Rules relating to Teaching Arrangements


Your Adviser guides and supervises your studies and is the first person to turn to with academic or personal problems, or if you require assistance in any dealings with the College Authorities. Your Adviser is one of the members of the teaching staff listed earlier. You will normally have the same Adviser throughout your undergraduate studies. After leaving College you should usually name your Adviser as someone who will give an academic or character reference. Should you wish to change your Adviser, for any reason, you should approach the Senior Tutor, Prof. Steve Thomas.

Registration and Module Selection

Registration for modules to be taken during the academic year takes place during the week prior to the start of teaching. You are required to register for all modules you propose to take in both semesters A and B. You are limited to courses of total value 120 "credits" per year, not including resits of failed examinations. Since most modules have a value of 15 credits, this implies four modules in each semester. You may add or delete modules later in the semester and modify your selection for semester B if your interests change.

Should a student be deregistered from modules such that the total credit falls below 90, the student will be asked to withdraw from the College. See the section on 'Examinations' for definitions of 'resits' and 'retakes'.

Registration is carried out using the College Student Information System, and is done in consultation with your adviser. Resit registrations from outside the School must be agreed by the Module Organiser.

Note that the College may charge an administration fee for reinstating the records of any student whose registration has previously been terminated for non-payment of tuition fees.

Types of Teaching

The main methods of teaching are lectures, laboratory classes, tutorials and supervised problem classes. Further information appears in the module descriptions in this Handbook. Students will be assigned to laboratory and problem classes when registration is complete. Detailed arrangements for each module are the responsibility of the Module Organiser who works closely with the Senior Tutor, Prof. Steve Thomas. Timetable clashes should be reported to him immediately.

Further elements of the teaching arrangements are exercise assignments, to be completed in the student's own time and handed in at set intervals, small group tutorials and seminars. The exercises may include reading assignments, essay writing and problem solving. Marks for exercise assignments and attendance at tutorials and seminars are recorded and may be used in course assessment. The Independent Projects are supervised on an individual basis; they may include discussion classes and seminar presentations.

Your university studies offer a chance to develop learning methods which are not based solely on formal classes and memory work. Often lectures do not allow time for full development of the module material and a great deal of your learning must take place outside the classroom. Lectures will need to be supplemented by textbooks. Self-instruction techniques are introduced in the first year culminating in your final year Project, for which you, assisted by your supervisor, are entirely responsible.

Do not underestimate the time needed to understand and apply new material; as a guide, you should expect to spend at least forty hours a week, during term time, in classes and private study.

Submission of Coursework

Plagiarism - that is, passing off the work of another person as one's own - is a serious disciplinary offence. The student is referred to the departmental policy on the subject at Plagiarism. If you pass off any work of fellow students, or others, as your own, with the intent to deceive, or allow your own work to be used in this way, you will be reported to the Head of School who may refer the matter to the Academic Registrar for action by the College. Depending on the circumstances, the outcome of a confirmed offence could vary from returning a mark of zero for the work in question to expulsion from the University.

Candidates entering an examination for a module are required to complete all tests prescribed for that particular module and failure to do so (except in case of illness or other adequate cause, for which certification must be provided) may render a candidate ineligible to be considered as having completed that module. Most module assessments include some element of ancillary teaching, including laboratory reports, essays, exercise assignments and tutorial or seminar attendance. A rough guide to the divide between coursework elements and final exam is indicated on the individual module pages though it should be noted that this is under continual review and may be altered. The Module Organiser will inform students of the split in a particular module at the start of the semester.

Students are reminded that the final dates for submitting Essays and Project reports are official examination dates. Failure to meet these deadlines will be regarded as failure to complete the module.

Study Requirements

A student who has failed to attend adequately or who has failed an ancillary element of the module may be deregistered from that module. Such deregistration is entered permanently on the student's College record and on all transcripts provided thereafter by the College. Attendance at lectures, laboratories, tutorials, exercise classes, seminars and in-course tests is obligatory as is the submission of coursework, project and laboratory reports and essays as well as the presentation of set seminar talks and oral project reports.  Please see the front page of the handbook for details of the exact attendance requirements. 

Juno Champion

The school holds Juno Champion status, the highest award of this IoP scheme to recognise and reward departments that can demonstrate they have taken action to address the under-representation of women in university physics and to encourage better practice for both women and men.