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    Undergraduate Study Guide

    This guide is a university wide guide for undergraduates studying at Harper Adams. It is a quick guide to help you to find information quickly as you progress through your course.

    We are delighted that you have chosen to study at Harper Adams University. We understand that it may take some time to become familiar with the various aspects of your course and university life. This guide aims to answer any questions you may have as you settle into your course and progress through your studies.

    Last updated: September 2023

    Studying at Harper Adams University

    Your studies may be described using terms including modules, levels, and credits. These terms are explained here:

    • As you progress through your studies the course is designed to get increasingly challenging – so we describe each part of a course as being a level of study. You may hear staff talk about level 4, 5, or 6. These are the three levels of study in an undergraduate programme. On a full-time programme of study, it usually takes a year to complete a level.
    • Our courses are broken down into modules. Each module carries a number of credits, and you need to earn enough credits to gain an award such as a degree.
    • You need to pass 120 credits to complete each level of study.
    • Every module has one or more assessments to test whether students can meet the learning outcomes of the unit of study.
    Where do I find details of what modules and topics I will study?

    Each programme has its own ‘Programme Specification’. This sets out the precise details of the course that you are studying. It describes the modules that you will take, and it sets out the way that the programme of study will run. Your programme specification is accessible from your Course Page on The Learning Hub.

    Each module you study has a page on The Learning Hub. On the module page you will find the ‘Module Descriptor’ and a ‘Scheme of Work’. These documents set out the detail of each module. They describe the assessments that you will take and the content that you will cover. Sometimes material that you encounter will vary a little from the published scheme of work in order to take current events or new scientific findings into account.

    Where do I go to find out about university policies?

    The University has policies and guidance notes to help us all maintain high standards, and to thrive as a safe and welcoming community.

    Policies that you may need to guide your studies are all available on a single web page called Harper Adams Key Information Page. These documents:

    • Set out standards for your education (what the University commits to provide).
    • Set out expected standards of behaviour and engagement from all students.
    • Aim to help students in specific circumstances – such as when taking a break in studies or requiring extensions for assessments.
    • Provide up-to-date information on dates, fees, and campus life.

    It may be useful to bookmark this page in your web browser for future reference. You may find it helpful to use the ‘Find’ command on your web browser to help you locate what you need. This quick guide will help you to locate the document that you need from the key information page.

    What do you need help with?

    Decisions made about my assessments

    View our Academic Appeals Procedure.

    Information on how to avoid cheating, collusion, or plagiarism in assessed work

    View our Academic Misconduct Policy.

    How the full assessment and feedback process works

    View our Assessment Arrangements document.

    Understanding our academic regulations – including course progression

    View our Assessment Regulations document.

    Making a complaint

    For more information on making a complaint about a service provided by the University or a contractor appointed by the University view our Complaints Procedure.

    Understanding exam arrangements

    For information on exam arrangements and what the University expects of you view our Examination Rules.

    Information on seeking extensions to coursework deadlines

    For information on seeking an extension to a coursework deadline in cases of illness or circumstances beyond your control view our Mitigating Circumstances document.

    Postponing my studies

    View our postponement information.

    Standards of behaviour

    View our Respect Policy for more information on the standards of behaviour expected by all members of the Harper Adams community.

    Term dates

    Information on our Term dates so you know when you need to be available.

    Changing course, institution or both

    View our Transfer Policy.

    Withdrawing from the University

    View our Withdrawal from studies document.

    All of the documents listed above can be found on the University’s Key Information Page.

    Finding your way around

    All rooms on campus have code to indicate where they are. The first letters of this code indicate the building location, then letters or numbers indicate the level and the room number. For example:

    • JAF7 is Jubilee Adams (JA), first floor (F), room 7;
    • FS15 is Faccenda (F) second floor (S) room 15.

    Below is a list of the campus buildings with the letters that are used on room numbers. The table also contains a ‘what three words’ reference’. The app “What Three Words” allow you to input a reference and then it will provide a map with a high level a accuracy to assist you.

    Where can I study on campus when I am not in class?

    There are many places to undertake private study or study in groups when you are not in class.

    • The library has computer desks, comfortable chairs, spaces to work as a group and quiet areas.
    • The Weston Building has a collaborative space on the ground floor with tables which all have plugs, and on the first floor there is space for students to work independently.
    • The Faccenda Building has a collaborative space on the ground floor for group meetings and discussion.
    • The Veterinary Service Centre has a large space for independent study.
    • For more informal group discussion / meetings you could use Graze, Kaldi or Costa.
    • The Agricultural and Engineering Innovation Centre has meeting rooms that can be booked through the Engineering Departmental Administrator.
    What3words location reference?

    Building

    Building Name

    What three words reference

    AC

    Aspire Centre

    other.statement.begins 

    AY

    Frank Parkinson Centre (in Ancellor Yard)

    worked.shared.unfilled 

    A

    A Block

    range.remark.chess

    C

    C Block

    charm.blip.bridge 

    B

    B Block

    lists.waltzes.pill 

    E

    Engineering block

    seats.meals.wand 

    EG

    Agricultural Engineering Innovation Centre

    dairy.minimums.obscuring 

    FG

    Faccenda Student Centre – ground floor

    positives.reef.penned 

    F1

    Faccenda Student Centre – first floor

    positives.reef.penned 

    F2

    Faccenda Student Centre – second floor

    positives.reef.penned 

    JA G

    Jubilee Adams – ground floor

    massing.blindfold.crows 

    JA F

    Jubilee Adams – first floor

    massing.blindfold.crows 

    JA S

    Jubilee Adams – second floor

    massing.blindfold.crows 

     

    Jean Jackson Entomology Building

    radar.bandstand.rebirth 

    LG

    Engineering Design Centre – ground floor

    barrel.represent.dock 

    LF

    Bamford Library – first floor

    barrel.represent.dock 

    LTh

    Lecture theatre, in Foulkes-Crowther Building – ground floor

    caused.match.doctors 

    M

    Main building

    renew.placidly.publisher 

    N

    North-west Rooms

    tiling.notch.assures 

    PC

    Postgraduate & Professional Development Centre (PGC)

    about.hush.preheated 

    FA

    Food Academy

    liquid.smart.doing 

    S

    Princess Margaret Science Laboratories

    huts.sober.gilding 

    EC

    Elizabeth Creak

    trinkets.fittingly.tour 

    SA

    Companion Animal Unit (Small Animal Unit)

    opinion.noises.limits 

    TG

    Foulkes-Crowther Building Teaching Block – ground floor

    caused.match.doctors 

    TF

    Foulkes-Crowther Building Teaching Block – first floor

    caused.match.doctors 

    TL

    Tudor Lodge

    flock.whirlwind.juicy 

    WG

    Weston Building – ground floor

    jukebox.skewed.shielding 

    WF

    Weston Building – first floor

    jukebox.skewed.shielding 

    VF

    Veterinary Education Centre – first floor

    drill.newspaper.reaction 

    VG

    Veterinary Education Centre – ground floor

    drill.newspaper.reaction 

    VN

    Veterinary Services Centre

    drill.newspaper.reaction 

    What time do classes start and end?

    All of our scheduled sessions are 50 minutes in length. This gives time to move around on campus.

    • Sessions before 11.00 start on the hour.
    • Sessions after 11.00 start at ten past the hour.

    You will notice that sessions after 11.00 begin at ten past the hour. This pattern allows a twenty-minute break in the timetable in the morning which is important to give staff and students a break with time to talk and socialise.

    Times of scheduled classroom sessions are as follows:

    09.00 – 09.50

    10.00 – 10.50

    11.10 – 12.00

    12.10 – 13.00

    13.10 – 14.00

    14.10 – 15.00

    15.10 – 16.00

    16.10 – 17.00

    17.10 – 18.00

     

    To explore campus please use the live campus map on the University website.

    Where can I find my timetable?

    Your own timetable can be accessed online. Please bookmark this page.

    You can also use these instructions to connect your timetable to your phone calendar.

    We try to keep timetable changes to a minimum – but sometimes changes are necessary because of illness or because we are adjusting the timetable to allow us to access industry speakers.

    Your online timetable is a live and accurate record of classes so please check it regularly to ensure you are aware of changes. In addition, lecturers will make contact with you if a change is unexpected for example, due to illness. Try to get into the habit of checking your timetable and your email.

    Do I have to attend everything?

    Attendance at classes is a usual expectation. We want all students to have a valuable experience that maximises your learning and attendance is key to this. We understand that from time to time there are occasions where you cannot attend – for example through illness or a family crisis. It is essential that you let either the Module Tutor or Course Tutor know when you cannot attend class.

    We have clear guidance on attendance in our Student Engagement Policy. This can be found on the Key Information Page. Please familiarise yourself with this document so that you know who to contact in different circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please do speak with your Course Tutor.

    Do I need to register for classes?

    Yes. We have an online attendance system, and it is important that you check-in to say that you are in each class. This matters because it helps us to notice when students may be facing specific difficulties around attendance. Our attendance recording page can be bookmarked so that you can go straight to it, or you can find it on the University webpage.

     

    What technologies will I be using in my studies?

    Although it would be ideal if we had just one technology platform to use, there is a need for staff and students to work with different online systems to support learning and teaching. To help you to find your way around different systems we provide a student area on the University website which has all the links you will need to reach the different platforms. You can find this at any time by going to the University website and clicking on the ‘person’ icon.

    Individual courses may also use specialist software packages, but this list will give you an introduction to the main technologies that you will encounter daily in your studies. 

    If you have any questions about the technology available or how to access it, then please contact the IT Helpdesk on the First Floor of our library, by phone on 01952 815555, or by email on servicedesk@harper-adams.ac.uk

    Who will help and support me in my studies?

    As you progress through your studies, we hope that you will get to know the staff who teach and support you. Knowing where to find the right support is important, so please do take a moment to look through this list of the different people and teams that can support you. As a university student it is important that you seek out support when you need it. Please do ask if you are unsure.

    Course Manager
    • Each course has one Course Manager – this person is responsible for developing and leading the overall course that you are studying on.
    • You will meet your Course Manager throughout your course at course events, briefings and in formal settings such as course committees where students give feedback on their overall course.
    • Course Manager details are provided in the “Course Page” area on the Hub.
    Course Tutor
    • Each year group has one or more Course Tutors, and you will hopefully get to know them well!
    • Course Tutors are the people who deal with the many practical issues that arise during the academic year – for example if you have any personal challenges that are impacting your studies, your Course Tutor can help you to find the right support.
    • Course Tutors will work with Module Tutors and Course Managers to monitor your performance to help keep you on track, they may also guide you to other sources of specialist support.
    • Course Tutor details are provided in the “Course Page” on the Hub.
    Module Teaching Team
    • Each module has a Module Leader and, in some cases, other staff who act as Module Tutors or Guest Lecturers. The staff responsible for each module are shown in the Learning Hub page for each module along with contact details.
    • The module teaching team will support your learning by providing classes (lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops or practical), setting independent study, providing support for assessment and providing guidance to your studies.
    • If you have concerns about your learning on a specific module, then you should initially communicate with the Module Leader for further guidance – you may do this in class or independently.
    Academic Guidance
    • The Academic Guidance team are available to all students to support the development of the study skills that underpin university learning. They are located in FS18 on the top floor of the Faccenda Building and can be contacted at academicguidance@harper-adams.ac.uk.
    • One-to-one appointments can be made with academic guidance tutors to support with skills such as time-management, note-taking, responding to feedback, revision, academic writing (reports and essays), and statistical analysis. These can be booked via the link on the Study Advice page of the Learning Hub (under the tab called Learning Support).
    • The Study Advice page on the Learning Hub also houses many useful guides and resources to assist students in different aspects of their studies.
    • The team also run drop-in-sessions and bookable workshops focused on developing practical academic skills. Details of forthcoming workshops will be advertised on screens around the campus, by email and on posters around the campus.
    Learner Support
    • The Learner Support team are available to support students with a specific learning difference (for example dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD), autism, mental health condition, long term medical condition, physical disability or hearing/visual impairment. They are located on the top floor of the Faccenda Building and can be contacted by email on learnersupport@harper-adams.ac.uk.

    Their services include:

    • Initial advice and support meetings for students who have/think they have a disability
    • Student Support Plan to include reasonable adjustments and implementation of exam arrangements (subject to suitable evidence)
    • Free screening for dyslexia, and ADHD in an educational setting Diagnostic Assessment Service - you may be eligible for support towards the cost of the assessment maybe available through the Diagnostic Scholarship Scheme
    • Guidance on the Disabled Students' Allowance and support with making an application
    • Registered provider of Specialist Study Skills support through the Disabled Students' Allowance
    Placement Manager
    • Each fulltime undergraduate course has a Placement Manager to assist students in securing appropriate work experience placements during the course.
    • Your placement manager will be introduced to you as you begin to think about and plan for a placement.
    Senior Staff and Governors who you may work with

    The University has four academic departments, as well as our joint Veterinary School. Your course will be managed by one of those departments - although you may take modules which are provided by staff from across the University. Your Head of Department is responsible for all the education and research that happened in their department. In addition, you might encounter, or have messages regarding specific aspects of university life from:

    • Deputy Vice Chancellor
    • Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education and Students)
    • Academic Registrar
    • Director of IT
    • Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning, Teaching and Digital)
    • University Governors

    The Pro Vice-Chancellor and Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor do hold open office sessions, as a way of meeting students and hearing about current challenges and successes – so please do look out for information about these.

     

    How do I communicate with staff at the University?

    You can contact staff at the university by email. We have a commitment to reply within 48 hours (Monday to Friday). Some staff may let you know that it is fine to send a Microsoft Teams message as an alternative to an email – but email is the default way of communicating.

    • When addressing tutors – it is fine to use first names – so for example … ‘Dear Sarah’ is OK – there is no need to write ‘Dear Professor Thomas’.
    • Try to be clear in your message so that staff know how to help and can reply without the need for clarification. Keep your messages concise.
    • You are welcome to contact staff as needed although we would encourage you to check for answers on module pages, on the Key Information pages beforehand.
    • Staff email addresses can be found relevant module pages. Staff email addresses follow the format initial + surname @ harper-adams.ac.uk, but you should always check that the photograph of the email is the person that you intend to contact, particularly if your message is sensitive.

    Seeing staff for a discussion – appointments and office hours

    You can make an appointment with staff by emailing them or by using a link provided by the tutor (some staff use a booking system which allows you to sign up to a slot).

    Academic staff have something called ‘office hours’ – these are hours of the week dedicated to student appointments, so you should try to book appointments during ‘office hours’ whenever you can.

    You may request a virtual appointment on Microsoft Teams if this is helpful to you (for example if you live off campus or have work or care commitments). There may be times when you are asked to meet in person because of the nature of the conversation that is needed. Virtual appointments are there to support flexibility, but they are not a replacement for in-person engagement.

    Expectations of you

    Engagement

    There are many opportunities to learn during your programme of study. Learning is a partnership between staff and students and to get the most out of the opportunities available there is a need to engage and commit to study. By attending, participating, working on recommended activities, engaging in extracurricular and by reading widely, as well as by practicing practical skills, your learning experience will be rich and rewarding. We invite and encourage you to engage in your learning journey in a way that helps you to learn deeply. This serious approach to learning mirrors the commitment needed in professional life after graduation.

    Independent Learning

    Your Course Manager and Course Tutor will set out specific requirements for your course but in general, all students are expected to undertake independent study alongside their taught sessions. This may include reading, attending workshops from specialist services such as library and academic guidance, working in groups with peers, watching videos or working through material to follow up or prepare for a class, researching topics to help more fully understand them, and making notes to help you to make sense of material.

    Assessment

    All of your modules are assessed. You may submit one piece of work, or you might complete multiple assessments. The type of assessment will vary – you may encounter reports, presentations, portfolios, practical tests, podcasts, or design and build challenges for example. The assessment that you do has been carefully considered by your tutors and is there to test your abilities and help motivate learning. Many of our assessments relate to real world style tasks, so you will encounter different formats.

    The University’s Key Information pages contain a document called Assessment Arrangements and this sets out how assessment works – saying how to submit and when. Please do take a look at this and if you have any questions speak to a member of staff.

    There are a few basics around assessment that it can be useful to know:

    • Each coursework assessment has an ‘assignment brief’ to tell you what is needed and how your work will be assessed. You should look at the brief carefully and consider the marking criteria as well as the task requirements.
    • Assessments are generally submitted through a ‘drop-in-box’ on The Learning Hub or on Pebblepad. Advice and guidance on how to submit via a ‘drop-in-box’ is available on the Learning Support Tab on the front page of The Learning Hub.
    • Every module on The Learning Hub has an area dedicated to assessment. Please make sure that you engage with the resources and advice provided by your tutors.
    • If you have concerns, please ask the module team in the first instance or, if you still have concerns, the Course Team. We understand that assessment can be daunting, and many queries can be quickly sorted out!

    Fairness and Integrity

    As a community it is important that we have assessment which is fair to all students, and which is underpinned by integrity. Cheating in any form is unacceptable. We require all students to show good academic practice – that means that you work with honesty in all your assessment work and study.

    We have a comprehensive guidance on good academic practice to help ensure that we maintain a fair system where students only submit their own work for assessment. Where students do not demonstrate good academic practice, the university has processes and sanctions that will be actioned.

    • Please familiarise yourself with what good academic practice is – for example it means appropriate use of artificial intelligence and citing sources that are used in your work. Guidance is available on the Key Information Page in the document called Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct – A Guide for Staff and Students.
    • Check out supportive study skills resources that help with Academic Practice. Go to the Study Advice area on The Learning Hub (look under the tab called ‘Learning Support’).
    • Look out on your email and on screens around campus for workshops to help you to develop skills around academic work so that you can grow in confidence in this aspect of your student life.

    We offer support on using Artificial Intelligence for students. Some introductory videos show how Artificial Intellience (AI) might be used to support learning, but they also provide information about when AI should not be used in assignments work. This training is available during and after welcome week. It can be accessed on The Learning Hub from the ‘tab’ called Learner Support.

    Working together as partners in education

    The University encourages partnership between staff and students to ensure courses are running well and continually evolving to meet the needs of students and employers as well as staff. We have several formal ways that staff and students can come together to work in partnership.

    Work with the Students’ Union

    Your Students’ Union (SU) works closely with the university to understand the educational needs and preferences of students. The SU sit on formal committees to represent student views and they can contact staff at the University to raise issues on behalf of students. The SU has a dedicated Student Voice Coordinator whose role is to understand and represent students across the University.

    Work with Educational Champions

    Each year you will have the opportunity to volunteer as Educational Champions (ECs). ECs work to help with course planning and development, inputting student comments into the planning process, and providing feedback to the University on topics that need to be explored (for example the introduction of new technologies or changes to facilities).

    Course Committees – A Formal Staff and Student Forum

    Course Committees are a specially arranged group of staff and students that meet regularly to review the progress of all aspects of your course. They monitor changes, take forward suggestions for improvements from staff and students, discuss the strengths and challenges of a course, and they monitor whether changes are working well for staff and students. Students are represented on these committees by Educational Champions for each course area.

    External Examiners

    Each course has an assigned External Examiner to help us ensure our courses are running well. We engage with the external examiner to get feedback on many aspects of the course. ‘Externals’ as they are often called, are respected academic members of staff from other UK universities whose primary role is to provide independent and impartial advice on the academic standards expected of and achieved by students within the programme.  They fulfil this role by reviewing samples of assessed work and meeting with students, in groups or individually, as well as staff members, to review the wider curriculum.  They also attend assessment boards, at which academic standards are verified.

    Student feedback and feedback from the External Examiner annual report feeds into a formal Annual Course Report, this is discussed by the Course Committee. These reports are available to students through the Annual Course Report, or on request from your Course Manager.

    Information on who the External Examiner is and their university and / or professional associations is available on request from either the Course Manager or the Registration, Assessment, Records and Awards Office (located within the Faccenda Building). Students must not contact external examiners directly; there will be opportunity to meet and engage with them through the channels outlined here.

    Students’ Academic Group

    Educational Champions are invited to the Students’ Academic Group.  This group provides feedback to decision making committees of the University. For example, they may feedback on plans to change a policy about engagement or attendance, or they could feedback about new guidance for assessment. The Students’ Academic Group has helped to shape new developments across the University such as the introduction of lecture capture.

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