     2006/07     2007/08       2008/09
      Home                  801           784        693        2532.5       2639         2533.5
      Overseas             124.5          132        132         157.5        172          166
      Total                925.5          916        825         2690        2811         2699.5

     * From the University‟s published standard annual datasets produced by the Planning Office, year–ending
     2006/07 - 2008/09.

     General commentary
     The Faculty‟s target for the previous year, 2007/08, was 760 Home/EC funded places. As usual, to
     cope with no-shows and early withdrawals, selectors were encouraged to overshoot by a small margin,
     with the knowledge of the University. Withdraws did not occur to the expected extent, leaving the
     Faculty with an intake of 784. In 2008, the Faculty had a reduced target of 720 Home/EC funded
     places. By early August and the announcement of the Higher results, the Faculty was struggling to
     meet its target. The Engineering Faculty, on the other hand, had by then exceeded its target and was
     still holding good offers. Science released 30 funded places to Engineering. This transfer was for
     2008 only, but it was potentially the loss of around £250k recurrent of the Faculty‟s resource base.

     The University‟s policy towards Clearing then exacerbated the Faculty‟s position. The University had
     declared that no area of the University should enter Clearing trading at more than 1 point less than its
     usual tariff. The Faculty had been able to deliver on that request. However, the University also
     believed that being in Clearing was not good for Strathclyde‟s reputation. With overall numbers good,
     the decision was taken to withdraw from Clearing on 19 August, only a few days after the
     announcement of the „A‟ level results. Recruitment to Science slowed to a trickle, and by 3 October,
     Science had recruited 699 against its target of 720.

     The Faculty remains critical of the University‟s approach to Clearing as being counter-productive.
     For instance, the early exit from Clearing deprived Science of high quality entrants still in the system
     (among them, those presenting with „A‟ levels). Nor is the University‟s approach conducive to
     transparency for important stakeholders – the prospective students looking for available places on high
     quality courses. The University‟s attitude to the Natural Sciences degree also caused concern within
     Science – many entrants to Natural Sciences went on to achieve good (and, in some instances, very
     good) degrees and we feel it would be unfortunate to lose the ability to help such students realise their
     potential. Equally, it was acknowledged that the new cohort of students, recruited to higher entry

standards than their predecessors, ought to present better progress and retention performance. So, it
was hoped that the Faculty‟s overall population, which was the principal financial driver (rather than
intake), might remain stable.

Science also considered the reasons for Engineering‟s good performance, noting that this had not been
across the board, though some areas had recruited extremely well. Engineering was able to market
itself as the biggest and best Engineering Faculty in Scotland. Science could not match such a
statement but it ought to look to maximising such strengths as it undoubtedly had, by identifying and
promoting a high-quality „Science at Strathclyde‟ brand identity.

UG Admissions – Competitive Entry and Points Scores
Competitive entry standards for Science Faculty courses are set and adjusted by departments in the
light of previous intakes and intake targets and monitored by the Faculty‟s Selectors and Student
Recruitment Committee (SSRC) and Academic Administration Committee. Those for 2008 had been
set in 2006.

However, debate at Faculty level about these standards is not precluded. In November 2007, the
SSRC discussed the University‟s Excellence Agenda‟s determination to drive up entry standards and,
thereby, the quality of applicants. Points raised included the possibility of targeting high-achieving
applicants at an early stage (ie applicants from sixth year to whom unconditional offers would be
made) by contacting them as soon as their application was received and offering an early visit to the
University. The early contact could be used to impress upon such candidates the importance of
focussing on their school studies, even if they had won an unconditional offer. Also, where
appropriate, as well as the unconditional offer of entry to 1st year, such candidates could be given a
conditional offer for direct entry to second year which might also help maintain their motivation
towards attaining Advanced Highers.

Proportionately, only a small number of students entered the Faculty from fifth year at school and it
was suggested that the Faculty should encourage students to consider direct entry to Year 2 after sixth
year, provided that they were suitably qualified, by which was meant three good Advanced Highers.
However, few students presented with three Advanced Highers and certain degrees would not fit this
model. Furthermore, schools were motivated by a desire to excel in the league tables and tended to
promote two Advanced Highers and one „crash‟ Higher in sixth year as a more easily achievable goal.
And, while AAB or ABB at Advanced Higher in appropriate subjects probably reflected a suitable
level of achievement for direct entry to Year 2 of Science‟s courses as currently designed, there was
also a concern about Strathclyde‟s real ability to attract significant numbers of such high-achieving
science students who would probably be targeting medicine or Oxbridge.

In 2006/07, the average points score presented by entrants to Science was 476, slightly ahead of the
University‟s average of 468. The method used to calculate this performance indicator then changed
for 2007/08. For Science, in 2007/08, the average UCAS Tariff was 362.9 and for the University,
378; in 2008/09, Science scored 379.2 - still chasing the University average which had risen to 387.4.

However, some of our Selectors suggest that there may be a „Science Specialism‟ effect here. Thus, a
pupil with good Highers in 5th year intending to pursue science at University but remaining at school
for 6th year is liable to be strongly advised to pursue Advance Highers in their intended science as well
as mathematics and thus end up with 4 or 5 subjects contributing to their UCAS tariff. On the other
hand, such students intending to pursue a University course that does not immediately build on a
school subject may choose to broaden their education pursing new subjects at Higher thus increasing
the number of subjects contributing to their UCAS tariff score. It has been suggested that “Average
UCAS Tariff per Subject” may be an interesting indicator.

UG Admissions - Overseas Recruitment
The great majority of the Faculty‟s overseas undergraduate entrants arrive via the Collaborative
Pharmacy programme with the International Medical University in Kuala Lumpur (IMU). Entry to
the traditional 5+3 semester model is in June and in 2009 the intake was 103. The Royal
Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain will not accredit that degree (as more than 50% is delivered

outwith the UK) but in July 2009 agreed to accredit the new 2+2 year model of the degree, which had
taken its first intake in January 2008. That cohort reached Strathclyde in October 2009 and numbered
29. Admissions data show that the 2+2 model is gaining popularity at the expense of the traditional
5+3 version. At the same time, the IMU arrangement is facing competition from other providers.
Strathclyde and the IMU are working closely to ensure that this valuable collaboration (which now
extends to Psychology and will shortly embrace joint Biomedical Sciences degrees) will continue to

A much smaller cohort of students from Oman takes the standard „Home‟ version of the MPharm
degree. An articulation agreement with Donghua University, China, produced a first cohort of around
half a dozen students for the BSc Maths and Statistics degrees in 2007/08, whose results in 2008/09
were outstanding. The remaining overseas Undergraduate students come as individuals, not as part of
a programme.

Most of these overseas students perform very well, though there are occasional difficulties, often to do
with the distance between them and their families. The Faculty, assisted by the International and
Graduate Office, does all it can to ease these students‟ difficulties.

UG Admissions and Population -Gender
Gender data for 2006/07 are not available. More recent analyses show the gender balance amongst
undergraduate admissions in Science as a male/female split of 45:55 in 2007/08 and 46:54 in 2008/09.
In terms of student population, there remains a steady male/female split in Science of 47:53 in both
2007/08 and 2008/09.

UG Admissions-Mature
Data on mature (>25) entrants in 2006 showed the Faculty continuing to attract fewer mature students
than the University average, and its share was not growing: 3.7% in 2004/05, 3.5% in 2005/06 and
3.6% 2006/07, based on full-time undergraduate admissions, against the corresponding figures for the
University as a whole of 6.4%, 7.1% and 7.9% respectively. This is perhaps not surprising since the
study of Science at HE level requires the foundation of recent study of the school curriculum (or
equivalent) and this is probably not an easy thing for mature candidates to achieve. Data for 2007/08
and 2008/09 appear not to be available.

UG Admissions and Population - Mode of Study

As the following table shows, part-time study among undergraduates in Science is very unusual. The
reasons are partly practical – the problems posed by part-time study for the routine of laboratory
management – and partly historical – the absence of any imperative to address those challenges. The
new 20 credit framework was used as an opportunity to recast regulations to state that most course
would be available full-time or part-time. It remains to be seen whether future entrants will avail
themselves of the new opportunities.

          UG                               Intake                                Population
   Mode of Study (p/t)           Science            University         Science            University
 2008/09                          0.8%                4.3%              0.8%                 3.5%
 2007/08                            0                  5%              0.08%                  4%
 2006/07                         0.05%                3.5%             0.05%                2.89%

UG Admissions: Wider Access

Wider access information is provided by the Schools & Colleges Liaison Office (SCLO) and largely
drawn from the intake data from Focus West (formerly GOALS) Schools.

           Admissions                          2006/07              2007/08               2008/09
           No (as % of Home                   83 (10.3%)          87 (11%)              74 (10.6%)
           Science intake)
           No (as % of University             83 of 266           87 of 282             74 of 269

                GOALS/      Focus    West          (31.2%)              (30.85%)             (27.5%)

     In 2006/07 Science returned to being the most popular Faculty for GOALS entrants (a recovery from
     an unexplained slump in 2004/05), based on a 31% share of the number of entrants from these
     schools. Science‟s popularity with GOALS schools used to be attributed principally to the attractions
     of the Science Studies degree and its successor Natural Sciences but, in fact, entrants are taken in
     across the full range of Faculty degrees. An analysis to determine exactly how these students fare, and
     whether they contribute at all disproportionately to the Faculty‟s retention issues, remains to be done.

     The numbers reaching the Faculty from Further Education Colleges tend to be very small.
     Discussions with Stow College about intakes into CIS degrees are still ongoing.

     Some Departmental perspectives
     For Chemistry, entrance standards did not change but a significant enhancement of schools contacts
     and student application experience followed from the Department‟s in-house Marketing Assistant
     initiative. The number of applications in 2008 was 601 (239 female, 232 male, 15 mature and 9
     overseas). Of these 160 arrived in the department, namely 140 masters and 20 BSc Honours students.
     Clearing was not required. The average UCAS tariff points (all entrants except HNC/HND) was 430.
     The average for Masters students was 443. Non-standard background entrants comprised 7% of this

     Regarding entrance requirements, for Mathematics and STAMS the entry criteria for 2008-09 was
     increased from a B to an A grade in Higher Mathematics. In the event, with the disappointing
     performance in the 2008 SQA results, several pupils did not meet the new standard but could be taken
     into Natural Sciences. The wider access aspect of that programme was still in evidence in 2008, as
     there was still recruitment to the Pass degree (stopping in 2010). The number admitted directly to
     Honours grew, but the majority were the Pass degree entrants, mainly coming as referrals from
     Science Faculty selectors.

     For the Physics BSc stream, 82% of entrants exceeded the entrance tariff of BBCC and the average
     tariff was 297 for an average number of 4.8 Highers. For the MPhys, 12 out of 13 exceeded the tariff
     of ABBB, the average tariff being 360 for an average number of 5.3 Highers. The Department
     recorded 56 entrants, of whom 33 were male school leavers and 12 female. There were 7 mature male
     entrants and 1 female. Overseas were represented by 2 EU students. Of school leavers 3 were male
     Home Asian, 1 English.

     No department reported any noteworthy change in the mode of study being pursued by new entrants.
     The great majority were standard full-time students.

11.2 Please comment on trends in respect of Postgraduate Instructional admissions. Within this
     analysis please comment specifically on the following for session 2008/09:

       -   the breakdown of entrant students (mature, overseas, gender balance, intake from non-
           standard backgrounds – i.e. Wider Access programmes/FE colleges etc);
       -   changes in mode of study (ft/pt/dl) required by students;
       -   general entrance standards.

       Postgraduate Instructional (full-time & part-time)*

                                      Intake                             Population
                          2006/07      2007/08    2008/09     2006/07     2007/08       2008/09
           Home            134.65        118        91.33      157.97      150.5         105.26
           Overseas         93.83       129.5        95.5       96.5        132            97
           Total           228.48       247.5      186.83      254.47      282.5         202.26

     * From the University‟s published standard annual datasets produced by the Planning Office, year–
     ending 2006/07 - 2008/09.
     Following a healthy recruitment cycle in 2007, the 2008 figures show a falling away, on both the
     Home/EC and the overseas fronts. On the Home front, the fall is most pronounced in CIS and in
     Chemistry‟s MSc in Forensic Science (both dropping 33% between 2006 and 2008). The CIS fall is
     explained by the cessation of the MSc in Strategic Information Services, the bespoke 5 year
     programme for the Royal Bank of Scotland that had started in 2002. Forensic Science‟s reduction
     may be due to the increased number of such courses that are now available in the UK. On the
     overseas front SIPBS almost halved its intake between 2007 and 2008 (102 to 56). This was a
     conscious decision, following a year when it over-extended itself, placing great strain on resources.

     There is still some cause for concern here but, fortunately, the PGR figures below are much healthier.

     PGI Admissions and Population -Gender
     In the terms of PGI admissions in Science, the gender balance between male and female PGI students
     was 47:53 in 2008/09. The University figure was 43:58. The population splits, as might be expected
     with PGI, were very similar: 47:53 for the Faculty against a University wide figure of 45:55.

     PGI Admissions and Population - Mode of Study
     As with undergraduate study, there were few part-time students in Science compared with the
     University average, as the following table covering 2006/07 – 2008/09 demonstrates.

                 PGI                            Intake                               Population
           Mode of Study (p/t)        Science            University        Science            University
         2008/09                       4.2%                 19%             11%                  30%
         2007/08                       7.3%                11.5%           15.3%                16.4%
         2006/07                       6.7%               18.75%           15.5%                28.4%

     Departmental Perspectives
     The academic entry requirement to the MSc Forensic Science (Centre for Forensic Science,
     Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry) is a 2.1 or higher for UK or a CGPA of 3.48 or higher
     elsewhere. Three students were from operational backgrounds with lesser academic scores but
     enhanced experience. Four were enrolled on the PgDip and then transferred successfully to the MSc in
     January 2009. The IELTS requirements were raised from 6.5 to 7.0 because of previous problems
     with non-English speaking entrants. Further, telephone conversations as mini interviews were
     pioneered and found to be successful. The intake was 37 students in 2008/09. 14 were from the UK, 6
     from Europe and 17 were non-EU. Nine of the 37 students were male and 28 were female.

     Physics‟ entrants to its sole PGI course, the MSc in High Power Radio Engineering, were 2 ii or better
     but the course was not supported by the Collaborative Training Account replacement funding stream,
     the Knowledge Transfer Award. This probably affected recruitment. Eight students were admitted,
     one of whom was from overseas. SIPBS advises that the conversion rate for overseas postgraduate
     student entry (i.e. final numbers as a percentage of offers made) dropped in 2008-2009. The reasons
     are unclear, as this pre-dates the Points-Based System of immigration.

     No department reported any noteworthy change in the mode of study being pursued by new entrants.
     The great majority were standard full-time students.

11.3 Please comment on trends in respect of Postgraduate Research admissions. Within this analysis
     please comment specifically on the following for session 2008/09:

     -       the breakdown of entrant students (e.g. home, overseas, gender balance)
     -       changes in mode of study (ft/pt/dl) required by students;
     -       general entrance standards.

         Postgraduate Research (full-time & part-time)*

                                      Intake                              Population
                          2006/07      2007/08     2008/09      2006/07    2007/08      2008/09
           Home             63.5          62        109.5        190.25      194         244.5
           Overseas         31.5          56         42           93.25     124.5        119.5
           Total             95          118        151.5         283.5     318.5         364

     * From the University‟s published standard annual datasets produced by the Planning Office, year–
     ending 2006/07 - 2008/09.

     The steady increase in the intake of research students to the Faculty, reflected in the healthy
     population figures, reflects the research culture that imbues this Faculty. The department-by-
     department data in the Management Information Profiles prepared by Planning show that this growth
     is spread over every Department, albeit to varying degrees. Total research population shows, for
     example, CIS doubling between 2006/07 and 2008/09 (15.5 to 31 FTE) and an upsurge in Physics
     (42.5 to 70). The extent of PGR activity in SIPBS is reflected by a population size of 124 in 2008/09.
     However, some cautionary notes should be sounded. The first is a dip in overseas recruitment – the
     growth is in the Home market. The second is that not all of these students are studying for PhD –
     many will be doing one year MRes degrees, so the positive resource implications may be less than
     they appear. And lastly, good population figures may mask some unsatisfactory completion trends –
     see 12.3 below.

     PGR Admissions and Population -Gender
     For PGR admissions in Science, the male/female split was 55:45 in 2008/09. The University-wide
     male/female gender balance was 63:37. The equivalent figures for population were 56:44 for Science
     and 62:38 for the University as a whole.

     PGR Admissions and Population - Mode of Study
     As with undergraduate and postgraduate instructional study, very few students research part-time, as
     the following table shows.

               PGR                               Intake                              Population
         Mode of Study (p/t)         Science              University       Science            University
       2008/09                       0.33%                  9.2%            1.6%                11.1%
       2007/08                       1.69%                 6.16%           2.98%                8.66%
       2006/07                       0.94%                 4.76%           7.23%                11.3%

     Departmental Perspectives
     Chemistry reports that Home PGRs represented 79.3% of its 2008/09 intake, overseas 20.7%, the
     latter an increase on previous years. The male/female ratio was 34.5/65.5. Mature students numbered
     22. None was from a non standard background. Physics had 23 new PGR students, 12 Male, 11
     Female and 3 from overseas.

11.4 Please note any specific proposals or initiatives on admissions at Departmental and/or Faculty
     level that arose following experience in 2008/09 (i.e. increasing/lowering entrance requirements).

     CIS is continuing to interview students prior to making them conditional offers. Undergraduate
     entrance requirements remained static (but are being increased for A Level students applying for entry
     in 2010-11).

      In Mathematics and in STAMS, undergraduate intake in 2008 was a solid 110 with no decrease in
      entry requirements. A further ten students transferred into Mathematics and STAMS-based degrees
      from other areas of the University. No new initiatives with regard to admissions were deemed
      necessary. Mathematics continued to make use of the Summer School Programme for „adult

     Physics introduced UCAS lunches and made attendance appear to be compulsory. Other initiatives
     included Advanced Higher Days for school pupils, so they may attend lectures and undertake practical
     work associated with Advanced Higher Learning outcomes; Advanced Higher Project support, which
     allows pupils to use departmental facilities to complete Project; schools talks that offer variety of
     subjects at all levels, giving access to school pupils; and a careers event where alumni talk about how
     a physics degree has helped their careers. Following 2008/09, admissions to academic year 09/10 saw
     a raise in the Integrated Masters requirements to AABB (including Maths and Physics at B). Next year
     will see further changes. Meanwhile, SIPBS made plans to increase the first year intake on the
     MPharm to 150 for 2009-10.


In completing this section, Faculties should refer to the Management Information Profiles (MIPS)
produced by the Planning Office.

12.1 Please comment on trends in respect of Undergraduate and Integrated Master progression and

     UG/Integrated Masters

     The Faculty of Science used to have poor retention rates compared with those of the other Faculties.
     To start reversing that trend, the Faculty introduced in 2003/04 induction sessions for all 1st years,
     after which the Dean‟s Office would issue letters to those who failed to attend, this then being
     followed by departmental monitoring, and all being coupled with offers of assistance. In short, „at
     risk‟ students were being identified, and assistance offered, practically from day 1.

     In the data that follow, the „year after entry‟ figures are used (students on the first year of their
     courses, ie including year 1 plus direct entry above year 1). They show the Faculty‟s average
     retention moving above the University‟s and sustaining that position in 2006/07 and 2007/08, but
     slipping back in 2008/09. Also less encouraging are the year by year data. The Faculty is consistently
     retaining fewer students after 1st and after 2nd year (save for the latter in 2006/07) than the University
     average. Third year retention is a different story, with the Faculty above the University average,
     suggesting that most of those who make it through the difficult first two years (and more than in other
     faculties) are capable of tackling an Honours year.

     All figures are percentages (bold indicates where the Faculty exceeds the University average).

                                           SU         FoS       SU         FoS       SU       FoS
                                          06/07      06/07     07/08      07/08     08/09    08/09
      Year after entry                    92.33      93.00     91.20      93.00      92.0     91.1
      Year 1                              89.94      87.33     89.30       88.2      90.6     89.8
      Year 2                              94.27      94.29     94.40      93.30      97.1     97.2
      Year 3                              85.20      91.90     85.00      91.00      99.6     99.7

     The above data conform to the HESA templates. The figures that follow show each Faculty and are
     still for „year after entry‟ but with overseas students included (though not IMU). They are for

           Business:            95% were retained
           Education:           91% were retained
           Engineering:         92.6% were retained
           LASS:                92.9% were retained
           Science:             91.5% were retained (last year the figure was 91%)
           University:          92.6% were retained (last year was 92.1%)

     The available data on why students leave are frustratingly vague, but the next table (which confines
     itself to the Faculty of Science) provides some insight. Each year, by far and away the largest group
     of leavers comprises graduates and others receiving an award. The largest group leaving without an
     award are those described in the official data as „Academic failure/left in bad standing/not permitted to
     progress‟, while the next largest group is depicted as „personal reasons and dropped out‟.
     Unfortunately, this last group cannot be analysed further.

                   Total         Award       No Award        No Award       No Award       Other
                  Leavers        Total         Total         (Academic      (Personal)
      2006/07       788        607 (77%)         181            102             62           17
      2007/08       861        700 (81%)         161             87             26           48
      2008/09       845        751 (89%)          94             62             20           12

     Turning to completion, to see how those who are retained actually perform, the following concentrates
     on students leaving with Honours or Pass degrees only (explaining the different award totals from
     those that appear above), and shows the classification of degree.

                    Hons         Hons       Hons         Hons        Hons        Pass
                      1st         2/1        2/2          3         Unclass     Degree
      2005/06    119 (18.6%)     223        165           33           8          90
      2006/07    123 (20.6%)     236         98           45          16          79
      2007/08    102 (15.4%)     348        104           45           2          61
      2008/09    121 (17.3%)     291        146           53          31          54

     There are no trends discernible in these data, other than the steady reduction in awards of Pass

     Some Departmental perspectives

     CIS reports that 1st year progress improved after tutorials were introduced but there are some
     concerns about 2nd year retention. The problem may be attributable to workload and this is being
     looked at. In Mathematics and in STAMS, there was a significant decrease in the number of Pass
     degrees awarded (14 in previous year reducing to 3) and a slight increase in the number of students
     obtaining a third class honours degree in comparison to the previous year (14 rising from 8 in the
     previous year). There were 15 first class awards; 13 upper second class awards; 28 lower second class
     awards; 14 third class awards; and 3 pass degrees.

     For the 2008/09 session the progression in Chemistry from first year was 84%. There were, however,
     6 students who requested re-attend of first year and 4 students who were placed in academic
     suspension. If they do return, progression would become 92%. The progression from second to third
     year was 81% but again if re-attend and suspended students are included this could rise to 93%.
     Progression from third year to 4th year (Honours), 4th year (Masters) or graduation (for BSc students)
     was 88% but this would rise to 98% if all students placed in suspension were to return. Some 96% of
     fourth year students (sandwich and masters) progressed to their final year of study.

12.2 Please comment on trends in respect of Postgraduate Instructional progression and completion.

     Discrete statistics on PGI progression and completion are not provided by Planning. However,
     comparing the intake/population figures at 11.2 above with the awards data below provides a sense
     that completion is very high. Additionally, it may be noted that the summary report detailing
     postgraduate instructional class pass rates for the January and May/June 2009 diets of examinations
     did not feature any Faculty of Science classes in the „at risk‟ category (ie less than 75% passing in
     classes with 75 or more students); however, three classes had been identified as „borderline‟ (ie less
     than 75% passing in classes with less than 75 students).

     Postgraduate Instructional (PGI) Completion – Awards

                     Masters Degree         Other Taught Degree
                                              at Masters Level
      2008/09              230                      55
      2007/08              197                      52
      2006/07              188                      36

     Some departmental perspectives
     Chemistry reports that 36 of the 37 students who began the MSc Forensic Science graduated. One
     has an appeal pending. For Physics, there was 100 % MSc completion (including 1 Pass, but also 5
     Merit, and 2 Distinction).

12.3 Please comment on trends in respect of Postgraduate Research submission and completion.

     In February 2009, the Faculty‟s Postgraduate Studies Committee received data on completion rates for
     research students who had first registered between 2001/02 and 2004/05. These showed that only
     71% of 2001/02 registrations had submitted on time, 61% of 2002/03, 60% of 2003/04 and 39% of
     2004/05. If all those who had submitted, though not necessarily on time, were included, these results
     moved to 77%, 64%, 61% and 62% respectively. As in previous years, several anomalies were
     identified between the historical „snapshot‟ data of the survey and data held by the student records

     However, setting aside doubts about the absolute accuracy of the data, the Committee agreed the
     results were disappointing. In mitigation, it was noted that some students would have experienced
     broken periods of commitment to their studies (for example, through entering voluntary suspension).
     Also, Registry did not „stop the clock‟ for PGR students entering voluntary suspension. Instead, their
     minimum period of study was extended by the appropriate period, leading to a thesis apparently being
     submitted late whereas this was not in fact the case. Another factor was peculiar to SIPBS. The
     historic figures were based on students in former departments that now constituted the Institute.
     Indeed, SIPBS was pro-active in ensuring that, given a normal teaching load, postgraduate supervision
     was limited to no more than 6 research students per supervisor, and the expectation that research
     students should submit within 4 years of registration was stressed. The Faculty learnt in its
     quinquennial review of SIPBS that supervisors who had a student who was late in submitting would
     not be allocated a studentship until the outstanding thesis was submitted.

     The Faculty believes that, whatever the length of the scholarship (or other funding) supporting the
     research (be it 3, 3.5 or 4 years), the student should have a project plan that, given satisfactory
     progress, should allow the research to be completed and the thesis written and submitted within that
     period of study. The additional year available beyond this, termed by Registry as „registered as writing
     up‟ takes a student to their „Maximum Period of Study‟, ie to the point where the thesis MUST have
     been submitted unless an extension of study is applied for and granted. The historic late submission
     rates seemed to suggest that many students, either directed by their supervisors or by their own choice,
     have not been completing their research work and commencing their write up at an early enough

     The latest data have recently been supplied by Registry. These show that, combining those submitting
     on time with those submitting after the 4 year period, 79% of 2002/03, 71% of 2003/04, 76% of
     2004/05 and 52% of 2005/06 registrations had completed. These figures show that there is still much
     room for improvement, and it is anticipated that this will be an issue that the Faculty will be trying to
     address in the coming months.

                                              SECTION C


13.1 Please confirm that the information contained in the summary spreadsheet of all active
     collaborative agreements active in 2008/09 by type (validated, jointly delivered, articulations) is
     up to date.

     The Faculty Internationalization Group, established in January 2008, made it its main task to ensure
     that the Faculty knew which collaborative arrangements were active and which had ceased. So we can
     confirm that the information in the summary spreadsheet (Corporate Services – Common Folder) is up
     to date.

13.2 Please confirm that all collaborative agreements were reviewed during the summer of 2009 as
     required by Senate.

     As the template for undertaking this exercise was not then finalised, this exercise was conducted
     during November 2009.

13.3 Was the Faculty satisfied with the continued validity and viability of its collaborative
     agreements? If not, what was done to address any concerns?

     Yes – because of the work of the Faculty Internationalization Group, the review threw up no surprises.

13.4 Did the Faculty identify any issues arising from these collaborative agreements which needed to
     be addressed at Faculty level?

     Although properly belonging to next year‟s report on session 2009-2010, mention may be made now
     of the Quality Assurance Agency‟s visit to SIPBS in December 2009, part of a sector-wide
     examination of links between UK Higher Education and Malaysia. It was an „information gathering‟
     exercise, preparatory to the QAA compiling a case study about the Collaborative MPharm run with the
     International Medical University in Kuala Lumpur. One issue that did arise is that we were perhaps
     less sure than we could have been about the QA regime within which the IMU operates in Malaysia.
     The review of collaborations (13.2) touched on this issue, but it was a light touch, and we should
     better acquaint ourselves with the Malaysian QA approach and the IMU‟s own practices. This type of
     issue may well apply to other collaborations.

13.5 Did the Faculty identify any issues arising from these collaborative agreements which needed to
     be addressed at University level?

     See 13.4 above.

13.6 Are there any issues of note for the quality monitoring of provision that has come out of the
     negotiations for new and renewed collaborative.

     See 13.4 above.

                               SECTION D (OTHER INFORMATION)

14   Please provide any current observations on information provided for session 2008/09

     Nothing that has not been included in the foregoing answers.

15   Please outline the Faculty’s priorities for session 2009/10.

     The Faculty‟s priorities in 2009/10 with respect to Education (teaching and learning) are the bedding
     down of the new 20 credit Undergraduate and Integrated Masters framework and, following the June
     diet of General Examination Boards, an assessment of the impact of the new pan-University
     compensation scheme. Other Faculty priorities concern making high quality appointments under the
     recent JARL initiative, the ongoing work with the Research Excellence Framework, and launching a
     Knowledge Transfer strategy.

16   From a quality assurance perspective, please outline any issues in the Faculty’s Strategy
     Statements that might usefully enhance the work of Quality Monitoring Committee and/or
     Educational Strategy Committee.

     The following extracts are from the Faculty‟s March 2009 Strategy Statement.

     The Science Faculty is key to enabling Strathclyde as a leading „technological university‟…Internally,
     the Review of the Humanities and Social Sciences will substantially change the landscape of the
     University. Science is ready and keen to capitalise on the new structures. We already have joint
     degrees with all faculties. We look forward to working closer with the Social Sciences, Humanities
     and Education, introducing new degrees (for example, Masters degrees combining a science with
     External pressures include the anticipated demographic downturn, the Scottish Government‟s funding
     priorities, compliance with the Bologna movement, the current global economic downswing and the
     fierce competition in overseas student recruitment linked to the new immigration process. All will
     affect us. We must develop our external image across every aspect of our activities, at home, in
     Europe and further afield, supported by strong cross-departmental, cross-faculty and external
     partnership activity…
     Our degree courses…already support five of the six economic priorities of Scottish Government:
     Energy, Life Sciences, Financial Services, Food and Drink, and Digital Markets and Enabling
     Technologies. The sixth, Tourism, is not addressed. As departments review their course portfolios,
     modes of delivery and research priorities, the needs of Government will be considered…


     2     Overseas UG intake: as a priority, we must re-consolidate our position with IMU by responding
           positively to the increased demand for the new 2+2 year model and declining interest in the 5+3
           semester model, and by completing MoA‟s for new joint degrees. We need to nurture our
           existing partnerships with China and develop further selective interactions there and elsewhere.
     3     2009/10 should be viewed as a transition year for the 20-credit structure. The newly merged
           M&S will review its UG portfolio as a priority. There will be continuing effort on the Funding
           Council‟s enhancement themes (employability, enquiry/problem based learning, first year
           transition, flexible delivery, integrative assessment, research-teaching linkages).
     4     For most taught degrees, Bologna compliance is still an issue. We look to the University
           Working Party on Bologna for advice and clear guidance.
     5     For the Natural Sciences degree, recruitment at BBBB (elevated from previously) has resulted
           in an excellent but small cohort. There is much opportunity with this degree if marketed well. It
           has been devalued internally in the past when used as a safety net for less able students from
           other degrees. Weaker students need to be helped in other ways. We will explore how this
           degree may be used as a platform to develop a BSc Hons in „Interdisciplinary Sciences‟ with
           multi-disciplinary core and subject specialisation at Honours – a new degree responding to new
           challenges in the employment market, post 2013.
     6     …. We anticipate that the new University-wide compensation scheme (which supplants the
           Faculty‟s own scheme) may initially damage our retention rates. Enhancement of the VLE and
           the new Maths Skills Centre should act as counter-balances but departments will also be
           looking at their assessment regimes to ensure that students capable of achieving degrees are
           able to do so.

      7     All PGI courses will be reviewed, both in terms of scope and mode of delivery, in better
            alignment with the Scottish Government priorities. First graduate prospects may be diminished
            through the „credit crunch‟ and so there is likely to be a larger pool of graduates who want to
            up-skill. Some departments are already doing this, e.g. CIS with Business Information
            Technology Systems (BITS) and SIPBS with Clinical Pharmacy.
      8     More flexible delivery mechanisms will be pursued. Part-time study will be publicised better.
            Distance learning will also feature more. Thus, the Centre for Forensic Science is proposing a
            distance learning version of its popular MSc that would be attractive to international
            practitioners…CIS is also considering a similar future for its MSc Library and Information
            Studies. On-line distance learning should be assisted with by marketing and IT infrastructure
            from Professional Services.
      9     We aim to address the problem of ageing teaching equipment by combining internal and
            external funding, the latter through an enhancement of industrial support…



      Please summarise all required follow-up action for the session under review and any additional
      academic quality assurance and enhancement actions required to align with the Excellence

17.1 The desirability of looking at wider access and the retention performance of students admitted through
     the Focus West initiative (see paragraph 1.2).

17.2 The desirability of looking to see how the Faculty‟s teaching equipment can be upgraded (see
     paragraph 4.2).

17.3 The Faculty should consider being more prescriptive in the management of departments‟ Student-Staff
     committees, asking each Department, for example, to hold two per semester and to report the minutes
     and follow-up actions to the next available AAC (see paragraph 4.10).

17.4 The Faculty should discuss with the Disability Service whether another approach might be used to flag
     to departments the needs of disabled students (see paragraph 8.3).

17.5 Better promotion of a high-quality „Science at Strathclyde‟ brand identity (see paragraph 11.1).



                                                                                                                       Student Feedback
                            BOARD OF STUDY*
                                                                        CES Joint
              Appeals Committee
                                                                        JSBES: Joint
                                                                      Teaching Degrees
                 Chair          Academic
                              Administration                                                                           Class Leader
                               Committee*                                                                          (Annual Class Review)
                                                                                                                   OR annual PG Course
                                                      Faculty                                                             Review
                                                      Group                         Selectors &
Vice -Dean Academic                                                                   Student
                                        PG Studies                                                Teaching Committee
                                        Committee*                                                 (Annual Review of
                                                                                                      Course) OR
                                                                                                    appropriate PG       Head of Department
                                                                                                      Committee             (or nominee)
          PG Research
         Progress reports                                                      Accreditation

                                                                                      Departmental              External Examiners
                                                                                     Staff Committee           Reports & Responses

          Faculty of Science Academic Quality Assurance Network
                                  (* indicates Student representation)


                                                                                                   Annex 2

                                BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES


(The Institute’s comments are in bold italics)


6.1   RECOMMENDS to the Faculty that steps be taken as soon as possible to develop and implement a
      succession strategy for the headship of SIPBS.

The Institute has acknowledged the need for seamless and appropriate succession and how this will be
best achieved will need to be the subject of careful deliberation. It is important to know very soon what
role the Faculty and Centre will play in this process, whether strategic area(s) and/or person(s) will be
identified, and if this will be an external appointment.

      Management Structure
6.3   RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it review the dual role of the person acting as
      Assistant Head of Institute (support staff) and Head of Teaching and Learning.

We agree that for many academics this would be an unreasonably large administrative load. However, the
current holder of these positions is research-inactive and therefore does not find the load unmanageable.
This arrangement fits with the department’s distributed workload model which takes into account
research, teaching and administration and allows individual members of academic staff the opportunity
to play to their strengths. There is little point in forcing a top level researcher to take on some of this
administrative load when they are best deployed building the research esteem of the department. It is
likely that the two jobs will be carried out by two individuals when the current holder demits office.

      The Panel also noted that, notwithstanding the above individual‟s personnel responsibility for all
      support staff, another member of the Institute‟s Management Group (IMG), the Head of Technical
      Services, was often their line manager. The Panel wondered whether this might not run the risk of
      creating conflict.

The Assistant HoI and Head of Technical Services meet regularly and at least daily to discuss Technical
Staff issues and report that not only is there no conflict in the working relationship, but that there is an
advantage and reciprocal support in having two individuals participating in line management of
Technical Staff.

      RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it considers having representatives of other
      support staff on the IMG, or setting up a support staff group, possibly chaired by a member of the
      IMG and reporting through that person to the IMG.

SIPBS believe it appropriate that all staff input into IMG and this can be best achieved by membership of
other committees that directly or indirectly report to the IMG. The department now has a Technical,
Secretarial and Administrators Group (TSAG) that meets every 2-3 months to discuss issues raised by
support staff and to report initiatives and developments discussed by the IMG. TSAG met in April and
July 2009. We believe that the TSAG is enough and that extending the IMG membership to include
additional members of support staff would serve no further useful purpose.

      RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it considers adding two elected places
      (academic) to the composition of the Institute Management Group.
We are not convinced that this would serve any useful purpose. What would be the role of these people?
We believe that the current structure allows all staff to input into the decisions of the IMG, although we
recognise that not all staff take this opportunity. The University is moving away from elected Deans etc,
presumably for the same reasons that we believe that the suggested elected places are unnecessary.
Making IMG even larger would make it cumbersome and slow at decision making.

6.4   RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it seeks to improve the effectiveness of its
      communications by establishing communications protocols which navigate only to the relevant
      persons and flag importance.

A wide range of communication lines are used to keep staff informed of decision making. The Newsletter
serves an important role in this. Refinement of the mechanisms of promulgating information will be
examined. We accept the need to make greater use of selective e-mail lists. This should be quite
straightforward to implement, although some staff have proved very resistant to such improvements.

6.5   RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that

      (i) in accordance with Regulation 1.14, representatives of the Research staff should be appointed to
           the Departmental Committee, and consideration should be given to having representatives on the
           Departmental Committee from all other significant groups of staff within the Institute (Academic
           Support Staff, Technicians, Administrative Staff and Secretarial Staff);
      (ii) consideration be given to holding occasional meetings of all staff if issues of particular
           importance within the Institute arise.

To an extent this is an issue of presentation rather than change. We do currently hold reasonably regular
(every 6 months, except for the period in advance of the Faculty Review!) departmental meetings that
encompass all grades of staff. We shall in future make sure that these meetings are properly presented as
meetings of the ‘Departmental Committee’.

      Administrative Support
6.6   RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it provides clarification about the support to be
      provided to academic and other staff by the secretarial and administrative staff.

The roles and responsibilities of all secretarial staff are currently under review. We intend moving to a
model in which there is increased allocation of specific duties to individual secretaries, particularly with
respect to the teaching programmes. This should improve the interface between academic and support

      Safety Infrastructure and Organisation
6.8   RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that steps be taken to ensure that Safety training for
      all students covers the implications of the relevant Health & Safety legislation as well as the actual
      procedures that must be observed.

At present we have a very comprehensive induction package that we deliver to every new arrival to the
department and we find it most surprising that they claim not to know the implications of Health & Safety
legislation that applies to them. Furthermore this is supplemented with central Safety Services courses in
many of these areas e.g. COSHH, risk assessment, and local courses e.g. radiation, laser awareness and
routine reiteration of aspects by their research supervisor(s). We therefore feel that the comments made
are not representative of the majority. They are also surprising in that the students formally sign a
document stating that they understand the local rules and explanations of them that have been provided.


      Staff development

7.7   RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that consideration be given to the introduction of a
      training budget for the use of support staff.

There already is a training budget. The issue is probably more to do with getting individuals involved in
training opportunities.

      Staffing – The Workload Model

7.9   RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it continues to develop its Workload Model so
      that it becomes an effective and accepted tool for ensuring that Academic Staff are given the
      opportunity to contribute fully to the future success of SIPBS.

The workload model has been modified (and hopefully improved) annually. Such development is expected
to continue.

7.10 RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it considers how to include in the SIPBS
     Workload Model means of giving credit for the responsibility of implementing and managing
     innovations in teaching or in teaching administration.

We shall do this.

     Support Staff - Annual review and PDP
7.11 RECOMMENDS that the management of SIPBS circulates all staff explaining the processes for
     annual review and personal development planning.

We believe that the comment here is wrong. No cases were presented to the IMG. The individual who
claimed this had clearly not understood how the process was conducted last session in SIPBS (all of
which were perfectly acceptable). We are surprised that individuals did not realise that the process was
underway. We shall ensure as far as is possible that all know in future. We also look forward to
clarification from the Centre as to how these processes are going to work in the future.

     Technician Support
7.12 RECOMMENDS that the Faculty discuss with the Institute‟s management how to deal most
     efficiently with the need to effect rapid repairs of minor breakdowns of essential equipment.

SIPBS management look forward to discussing with Faculty how best to facilitate rapid repair of
essential equipment by staff of the Faculty Workshop.



      (i)    to the Institute‟s management that a definitive list of unresolved estates issues with the
             Robertson wing be compiled and forwarded to Estates Management (if this has not already been
             done); and

      (ii)   to Estates Management that work on remedying the faults in the Robertson Wing of the John
             Arbuthnott Building should continue to be considered a matter of priority.

SIPBS have regular (2 monthly) meetings with Estates Management to discuss ongoing and unresolved
estates issues within the Robertson Wing (and the rest of SIPBS). A revised list of these issues is being
compiled. We totally agree that remedying the faults should be considered ‘a matter of priority’.
Unfortunately this has not always resulted in timely and effective action in the past.

8       FINDINGS OF           THE      REVIEW:        EDUCATION          (TEACHING,         LEARNING          AND

        Quality Assurance and Accreditation
8.2      RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it ensures that students on the Joint Honours
        Biomedical Sciences degrees are advised in good time that they have an opportunity to transfer at the
        end of the 2nd year of their studies to the BSc Honours in Biomedical Science degree that is
        accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science.

They have been, repeatedly. For the past 2 years the Second Year Coordinator has held a meeting in
Semester 2 explaining these opportunities to all 2nd Year students.

8.3     RECOMMENDS that the Institute‟s management develops a clear strategy for its PGI courses and
        their recruitment targets that takes into account the availability of staff, the availability of appropriate
        teaching estate, the University‟s overall internationalisation agenda, and the Business Plan for the new
        SIPBS building.

We have a strategy, which evolves as required. This takes into account all of the factors listed.
Implementing the strategy has, on occasions, proved challenging.

        Feedback and Assessment
8.9     RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that

        (i)     all coursework and assessment regimes are designed so that staff can be reasonably expected to
                meet the Faculty‟s policy that coursework is returned, assessed, within 2 weeks of its
        (ii)    SIPBS students are clearly advised of the standard of feedback they can reasonably expect
        (iii)   SIPBS staff are asked to meet those standards, and
        (iv)    consideration is given to employing PGR students to assist with coursework marking.

All of the above recommendations relating to student assessment are reasonable and we are working
towards achieving these goals for all classes.

     Graduate School
8.15 RECOMMENDS that the Institute‟s management reflects on the scope, role and aims of its Graduate

It is perplexing that students do not know of the existence of the Graduate School as they are all
administered through it from induction to graduation. The Graduate School has developed greatly since
its start when SIPBS came into existence but we accept that there is still room for improvement. SIPBS
has clear ideas on the scope, role and aims of the Graduate School, but perhaps these should be
advertised more widely. We shall consider these issues.

     Research Students – Infrastructure Support
8.16 RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it ensures that all postgraduate students have
     adequate access to computing, printing and photocopying facilities.

    It is the intention that all students have reasonable access to computing, printing and photocopying
    facilities. Students often interpret this as having a top of the range computer each with any software
    package they desire, unlimited free printing and unlimited free photocopying. This of course is not
    possible. The Institute does provide a number of fixed computing stations and printing and
    photocopying facilities to all PGR students. The number of fixed computing points has been reviewed
    and a number upgraded. However, it is now the recommendation that supervisors supply a laptop for
    the use of each of their PGR.

     Research Students – Student-Staff Committee
8.17 RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that the minutes of the Graduate School‟s Student-
     Staff committee for research students should be reported to the Faculty‟s Academic Administration
     Committee as a matter of routine.

This has been an oversight, which we are happy to correct.

      Research Students and Research Skills Training

8.18 RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it reviews the content of its research skills
     training programme for its research students, and its timetabling, and also considers whether such
     training can be better aligned to the background and needs of individual students.

Students are not required to attend the skills training classes, but are required to demonstrate that they
have achieved the appropriate skill level by completing the assessments for each class. Most classes are
Wednesday afternoon in Weeks 1-8.

The current obligatory programme covers all of the skills recommended by the ‘Roberts Report’. SIPBS
will continue to adhere to providing these skills to students as they are not only perceived to be valuable to
students but are regarded as a necessary component of training by Research Councils (that provide funds
for many of the current students). Provision and delivery of these are currently being reviewed in SIPBS
and at the University level and the current provision and delivery will likely be refined. In addition
students can take additional classes in consultation with their supervisors, providing a degree of
alignment with individual student background and needs. The development and implementation of PGR
skills training classes has until now resided solely with the Graduate School and with no formal
articulation with the rest of the teaching management of the department (except through reports to the
IMG). We agree that there should be stronger links between the Graduate School and the department’s
main teaching committee (ITC) and so we shall from now ensure that the ITC is involved in the review
and approval of the PGR skills training classes along with the Graduate School.

     Research Students –PhD Vivas
8.19 RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that PhD students are given experience of viva voce
     style examinations before their final assessment, and that this might be combined with their annual
     assessments for progress.

This has already been discussed by the Graduate School Committee and agreed that supervisors, where
appropriate, should make some provision for their students to have a mock viva.

     Research Students – Completion Rates
8.20 RECOMMENDS to the SIPBS management that it reminds its staff and research students

      (i)     that PhD research projects should be designed and agreed between supervisor(s) and student so
              that there is reasonable expectation that, given satisfactory progress, the research can be
              completed and the thesis submitted within the agreed minimum period of study (be that for
              example 36, 42 or 48 months)
      (ii)    that the PhD thesis must be submitted within the maximum period of study (normally 48
              months for full-time students) or else a case has to be made for late submission and an
              additional fee becomes payable
      (iii)   that similar requirements apply to MPhil and MRes projects and theses.

All students are informed of the maximum period of study at interview, induction and throughout their
time in SIPBS. However, we accept that we must persevere with the completion-in-time message for all
MSc, MPhil and PhD courses. Part of the responsibility clearly is with academic staff; they have to
understand the importance of keeping to approved time lines (which are rather different from some of the
practices in the past).

     All students: Feedback to Overseas sponsors
8.22 RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that reports to overseas sponsors should include a
     brief commentary on why a students‟ performance is judged to be satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

This is now being implemented as a matter of routine. However, we often get requests from sponsors at a
time when we are not able to be anything more than perfunctory. We cannot release unverified and
unvalidated information, which is often what is requested. Where we do have the authority from the
University to report information to sponsors, we do so – promptly and accurately.


      Research Funding and Research Student Numbers
9.7   RECOMMENDS that SIPBS should make a determined effort to improve its performance in
      attracting overhead-bearing external funding to support research (and, by implication, research student
      numbers), especially by expanding its efforts with the industrial sector, through industrial CASE
      awards but also by establishing one-to-one links with SMEs and larger enterprises (an approach that
      ought to pay dividends also on the Knowledge Exchange front).

We are not convinced that the industrial sector should be the major target. We believe that it is more
important to increase high quality and high prestige funding from RCUK and major charities (e.g.
Wellcome Trust and BHF). The industrial sector is targeted by SIPBS via SIDR; we are not convinced
that the current arrangement of SIDR in relation to SIPBS is the optimal organisation for being
successful in this. Schemes like Scottish Enterprise's POC have proved very good for getting some
researchers started on the industrial route, but it's proved very difficult to go any further towards SMEs
and larger enterprises. The recent changes in the contracts for POC funding also adds problems in this
approach. However, we shall continue to look for industrial funding and, indeed, we believe that this may
be the best option for some researchers. We accept that overheads should be obtained wherever possible.

      Research - Esteem
9.8   RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that it strongly encourages its staff to enhance their
      external engagements so as to improve the Institute‟s esteem profile.

This point is constantly reinforced. We believe that the situation has improved, but the Institute’s external
profile needs to be raised further. All calls for membership for research panels etc are flagged to staff. An
Advisory Board is also being established to give access to people on strategically important panels etc and
gain from their insights. Funding bodies have been invited to visit SIPBS, it might also be useful if senior
university figures visited or invited senior people from the biomedical arena (MRC, Wellcome, CSO etc).

      A wider Research Strategy

      (i)   to the Head of SIPBS that he clarify the locus of responsibility for strategic development in
            SIPBS and considers establishing a small SIPBS Strategy Group.

The IMG is currently too large to be an effective strategic body. Thus a Pharmacy Strategy Group was set
up in 2008 and meets monthly. In addition, the AHoI, Head of Finance and Estates and Head of
Research are scheduled to meet with the HoI at a weekly meeting. Nevertheless, another Strategy Group
is worth considering.

The HoI is an ex officio member of the Research Committee, but it was decided in 2006 that it is better for
the Research Committee to report to the HoI rather than he be present at all meetings. This can be
revisited. It would also be useful to get some input from the Centre and Faculty as to what their ‘strategic
vision’ for SIPBS is and how this fits with the vision for other departments and faculties; this is
happening more now.

SIPBS is a large department and it has worked at creating and driving strategy within the relatively short
time scale since its creation. This has been a challenge, especially as the 5 pre-existing departments had
rather disparate strategies. We plan to continue forging the strategic vision of SIPBS.

       (ii)   to the Faculty that it alert the University to the desirability of establishing an inter-Faculty
              Health Care Strategy Group whose role would be to ensure that this University was able to take
              full advantage of initiatives in the Health sector.

This is underway.

     Contract Research Staff
9.10 RECOMMENDS to the Institute‟s management that a budget be made available to support
     networking and social events for Contract Research staff.

Budgets are currently available to allow research staff funds to pursue some independent research as well
as attend scientific meetings and training courses, all with the intention of aiding career development. In
addition, meetings have been held specifically for Contract Research staff. Some funding was made
available for socialising, but there seemed little enthusiasm for using it. We doubt that the availability of a
small budget will overcome the career progression problems that are brought about by the academic
career structure in the UK.


(No recommendations)


G Coombs
9 September 2009


                                                                                                        Annex 3

                                University of Strathclyde/Faculty of Science

                                REPORT OF THE STRATEGIC REVIEW
                                 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS
                                AND THE INSTITUTE OF PHOTONICS

      This is an edit of the „Conclusions and Recommendations‟ section of the Report of a Strategic of
      Physics (an academic department) and the Institute of Photonics (a non-departmental unit) chaired by
      the Principal on 28 May 2009.

7     Conclusions and Recommendations of the Panel

7.4   During its discussions, the Panel had identified some matters of concern:

          1. Both Photonics and Physics were over-reliant on one source of funding – the EPSRC. Indeed,
             IoP seemed to have strayed somewhat from its original purpose of being an interface between
             University and industry, becoming instead a major earner of EPSRC support - by no means a
             bad thing in itself but not if that was to the detriment of it fulfilling its original role. For both
             IoP and Physics, diversifying their income streams was of crucial importance.

          2. Linked to the above, neither Physics nor IoP appeared to have a strategy which encompassed
             the likely effects of the economic downturn. The timing of the release of RCUK monies
             meant that the full impact of recession would be delayed for perhaps 12-24 months, compared
             with other sectors, but it was understood that Funding Councils and Research Councils alike
             were expecting substantial cuts in Government support and these would have to be passed
             onto the universities. Neither the Department nor the IoP had fully articulated a mid-term
             financial appraisal, set against level funding. The need to generate headroom to allow
             investment for the future was very important.

          3. Much faith was being placed by Physics (and, to a lesser extent, by the IoP) on SUPA support,
             but SUPA was an enabler and not in itself an academic or even a fiscal strategy. While
             recognising the positive RAE feedback on Physics‟ planning and sustainability, the success of
             planning with SUPA, and the plans outlined by the IoP in its self-assessment, it was felt that
             both Physics and the IoP would benefit from revisiting their longer-term strategies.

          4. Nor should the Department be too dependent on SUPA for ideas. It should continue to
             develop its own strong identity by, for instance, taking the lead in a DTC or considering how
             to access the Funding Council‟s Horizon Funds.

          5. Physics must underpin its ambitions with a realistic appraisal of its ability to fund them and it
             must address its recurrent deficit problem.

      To address the above and place Photonics and Physics on the best possible footing for the future, the
      Panel agreed the following.

7.5   Recommend to the University that it lobby the Funding Councils regarding the place of applied
      research in the next Research Assessment Exercise. Both the IoP and Physics had great strengths in
      applied research but that did not play well with the RAE as currently constituted. Whether or not the
      next RAE was based on a more metrics approach, the University had to establish how the quality of
      applied research could be properly measured.

7.6   Recommend to the Faculty that it review the current arrangements for the allocation of resource
      associated with research students between the IoP, as the supervising unit, and Physics, as the
      admitting department.
7.7   Recommend to IoP and Physics that

      (i)    they meet as soon as possible to consider their relationship with each other, unconstrained by
             present structures, so as to determine whether a new model of governance can be devised that
             could more effectively allow them to attain their academic ambitions while simultaneously
             putting their finances on a sounder footing

      (ii)   similarly, they should consider how they might promote greater synergy with other parts of the
             University, in areas such as systems engineering and the life sciences

      (iii) they should continue to develop their roles in SUPA

      (iv)   they should engage in scenario planning with a view to determining where they wish to be in
             ~10 years

      (v)    assuming the aspiration is to become a global presence in their respective fields, they should
             engage with Government and other sectors (such as Health) to prove how they are capable of
             contributing to the aspirations of those sectors

      (vi)   a similar approach should be embraced with respect to the private sector, so that they can
             nourish relationships with potential co-investors in industry

      (vii) generally, they should promote themselves more aggressively, internally and externally, both at
            home and abroad; linked to this, they should identify a senior member of staff to ensure that
            achievements are recognised and individuals‟ successes brought to the attention of organisations
            such as the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society etc

      (viii) they should nurture the career paths of their staff, particularly their early-career staff, to ensure
             optimal performance and job satisfaction.

7.8   Recommend to IoP that, alongside its discussions with Physics, it should discuss with other
      departments (for example, Pure & Applied Chemistry, EEE and SIPBS) the possibilities for alternative
      partnerships and structures that could address the Panel‟s concerns.

7.9   Recommend to Physics

      (i)    that the Department should develop an academic strategy and a robust business plan that
             combine the promotion of academic excellence with realistic financial projections that take into
             account the real costs of attracting leading academics

      (ii)   that, in view of its considerable reliance on Research-related income streams and its chronic
             deficit problem, the Department should vigorously continue its endeavours to maximise
             Teaching income, through enhanced recruitment (research students, postgraduate instructional
             students and overseas students)

      (iii) that it consider the possibility of developing a Doctoral Training Centre, perhaps in a topic such
            as „Energy‟, as a means of enhancing interdisciplinary links and stimulating research student

      (iv)   that it review its utilisation of space as a means of driving down its Faculty deficit

      (v)    that it review its internal management structure (especially the relationship between the
             Executive Committee and the Professorial Advisory Group) to confirm that this is working to
             the Department‟s best advantage.

7.10 Recommend to the Faculty that there be established an Implementation Group chaired by the Dean
     and comprising Professor Kane, Professor MacGregor, Professor Birch (Head of Physics) and Mr Holt
     (Chief Executive, IoP) whose role should be to

     (i)    receive reports from IoP and Physics on their responses to the above recommendations, and

     (ii)   encourage and assist IoP and Physics to realise their full potential.

Jim McGrath
Faculty Officer


                                               AC July   AC Sept   Ad Hoc    Totals
                                                2009      2009     Appeals
Total Appeals:                                   81        70        20       171

Appeals Upheld                                   46        34        14       94

Appeals Upheld (in part only)                    10         6        1        17
Appeals Not Upheld                               17        14        3        31
Appeals Rejected as not required / Withdrawn      8        16        0        24
Appeals – Unresolved/Deferred/Lapsed              0         0        2         2
Grounds for Appeals Upheld:
Medical                                          31        20        3        54
Personal / Compassionate                         24        15        11       50
Procedural Irregularity                           1         5        1         7
Other                                             0         0        0         0
Instances of:
Examination Attempt(s) Discounted                47        23        10       80
Regulation Waiver(s)                              1         1        0         2
Award Credit(s) (Raise marks / CMA /              0         2        0         2
reinstatement of marks)
Award Degree                                      0         0        0         0
Transfer to Nat Sciences                          0         2        0         2
Re-attend/Resit(s) permitted                     42         7        6        55
Voluntary Suspension permitted                    1         1        1         3
Academic Suspension permitted                     1        13        5        19
Transfer to Honours                               0         1        0         1
Permitted to proceed carrying class               1         1        0         1
Upgrade Honours Classification                    0         1        0         1
Other                                             0         1        0         1
No. of Appeals by Cognate Area
Maths/STAMS                                      13        10        1        24
Physics                                           4         6        3        13
Computer & Information Sciences /CES              8         4        4        16
Chemistry                                         3        11        8        22
Biomedical Sciences                              13        15        2        30
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Studies                  36        17        2        55

Natural Sciences                4    7    0    11
Totals                          81   70   20   171

No. of Undergraduate Appeals    49   65   13   127
No. of UG (Honours) Appeals     13   2    0    15
No. of Postgraduate Appeals     19   3    7    29
JFS Feb 2010



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