The programme is organized around a mandatory core of 6 modules. The core element comprises the complete Post-Graduate Certificate, and provides the basis for the Post-Graduate Diploma and MSc. The Diploma and MSc incorporate 12 taught modules: 6 mandatory and 6 options. The MSc also incorporates a 60 credit project.
The set of core modules is not expected to change, although they will be refined over time. The set of options is not yet fixed. At the time of writing it is anticipated that additional optional modules will be identified over the next two to three years. At present it is planned that the core of six mandatory modules will be taught each year, with the options being made available over a two-three year cycle. This means it will always be possible to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in one year.
The course is taught as a series of one week modules. A variety of modes of teaching are employed during the modules, as appropriate to the material and skills to be imparted and tested.
Typically 50% of a module is presented through lectures which are give using PowerPoint. Copies of slides and other materials are always provided to support the presentations. Textbooks are usually recommended and a selection of relevant textbooks and other support materials are made available for each module as reference material.
These are used to teach the practical skills for certain modules. However most modules the practical skills are taught mainly via the problem classes.
Much of the practical element of the course is taught through problem classes. These are normally taught in small groups, i.e. a maximum of six students, led by a member of teaching staff. As the programme is concerned with a practical subject, these classes are of central importance. Generally, model answers are given to the exercises undertaken through the problem classes.
It is assumed that all students undertake work outside the timetabled hours. Typically the taught element of a module (lectures, laboratory sessions and problem classes) amounts to 35 hours and the assessment amounts to a further 35 hours, leaving about 30 hours for private study.
Projects will normally be based in the companies. All projects are supervised by an individual lecturer, but will also be supported from within the companies; if appropriate specialist help will also be obtained from Sheffield. If necessary, projects will be arranged in the University. As projects are undertaken away from York arrangements will be made to visit students and/or for students to come to the University for progress meetings. Students will be required to spend two further study weeks at the University as part of their project, so the supervisor can ensure that they are making effective academic progress.
The majority of formal assessments will be open, and are expected to take 35 hours to complete where they are the only form of assessment.
In accordance with the University's normal practice, alternative assessments or assessment arrangements are made where necessary for students with disabilities.
Closed examinations will be used where this is the most appropriate approach, e.g. where there is a strong mathematical element to material. Students´ knowledge and understanding are tested on a strictly individual basis.
Open assessments and projects
The majority of the modules will be assessed purely through open assessments. Where there is a closed examination, the scale of the open assessment will be reduced.
All open assessments are marked by the module owner. A detailed marking scheme is provided for each assessment, and the marker´s work is sanity checked against this by a second person. Projects are double-marked.
Projects are assessed on the basis of a written report. If a project is based on sensitive company information, arrangements will be made for sensitive information to be included in annexes which are not held with the main project reports in the Department Library.