Postgraduate Taught Committee Minutes

Postgraduate Taught Committee Minutes

Postgraduate Taught Committee Minutes

27th June 2013

12.00pm Room 534

Attendees: Denis Mareschal [Chair], Matt Longo, Rick Cooper, Eddy Davelaar, Iroise Dumontheil, Anne Miles, Georgia Holyfield, Francesca Carter [minutes]

  1. Previous Minutes
  • DM informed the Committee that a replacement for Ted Barker has not been appointed and that he will act as Course Director for Developmental Sciences until such time.
  • It was reported that the timetables were revised as per the Committee’s suggestions and student feedback.
  • DM confirmed that student feedback sheets were distributed to students at the end of term.
  1. Admissions Overview
  • DM informed the Committee that the target for recruitment for the regular MSc/MA courses is 60 new students in total. There are currently 54 applicants who have accepted places across all courses. Cognition and Computation and Psychological Research Methods programme are struggling with recruitment (3 offers made each so far).
  • DM informed the Committee that the target for the MSc/PG Diploma course is 40. Currently 15 offers have been made.
  1. Curriculum Review
  2. Module Amendments
  • DM confirmed that some module amendments will be made as follows;

Family Studies- This module will be replaced with a new level 7 module that is assessed by an essay

Advanced Quantitative Methods- RC proposed that the assessment of this module should be changed from 5 worksheets to 4 in order to make the timing and number of assessments more beneficial to students as they are currently over assessed on this module.

MatLab – Currently this module is 30 credits. DM and ED suggest the term 2 assessments should be altered or the module should be separated in to two 15 credit modules. This will be considered and reviewed again at the next meeting.

Core Topics I and II – AM proposed that the assessments of these modules may be changed for the next academic year to reduce the over assessment to students. This will be reviewed at the next meeting.

3.2. Assessment deadlines

The Committee agreed that the assessment deadlines for students can be reviewed to try to limit any overlapping.

ACTION FC to revise deadlines where possible to separate assessments by one week where students have coinciding deadlines.

3.3. Dissertation Deadline and Exam Board timings

  • ED asked the reason why the dissertation deadline was in September. RC confirmed that this was in order to fulfil ESRC requirements when the courses were first set up. It was proposed that if this deadline can be moved forward then the Exam Boards can be earlier in the year which would be beneficial to students. This will be reviewed at the next meeting.
  1. Late submissions
  • The Committee agreed that any work submitted over an hour late will be considered late. This is strictly an administrational guideline and students should not be informed of this to discourage late submission.
  1. Marking
  • The Committee agreed that marking should be completed within a 4 week time period from the date of submission to the return of feedback to students.
  • The Committee agreed that marking and moderating should be factored into the workload model at the start of the academic year in order to ensure a fair workload and to eliminate ambiguity of who is responsible for marking.
  • It was agreed that the model for marking should be that the lecturer who taught the topic of the assessment should first mark and the Module Co-ordinator should moderate all assessments to ensure consistency of marking.

ACTION DM to discuss masters marking with Mike Oaksford HoD.

  1. Handbook and website information. Course Directors need to liaise with Module Leaders
  • It was agreed that in order to produce a common masters handbook, Course Directors should liaise with Module Co-ordinators to get a module outlines. These will be compiled by ED and FC to produce the handbook.
  1. Modular Enrolments
  • DM informed the Committee that the College has set up the facilities for modular enrolment at masters level but highlighted that applicants should take enough credits to gain an award of PG Cert (60 credits) or PG Diploma (120 credits).
  • The Committee acknowledged that under certain circumstances it may be appropriate to just take one 15 credit module. These applicants will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • All fees for modular enrolment will be calculated on a pro-rate basis in relation to the MA equivalent of the course the student is taking modules from.
  1. Setting Fees
  2. DM informed the Committee that from 2013/14, fees will be set by the Department rather than centrally by the College.
  1. Masters students sitting in on lectures
  2. The Committee agreed that students wanting to attend lectures from modules that are not part of their course should first gain the consent of the Module Leader. The Module Leader should make a decision ensuring there is enough room in the class for additional students.
  3. DM informed the Committee that as part of the agreement with the University of London (UoL), students from Colleges part of UoL can attend lectures at Birkbeck free of charge.
  4. DM highlighted that when Birkbeck students from other Departments want to take a module, including assessments, they should be assessed for suitability and their home Department charged the pro-rate fee.
  1. Failed Modules
  2. The Committee proposed the following policy for students who fail modules;

If a student fails (with a mark between 40-49%) 15-30 credits a re-assessment attempt can be offered within the same academic year as a second attempt.

If a student fails more than 30 credits then that student will not normally be offered any re-assessments in the same academic year

The above policy should be put forward to the external examiners to agree.

  1. Date of next meeting

September 2013 - to include Mitigating Circumstances Panel Meeting.