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  • 1. Staffordshire University Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Technology University Undergraduate Modular Framework Single Honours Awards Media, Entertainment and Communications Technology Programme BSc (Hons) CommunicationsTechnology Student Handbook 2003-2004 How to use this handbook This handbook explains the background, structure, content and operation of the modular undergraduate programme of study for the Media and Communications Technology awards. It is essential that you read this handbook fully before you commence your award. You should also read the following: - University Student Handbook - Award Management and Regulations Available on the University Web Site http://www.staffs.ac.uk GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology -1 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 2. 1. WELCOME It is my pleasure to welcome you as a student to the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology. You are joining a multidisciplinary community of about 1,100 students and over 50 staff, involved in education, research and practice in all areas of Engineering and Advanced Technology. We all hope that you will find your time with us to be enjoyable and productive. An education in any area is a challenging prospect, but developing your creativity, skills and resourcefulness in such a fast changing discipline as technology in this new millennium has many benefits, in vocational practice or many other future careers. We are committed to creating a productive, efficient and friendly atmosphere within the School and welcome your participation in this, but if you are experiencing problems, the staff are there to help you. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology -2 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 3. 2. OVERVIEW AND BACKGROUND TO THE AWARD 2.1 Introduction to the award Electronic communications forms the backbone for all forms of activity, for example in business, industry, education and leisure. These rely on communications on a local, national and increasingly on a global scale. The evolution of digital communications, the internet, and mobile communications and major advances in the enabling technologies have led to rapidly expanding availability and demand for services for voice, image and all forms of data communication. Integration and convergence of the system technologies mean that multi-media communications with terms such as ‘e-commerce’ or ‘m-commerce’ are becoming familiar in everyday use. The communications field is extremely wide requiring a wide range of skills, knowledge, understanding and technologies. Topics include for example information theory, protocols, error control coding, modulation, networks. Technologies applied in communications include optical fibres, radio and satellite technologies, electronics, signal processing and so on. The School of Engineering and Advanced Technology has been selected to deliver a unique programme leading to a BSc (Hons) degree in Communications Technology. This programme is a partnership between the National Training Organisation for Engineering Manufacture, the Engineering Council, industry and The School of Engineering and Advanced Technology. This award has a sector specific framework comprising study up to degree level highlighting achievement of a higher education qualification underpinned by structured work based learning at a company. One of the principal aims of the award is to bridge the gap between higher education and employment so that graduates are better prepared for work in a particular sector and match more closely the needs of employers. The award fosters the use of the computer as a tool and the development of transferable skills, which are of paramount importance in industry today. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology -3 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 4. 2.2 Modes of study The award can be studied in full-time or in a part-time mode. All taught elements of the award are normally at the Stafford campus. The award comprises 3 levels of study, namely level 1, level 2 and level 3. The duration of the award is as follows: Full-time Three years Sandwich Four years Part-time Six years For full-time students, levels 1 and 2 are normally completed in the first 2 years of study. These first 2 levels are followed by an optional placement year (sandwich), with placements found with the assistance of a placements co-ordinator. The final taught year of the course, level 3, completes the programme of study. The part-time route is intended for those who wish to gain additional qualifications but cannot attend full-time. Such people may for example be employed or have family commitments. Where appropriate, exemption from some modules may be given subject to an assessment of prior experience and learning. 2.3 Admission Requirements 18 points at ‘A ‘ level or equivalent or Approved foundation programme or BTEC National Certificate or BTEC National Diploma or Suitable Advanced GNVQ qualifications. or Appropriate overseas qualifications or Mature students with relevant experience. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology -4- Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 5. 2.4 What is the award about and who is it for? The award aims to cater for students interested in research, design, development, planning, production, product support and maintenance in the Telecommunications sector. In some circumstances students can be credited with prior academic studies or obtain credit for experience gained at work. The programme covers areas of study and work based learning identified by the Telecommunications industry to be what they ideally require of an employee in this sector. After a broad based first year in which fundamental technology principles including Study Skills, Principles of Technology , Technology systems development in c/c++, Introduction to Computer Networks, Signals and Communications Technology and Introductory Electronics are established, the second year introduces studies in Internet and JAVA/PERL Technology, Applied Electronics 2, Advanced Routing Configurations, Application of Microprocessors, Broadcasting Services and Management and Media Communications Principles. The third year of the course offers modules in Applied Electronics 3, Integrated Broadband and Mobile Communications, Worldwide Wireless Communications, Speech and Image Processing, Personal Communication Systems and Satellite Communication Systems. This award is for people with an interest in ‘Communications and’ in their broadest sense and who wish to develop this interest to a high level of understanding and competence. Graduates with exceptional abilities may continue their studies for a postgraduate MSc degree in Advanced Technology or onto postgraduate research for an MPhil or PhD degree. 2.5 Accreditation Accreditation means that, on completion of your studies, and after a period of industrial experience, you can apply for the title of Incorporated Engineer (IEng). The award has been designed to satisfy the needs of accreditation which are based on the needs of industry. This award is in course of submission to the Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE) for accreditation. Students on this award are strongly encouraged to register with the IIE as a student member. Staffordshire University hosts most of the meetings organised by the Stafford section of the IIE. As a student member you will obtain information on these events as well as those held nationally. To register as a student member you should contact: Dr Moofik Al-Tai Room C210 Email: m.al-tai@staffs.ac.uk GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology -5 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 6. 2.6 Benefits Arising From Graduate Apprenticeship Programme The benefits to the student achieved through the HE component and the additional components are: • A BSc(Hons) in Communications Technology of the HE component. • An Initial Professional Development (IPD) record and work experience, which, in conjunction with the HE Award, will support an eventual application for IEng status. • NVQ Level 2, Level 4 and Key Skills certificates. • A Graduate Apprenticeship certificate on completion of all the components. Some of the modules in the proposed BSc (Hons) award will be delivered using the Cisco learning environment and whist not a direct outcome of the proposed programme, students may register with Cisco Network Academy to complete the programme and achieve a Cisco certificate. 2.7 Graduate Skills and Personal Characteristics SEAT is committed to incorporating the University Statement on Skills and Personal Characteristics into its awards and modules. We will clearly define what skills, characteristics and values graduates from our School are able to bring to the work-place and to use in their continuing professional development. We will develop the skills of all learners in the School, and recognise the importance of developing lifelong learning skills within a world of change. We will undertake this by developing skills maps based on the University statement, by building on skill sets developed to meet the needs of professional institutions and other external bodies (e.g. BTEC), and by preparing our courses to meet QAA Benchmark standards. We will aim to develop a means of recording for each student a portfolio of skill development that will facilitate our graduates demonstrating their worth to future employers In this award, students will develop a range of skills, both subject based intellectual skills and transferable skills. The skills that will be developed are outlined in the University Statement “Graduate Profile of Skills and Personal Characteristics”. In addition to this skill set, this award will be informed by the draft guidelines for Benchmark Standards in Engineering, produced by QAA. Skills matrices (given in appendix i) have been produced to indicate where skills are developed across the curriculum. These are: separated into the following headings: GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology -6 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 7. • intellectual skills the development of an understanding of the body of knowledge that supports design technology, and an appreciation of the context of that knowledge, its principles and nature • application of number to develop analysis of design and an understanding of the application of technology, all students will be expected to develop their numerical abilities • communication all students will have the opportunity to develop their communication skills, and become proficient in communication both orally and written , and in the use of technology for communication • team-working all students will be provided with the opportunity for collaborative learning, to allow development of team working skills and to learn how to operate as an effective member of a group • problem solving all students will be expected to develop the ability to identify and solve problems, by evaluation and analysis, either as an individual or a group activity • use of information technology students will develop appropriate skills in the use of IT, for solving problems in design technology, for communication and for learning • personal skills for lifelong learning students will be encouraged to develop their learning style and to understand their strengths and weaknesses, to enable them to become self aware and capable of engaging with lifelong learning. Award Specific The development of your specialist understanding is developed through modules that relate directly to your named award. These modules appear in level 2 and level 3~ The final year project is a good vehicle for developing your area of specialism. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology -7 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 8. 2.8 Overall structure A route map applicable to BSc(Hons) in Communications Technology and Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) awards is shown in Figure 1. The overall structure of the BSc(Hons) award is in accordance with the Higher Education Component that specified by the University Undergraduate Modular Framework which divides each year into two semesters and defines the size of modules at Levels 1, 2 and 3 as being of 80 hours total student learning. The curricula for the award is shown in Section 2.9.1. In order to qualify for a BSc(Hons) award the Framework requires the accumulation of 360 CATS points. Not less than 120 points are required at Level 3 and not more than 120 points at Level 1. Students normally study the equivalent of twelve, 10 CATS points rated modules at each level. The credit rating of all modules is either 10 CATS points or multiples of 10 CATS points.. As may be expected in a technology environment where the awards prepare students for eventual IEng status, the award route is fairly heavily prescribed. In order to qualify for the Graduate Apprenticeship award, the students are required to satisfy additional 6 Level 2 NVQ units associated with the Foundation Component and 4 Level 4 NVQ units and key skills associated with the Work Based Component. Higher Education Component Level 1 Higher Education Component Level 2 Foundation Work Based Component Component (Additional) (Additional) Higher Education Component Level 3 GA BSc Award (Hons) Award Figure 1: Diagram of Awards Structure GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology -8 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 9. 2.9 Curricula 2.9.1 Higher Education Component [BSc(Hons) Communications Technology] Level 1 Code Module Title Assessments Type Semester 1 EN042-1 Study Skills 100% ICA CM32122-1 Quantitative Methods For Technology 50% ICA, 50% CT EN288-1 Principles of Technology A 100% ICA EN044-1 Technology systems development in c/c++ 100% ICA EN40072-1 Introduction to Computer Networks (LD) 100 % ICA Elective Module Semester 2 EN40076-1 Signals and Communications Technology 50 % ICA, 50% EX EN269-1 Introductory Electronics 100 % ICA EN437-1 Internet and HTML Technology Systems 100% ICA BS600-1 Management in Business 100% ICA EN40072-1 Introduction to Computer Networks (LD) 100%ICA Elective Module Level 2 Code Module Title Assessments Type Semesters 3 EN278-2 Internet and JAVA/PERL Technology 100%ICA EN236-2 Applied Electronics 2 50 % ICA, 50% CT EN40054-2 Quantitative Modelling and Simulation 100% ICA EN40049-2 Security Technology 1 (LD) 50 % ICA, 50% EX EN40074-2 Advanced Routing Configurations 100 % ICA General Option Group Module Semester 4 EN232-2 Application of Microprocessors 100%ICA EN214-2 Communications 20%ICA, 80%EX EN2106-2 Broadcasting Services and Management 100 % ICA EN40049-2 Security Technology 1 (LD) 50 % ICA, 50% EX EN40071-2 Multi-layer Switching 100 % ICA General Option Group Module Level 3 Code Module Title Assessments Type Semesters 5 EN182-3 Technology Project (x2) 100% ICA EN2373 Applied Electronics 3 50% ICA, 50% CT EN2543 Integrated Broadband and Mobile Communications 100% ICA EN2102-3 Worldwide Wireless Communications 100% ICA General Option Group Module Semester 6 EN182-3 Technology Project (x2) 100%ICA EN242-3 Speech and Image Processing 50% ICA, 50% EX EN298-3 Personal Communication Systems 50% ICA, 50% EX EN299-3 Satellite Communication Systems 50% ICA, 50% EX General Option Group Module ICA = In-Course Assessment CT = Class Test EX = Examination LD = Long Double GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology -9 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 10. 2.9.1.1 Levels 2 and 3 General Option Group Modules Level 2 Code Module Title Assessments Type Semesters 3 Choose 1: EN045-2 Advanced Technology System Development in 100% ICA c/cc+ EN050-2 Industrial Technical Skills * (LD) 100% ICA EN189-2 Events Management for Technologists (LD) 50 % ICA, 50% EX CM2256-2 Modern Quality Control Techniques 100% ICA Language + Semester 4 Choose 1: EN005-2 Industrial Control 40% ICA, 60% EX EN050-2 Industrial Technical Skills * (LD) 100% ICA EN189-2 Events Management for Technologist (LD) 50 % ICA, 50% EX EN358-2 Cooling Electronic Equipment 40% ICA, 60% EX Language + Level 3 Code Module Title Assessments Type Semesters 5 Choose 1: EN40073-3 Remote Access Networks 100% ICA EN051-3 Industrial Responsibility * (LD) 100% ICA EN40037-3 Managing Technological Solutions 100% ICA EN135-3 Management of Design 100% ICA Language + Semester 6 Choose 1: EN40075-3 Advanced Network Analysis 100% ICA EN051-3 Industrial Responsibility * (LD) 100% ICA EN40039-3 Quality Management for Technologists 100% ICA EN124-3 Design for Manufacture 100% ICA Language + * Only available for industry based part time students + Please refer to the University Language Programme for more details GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 10 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 11. 2.9.2 Graduate Apprenticeship Structure THE EMTA GA framework is designed to be flexible to enable applicants to undertake a variety of training patterns and join the scheme at different stages of academic development. The framework accommodates : • Students on sandwich or non-sandwich degree or diploma courses. • Work experience which may be concurrent with academic study, or on work placement or during vacations. • Those who have completed their degree or diploma study and are starting full-time employment after graduation. The GA Framework The framework comprises a number of components which may be completed in a number if ways; there is no set pattern. The three main components are; 1) A Foundation component. 2) A Higher Education Component. 3) A Work-Based component. The foundation component aims to provide an introduction to basic engineering operations and materials. These can be satisfied by a new vocational qualification, NVQ/SVQ Performing Engineering Operations, launched during 2000. (NVQ/SVQ means National or Scottish Vocational Qualifications). The foundation component requirement is satisfied by the study of 6 NVQ/SVQ Level 2 units, comprising three mandatory units, one general support unit (one unit from a choice of five) and two optional units (two from a choice of 32). The optional units cover topics from building and testing electronic circuits, assembling pipework systems, welding, to sheet metal working, and are intended to cover the range of engineering skills rather than give the students a free choice from 32 units. The six foundation component Level 2 units proposed are shown in Table 1. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 11 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 12. Code NVQ/SVQ Unit Title Assessments Type U1053225 Working Safely in an Engineering Environment 100%ICA Mandatory U1053243 Developing Yourself and Working with Other 100%ICA Mandatory People on Engineering Activities U1053572 Using and Communicating 100%ICA Mandatory Technical Information U1053575 Apply Quality Control in Engineering 100%ICA Support U1053590 Building and Testing Electronic Circuits 100%ICA Option U1053602 Maintaining Electronic Equipment/ and Systems 100%ICA Option Table 1. GA Programme Foundation Component These units can be delivered and assessed entirely ‘off the job’. The HE component is the BSc(Hons) Communications Technology discussed in Section 2.9.1. The aim of the Work Based component is to enable the apprentice (student) to develop their professional skills to national standards, and to demonstrate the application of academic knowledge in the workplace. This component comprises two categories, Technical Skills and Employer Options, with competence developed and demonstrated using a project based approach. The Technical Skills category comprises a minimum of two NVQ Level 4 Technical Units. The Employer Options require the achievement of a national standard as required by the employer. These include for example two NVQ units in Management, Technical Sales, or additional Technical Units, or a qualification in modern languages. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 12 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 13. 2.10 How do you learn? We use a combination of teaching methods on the award. Some of the modules are delivered through lectures, laboratories and tutorials. These are given by a specialist tutor in the appropriate academic field. Other modules are more open ended in the learning outcomes and involve teams of tutors in the delivery. The emphasis is on the student learning experience, the achievement of which is a primary aim of the course and is, of course a two-way process. An essential part of this learning process is seen to be the development of your interpersonal and communication skills. To this end project work and team work are central to the learning experience. This is in line with the University's Building a Learning Community (BLC) strategy. All modules have an element of student centred learning associated with them - this learning undertaken by the student outside normal class contact time. It is essential that you take this aspect of learning seriously, and dedicate a sufficient amount of your time to it, if you are to succeed on the course. 2.11 What will you learn? An essential part of the overall learning outcome is that you have the knowledge, skills and understanding to develop as an independent learner, able to apply and keep pace with emerging technologies and processes throughout your career. In designing the content of this award, how your transferable skills can be enhanced was considered carefully - those skills that can be applied to any occupation or working environment, there-by making you more employable and self reliant. As the technology changes you must be able to adapt and take on new ideas and ways of working. These skills can be summarised as: - Interpersonal, written and oral communication skills - self, project and team management skills - research and investigation skills - critical and analytical skills - creative problem solving skills - negotiation skills GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 13 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 14. 2.12 Level Outcomes 2.12.1 Level 1 By the conclusion of semester 1 we will expect you to demonstrate an awareness of the broad range of fundamental principles in communications technology. At the end of semester 2 we will expect you to have an awareness and understanding of the methods and techniques applicable and to have developed the analytical skills to assess and to express ideas. By now you should be acquiring knowledge to develop as an independent learner and be conversant with fundamental principles in communications, signals and electronics. On completion of this level you will be eligible for a Certificate in Higher Education (see section 6.8.1 for more details). 2.12.2 Level 2 By the end of semester 3 we will expect you to be demonstrating the development of competence in applying a high level of knowledge and skills to problem solving. By the end of semester 4 you should have achieved an understanding of the principles, techniques and technology applicable and relevant to your award and be prepared to make a useful contribution in ‘industry’ on an industrial placement, should you take one. On completion of level 1 and level 2 you will be eligible for a Diploma in Higher Education (see section 6.8.2 for more details). 2.12.3 Level 3 At this level we will expect you to reflect aims and objectives of the BSc(Hons) in Communications Technology award. Where necessary you should now be able to use simulation and analytical skills and knowledge as a means of evaluating applications and design solutions in the area of communications technology. You will have the capacity to communicate ideas in an articulate and imaginative manner, using a range of presentational methods and media. Through the research, synthesis, writing and presentation of an in-depth design or research report you will demonstrate understanding and the application of intellectual rigour. For the award of BSc(Hons), all three levels must be satisfactory completed (see section 6.8.3 for more details). GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 14 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 15. 3. GLOSSARY OF TERMS 3.1 Introduction This section presents some of the terminology used in the modular framework. For more information, please refer to the University Undergraduate Modular Framework Regulations. 3.2 Named award A named award is a validated award identified by a specific Award Structure and ratified by the University’s Academic Board. 3.3 Curriculum A curriculum is a structured and coherent set of modules which constitute the award. 3.4 Academic session An academic session is a period of 1 year, running from 1st September in one year to August 31st in the following year. For example the 2001/2002 session is from 1st September 2001 to 31st August 2002. 3.5 Semester The academic year is divided into two periods known as semesters each of which will normally include periods of both teaching and assessment. 3.6 Levels Levels are broadly equivalent to academic years of full-time undergraduate study. Level 1 modules are normally appropriate to First year undergraduates, Level 2 modules to Second year undergraduates and Level 3 modules to Third year undergraduates.. Part-time students will often study modules at a mix of Levels at any one time. 3.7 Modules and Credits A module is a unit of study attracting a given number of credits at a particular level in direct proportion to its total learning time. The total learning time per credit is 8 hours, which includes student/staff contact time (lectures, practical classes, seminars, tutorials etc.), independent study and assessment. No module can attract less than 10 credits, and therefore the minimum total learning time for a module is 80 hours. The credit rating of all undergraduate modules is either 10 or a multiple of 10. Credits are also sometimes referred to as CATS points (you should read the Glossary item on GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 15 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 16. CATS for more details). Every module is allocated to a Level. Every module is identified by a unique code, the suffix of which indicates its Level. For example a Level 2 module is shown by its -2 suffix. Modules which are larger than 10 credits and delivered over two semesters are often referred to as serial or “long-Double” modules. Modules which are larger than 10 credits and delivered wholly within one semester are often referred to as parallel or “short-fat” modules. It is your responsibility to make sure you know the delivery pattern of all multiple modules for which you enrol. 3.8 Module Handbooks Module Handbooks are provided by the module tutors and contained detailed information concerning syllabus and teaching plans, learning and assessment strategies and details of supporting text books. 3.9 Core modules Core modules are those which must be studied in order to gain a particular named award. They are specified as part of the award structure and form the central pillar of the award. Core modules attract specific credit for an award. 3.10 Option modules Option modules are those which you must select from within a prescribed set for your award. They are sometimes referred to as specific options. Option modules attract specific credit for an award. 3.11 Elective modules Elective modules are available only at Level 1. They are chosen from the total set available in the institution or from those offered by the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology (see Appendix A), subject to restrictions such as prohibited combinations, availability or time-table constraints. You may choose to take modules from your named area(s) as electives, but it is your choice to do so. A module which is a core or option module for one named award may be taken by students on other awards as an elective. Elective modules attract general credit for an award. 3.12 General Option Group modules General Option Group modules are available only at Levels 2 and 3. They are chosen from a list determined by the award for which you are registered, subject to availability, pre-requisites/special admission requirements or time-table constraints. Each award may have a different General Option Group list. A module which is a core or option module for one named award may be taken by students on other named GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 16 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 17. awards as a General Option Group module. General Option Group modules attract general credit for an award. 3.13 Module Enrolment It is your responsibility to make sure that your choice of modules matches the award structure for your award at each and every Level. If it does not you may not be eligible for consideration for the award for which you have registered. Exceptionally you may be allowed to change your choice of modules. This will only be allowed in cases where there is a sound academic justification for the change. Any change you make to your choice of modules must be made within four weeks of the start of the module. The procedure for changing your choice of modules is detailed in the University Regulations. 3.14 Option and Elective fairs In addition to seeking advice from award/module tutors on your choice of options and electives at any time, the Schools and the University organise an options/electives fair each session where staff will be on hand to give information and advice to help you make your choices. 3.15 Programme of study Your programme of study is your overall choice of modules which may be unique to each individual student because of the elements of choice involved in awards (option, elective and general option group modules). 3.16 Special Admissions Requirements There are some modules within the University which you will not be allowed to study unless you have met certain conditions. One of these conditions may be that you have first studied (not necessarily successfully completed) certain other modules. These conditions are known as "Special Admissions Requirements" for the module in question. Special admissions requirements are not always related to the study of specific modules. Other appropriate qualifications gained outside the University can satisfy special admissions requirements for a module. In some cases special admissions requirement may be one out of a group of specified requirements. There may also be award specific admissions requirements for some awards. 3.17 Pre-requisite There are some modules within the University which you will not be allowed to study unless you have met certain conditions. In some cases the conditions will be that you have first achieved pass grades in certain other modules at a lower Level. These other modules are known as pre-requisites for the module in question. In some cases a pre- requisite may be one out of a group of specified modules. You will not be allowed to study any modules for which you have not met the pre-requisites, even if you have been allowed to progress to the Level of that module. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 17 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 18. 3.18 Co-requisite A co-requisite is a module which must be studied in addition to and normally at the same time as a particular module. 3.19 Prohibited combinations Where two (or more) modules contain content which is similar in nature or where there is a significant overlap you will not normally be allowed to study them both. They will therefore be designated a prohibited combination. 3.20 General credit General credit is that attracted by study of modules not forming part of the structure of the award for which a student is registered. Those modules will normally be designated either Elective Modules or General Option Group Modules. General credit may also be awarded as part of the Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning Scheme (see AP(E)L). 3.21 Specific credit Specific credit is that attracted by study of modules which do form part of the structure of the award for which a student is registered. Those modules will normally be designated either Core modules or Option modules. Specific credits may also be awarded as part of the Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning scheme (see AP(E)L). 3.22 APL/APEL The School of Engineering and Advanced Technology strongly supports the opportunity for students to accredit learning or experience where they have: The accreditation of prior learning is the term used when a student uses his or her previous experiences to gain admission to a programme of study; admission to a module; admission at an intermediate stage in a programme (advanced standing); or to gain exemption from part of a programme of study. These previous experiences may be work-based learning, general learning experiences (experiential) or certificated qualifications. You should normally apply for exemptions or admission with advanced standing through the AP(E)L scheme when you apply for a place on the award, or immediately upon registration for your modules. You will not be allowed to apply for AP(E)L in a module once you have submitted any assessment for that module. If you apply for exemptions or admission with advanced standing through the AP(E)L scheme you may be required to undergo some assessment to determine the relevance of your experiences/qualifications. Normally exemption will not be granted for more than half the credits required at any one Level for an award unless there is a close match between the prior learning and the requirements of the award. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 18 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 19. Where you have gained exemption from a module through the AP(E)L scheme and there is not a close match between your prior (experiential) learning and the content of the module you will normally be awarded general credit towards your award. This means that whilst your prior learning is considered to represent a proportion of the total number of credits required for your award, it is not accepted in place of specific modules which you will be required to complete in order to meet the requirements of your award. Where you have gained exemption from a module through the AP(E)L scheme and there is a very close match between your prior (experiential) learning and the content of the module you will normally be awarded specific credit for that module. This means that your prior learning takes the place of the module in your programme of study. The “result” recorded shall be Pass/Grade Point 4. The suffix E will be used to indicate that credits for the module have been awarded through the AP(E)L scheme. The result will be recorded as 4E. A mechanism has been developed in order to ensure that if you have been granted credit at Levels 2 or 3 through the AP(E)L scheme you will not be disadvantaged when the Award Board determines your Honours classification (see section 6.8.3). The procedure for dealing with AP(E)L in determining degree classification is available on request from the Dean of Students/Academic Registrar. Where there is regular accreditation of particular qualifications/experiences for particular awards, the award team must specify the number of credits which can be accredited for those qualifications/experiences. The APL and AP(E)L forms can be obtained from the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology Office. The APL and AP(E)L Board meets in early October. It is chaired by the Associate Dean (Academic) and its purpose is to consider all the APL and AP(E)L applications received from students and uphold or reject these applications dependant on the evidence provided. If your application is rejected, your Award Manager will explain the reasons why and you may need to provide more detailed evidence of prior learning/experience. Therefore, before completing these forms, you need to see your Award manager for help and advice. 3.23 Field A Field is a particular subject area. Associated with a field are the staff with academic expertise in that subject and the modules for which those staff take responsibility. Every module is "owned" by a field and that field takes full responsibility for the delivery, assessment and management of modules within its remit. Assessment Boards consider the results of students’ performance in all the modules within a given Field; the membership of an Assessment Board will, therefore be largely Field based. 3.24 Assessment Board The Assessment Board of each Field will consider all assessment marks of all modules available within that field, irrespective of which named awards the students may have GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 19 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 20. registered for. Assessment Boards meet at least once in each academic year normally at the end of the second semester. Fields which wish to do so may also hold an Assessment Board at the end of the first semester. 3.25 Award Board Each named award will have an Award Board, which will determine the final outcomes of the students registered for that award. The Award Board will receive the results of the module assessments agreed by all contributing Assessment Boards. Award Boards will normally meet at the end of the second Semester of an Academic Year. Where necessary they may also meet at other times of the year. 3.26 External Examiners External examiners attend both the assessment Board and the Award Board. The role of the External Examiners shall be: (a) at Assessment Boards (i) to consider distribution/spread of Grade Points within modules and across the Field and to assist the Board to confirm appropriate module results. (ii) to ensure comparability of standards across institutional boundaries. (iii) to ensure parity of treatment of students both within each module and across the Field. In carrying out his/her role the External Examiner may consider any appropriate assessed work. (b) at Award Boards to ensure that the University Regulations are applied consistently and objectively to all candidates. 3.28 Grade points A Grade point is the result awarded to a student as a measure of performance in the assessment of modules at Level 2 or 3. The grade point scale has been devised to resolve the different marking scales used by Fields and to translate those scales into a judgement which can be understood by all. Assessment Boards determine grade points by relating performance in assessment to the Assessment Referencing Criteria specific to the Field. They can also be related to Honours classifications as stated in the table of section 6.3 of this handbook. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 20 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 21. 3.28 Progression The concept of progression stems from academic development. It is expected that during the course of your studies you will acquire certain skills, understanding and knowledge and that as you continue your studies these will develop to enable you to “move on” to more advanced academic activities. This concept is manifested in the requirement that you must achieve pass grades in a certain proportion of your programme of study at any one Level before your academic capabilities are deemed to be sufficiently developed for you to move on, or “progress” to the next Level. Successful completion of assessment within modules is used as the measure of your academic development. The proportions of your programme of study which must be successfully completed for progression to the next Level are detailed under section 6.7 of this handbook. Even if you have been allowed to progress to the next Level of your award you will not be allowed to study any module at that Level for which you have not met the pre-requisites. 3.29 Record of Achievement/Transcript Once an Award Board has confirmed your results you may request a Record of Achievement free of charge from the Modularity Office. It is a certificate confirming your module results, signed by the Dean of Students/Academic Registrar. It will show, for each module you have successfully completed, the module code and title, the associated credits (CATS points), the Level of the module and the Grade Point/Result achieved. The record of achievement will not show your Honours classification. A Transcript (for which a fee will be charged) is also available from the Examinations Office. The Transcript includes all the information shown on the Record of Achievement but additionally included your Honours classification. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 21 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 22. 4. TEACHING AND LEARNING 4.1 Lectures Lectures will involve a lecturer presenting information to you. Arrive on time, make sure that you have sufficient paper and pens with you so that you can make notes. It does help if you keep a folder for each subject area, so that you can keep all the lecture material for one subject in one place. It is most important that you can identify the main concepts which are introduced within the lecture. Do not attempt to write down everything that is said, listen to what is said and write down the key points. You can then build up your own understanding of the lecture within your study time by reading about the subject area, relating the topics introduced within the lecture to those introduced previously, and writing more complete notes. One of the most important aspects of a good lecture technique is to recognise the structure of what is being said and to try to reflect that structure in your own notes, though it is also worth trying to get some idea about the purpose and objectives of the lecture. These two skills are very important in Higher Education, as you must remember that Higher Education is certainly not simply about the acquisition of sets of facts. It is about the development of intellectual skills which will enable you to use your gathered facts usefully and innovatively. In the pursuit of such skills it is useful to discuss a lecture with your peers, but it is essential that you supplement your lecture notes with private study. Below are some useful pointers in obtaining the most information from a lecture: • arrive prepared, having reviewed the previous lecture’s content • keep up to date with all the background reading • listen to what is being said and think about how it relates to your current understanding of the subject • take short and clear notes, always thinking about what is being said throughout the lecture • after the lecture spend time understanding the content of the lecture and make more complete notes It is not necessarily the function of lectures to provide large amounts of detailed facts. In many cases this can only be done by yourself, making use of the books on the reading list, journals or papers to which you are referred and hand-outs which you may be given. The lectures will help you to structure the subject and to understand its main points. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 22 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 23. 4.2 Tutorials Tutorials are normally group-based and so you will get to know most of the people in your group quite well. The aim of a tutorial is to clarify your understanding of the lecture material. This is the main time when you ask questions about the lecture material and discuss the material with your colleagues and a member of staff who is a member of the subject teaching team. Frequently, to aid your understanding, tutorial work will have been set or reading will have been given. It helps if you arrive at the tutorial having attempted the task and then in the tutorial you can sort out any misunderstandings that you may have. You should always remember that, you should: • try to attend every tutorial as this is the time when you can obtain individual help • be prepared to state your views about the subject area • ask questions • be prepared to take the initiative for discussion. Tutorials should not develop into mini lectures • be prepared for the tutorial by ensuring that you have attempted any tutorial work and have brought this work and also the lecture material with you At first, everyone is afraid of admitting that they do not understand how to tackle a particular problem. So speak up and ask questions. You may be doing everyone else a favour by raising a point. Successful tutorials are fun and valuable. They allow you to develop many interpersonal skills. Make the most of them. 4.3 Practicals You will often be expected to undertake practical work using laboratory facilities. Some of this work will be assessed. It is important that you keep up-to-date with your practical work. This type of work will often reinforce the material which has been presented within the lecture. Your practical skills will be important when you start your first job. Many of the tasks with which you will be presented, such as learning to use a piece of software, can only be learned by practice. You will be familiar with this if you have learned to ride or drive a vehicle or play a musical instrument. 4.4 Presentations Some assessments will involve giving a presentation of your work, either individually or as a member of a small group. Giving a successful presentation is a “life skill” which will be vital for you to acquire if you are going to be effective in a variety of careers. As well as being an important form of communication, giving a presentation makes you highly visible and it is an opportunity for you to “sell yourself”. It is important that you establish the purpose of the presentation, the length of the presentation and plan the presentation carefully. Establish which presentation aids will be available to you. There are number of different types of presentation aids for example, overhead projector, slides, video, flip charts and whiteboards. Remember that these aids are there to help you to communicate with the audience. No visual aid GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 23 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 24. can assist you if you have missed the purpose of the presentation or the identity of the audience. Plan the presentation carefully, ensuring that you cover all the relevant points within the allocated time. Try to allocate time at the end of the presentation to summarise the important issues and to give your audience the opportunity to ask any questions (if applicable). Remember that you will be standing in front of an audience. It is important that you gain their confidence as soon as possible. This means that style of dress is important. The following checklist can be used as a guide for when you have to stand up in front of an audience and present material. • Did the talk have a title and was it made clear at the start how much of the subject would be covered? • Was the introduction sufficient to enable the listener to follow the theme of the talk? • Did the speaker try to create an interest in his/her subject? • Was enthusiasm for the subject displayed? • Was the material presented well or badly? • Was material arranged in a logical sequence or was it disjointed? • Did the speaker show knowledge of the subject? • Did the talk show evidence of research? • Did the talk have a beginning, middle and an end ? • Was the speaker fluent? • Was the overall pace too fast or too slow? • Was there a variety of intonation and style? • Were there any distracting mannerisms? • Did the speaker try to display confidence? • Did the speaker try to establish eye contact with the audience? • Did the speaker attempt to use any visual aids? • Was the speaker capable of confidently handling questions from members of the audience? 4.5 Reports The commission and production of reports play a crucial part in achieving the aims which organisations set themselves. The more important decisions become, the more it is likely that specialist reports will be required by decision makers to ensure that the process of decision making is informed and impartial. Whilst studying on your award, you will be required to produce several reports of various types. A report may contain information which is obtained from a variety of sources, such as experiments, tests, direct observation, questionnaires or interviews. A report should not contain personal opinions which are not supported by any type of evidence. A good report should interest the reader. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 24 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 25. Before writing a report, it is important to ask yourself: • Who will read the report? • How long should it be? • What is the purpose of the report? The answers to the above will provide information about the type of language to be used in the report; that is, technical or everyday terms, and the structure of the report. The format of written reports varies considerably and the choice of format for a report is very important. You should list the contents of the report and organise them to suit the audience. Before you start writing any report it is important that you recognise and remember that a long report is not necessarily a good report. A good report presents the material in a well-structured and concise manner. You must pay attention to the details of the report such as: • consistent page numbering • an accurate table of contents • consistent style Many reports contain an executive or management summary at an early stage in order to enable the reader to read the main conclusion or meaning of the report early on without the necessity of reading all the report. A synopsis or abstract often substitutes for this for similar reasons and also for easy reference in libraries and abstracts. 4.6 Working in a Group Much of your professional life will probably be spent working as a member of a team. So whilst you are studying you can expect, as part of your development, to undertake group work. Working as a member of a group is rarely easy. Sometimes the people in the group simply do not like each other. There may be members of your group who seem to do little work. People do possess different strengths and weaknesses. It is up to you to deal with these situations. It is important that all the members of the group have a clear understanding of the group’s purpose. Make sure that your role within the group is well understood and the expected outcomes of your work are documented. Ensure that you fulfil your role in the group to the best of your ability. Remember that staff have plenty of experience in managing and assessing group work and that most module assessments where group work is used will employ a scheme to apportion the marks according to the amount of work which each group member has done. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 25 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 26. 4.7 Meetings You will be involved in many types of meeting whilst you are a student. For example meetings will form a fundamental part of your group work experience. It is important that you realise that meetings are costly exercises; the cost of the time taken by those who attend the meetings. Several key points will help you to organise and chair successful meetings: • have a clear, well structured agenda • set a time limit for the meeting, meetings lasting more than one hour often cease to be productive • plan the meeting, allocating time slots for each item • ensure that the actions which arise from the meeting are clear and are assigned to appropriate persons • ensure that the meeting is minuted • ensure that the names of the people present at the meeting are noted • ensure that the minutes are available before the next meeting so that people can prepare for the meeting and can also report on the actions. 4.8 Investigations and Research The most important aspects of your education as a student are not the facts that you learn, but the learning process itself. Facts quickly become outdated. As a professional you will have to keep up to date with new tools and techniques. You should make regular visits to the library, not only to read the recommended module texts but also related texts and journals. Find out what is currently happening within a particular field. Investigate the new theories and practices. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 26 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 27. 5. ATTENDANCE AND EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES 5.1 Attendance Your attendance is required at all teaching sessions for the modules for which you have enrolled. Sessions include all tutor-led activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory. “Sessions” should not be interpreted as “weeks”. For small group sessions (sessions which involve a sub-set of the whole module cohort) you must attend the sessions to which you have been assigned. Unauthorised absence will be treated very seriously. If you miss four consecutive sessions in any module in a semester you may be withdrawn from the module or from your award. You may be excluded from further teaching, denied access to examinations and refused the opportunity to submit assessment for the module or award. You will therefore need to seek permission to start again on the same module (or a replacement where applicable) or award the following year. This may affect your eligibility to progress to the next Level of your award, it may lead to the withdrawal by your Local Education Authority of your fees and/or grant, and it may render you ineligible to receive a Student Loan. If you are unable to attend for up to five working days through illness you must complete a self-certification form and hand it in to the Engineering and Advanced Technology School Office. If you are unable to attend for longer than five working days through illness then you must obtain a medical note from your doctor and hand that in to the School Office. If your absence/illness affects any aspect of your assessment you may be eligible to submit a claim for extenuating circumstances. For further details of this you should read the section on Extenuating Circumstances in this Handbook 5.2 Extenuating Circumstances Note that the following information is provided for guidance only. You should always refer to the current University Regulations for precise details. These regulations can be found at: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/Student_Information/ If for any valid reason (for example, medical problems), you are unable to submit a piece of work, you must inform your Level Leader, if possible, in advance of any deadline and also provide supporting documentary evidence (for example, a medical certificate), where appropriate. Similarly, if you have any problems which may have a detrimental affect on your work or you cannot attend an in-course test or examination then, again, you should inform your Level Leader as soon as possible. You should also complete an Extenuating Circumstances Form which is available from the School Office. Students who have otherwise completed their prescribed programme of study but who, for reasons of illness or other incapacity which is supported by acceptable medical GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 27 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 28. evidence, or because of other authenticated good case, miss or fail the whole or part of a level assessment may: • be allowed to take the relevant assessments as if for the first time. If an assessment affected by illness was itself a second attempt, the student shall be permitted to be reassessed as if for the second time. • have recommended grades given for each relevant assessment provided that the Examination Board is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to arrive at a fair estimate of the appropriate grades. To help determine the grades, the Examination Board may assess the student by whatever means are considered appropriate in the particular case. The student must signify willingness to accept these recommended grades and understand that this implies waiving the right to be reassessed. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 28 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 29. 6. ASSESSMENT 6.1 How are you assessed? You are assessed separately for each module that you undertake. The assessments may be in the form of project solutions, in-class assignments, practical assignments, reports, group presentations, individual presentations, research proposals or examinations. The specific assessment criteria, against which your performance will be evaluated will be explained and given to you by the tutor responsible for that module. The assessment of your work fulfils two functions and is considered to be an important part of your learning process. The assessment is first of all used to inform you of your academic progress through your route and secondly to assist you in the development of the effective qualities looked for by today’s employers. 6.2 Are there common assessment criteria? In addition to the specific assessment criteria relevant to each module, some or all of the following criteria will also be used. In your work we will look for evidence of the ability to select, apply and extend your knowledge. At different times your solutions must exhibit appropriate considerations of originality, analysis and implementation. We will expect to see you develop as an independent learner as you progress through each level of the award. You must demonstrate skills in the communication and presentation of research and design solutions and an ability to research and to discover relevant information. We will expect you to be able to apply clear, analytical thinking with regard to both practical work and written assignments. The above list may appear to be pretty daunting! Don’t worry. We will expect you to develop over the three years all the skills and abilities necessary to meet these different criteria. At each level of your studies you will expected to achieve a degree of attainment that is appropriate to that level. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 29 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 30. 6.3 Assessment grades When your performance on a module is evaluated it will be given a grade, i.e. a number between 0 to 15 and this grade will eventually be printed on your transcript against the module you have enrolled on. Where you are required to present more than one piece of work for assessment, eg. two written assignments, each assignment is marked separately. Usually it will be necessary for you to achieve at least the minimum pass mark in each assignment in order to pass the module and to gain the necessary credits. The fifteen point scale corresponds to the following levels of achievement : Grade Points Performance Levels 1, 2 & 3 (Associated Honours Classification) 15 14 Outstanding First Class 13 12 Second Class 11 Above Division One 10 average 9 Second Class 8 average Division Two 7 6 5 Satisfactory Third Class 4 3 Compensatable 2 Fail 1 Non Compensatable Fail 0 Non-Attendance or Non-Submission Fail GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 30 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 31. 6.4 What is the award assessment timetable? Assignment work set for assessment will be required during the semester. The module tutor will notify you of hand-in dates for such work. Normally this work must be handed into the School office where your submission will be recorded. The School of Engineering and Advanced Technology Handbook gives information on hand-in procedures. 6.5 Submission and Late Submission of Course Work You must submit all pieces of assessment required for each module on or before the submission date for each piece of assessment. Failure to do so may result in failure of the module overall. The submission date will be specified for each piece of assessment for each module. It is your responsibility to make sure you know when your submission dates are and to comply with them. Failure to meet this deadline will be treated as a non-submission and your work will not be marked. University staff will not accept any submissions after this. Failure to submit your work within this time will be treated as non-submission. The only exceptions to these rules apply where a valid claim for extenuating circumstances can be made. For further details you should read section 5.2 on Extenuating Circumstances in this Handbook. 6.6 Is there an assessment feedback process? We will endeavour to give you details of your progress in accordance with the University Undergraduate Awards grading system. We will also aim to give you as much additional feedback as possible in small seminar-based groups, or individually if requested. 6.7 Progression conditions (i) To progress to Level 2 a candidate must normally have achieved at least 90 points at Level 1. (ii) To progress to Level 3 a candidate must normally have achieved at least 100 points at Level 2 and 120 points at Level 1. 6.8 Qualifications 6.8.1 Certificate in Higher Education If you achieve 120 credits at level one or higher, you will be eligible for a Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE). A Certificate in Higher Education is a general award, not one in which the award title includes the name of the subject area(s). GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 31 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 32. 6.8.2 Diploma in Higher Education If you achieve 240 credits including at least 120 at level 2 or higher, you will be eligible for a Diploma in Higher Education (Dip HE). A Diploma in Higher Education is awarded in a named area only if the modules studied map exactly onto the award structure of levels 1 and 2. 6.8.3 BSc(Hons) Classification In order to be considered for the award of a BSc(Hons) candidates must have obtained 360 CATS points. These must consist of credits gained for satisfactory completion of the modules defined as comprising the award and must contain at least 120 points at Level 3 and not more than 120 at Level 1. The 120 points at level 3 must include those awarded for satisfactory completion of the project module (40 CATS). Your award classification is based on your overall score at level 2 and level 3. Overall Score = 30% of total grade points at Level 2 + 70% of total grade points at Level 3 As a guide only, the following table relates the overall score achieved at the end of level 3 to the honours classification. YOU SHOULD REFER TO THE UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS FOR FURTHER DETAILS. Overall Score Base Classification 156+ 1st 120 - 155 2i 84 - 119 2ii 48 - 83 3rd 47 or less refer to Pass Degree 6.8.4 Pass Degree The Award Board may, at its discretion, decide to offer you a Pass Degree if: i) you have successfully completed (i.e. been awarded at least Grade Point 4/Pass) 300 credits, of which at least 60 are at Level 3. and ii) you have attempted (i.e. been awarded at least Grade Point 1) 360 credits, of which 120 are at Level 3 and no more than 120 are at Level 1. If you have not yet exhausted your referral attempts you may choose to decline the Pass Degree and to attempt your referrals at the time specified by the Award Board. Where the Award Board offers you a Pass Degree and/or there are referral attempts remaining, it may, at the same time, agree the maximum Honours classification you can be awarded upon successful completion of your referrals. You will be told what GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 32 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 33. that maximum is when you are asked whether or not you wish to accept the Pass Degree. If you decide to accept the Pass Degree this will be awarded. If you decide to attempt your referrals at the time specified by the Award Board, then that Award Board will re-convene to consider your case anew once you have attempted your referrals. If you have exhausted your referral attempts and still meet the two criteria for the award of a Pass Degree (criteria i) and ii) above), then the Pass Degree will be awarded rather than offered. If you have not met the criteria for the award of a Pass Degree then the Award Board will consider your eligibility for an intermediate award of a Dip HE or a Cert HE. 6.9 What happens if you are unsuccessful? It is University policy that if you fail either all or part of the assessment for a module, you have the right to be reassessed on one subsequent occasion within the period of two calendar years, at the discretion of the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology Award Board. The maximum grade you can then gain will be a pass (Grade 4) in that module. Referrals normally take the form of submission of extra work, rework or resit examination papers. Further details are given in the University regulations, including your right to appeal against decisions which you believe to have been unfairly reached. 6.10 Cheating and Plagiarism All cases will be dealt with in accordance with current University regulations. Cheating is defined as any deliberate attempt to gain an unfair advantage in any assessment. Plagiarism is defined as any deliberate attempt by a candidate to pass off as his or her own work, for the purposes of assessment, the work of another person, including another candidate and including work in computerised form. Where it has been established that a candidate has engaged in cheating or plagiarism in an examination or other assessment, the Award Board may deem that the candidate has failed all or part of the assessment concerned. 6.11 Appeals procedure Any appeal against assessment results shall be dealt with in accordance with the appeals procedures of the University. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 33 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 34. 7. AWARD MANAGEMENT 7.1 Who runs the award? Management of the Award within a programme is the responsibility of the Award Manager (Dr Bobbie Fletcher) who is responsible to the Associate Dean (Professor Mike Goodwin) for the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology. 7.2 Module Tutors A Module Tutor is one of the team of people involved with a particular module. In conjunction with this team, each Module Tutor is responsible for managing and overseeing the day-to-day administration of the module. This involves: • preparing assessments • monitoring, controlling and reporting on students’ progress • conducting module reviews with the students of each cohort. Each Module Tutor provides counselling to students on the module. This may involve: • encouraging and advising you before you start the module study period • acting as a focus for problems encountered during the module study period • providing support and encouragement prior to and during the module assessments. If you are experiencing any difficulties with the work associated with a module, please see the Module Tutor and discuss the problems. 7.3 What role do students play in award management? Student views are extremely important: they represent a key feature in determining how well the programme is running and in what direction it should take in future. Your student group has representation on the Award Management Committee, Staff/Students Liaison Committee and on other committees in the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology. At the start of your award you will elect representatives for these committees. Students of this Award have representatives at each level on appropriate Committees. 7.4 Personal Tutor On enrolment you will be allocated a Personal Tutor. Your Personal Tutor remains with you as a mentor, guide and confidant throughout your studies with us. We will organise general times for staff and students to meet but you should try to keep in touch with your tutor on a regular basis. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 34 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 35. 8. STAFFING AND RESOURCES 8.1 University Services and Resources Staffordshire University has services for Accommodation, Media and Welfare amongst others. Of particular relevance to this award are; 8.1.1 Information Technology Services IT Services at the Stafford Campus is situated on the ground floor of the Octagon. At the Stoke Campus IT services is located on the first floor of the Brindley Building and the first floor of the Cadman Building. The purpose of IT Services is to provide an IT support service during your time as a student. Typical services which staff from IT Services provide are: • providing software documentation • providing software manuals for you to borrow • providing Expert Help and advice from Help desk staff • Laser printing (including colour) • selling computer consumables such as disks, mouse mats and assignment folders. IT Services can help you get started and solve most computing problems. Staff are available to give you advice, hand out documentation and lend computer manuals. In addition, assignment folders and past examination papers can be purchased from the IT Services help desk. The opening times for IT Services are as follows: Term Time: Monday - Friday 8.45am - 10.45pm Saturday 1.00pm - 6.00pm Sunday 1.00pm - 6.00pm Vacations: Monday - Friday 8.45am - 8.45pm These standard opening times may vary from time to time - you will be advised, where possible, of any changes in opening times by notices. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 35 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 36. 8.1.2 Library and Information Services The Library and Information Service provides a comprehensive service to students, staff and researchers through five site libraries. The facilities include catalogue access through ps’s and CD-ROM. The opening times for Library are as follows: Term Time: Monday - Thursday 9.00am - 9.00pm Friday 9.00am - 5.15pm Saturday 9.00am - 1.00pm Vacations: Monday - Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm Books can be borrowed or renewed using the library card issued to you at the beginning of the year. Books are available on loan for 4 hours (or overnight), one or three weeks, depending on their popularity. You may borrow up to 15 books at any one time. You should try to avoid incurring fines by ensuring that your books are returned or renewed accordingly. The Library also has five card-operated photocopiers for your use. Cards for these copiers can be bought from the Library reception. 8.1.3 The Careers Service The Careers Service provide a careers advisory and information service to all students as well as diplomates and graduates. Careers talks are given to all final year students and information and advice on job vacancies and applications. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 36 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 37. 8.2 School Staff and Resources The Schools of Engineering and Advanced Technology have highly qualified and experienced academic, technical and administrative staff with a commitment to delivering high quality courses. Most staff have industrial experience and are engaged in a range of research, consultancy and other staff development activities The School of Engineering and Advanced Technology supports a wide range of electrical, electronic, media, mechanical and manufacturing engineering and technology awards with well equipped laboratories including those for communications, signal processing, electronics and media technology. The School also provides computing facilities over and above those supplied by the University, again these are supplied to be used. Academic staff have offices on the Second Floor of C Block and the First Floor of D Block. You will find that they are willing to help you. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 37 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 38. 9. LEVE L 3 PROJECT 9.1 Introduction Project work contributes 40 CATS points at Level 3.. 9.2 Project Components Project Handbook You will be given a project handbook which will give information on the requirements for and assessment of final year projects. The information in the rest of this section is for guidance only. Overview Generally, ‘literature survey’ type projects are not favoured and projects normally seek to include a practical ‘hands-on’ element combined with a strong analytical content. Many projects involve elements of computing or the application of computers. Projects that require simulation work will normally endeavour to combine this with a practical element where comparisons may be made. Project supervisors are well aware of the need to allow the student to develop independent learning skills, and although there are, inevitably, variations in supervision styles, staff are sensitive to the students needs. Contact between the supervisor and student is normally at least once per week. The primary objectives for final year projects are that the student is able to : • demonstrate an understanding of the subject matter in the project, • demonstrate communication skills in an oral presentation, interview and reports, • demonstrate an awareness of the contextual background and wider implications of their project work. The School of Engineering and Advanced Technology provides well equipped laboratories and facilities, well suited to project work. For level 3 projects, students are normally allocated 1 day or 2 half days per week. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 38 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 39. Project Specification Project proposals arise from a number of sources including academic staff within the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology and supporting schools, from external industrial sources arising from consultancy, placements and Teaching Company Schemes, from research activities and from the students, who are encouraged to present proposals for projects. The Project Co-ordinator and project originator will consider project proposals with respect to general suitability as a level 3 project, cost, laboratory, workshop and computing facilities required and any special requirements Project Allocation The Project Co-ordinator and supervisors then compile a list of projects which is issued to the students during the enrolment week of the final year. Students make an initial selection and consult with the project supervisors in order to gain a better insight to the requirements of the projects. The project supervisors determine the suitability of the individual before a final selection is made by the student. Students are not allowed to commence work on the project before the start of the relevant semester. The Project supervisor maintains close contact with the progress of the project and the student, and advises on all aspects including the requirements for assessment. The Principle of Assessment Assessment is based on : • The understanding of the fundamental principles of the project. • Project planning and the ability to organise time and effort. • Initiative and originality. • An appreciation of the accuracy and validity of experimental work. • An awareness of other work in the same field as the project. • The ability to present a critical discussion of the work, together with appropriate conclusions and suggestions for further work. • The quality and style of presentation of the final report. The Practise of Assessment Students are required to submit an initial Project Proposal, a brief in-course Progress Report and a final Project Report by the deadline dated shown in the Project Handbook. You will also be required to attend an in-course interview and prepare a poster display for your work. Finally, you will be required to make a short presentation of your poster display and attend a project interview. Please refer to the Project Handbook for more details. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 39 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 40. 10. COURSEWORK 10.1 Overview of coursework Laboratory based work and other coursework form an integral part of the teaching and learning strategy for the modules on the award. Such assignments are designed to be formative in consolidating material delivered in lectures, and in developing independent learning skills. The majority of assignments form part or the whole of the assessment for the specific modules in which they are set, although additional, non-assessed coursework is set. Staff are fully aware of the possibility of plagiarism and rigorous school procedures, including viva voce examinations and formal investigations are in place where this is suspected. Penalties for late submission for coursework are defined in university regulations and are included in this handbook and all students are made aware of these issues. The School of Engineering and Advanced Technology imposes a minimum of grade 2 (20%) in each element of assessment (examination and coursework) with a minimum aggregate of grade 4 (40%) to pass. Assignments are generally prescriptive at level 1, progressing to more open-ended tasks at level 3. 10.2 Method of assessment The weightings for different assessment methods are specified on the module specification form. For assessment, a module specification form may state either laboratory based assignments, or written coursework assignments, or a combination of both depending on the modes and proportions of assessment specified. These methods and weightings are carefully considered in the context of the material to be covered and the delivery method and are subject to external examiners scrutiny and rigorous School and University validation procedures. The modes and proportions of assessment are outlined below: • 100% Examination • 80% Examination, 20% Coursework - In this mode the coursework assessment is often based on work undertaken during timetabled laboratory sessions. Assessment is based on either a log book record written reports or both. In addition to the 6 or 9 hours timetabled, students would be expected to work at least 8 non-timetabled hours in preparing the material to be submitted. • 60% Examination, 40 % Coursework - In this mode, the course work assessment is normally based on a combination of laboratory based and written assignments. Students are expected to work at least 16 non-timetabled hours in preparing the material to be submitted. • 50% Examination, 50 % Coursework - In this mode, the course work assessment is normally based on a combination of laboratory based and written assignments. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 40 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 41. Students are expected to work at least 20 non-timetabled hours in preparing the material to be submitted. • 100% Coursework - In this mode, assessment is normally based on a combination of laboratory based and written assignments and students are expected to work at least 40 non-timetabled hours in preparing the material to be submitted. All coursework set for assessment is subject to scrutiny by external examiners. The School provides copies of the set coursework to external examiners and coursework responses, submitted by students is available for inspection by the external examiners. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 41 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 42. 11. STUDENT CENTRED ACTIVITIES The undergraduate modular framework specifies 120 CATS points at each of the levels, 1, 2 and 3 giving a total of 360 points. Typical modules are 10 CATS points rated and are specified as being 80 hours total student learning of which up to 40 hours is timetabled contact hours including laboratory based work if appropriate. The remaining 40 plus hours is defined as student centred and students are expected to use this time to consolidate material delivered in lectures, read around the topics covered, work on any directed learning or tutorials given and to work on assignments. As a guideline figure, students are expected to work about 3 hours per module per week in addition to the timetabled class contact hours. It is essential that you treat this requirement seriously, that you manage your time effectively in order to gain maximum benefit from it. If you do not allocate sufficient time to this aspect of your learning, it is unlikely that you will be successful with your studies. This work is unsupervised and the student will choose the location for such work. Where such work is carried out in laboratories, for example project work, this is done by arrangement with the laboratory technician who would be present for reasons of safety. Students are introduced to the Library and Information Services and Information Technology Services during their induction week. Students are encouraged to make full use of these facilities as part of their private study time. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 42 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 43. 12. OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION 12.1University Regulations Much of the above is based upon or extracted from the University Student Information pack which was issued to you at the start of the academic year. In some cases, where University regulations change, then those new regulations and policies supercede and take precedence over this handbook. The most up-to-date version of those regulations can always be found at http://www.staffs.ac.uk/Student_Information/ 12.2 School Office The School of Engineering and Advance Technology Office can be found on the second floor of the Beacon building (Room C224). Amongst other things, the Office is there to answer any queries you may have as well as to take your assignments by the hand-in date (you will be given a receipt). There is a variety of information available from outside the Business Support Office such as contact details for members of staff. The Business Support Office will also take messages from you for members of staff. The School Office is open to answer enquiries at the following times: Monday - Thursday 9.00am - 5.00pm Friday 9.00am - 4.30pm 12.3 Contacting Lecturers There are a number of ways in which you can arrange to see your Lecturers. Many Lecturers operate an appointment system. This means that you need to arrange an appointment before the meeting. You should get into the habit of doing this since you will find that it saves both your time and your Lecturers’ time. It is better to have a pre-defined appointment where you know that people will be available, rather than waiting around in corridors and trying to meet by chance. To arrange an appointment you can: • Email the lecturer, requesting an appointment. • Leave a message on the noticeboard outside their office with your contact details • Leave a message with the Business Support Office with your contact details • Telephone the lecturer requesting an appointment • Telephone the Business Support Office saying that you need speak to a lecturer Other Lecturers may have a pre-defined time slot during the week where you are welcome to drop in to discuss any issues you may have. Details of Email addresses and telephone numbers for staff can be found outside the Business Support Office. You will also be given a copy of this information at the beginning of the year. This information can also be found on the School’s Web pages. GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 43 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 44. Appendix i: Skills Map EN40076-1 Signals and Communication Technology Principles of Technology A Management in Business Quantitative Methods for Technology Internet and HTML Introductory Electronics EN044-1+Technology Systems Development in C+ Study Skills Introduction to Computer Networks Level 1 Skills are: Introduced (I) Developed (D) Assessed (A) Module handbook refers to assessments and detail of University Statement on Graduate Skills and Personal Characteristics EN042-1 CM32122-1 EN288-1 EN437-1 EN40072-1 EN269-1 BS600-1 code Skill/Characteristic Intellectual skills An understanding of a specific body of knowledge and skills I IA IA IA IA IA IA IA IA An appreciation of the nature of knowledge, principles, concepts and I IA IA IA IA IA IA context Analyse I IA IA IA IA IA IA Synthesise information IA IA IA I IA IA IA Think critically I IA I I IA Think creatively IA I IA Evaluate I IA I IA IA A student should be able to undertake research appropriate to level I I and subject area Communication Present written and oral arguments in a clear and cogent manner IA IA I IA IA IA Ask relevant questions I I I I Respond to questions appropriately I IA IA IA IA IA Listen to the views of others I I Teamworking Establish positive working relations within a group, showing I I I I I sensitivity to the needs of others, negotiating roles and tasks and giving honest and constructive feedback Interact effectively in social groups Influence others Promote co-operation to complete a task I I I I I Problem solving A student should be able to: Identify issues I I I I I I IA I Assimilate, evaluate and analyse information as a result of IA I I IA I IA IA independent or group research Formulate a practical solution to the problem, making effective use I D I IA IA I IA of the time and resources available Application of number appropriate to discipline or career needs Use and identify statistical evidence in essays/reports in order to D A D DA I DA DA support their arguments, Use numerical information to support analysis, Express main conclusions, trends, relationships or patterns, Make appropriate use of diagrams, graphs, tables or formulae Information Technology A student should have an awareness of possible uses of IT and seek IA I I A DA I I I to develop that use by integrating it into their work Personal Skills for Lifelong Learning Manage personal learning I I I I I Identify his/her own strengths and weaknesses I I Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability I I GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 44 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 45. Exhibit self-discipline and perseverance I I I I I I Demonstrate self-motivation and initiative I I I I I I Exercise sound judgement I IA I I I I EN278-2 Internet and JAVA/PERL Technology Security technology 1 EN40054-2 Quantitative Modelling and Simulation EN2106-2 ManagementBroadcasting Services and Advanced Routing Configurations Applications of Microprocessors Multi-Layer Switching Applied Electronics 2 Level 2 Communications Skills are: Introduced (I) Developed (D) Assessed (A) Module handbook refers to assessments and detail of University Statement on Graduate Skills and Personal Characteristics EN236-2 EN40049-2 EN214-2 EN232-3 EN40074-2 EN40071-2 code Skill/Characteristic Intellectual skills An understanding of a specific body of knowledge and skills IA IA IA IA IA IA IA IA IA An appreciation of the nature of knowledge, principles, IA IA IA IA IA IA IA IA IA concepts and context Analyse DA D D D D D D Synthesise information DA D D D D Think critically D D D D D D D Think creatively DA D D Evaluate D D D D D A student should be able to undertake research appropriate to D D D D D level and subject area Communication Present written and oral arguments in a clear and cogent DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA manner Ask relevant questions D D D D D D D Respond to questions appropriately D D D D D D D D D Listen to the views of others D D D D D D Teamworking Establish positive working relations within a group, showing D D DA D DA DA sensitivity to the needs of others, negotiating roles and tasks and giving honest and constructive feedback Interact effectively in social groups D Influence others D D D Promote co-operation to complete a task D D D D D Problem solving A student should be able to: Identify issues A D D D D D DA Assimilate, evaluate and analyse information as a result of D D D D D D D D independent or group research Formulate a practical solution to the problem, making D D D D DA D DA DA DA effective use of the time and resources available Application of number appropriate to discipline or career needs Use and identify statistical evidence in essays/reports in order D D D D DA D DA D D to support their arguments, Use numerical information to support analysis, Express main conclusions, trends, relationships or patterns, Make appropriate use of diagrams, graphs, tables or formulae Information Technology A student should have an awareness of possible uses of IT DA D D D D D DA D D and seek to develop that use by integrating it into their work Personal Skills for Lifelong Learning Manage personal learning D D D D D D D D D GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 45 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 46. Identify his/her own strengths and weaknesses D D D D D D D D D Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability D D D D D D D D D Exhibit self-discipline and perseverance D D D D D D D D D Demonstrate self-motivation and initiative D D D D D D D D D Exercise sound judgement D D D D D D D D D Applied Electronics 3 Personal Communication Systems Worldwide Wireless Communications EN182-3 Technology Project Speech and Image Processing EN254-3 CommunicationsIntegrated Broadband and Mobile Satellite Communication Systems Level 3 Skills are: Introduced (I) Developed (D) Assessed (A) Module handbook refers to assessments and detail of University Statement on Graduate Skills and Personal Characteristics EN182-3 EN237-3 EN242-3 EN298-3 EN299-3 EN2102-3 code Skill/Characteristic Intellectual skills An understanding of a specific body of knowledge and skills DA DA IA DA DA DA DA An appreciation of the nature of knowledge, principles, concepts and context DA DA IA DA DA DA DA Analyse DA D D D D DA D Synthesise information DA D D D D Think critically DA D D D D D D Think creatively DA D D D Evaluate DA D D D DA D A student should be able to undertake research appropriate to level and DA D D D subject area Communication Present written and oral arguments in a clear and cogent manner DA DA DA DA DA DA DA Ask relevant questions D D D D D D D Respond to questions appropriately DA D D D D DA D Listen to the views of others D D D D Teamworking Establish positive working relations within a group, showing sensitivity to D D the needs of others, negotiating roles and tasks and giving honest and constructive feedback Interact effectively in social groups Influence others D Promote co-operation to complete a task D D Problem solving A student should be able to: Identify issues DA D D D D D D Assimilate, evaluate and analyse information as a result of independent or DA D D D D D D group research Formulate a practical solution to the problem, making effective use of the DA D D D D D D time and resources available Application of number appropriate to discipline or career needs Use and identify statistical evidence in essays/reports in order to support DA D D DA DA DA DA their arguments, Use numerical information to support analysis, Express main conclusions, trends, relationships or patterns, Make appropriate use of diagrams, graphs, tables or formulae Information Technology GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 46 - Student Handbook – August 2001
  • 47. A student should have an awareness of possible uses of IT and seek to DA D D D D D D develop that use by integrating it into their work Personal Skills for Lifelong Learning Manage personal learning D D D D D D D Identify his/her own strengths and weaknesses D D D D D D D Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability D D D D D D D Exhibit self-discipline and perseverance DA D D D D D D Demonstrate self-motivation and initiative DA D D D D D D Exercise sound judgement D D D D D D D GA - BSc(Hons) Communications Technology - 47 - Student Handbook – August 2001