Courses are taught and examined by the IDCORE partners with most appropriate skills and facilities. The timetable of delivery across semesters 1 and 2 enables students to be in residence on campus when the universities are best placed to deliver the taught programme. Industry-academic interaction occurs during the whole programme. Industry input provides underpinning material for the initial, taught phase, while the latter, company-based research phase is supplemented by additional taught material whose delivery will build on students' expanding experience.
The management element is delivered in open/distance learning style by a combination IDCORE academics and practitioners from collaborating companies. Industry input into the taught component will see three industry-led courses; an introductory group project; a major interdisciplinary group design project, and a specialist summer school (at HR Wallingford).
Rationale of the Taught Programme
The taught programme has been designed specifically for IDCORE starting with a set of necessary technical learning outcomes (based on a needs analysis from the roadmaps) and the following guiding principles:
- The core taught components in IDCORE will be bespoke to the programme, and will embody the programme ethos of innovative and integrated industry involvement.
- The taught component is an integral part of a Bologna 3rd-cycle (doctoral level) qualification, with outcomes principally at or above Masters level (i.e. SCQF Level 11 / FHEQ Level 7) or above. Students should complete the taught programme more knowledgeable, up-to-date and versatile than any one of the contributing teaching staff.
- The taught component will differ from previous undergraduate study. Delivery will be in short, intensive blocks, many of which will feature direct industry input or will be industry expert-led. Assessment will not be via traditional, closed book (memory-testing) examination. Alternatives such as open book / open internet exams; take-away exams; oral exam and of course coursework will be encouraged and indeed required.
- The taught programme will be prescribed and common for all, reflecting the Centre's ethos of the essential interdisciplinary nature of the industry. Initial "baseline reinforcement" happens within a 10-credit course at the outset, whose content will be prescribed individually, reflecting student's qualifications and knowledge base on entry. Students should emerge with multi- and inter-disciplinary expertise with experience beyond that of their first degree direction.
- Teaching will be in attendance throughout the first two semesters, and in the residential summer schools. The best video-conferencing facilities may be used for taught material integrated into the research phase.
- Transferable skills and research methodologies will be closely integrated into the taught courses.
- The diversity of the cohort's previous academic experience will be acknowledged and celebrated. The programme will be structured to make it accessible to physical scientists with appropriate backgrounds as well as engineers. Baseline material (and associated workload) will be acknowledged and credit awarded. The programme should be accessible to suitably-qualified entrants holding other Bologna 2nd cycle (Masters) qualifications. Assessment practice (pass/fail rather than grades and marks) will be equitable across courses for the entire cohort. The diversity of expertise brought to the programme by the cohort will be utilised in group working.
- Exit routes will be built into the design and progression routes of the programme to provide credit and qualification for material completed successfully.