These explanatory notes have been prepared to help
you understand those parts of the University of Bath's undergraduate
Programme/Unit Catalogue which are relevant to you, in the context
of semester-based units in the modular framework. The notes are
general, and there may be particular points relating to your programme
about which your Director of Studies will advise you, or which
will be contained in additional information provided by your Department
or School. The notes cover first of all the general framework
(the academic year, and the terminology used to describe programmes
and units), and then lead into the way information is set out
in the programme and unit listings. Various tables are grouped
between these notes and the start of the Catalogue, to clarify
some points without interrupting the notes.
2. The semester-based academic year
The 1998/99 academic year is divided into two fifteen-week
semesters. Each semester is made up of twelve weeks of teaching
followed by three weeks of revision and assessment, during which
formal examinations will be scheduled. (See Table 1 for a chart
of the calendar for 1998/99, and note that there will be no inter-semester
break.) The Catalogue therefore seeks to show you which units
are expected to run in which semester and year of your programme.
The Catalogue labels semesters as Semester 1 and Semester 2 in
each year, not as semesters 1 through to 6 (or 8) for a programme;
|Year 4 |
|Semester 1||Semester 2||Semester 3||Semester 4||Semester 5||Semester 6||Semester 7||Semester 8|
There are some exceptions to the normal dates and pattern (for
placement periods, and for a small number of programmes, for example);
your Director of Studies/Department/School will provide information
about such cases.
3. Programmes, Units and Credits
Your degree programme is made up of a number of components,
called units. Credits are used to illustrate how
units fit together in programmes. The purpose of the Programme/Unit
Catalogue is to help you to understand the structure of your degree
programme and the range of units likely to be available to you.
The programmes and units described in this Catalogue are expected
to be available in 1998/99. The University may make changes to
these arrangements in accordance with its normal procedures, and
will determine whether units will run based on constraints such
as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling
factors. It is possible, therefore, that a unit you read about
here may not run, or that you may be unable to take it. In some
cases, a unit may become available after the publication of the
Catalogue, and if you are able to take it, you will be advised
about it separately. Different ranges of programmes and units
may be available in subsequent years, so you should not assume,
if you will be in year 2 of a programme in 1998/99, that the third
year of your programme in 1999/2000 will be as described here
(for year 3 in 1998/99). There may also be groups of units which
are offered only in alternate years - which means that they might
be available to years 3 and 4 in 1998/99, but will be replaced
by another set of units available to both years in 1999/2000.
And in some cases, for example where a programme is just starting,
later years of the programme may not be running yet, but will
be included to give an indication of what is planned. Your Director
of Studies will advise you about all such matters.
The University has adopted a credit-rating structure for the units
which make up your programme. It is important to understand this
structure before looking at the individual programmes and units.
Firstly, the credit-rating structure helps to describe your workload.
Different students will have to devote different amounts of time
and effort to a programme and to individual units, but the credit-rating
system gives a breakdown of the notional workload associated with
a programme. It starts out with 60 credits for a typical undergraduate
year, which are then divided to give an approximate workload for
each of the units which the year includes. The majority of Departments/Schools
will be using a system which breaks down to 3, 6, or 12 credits
per unit, with the possibility that project work or placement
periods may have different values. A small number of Departments/Schools
will be using a system which breaks down to 5 or 10 credits per
unit. Some diagrammatic examples are given in Table 2. You may
find that your programme requires that you fill a six-credit slot
with a five-credit unit from a Department/School using the other
system; if this is so, the apparent deficiency of one credit will
be acceptable within the context of your programme. The converse,
leading to an additional credit will also be acceptable. Your
Director of Studies will advise you in such cases.
Secondly, the credit-rating structure helps to describe your work
towards the award of a degree. Thus the typical undergraduate
programme will require that you accumulate 60 credits in each
year of the programme. You will automatically acquire the credits
for units which you pass. If you do not pass a unit at the first
attempt, the credits might be acquired by re-taking and passing
the unit (if this is permitted), by re-sitting and passing the
assessment (if this is permitted), or by the appropriate body
(such as a Board of Examiners) deeming that you may acquire the
credits. You should note that the marks you gain are distinct
from credits, and that it is the aggregation of marks which determines
your degree result. All such circumstances are described in full
in the scheme of study and assessment for a programme, which is
not part of the Catalogue. Again, your Director of Studies will
advise on these points.
3.3 The status of a unit
Some of the units you take in a given year of a programme will
be compulsory or mandatory units - and in some semesters
all of the units to be taken may be mandatory.
In many cases, you will be allowed to choose to make up a particular
credit requirement from a range of units: for example, 24 of the
30 credits to be obtained in a semester are prescribed mandatory
units, but you may choose either one six-credit unit, or two three-credit
units to fill the remaining load from a list which contains some
of each. These are normally known as optional units. In
some cases, there may be a space for you to fill for which you
may choose a unit from almost anywhere in the University (subject
to having the right pre-requisites, that is, having covered
necessary background material earlier). This type of optional
unit is often referred to as an elective unit.
You are also permitted to take one six-credit unit (or its equivalent
- two three-credit units, or a five-credit unit from the other
credit-rating system) in an academic year, outside the requirements
of your programme. This will not count for progression in your
degree programme, or towards your degree result. However, the
fact that you have taken it, and the result you have obtained,
will be recorded on your transcript of results, and you will be
able to demonstrate that you have done such extra work. These
units will be available subject to constraints such as minimum
and maximum group sizes, staff availability, timetabling factors,
and your own ability to meet the pre-requisites. Those units most
likely to be chosen in this way are listed in the separate Catalogue of Generally Available Units. This type of unit is known as a free/extra-curricular unit.
Your Director of Studies will advise you in all these areas.
3.4 Pre-requisites and co-requisites
You will find that some units may only be taken if you have taken
specified other units first, or if you take specified units at
the same time or in the same year. It is important that you check
this information as it may restrict your choice of other units.
Two sorts of rule are given to cover this sort of relationship
Pre-requisites are those units you must have taken in a
previous year or semester in order to study this unit.
Co-requisites are units you must take within the same year
or semester in order to study this unit.
These rules hold true whatever your programme. There may however
be additional rules which are applicable to your programme only.
These will be made clear to you in this or other documentation
given to you by your Department/School.
4. The structure of the Programme/Unit Catalogue
4.1 The Programme Catalogue
The programme section of the Catalogue gives, in an abbreviated
form, a view of the structure of each programme as it is expected
to run in 1998/99, and of the units which are expected to be available
in 1998/99. (See note 3.1 about the changes which may be made.)
It is here that you will find the rules which indicate the mandatory
units and the ranges of optional units.
Programmes are listed in programme code order. There is
a different code for a programme which includes a third-year placement,
for example, from that for a programme which does not but is otherwise
the same. You should look through the definition of each programme
to make sure you have found the right one. More information about
the meaning of the programme code is given in Table 3.
4.2 The Unit Catalogue
The unit section of the Catalogue gives details of all the units
which are associated with the programmes in the preceding section,
and which are expected to be available in 1998/99. (See note 3.1
about the changes which may be made.)
Units are listed in unit code order. If the same subject
is taught in both Semesters 1 and 2, there will be two separately
coded entries for it. You will need to make sure that you are
looking at the right one. More information about the meaning of
the unit code and the associated detail about units is
given in Tables 4-6.