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Faculty of Natural Sciences Department of Life Sciences MSc Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology STUDENT HANDBOOK 2018-19

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Faculty of Natural Sciences

Department of Life Sciences

MSc Bioinformatics and

Theoretical Systems Biology

STUDENT HANDBOOK

2018-19

Contents

Welcome to the College ........................................................................................... 4

Our Principles ........................................................................................................... 5

In 2012 the College and Imperial College Union agreed ‘Our Principles’ a series

of commitments made between students and the College. The Principles are

reviewed annually by the Quality Assurance and Enhancement Committee and

changes recommended for Senate approval. ........................................................ 5

Welcome from the Graduate School ....................................................................... 6

The Graduate School ............................................................................................... 8

Imperial Mobile app .................................................................................................. 8

Imperial Success Guide ........................................................................................... 9

1. Introduction to the Department ...................................................................... 10

Academic and Administrative staff....................................................................... 10

English language requirement .............................................................................. 11

Attendance and absence ....................................................................................... 11

Key dates 2018-19 .................................................................................................. 12

2. Programme Information .................................................................................. 13

2.1 Course Outline and Key Information ........................................................... 13

2.2 Taught Component .............................................................................................. 14

2.2.1 Bioinformatics and Systems Biology I ........................................................... 14

Molecular & Cell Biology for Dummies by Rene Fester Kratz pub Wiley

(Very basic) ............................................................................................................. 15

2.2.2 Statistics and Mathematics .............................................................................. 15

2.2.3 Computing ........................................................................................................ 16

2.2.4 Bioinformatics and Systems Biology II .......................................................... 17

2.3 Projects ............................................................................................................. 18

2.3.1 Computing Project .................................................................................... 19

2.3.2 Data Analysis Project ................................................................................ 19

2.3.3 Research Project - Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology ... 20

3. Assessment...................................................................................................... 21

3.1: Criteria for Assessment of Written work – long questions ......................... 26

3.2 : Criteria for Assessment of Multiple Choice Questions ................................... 27

3.3: Criteria for Assessment of Laboratory Work ................................................... 28

3.4: Criteria for Assessment of Work Presented Orally .......................................... 30

6.6: Structure of Examination Questions ............................................................... 32

6.8: Guidelines for Reports .................................................................................... 32

General guidelines for all reports ....................................................................... 32

Additional Requirements for Computing Project reports ............................................... 35

Additional guidelines for Project 3 report ...................................................................... 36

Writing Resources ................................................................................................. 37

Instruction to Candidates for Examinations ........................................................ 37

Plagiarism ............................................................................................................. 37

Collusion: .............................................................................................................. 38

Exam offences ...................................................................................................... 38

Dishonest practice ................................................................................................. 38

4. Board of Examiners ....................................................................................... 38

5. Location and Facilities .................................................................................... 39

6. Working While Studying ................................................................................. 40

7. Health and Safety ............................................................................................. 40

College policy on Student Alcohol and Substance misuse ............................... 42

8. College Policies and Procedures ................................................................... 43

Regulations for Students ....................................................................................... 43

Academic Feedback Policy ................................................................................... 43

Provisional Marks Guidance ................................................................................. 43

Late Submission Policy ......................................................................................... 43

Academic Misconduct Policy and Procedures .................................................... 43

Appeal and Complaints Procedures ..................................................................... 45

Student Disciplinary Procedure ............................................................................ 45

Intellectual Property Rights Policy ....................................................................... 45

Use of IT Facilities .................................................................................................. 45

9. Well-being and Advice .................................................................................... 46

Student Space ........................................................................................................ 46

Departmental support and College tutors ............................................................ 46

Advice services ...................................................................................................... 46

Health Services ...................................................................................................... 48

Disability Support................................................................................................... 48

Library and IT ......................................................................................................... 49

Religious support ................................................................................................... 49

Support for International Students ....................................................................... 50

10. Student Records and Data .............................................................................. 51

11. Work-life Balance ............................................................................................. 52

14. Imperial College Union .................................................................................... 52

17. Graduate Students’ Union............................................................................... 52

20. Physical Activity Sport ................................................................................ 52

26. Student feedback and representation ............................................................ 53

Feedback from Students ....................................................................................... 53

Student Representation ......................................................................................... 53

Staff-Student Committee ....................................................................................... 53

27. Student Surveys .............................................................................................. 54

Student Surveys ..................................................................................................... 54

28. And finally ........................................................................................................ 55

Alumni Services ..................................................................................................... 55

Opportunities for Further Study ........................................................................... 55

Welcome to the College

Congratulations on joining Imperial College London, the only university in the UK to focus exclusively on science, medicine, engineering and business.

From Fleming’s discovery of Penicillin to Gabor’s invention of holography, Imperial has been changing the world for well over 100 years. You’re now part of this prestigious community of discovery and we hope you will take this opportunity to make your own unique contribution.

We’re committed to providing you with the very best academic resources to enrich your experience. We also provide a dedicated support network and a range of specialist support services to make sure you have access to the appropriate help, whether that’s further training in an academic skill like note taking or simply having someone to talk to.

You’ll have access to an innovative range of professional development courses within our Graduate School throughout your time here, as well as opportunities to meet students from across the College at academic and social events – see page 6 for more information.

We actively encourage you to seek out help when you need it and try to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Our choice of over 380 clubs, societies and projects is one of the largest of any UK university, making it easy to do something different with your downtime. You also have access to gym and swimming facilities (following an annual fee of £30 in 2018-19) across our campuses.

As one of the best universities in the world, we are committed to inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, clinicians and business leaders by continuing to share the wonder of what we do through public engagement events. Postgraduate students, alongside our academics and undergraduate students, make a significant contribution to events such as our annual Imperial Festival and our term-time Imperial Fringe events – if you’re interested in getting involved then there will be opportunities for you to do so.

Our Principles

In 2012 the College and Imperial College Union agreed ‘Our Principles’ a series of commitments

made between students and the College. The Principles are reviewed annually by the Quality

Assurance and Enhancement Committee and changes recommended for Senate approval.

Imperial will provide through its staff:

• A world class education embedded in a research environment • Advice, guidance and support • The opportunity for students to contribute to the evaluation and development of programmes

and services Imperial will provide students with:

• Clear programme information and assessment criteria • Clear and fair academic regulations, policies and procedures • Details of full programme costs and financial support • An appropriate and inclusive framework for study, learning and research

Imperial students should:

• Take responsibility for managing their own learning • Engage with the College to review and enhance provision • Respect, and contribute to, the Imperial community

The Imperial College Students' Union will: • Support all students through the provision of independent academic and welfare assistance • Encourage student participation in all aspects of the College • Provide a range of clubs, societies, student-led projects and social activities throughout the year • Represent the interests of students at local, national and international level

www.imperial.ac.uk/students/our-principles

Welcome from the Graduate School

Professor Sue Gibson, Director of the Graduate School

The Graduate School

has several roles but

our main functions are

to provide a broad,

effective and innovative

range of professional

development workshops and to facilitate

interdisciplinary interactions by providing

opportunity for students to meet at academic and

social events. Whether you wish to pursue a career

in academia, industry or something else,

professional skills development training will improve

your personal impact and will help you to become a

productive and successful researcher.

Professional development courses for Master’s

students are called “Masterclasses” and they cover

a range of themes, for example, presentation skills,

academic writing and leadership skills

(http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/graduate-

school/professional-skills/masters/). All

Masterclasses are free of charge to Imperial

Master’s students and I would encourage you to

take as many as you can to supplement your

academic training. The Graduate School works

closely with the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU)

and is keen to respond to student needs so if there

is an area of development training, or an activity

that you would like us to offer, but which is not

currently provided, please do get in touch

([email protected]).

The Graduate School also runs a number of

exciting social events throughout the year which are

an opportunity to broaden your knowledge as well

as to meet other students and have fun. You

should regularly check the Graduate School’s

website and e-Newsletters to keep up to date with

all the events and development opportunities

available to you.

Finally, I hope that you enjoy your studies here at

Imperial, and I wish you well.

Sue Gibson

Dr Janet De Wilde, Head of Postgraduate Professional Development

I would like to welcome

you to the Graduate

School programme for

postgraduate

professional

development. Our team of tutors come from a

wide variety of experiences and we understand

just how important it is to develop professional

skills whilst undertaking postgraduate studies and

research. Not only will this development improve

success during your time at Imperial College, but

it will also prepare you for your future careers. We

are continually working to develop the courses we

offer and over this year you will see a range of

new courses including face-to-face workshops,

interactive webinars and online self-paced

courses. I encourage you to explore and engage

with the diverse range of opportunities on offer

from graduate school and I wish you well in your

studies.

Janet De Wilde

Welcome from the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU)

I am delighted to welcome you to Imperial College! Let me introduce you to the Graduate Students’

Union (GSU). We are the representative body defending your interests as a postgraduate student in

major decisions taken by the College. Beyond that, we work towards building a thriving postgraduate

community that spans faculties and where students effectively communicate in an interdisciplinary

way. Our committee is comprised of motivated postgraduate students like yourself, who have been

appointed in university-wide elections and volunteer to make your experience at Imperial as fulfilling

and enjoyable as possible.

So, what are we up to for this coming year 2018/19? We are going to focus on three major areas of

action:

Continue improving post-graduate well-being by increasing the quality of supervision and by creating strategies to tackle common mental health challenges in higher education.

Develop the GSU to become central to the postgraduate community by improving the two-way flow of information, between the GSU and you.

Organise exciting events around the topics of well-being, interdisciplinary research, and entrepreneurship.

As the GSU president, I would like to emphasise that Imperial College London is relying on its

postgraduate students to maintain its position as a front-runner in world-class research and teaching.

For us, the GSU, to be successful we need to receive as much of your input as possible. We want to

work with you, for you!

Finally, I hope that you have a fantastic time here at Imperial and take advantage of the richness of opportunities that awaits you. If ever you have questions or ideas to share with us, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and we are looking forward to seeing you at our events!

Ute Thiermann, GSU President 2018/19

[email protected]

ADD LINK TO GSU RELATED UNION WEBSITE WHEN READY

The Graduate School

You automatically become a member of the Graduate School when you register as a postgraduate

student at Imperial.

The Graduate School has been set up to support all postgraduate students at the College through:

Training and development courses

Networking activities, social and academic

events to encourage cross-disciplinary

interactions

Forums to represent the views of

postgraduate students throughout the College

‘Masterclass’ professional skills courses

You can see the full range of free professional skills

courses for postgraduate students on the Graduate

School website:

www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/graduate-

school/professional-skills/masters

All courses can be booked online.

Contact us

Level 3, Sherfield Building, South Kensington Campus

020 7594 1383

[email protected]

www.imperial.ac.uk/graduate-school

Imperial Mobile app Don’t forget to download the free Imperial Mobile app for access to College

information and services, including your programme timetable, College

emails and a library catalogue search tool.

www.imperial.ac.uk/imperialmobile

Imperial Success Guide The Imperial Success Guide is an online resource with advice and

tips on the transition to Master’s level study. More than just a study

guide, it is packed with advice created especially for Imperial

Master’s students, including information on support, health and well-

being and ideas to help you make the most of London.

www.imperial.ac.uk/success-guide

1. Introduction to the Department

Academic and Administrative staff

Professor Michael

Sternberg

Course Director

Sir Ernst Chain Building

020 7594 5212

[email protected]

Dr Derek Huntley

Chair of Examiners

& Computing Coordinator

Sir Ernst Chain Building

020 7594 5149

[email protected]

Ms Jennifer Bennett

Postgraduate Administrator

Room 202, Sir Ernst Chain

Building

020 7594 2170

[email protected]

Dr Kleoniki Gounaris

Director of Postgraduate

Studies

Sir Ernst Chain Building

020 7594 5209

[email protected]

Dr Tony Southall

Postgraduate Tutor/Disability

Liaison Officer

220 off lab 216, 2nd Floor,

Sir Ernst Chain Building,

South Kensington Campus

020 7594 5338

[email protected]

Dr Suhail Islam

Senior Research Officer

301, Sir Ernst Chain

Building

020 7594 5333

[email protected]

English language requirement If you are not a native English speaker you must meet the College’s English language requirements.

See the Admissions website for details:

www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/requirements/english

For information on English language support available while you’re here, see page 48.

Attendance and absence You must inform your Senior Postgraduate Tutor if you are absent from the College for more than

three days during term. If the absence is due to illness you must produce a medical certificate after

seven days. If you miss an examination through illness you must contact your Senior Postgraduate

Tutor on the day and provide a medical certificate within five working days. If illness has impacted on

your ability to take assessment, you should seek advice and support about making a claim for

mitigating circumstances. Please note that there is a deadline of 5 working days from the date the

assessment is due (hand-in date or examination date for example) to make a claim.

The Registry will be informed of all student non-attendances as the College is obliged to report the

non-attendance of students on Tier 4 visas to the Home Office.

Key dates 2018-19 Please note your course extends outside the term dates but there will be no teaching or other

requirement to work on projects during the closure dates

Term dates

Autumn term: 29 September - 14 December 2018

Spring term: 5 January - 22 March 2019

Summer term: 27 April – 28 June 2019

Closure dates

Christmas/New year: 24 December 2018–1 January 2019

(College reopens on 2 January 2019)

Easter holiday: 18 April – 23 April 2019

(College reopens on 24 April 2019)

Early May bank holiday: 6 May 2019

Spring bank holiday: 27 May 2019

Summer bank holiday: 26 August 2019

Key events

Postgraduate Awards Ceremonies: tbc May 2019

Imperial Festival and Alumni Festival: tbc May 2019

2. Programme Information

2.1 Course Outline and Key Information

Taught courses in the first term - The first term of the year will be spent on taught

courses. These courses reflect the background of the students as much as the requirements

of the working research bioinformatician and systems biologist. We aim to provide an

introduction to computing, mathematics/statistics and biology as well as a survey over recent

developments in bioinformatics and systems biology. Depending on your background you

may find parts of the course familiar while other parts will introduce novel material and

concepts. Students with a background in biology will have to become familiar with a range of

mathematical and numerical techniques, while those from the mathematical and physical

sciences will have to learn genetics and genomics, typically at the level of final year

undergraduate biologists. The amount of time spent on learning the material covered in the

different courses will necessarily have to reflect this. Time for revision is built into the time-

table. Please note the exact topics covered in the lectures may be modified slightly from the

details provided in this handbook in order that we can provide some flexibility into the depth

and time spent on topics based on student feedback during the lecture course. Students are

permitted to take sound recordings of a lecture if they have obtained consent from the

lecturer. Video recording are not permitted. If a student arrives more than 10 minutes late

for a lecture, the lecturer has the right to refuse admission to prevent disruption to the

detriment of other students.

Projects in the subsequent terms - The remainder of the course consists of three research

projects, each between about 10 – 12 weeks. The projects, detailed below, are: i) Group

Project, ii) Data Analysis and iii) Research Project – Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems

Biology. Each project is assessed.

Assessment – Assessments are outlined this section with full details of the assessment and

grades are given in Section 3 of the Handbook. Please refer to section 6 for details of the

report / web page format including word count.

Outcomes - At the end of the MSc degree students should have gained an overview of

bioinformatics and systems biology, as well as a proper foundation to develop these fields

further. Bioinformatics and systems biology are highly active and quickly changing research

areas and there is no substitute for a sound understanding of basic concepts of biology,

mathematics/statistics and computing. Students should also have developed their abilities in

software design and statistical analysis, including the critical discussion of scientific results.

Finally they should have improved their skills in presenting scientific work verbally and in

written form.

Health and safety: Alarm and escape - It is essential that in any area you are working you

know the warning mechanism for an alarm calls and the routes to escape if there is an

emergency. In particular, when you start a new project you may well be in a new area, so

please ensure you are aware of the alarm and escape procedure.

Health and safety: Lone working – It is College policy for health and safety that Students

must be appropriately supervised and monitored when working in a laboratory area or in a

computer office. Masters Students must not work alone in the lab or in a computer office.

Masters Students cannot supervise each other, an experienced competent member of the

group must be available.

Health and other problems - Should personal and/or health problems require the student to

take some time off, then this should be immediately brought to the attention of the Course

Director. Similarly if there are major technical problems in projects or exercises the student

should promptly advise the course Director or Deputy Director. Failure to notify promptly may

make the student ineligible for subsequent mitigation including a delayed hand in.

Absences - During the first three months of the course students are expected to attend

lectures. Persistent failure to attend lectures may result in a student being asked to leave the

course. The research projects aim to introduce students to an active research environment.

Performance during the project is part of the formal assessment and students should

arrange working hours together with their supervisor. The time on each project is limited to

approximately 10 - 12 weeks. The students have to agree leave of absence with their project

supervisors and the course director. Failure to do so may be reflected in the mark for lab-

performance. This is a full time degree and we are unlikely to approve total absences of

more than one week except for major health reasons. Some students require leave to attend

interviews and this is included in the allowance of one week.

Travel - All students must include an appropriate time for a delay to their travel arrangement

to meet an examination, viva or hand-in deadline. Failure to meet this requirement will result

in no allowance for missing the exam, viva or late hand in penalty. For any flight, sea

crossing or international rail, the scheduled arrival must be before midnight two days before

the exam – for example if the exam is on Friday, the scheduled arrival must be by midnight

of the proceeding Wednesday. For travel with England, Scotland and Wales, arrival should

be before midnight one day before the exam.

Modification to handbook - Course contents may vary slightly during the year in order to

reflect the students’ needs as well as the fast pace at which these fields are progressing.

Thus there may be minor changes to the topics to be presented from those identified in this

handbook.

2.2 Taught Component

2.2.1 Bioinformatics and Systems Biology I

Module content

This module provides an introduction to the concepts in molecular and cell biology required

to pursue study of bioinformatics and theoretical systems biology at a Master's level. The

module first briefly introduces basic concepts including biochemistry, structure and function

of biological macromolecules, and cell biology. More advanced topics cover the recent

developments in genetics, genomics and proteomics.

Students from a non-biological background will acquire an introduction to key concepts in

biochemistry and molecular cell biology. All students will acquire knowledge of

contemporary genetics, genomics and proteomics that will be required as a foundation for

studies in bioinformatics and systems biology.

Lectures and material will be designed to reinforce basic concepts and to introduce more

advanced issues related to bioinformatics and computational biology.

Lectures include:

Genes and Genomes

Proteins

Gene Expression

Cell Biology

Cellular Biochemistry and Metabolism

Functional and Structural Genomics

Population and Evolutionary Biology

Integrative Systems Biology

Module reading list

Molecular & Cell Biology for Dummies by Rene Fester Kratz pub Wiley (Very basic)

Bioinformatics: Sequence and Genome Analysis, Second Edition by D Mount pub Cold

Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (sections go beyond what is required)

Essential Cell Biology Albert et al pub Garland Science (A standard undergraduate text

text book)

Assessment - A 2 hour exam in January.

2.2.2 Statistics and Mathematics

Module content

This module will introduce basic mathematical methodologies such as ordinary differential

equations for systems biology modelling. In addition the theory of probability and statistics

will be taught. The module will describe issues arising in bioinformatics and systems biology

applications, such as hypothesis testing and the problem of multiple comparisons. Examples

of the application in bioinformatics and systems biology will be given.

You will receive lectures on:

Analysis of differential equations

Partial and stochastic differential equations

Probability and discrete random variables

Independence, joint and conditional probabilities

Continuous random variables and distributions

Population vs sample statistics and descriptive statistics

Likelihood

Bayesian methods and inference

Statistical tests

Markov processes and HMMs

Classification and Clustering

Regression models

Dynamical systems, difference equations and differential equations

Parameter estimation and optimization

Model selection

Machine learning

Module reading list

Introductory texts:

Mathematics for biological scientists” by Mike Aitken, Bill Broadhurst, and Steve Hladky, Garland Science

Practical Statistics for Medical Research Douglas Altman Chapman & Hall More advanced texts:

An Introduction to Systems Biology, Uri Alon, Chapman & Hall/CRC 2006

Nonlinear dynamics and Chaos, Steven Strogatz, Westview Press, 2000

MATLAB Deep Learning, Phil Kim, Apress, 2017

Elementary probability by Stirzaker,

Probability and random variables: a beginner’s guide by Stirzaker,

Statistical methods in bioinformatics by Ewens and Grant,

Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis by Rice

Probability and Statistics, The Science of Uncertainty by Evans and Rosenthal,

Biological Sequence Analysis: Probabilistic models of proteins and nucleic acids by Durbin, Eddy, Krogh and Mitchison,

Mathematical and statistical methods for genetic analysis by Lange

Module timetable – The lectures will run through the first term. The graded exercise will be

set in the first term.

Module assessment – There will be a graded exercise in the first term (25% of marks) and

examination in January (75% of marks).

2.2.3 Computing

Module content

This module provides an introduction to the key programming language (Python) in

bioinformatics and systems biology together with skills in database and web design.

Students will also gain experience of UNIX/Linux. The module aims to provide highly

transferable skills and will cover:

Introduction to computing: this will be a general overview of computing techniques,

including relational databases and SQL, computer architectures, features of a major

programming language (currently Python);

Python - Students who have taken this module should be able to develop Python

code to undertake many typical tasks in bioinformatics and theoretical biology. They

will have developed a conceptual framework so they able to learn new methods and

languages independently if the need arises.

Students who have taken this Python course should be able to learn new methods

and languages independently if the need arises.

Introduction to Databases - The course is a general introduction to relational databases. Topics covered include database design and an overview of normalisation. This will be followed by a presentation of MySQL and how to create, populate and access information in a database.

Web development. - The course is a general introduction to website development. Topics covered include HTML, and the use of a Python framework to develop dynamical websites.

Module timetable - The Python lectures and the two exercises will run throughout the first

term. We envisage teaching databases will be covered in the first term and web design in

the second term, but this can change based on student progress and feedback.

Module assessment - There will two marked assignment in Python (each contribution 25%)

and one timed exam style test (contributing 50%). There will be sufficient time in this test to

allow students who have learnt computing for the first time and are competent to finish the

questions. The timed exam style test will be held in April 2019. The skills in databases and

web development will be assessed as part of the research projects.

2.2.4 Bioinformatics and Systems Biology II

Module content

This module aims

To provide students with a state-of-the-art understanding of the principles, algorithms and programs in bioinformatics and systems biology methodologies across a broad range of application areas.

To introduce the most important bioinformatics tools in core areas and experience of systems biology analysis

To introduce key computational methods that impinge directly on contemporary bioinformatics and systems biology

To provide an understanding of the limitations of contemporary bioinformatics and systems biology

The lectures in the course will be divided into the following:

The protein component: Principles of protein structure and function. Annotation and prediction of protein structure, function and interactions.

The DNA component: DNA sequence analysis; genome assembly and annotation; expression analysis.

Statistical component: statistical and population genetics

Systems Biology Component: networks, biophysical modelling and mathematical modelling.

Module reading list

A Lesk Introduction to Bioinformatics 4th ed Oxford University Press

A Lesk Introduction to Genomics 2nd ed Oxford University Press

Bioinformatics: Sequence and Genome Analysis, Second Edition by D Mount pub Cold

Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (sections go beyond what is required)

Understanding Bioinformatics by Zvelebil and Baum pub Garland Science

An Introduction to Systems Biology, Uri Alon, Chapman & Hall/CRC 2006

Module timetable - There will be approximately 38 hours of lectures running through the

autumn term. In addition exercises will be set in the first term.

Assessment - There will be three practical exercises which will each occupy the student for

10 -15 hours and will be phased throughout the first term. The exercises will be i) protein

annotation, ii) protein essay and iii) genome annotation. In total the three exercises

contribute 25% of the mark for this module (each being equal). There will be an exam in

January (75% of mark).

2.3 Projects

The following are general points which apply to all three projects.

Project and supervisor choice

A list of potential and supervisors and projects is compiled and circulated in advance before

each project. Students can indicate their top four preferences. Normally, we can

accommodate students’ top four but can make no guarantee about allocations. For project 2

and 3, students may also approach supervisors to explore areas of interest assuming they

meet the requirements of the course and are authorised by the Course Directors. The

supervisor must be a member of the Imperial staff and the project takes place on an Imperial

campus.

Attendance in laboratory.

Students are expected to work at Imperial and cannot expect their supervisor or work

colleagues (while they are on campus) to provide scientific guidance by email rather than

face to face meetings. During the projects, you are expected to be proactive in raising issues

with your supervisor and work colleagues. In particular during the group project it is expected

that you will be working as a team.

Data security.

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure all files for both research and reports are

securely backed up. You must discuss file back up with your supervisor and note

assume it is secure. In particular if you are just working on a desktop, you need to

ensure it is backed up regularly on a central secure file system. You must consider

that all data on a laptop can be unrecoverable and you must back it up regularly. If you

fail to implement a sensible file back up policy, then you will be penalised for limited results

and late hand in.

Computational and mathematical requirements of projects.

To pass, the work reported in any project must demonstrate a level of mathematical,

statistical or computational skill that extends beyond just the use of existing programs. If you

have any concerns whether your project meets this requirement, you must discuss it with the

Course Director or Deputy Director.

Submission format

Please refer to section 6 for details of the report / web page format including word count.

2.3.1 Computing Project

Project content

The aim of this project is to further develop students’ computational expertise in a

bioinformatics and/or systems biology setting and to apply the newly acquired skills in the

development of a substantial piece of software. The development of a functional genomics

data-base with a web-based user-interface is an example of a previous project. Depending

on the nature of the project students may have to learn new computational techniques.

This is a group project, where typically 2-4 students will implement a large software or

research project under the supervision of a member of the Centre for Integrative Systems

Biology and Bioinformatics (CISBIO). The supervisor will, however, only give limited

guidance and leave planning, development, implementation and tuning of the research or

software to the students. Each group has approximately 11 weeks to complete the project.

Further detail of the report including the length are given

Project assessment:

Performance during the project. (1/3 of total mark)

A group report of the project. (1/3 of total mark)

A one page personal reflection detailing challenges to provide context for the assessment

A presentation of the project to the course. (1/3 of total mark)

The group report should provide an account of the project which may be an overview of the

software product and information on how to use it. In the group report you must clearly

indicate in each section by use of initials who wrote that section and if different who

undertook the work. Joint authorship is allowed in some, but not all, sections. The one

page personal reflection details any challenges you faced during the project to provide

context for the assessment. This one age report is not assessed.

The final presentation of the project should introduce the other students on the course to the

software and each student should present their contribution to the overall project. This

presentation forms part of the assessment of the project. The examiners may call individual

students for an in-depth viva voce examination.

The mark for this project accounts for 40% of Element 2 and thus 16% of the total mark of

the degree.

Project submission

Three copies of the personal reflection and the group reports have to be submitted for

assessment; in addition an electronic copy has to be submitted. Late submission can lead to

a deduction of 10% of the final report mark per day or part of the day.

2.3.2 Data Analysis Project

Project content

For the second project, the students work on the statistical and computational analysis of

biological or biomedical datasets. The project must analyse biological or clinical data and so

cannot be purely mathematical, computational or statistical theory. The project must not

include any experimental work.

The second project can be hosted by any suitably qualified bioinformatics and systems

biology group within Imperial College London, including all associated hospitals and Silwood

Park campuses. Students cannot perform their bioinformatics project outside of Imperial

College. Typically, during the project each student will become part of their host laboratory

and work alongside PhD students and postdocs on a topic agreed with the supervisor.

The results are presented via a web page.

Project assessment

Performance during the project. (1/3 of total mark)

The scientific content of the web page as if it was a standard report. (1/3 of total mark)

The impact of the web page to convey the information. (1/3 of total mark)

The mark for this project accounts for 60% of Element 2 and thus 24% of the total mark of

the degree.

Project submission

Instructions will be given how to submit the web page. There is no additional written report.

Late submission of the web page can lead to a deduction of 10% of the final report and web

marks per day or part of the day.

2.3.3 Research Project - Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology

Project content

This forms Element 3 of the course. The project is research across a range of topics in

bioinformatics and theoretical systems biology ranging from applied bioinformatics all the

way through to mathematical biology. However it must not be purely computational,

mathematical or statistical but must serve to engage the student with a high quality

bioinformatics and systems biology research environment. The project must not include any

experimental work.

The third project can be hosted by any suitably qualified bioinformatics and systems biology

group within Imperial College London, including all associated hospitals and Silwood Park

campuses. Students cannot perform their bioinformatics project outside of Imperial College.

Typically, during the project each student will become part of their host laboratory and work

alongside PhD students and postdocs on a topic agreed with the supervisor.

Project assessment

Performance during the project. (1/3 of total mark)

The report (1/3 of total mark)

Performance in a viva. (1/3 of total mark)

The viva, which will typically last about 45 minutes, is held after report submission and will

be by two examiners and will not include the supervisor.

Overall the bioinformatics project contributes 30% to the overall degree.

Project submission

Three copies of the written report have to be submitted for assessment; in addition an

electronic copy has to be submitted. Late submission can lead to a deduction of 10% of the

final report mark per day or part of the day. Viva dates will be arranged.

3. Assessment

Overview

The course is divided into three elements

Element 1 – The taught component (30% of total grade)

Element 2 – Project 1 and Project 2 (40% of total grade)

Element 3 – Project 3 (30% of total grade)

There are four outcomes from your MSc course: distinction, merit, pass and fail.

Distinction – You obtain at least 70% in each of the three elements.

Merit – You obtain at least 60% in each of the three elements

Pass – You obtain at least 50% in each of the three elements.

Fail – You obtain less than 50% in any of the three elements, irrespective of the aggregate

mark for the entire course. In addition, if you obtain less than 40% in any component of an

element, this is a fail irrespective of the aggregate mark for the element.

Note that the aggregate grade for your course from the three elements does not define your

outcome.

Borderline students

If you are below no more than 2.5% of a grade boundary in any element you are considered

as a borderline student and you can be upgraded after the External Examiners’ meeting. No

student can be moved down at the External Examiners’ meeting.

External Examiners’ meeting

The External Examiners review the marks obtained from all three elements from the course.

The External Examiners will viva some students from the course. All students who are at a

borderline (i.e. below no more than 2.5% for any grade boundary) will be invited to interview

and these students are reminded that is in their interest to attend viva if invited. Examiners

normally will also see representative students from each classification; students who

represent a balance of disciplines; students who have failed and candidates for the student

prize. Please note that no student can be downgraded as a result of the External

Examiners’ meeting. In addition, all students are invited to meet the external Examiners’

without any staff present to give feedback about the course. This will be conveyed

anonymously to the staff and may be included in the report of the External Examiners to the

college.

Element 1

The taught components will be assessed partly through written exams and partly through

small exercises. There may be some minor changes to the exercises which will be

announced well ahead of the actual exams. Assessment of the taught components will follow

along these lines:

Element 1 is divided into two components. You must obtain a weighted mark of no less than

40% in each component to pass Element 1

Component 1

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology I

This will be assessed through a written exam of two hours. Students will have the choice

of 4 out 6 questions covering the material of the lectures. Two questions out of three

related to genes and genomics, and two out of three questions related to systems biology

have to answered. Each question carries the same mark.

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology II

There are three practical assignments and a three hour written exam which contribute to

the overall mark. All practical exercises together will contribute 25% with the remaining

75% of the exam results. The examination will be split into two parts. For the first part

(Part A), which lasts one hour, students have to answer multiple choice questions. After

a short break, the second part (Part B), lasting two hours, will require the students to

answer three questions from five. The first three of set questions will be primarily

focussed on bioinformatics (Part B1) and the remaining two of systems biology (Part B2).

The student must answer one question from Part B1, one from Part B2, and one from

either Part B1 or B2. The multiple choice questions provide 25% of the exam mark, while

the three long questions provide 75% in total.

Component 2

Mathematics, Probability and Statistics

This course is assessed through a two hour written exam, where students have to answer

three out of six short questions and two out of for long questions. Each short question

contributes 10% to the final examination mark and each long question 35%. The

assignments contribute 25% to the final mark of this part.

Computing

There will two marked assignment in Python (each contribution 25%) and one timed

exam style test (contributing 50%). There will be sufficient time in this test to allow

students who have learnt computing for the first time and are competent to finish the

questions. The timed exam style test will be held shortly in April 2019.

The relative weightings of the above to Element 1 are:

Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology I 5 out of 45

Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology II 25 out of 45

Mathematics, Probability and Statistics 10 out of 45

Computing 5 out of 45

Any assessments or project reports that are handed in late will be downgraded. Every day

(or part of day) late will result in a 10% reduction from the final mark.

Summary of taught component

Module Exercise

(% of module)

Examination

(% of module)

Weight for taught

element (out of 45)

(% of total)

Component 1 (You need no less than 40% of the maximum weighted score for

component 1 to pass Element 1

Bioinformatics and

Theoretical Systems

Biology I

0% 100% 5/45 (11%)

Bioinformatics and

Theoretical Systems

Biology II

25% (3 exercises

equal weight)

75% 25/45 (56%)

Component 2 (You need no less than 40% of the maximum weighted score for

component 2 to pass Element 1)

Mathematics,

Probability and

Statistics

25% (1 exercise) 75% 10/45 (22%)

Computing 50% (2 exercises

equal weight)

50% (open book) 5/45 (11%)

Projects – general principles of assessment

For all projects half the marks are awarded by the supervisor and half by two other

examiners who normally will be bioinformatician/ theoretical systems biologist. 1/3 of the

total marks are awarded for the laboratory performance, 1/3 for the science of the report and

1/3 for presentational skills (a formal presentation, or the web report impact or the viva as

below).

Element 2

Element 2 consists of the grades for Project 1 (group project) (40% of total for element) and

Project 2 (data analysis) (60% of total for element). Project 1 is one component and project 2

is the second component. You must obtain a mark of no less than 40% in each component

to pass Element 2. In summary:

Components in Element 2

(You need no less than 40% in each

component to pass)

Project name Weight for total

mark in Element 2

Component 1 Group project 40%

Component 2 Data analysis project 60%

Project 1

The assessment is:

Topic assessed Supervisor’s

mark

Average of examiners’

marks

Total contribution

Lab performance 1/3 of total None 1/3

Group report 1/6 of total 1/6 of total 1/3

Oral presentation None 1/3 of total 1/3

Project 2

Students submit a web-based report of their analysis. The science in the web report is

assessed as if the web presentation was a standard paper report. The impact of the web is

then assessed in terms of the added value provided by use of web technology. The

assessment is:

Topic assessed Supervisor’s

mark

Average of examiners’

marks

Total contribution

Lab performance 1/3 of total None 1/3

Science in web

report

1/6 of total 1/6 of total 1/3

Web impact None 1/3 of total 1/3

Element 3

Element 3 is the final research project. After the report is submitted, the examiners will hold

a viva with student probing the ability of the student to explain the report and engage in a

productive scientific discussion. The assessment is:

Topic assessed Supervisor’s

mark

Average of examiners’

marks

Total contribution

Lab performance 1/3 of total None 1/3

Report 1/6 of total 1/6 of total 1/3

Viva None 1/3 of total 1/3

College’s Academic and Examination regulations:

www.imperial.ac.uk/about/governance/academic-governance/academic-policy/

exams-and-assessment

Penalties for Late Submission of Assessed Work: www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/administration-and-support-services/registry/ academic-governance/public/academic-policy/marking-and-moderation/ Penalties-for-late-submission-of-assessed-work.pdf Mitigating circumstances policy and procedures: www.imperial.ac.uk/about/governance/academic-governance/academic-policy/

exams-and-assessment/

College policy on exams and religious obligations: www.imperial.ac.uk/student-records-and-data/for-current-students/ undergraduate-and-taught-postgraduate/exams-assessments-and-regulations/ exams-and-religious-obligations

3.1: Criteria for Assessment of Written work – long questions

These criteria are used to assess the essay questions. Note that account is taken of the teaching of the subject, the instructions provided for the work (e.g. level of presentation for dissertations) and the type of question set. For examination answers, allowance is made for what is reasonably achievable under examination conditions.

Literal Grade A* A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F

Percentage Grade 85-100 80 76 72 68 65 62 58 55 52 50 48 45 42 40 30 15 5 0

Criteria Distinction+. Answer is an exceptionally well presented exposition of the subject showing: (i) complete command of the relevant concepts and facts, (ii) a high critical or analytical ability**, (iii) originality, and (iv) evidence of substantial outside reading. Distinction. Answer is a very well presented exposition of the subject, showing the above features, but not fully achieving one of them. Merit. Answer has the following features, but without fully achieving one of them: (i) shows a clear grasp of the relevant concepts and facts, (ii) gives an accurate account of the relevant taught material, and (iii) shows evidence of some outside reading, or of critical or analytical ability**. Pass. Answer: (i) shows a grasp of the basic concepts and facts, (ii) gives a mainly accurate account of at least half of the relevant taught material, but (iii) does not go beyond that, or goes beyond that but is then marred by significant errors. Pass mark Fail. Answer: (i) shows only a basic grasp of the fundamental concepts and facts, but is marred by major errors or omissions and (ii) presents accurately at least a third of the material expected. Answer: (i) shows a confused understanding of the question, and (ii) presents less than a third of a material expected. Answer: (i) is too inaccurate, too irrelevant, or too brief to indicate more than a vague understanding of the question, and (ii) presents only about a quarter of a material expected. Answer presents only two or three sentences or facts that are correct and relevant. Answer includes at most one sentence or fact that is correct and relevant to the question. Answer contains nothing correct that is relevant to question. Mark to be given where the work is discovered not to be that of the candidate (plagiarised). Further disciplinary action is usually taken in cases of plagiarism

** Analytical = assessing a hypothesis or statement by breaking it down into its elements and

examining their inter-relationships and contribution to the whole; cf. Critical = judging a hypothesis

or conclusion by examining the validity of the evidence adduced for it.

3.2 : Criteria for Assessment of Multiple Choice Questions

For Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology II there will be multiple choice

questions.

Each question will have 5 possible answers.

In each question, one or more possible answers will be correct.

You must identify ALL correct answers and NO incorrect answers to obtain a mark for

that question. No partial marks are awarded.

There will be NO deduction from your total if you do not get a mark for a question.

All questions will carry the same mark.

3.3: Criteria for Assessment of Laboratory Work

These criteria are used to assess all laboratory work during the MSc. Due allowance is made for what is reasonably achievable under laboratory conditions and in the time available.

Literal Grade A* A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F

Percentage Grade 85-100 80 76 72 68 65 62 58 55 52 50 48 45 42 40 30 15 5 0

Criteria Distinction+. Quality and quantity of data comparable to that in research articles published in the best journals. Outstanding presentation of results showing: (i) complete command of the background and context of the work, (ii) a high critical and analytical ability** including an appreciation of the limits of the experimental procedures, possible sources of errors and significance of results, and (iii) originality and evidence of substantial outside reading in discussion. These features also to be shown during oral examination where relevant (e.g. for research projects). Distinction. Work successfully completed and well presented, showing the above features, but not fully achieving one of them. No significant deficiencies. Merit. Work shows the following features, without fully achieving one of them: (I) shows a clear grasp of background and context of the work, (ii) gives a complete and fully accurate account of the experimental procedures and results, and (iii) shows evidence of some outside reading or of critical or analytical ability** including an understanding of the limits of the experimental procedures and possible sources of errors. Pass. Work (i) shows a grasp of the background and context of the work, (ii) gives an accurate account of most of the experimental procedures and results, but (iii) does not go beyond that, or goes beyond that but has significant errors of interpretation. Pass mark Fail. Work (I) shows only a basic grasp of the background and context of the work, and has major errors or omissions, but (ii) presents a mainly accurate account of at least a third of the experimental procedures and results. Work (i) shows a confused understanding of the experiment, and (ii) presents less than a third of the experimental procedures and results. Work (I) is too inaccurate, too irrelevant, or too brief to indicate more than a vague understanding of the experiment, and (ii) presents only about a quarter of the experimental procedures and results. Work presents only two or three sentences or facts that are correct and relevant to the experiment. Work attempted, but no relevant experimental procedures, results or discussion.

Experiment not attempted, work not handed in or contains nothing correct that is relevant. Mark given where the work presented is discovered not to be that of the candidate (plagiarised). Further disciplinary action is usually taken in cases of plagiarism.

3.4: Criteria for Assessment of Work Presented Orally

These criteria are used to assess all oral presentations during your MSc course. Allowance is made for what is reasonably achievable under the conditions of the presentation and viva (resources available, time allowed, etc.).

Literal Grade A* A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F

Percentage Grade 85-100 80 76 72 68 65 62 58 55 52 50 48 45 42 40 25 10 0

Criteria Distinction+. Presentation demonstrates: (I) complete understanding of the material to be presented showing high critical or analytical ability** as relevant, (ii) clear and logical organisation of the material, (iii) excellent use of appropriate resources and teaching aids, (iv) preparatory work including substantial background reading, and (v) ability to instruct with clarity of exposition and productive engagement with the audience resulting in a very positive learning experience. Distinction. A very well presented exposition of the subject, showing all the above features, but not fully achieving one of them. Merit. Presentation has the following features, but without fully achieving one of them: (i) shows a clear understanding of the material with an accurate account that demonstrates good critical or analytical ability**, (ii) good use of resources, (iii) evidence of appropriate background reading, and (iv) succeeds in delivering all the relevant material clearly to the audience so that they appreciate its significance. Pass. Presentation: (i) shows a solid grasp of the material, (ii) gives a mainly accurate account of most of the relevant material, (iii) shows evidence of some background reading ,and (iv) successfully delivers most of the material to the audience in a way that they can understand it, but does not go beyond that. Pass mark Fail. Presentation: (i) shows only a basic grasp of the material (ii) shows evidence of little background reading or preparation, (iii) delivers most of the material accurately but makes errors or omissions resulting in a poor learning experience for the audience. Presentation: (i) shows that the material has not been understood, (ii) shows no evidence for background reading or preparation, and (iii) presents the material inaccurately and does not increase the audience’s understanding. Presentation: (i) is too inaccurate, too irrelevant, or too brief to indicate more than a vague understanding of the material, and (ii) only succeeds in misinforming and confusing the audience. Presentation includes very little that is correct and relevant. Failure to make a presentation at all.

** Analytical = assessing a hypothesis or statement by breaking it down into its elements and

examining their inter-relationships and contribution to the whole; cf. Critical = judging a hypothesis

or conclusion by examining the validity of the evidence adduced for it.

3.5: Criteria for Assessment of Work Presented in Reports

These criteria are used to assess all reports during your MSc course. Allowance is made for what is reasonably achievable under the conditions of the research project report (resources available, time and space allowed, etc.).

Literal Grade A* A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F

Percentage Grade 85-100 80 76 72 68 65 62 58 55 52 50 48 45 42 40 25 10 0

Criteria Distinction+. Report demonstrates: (I) complete understanding of the material to be presented showing high critical or analytical ability** as relevant, (ii) clear and logical organisation of the material, (iii) excellent use of appropriate resources and teaching aids and (iv) preparatory work including substantial background reading. Distinction. A very well presented report of the subject, showing all the above features, but not fully achieving one of them. Merit. Report has the following features, but without fully achieving one of them: (i) shows a clear understanding of the material with an accurate account that demonstrates good critical or analytical ability**, (ii) good use of resources, (iii) evidence of appropriate background reading, and (iv) succeeds in delivering all the relevant material clearly to the audience so that they appreciate its significance. Pass. Report (i) shows a solid grasp of the material, (ii) gives a mainly accurate account of most of the relevant material, (iii) shows evidence of some background reading ,and (iv) successfully delivers most of the material to the audience in a way that they can understand it, but does not go beyond that. Pass mark Fail. Report (i) shows only a basic grasp of the material (ii) shows evidence of little background reading or preparation, (iii) delivers most of the material accurately but makes errors or omissions resulting in a poor learning experience for the audience. Report: (i) shows that the material has not been understood, (ii) shows no evidence for background reading or preparation, and (iii) presents the material inaccurately and does not increase the audience’s understanding. Report (i) is too inaccurate, too irrelevant, or too brief to indicate more than a vague understanding of the material, and (ii) only succeeds in misinforming and confusing the audience. Report includes very little that is correct and relevant.

Failure to make a presentation at all.

** Analytical = assessing a hypothesis or statement by breaking it down into its elements

and examining their inter-relationships and contribution to the whole; cf. Critical = judging

a hypothesis or conclusion by examining the validity of the evidence adduced for it.

6.6: Structure of Examination Questions

Where a question provides a breakdown of the weighting attached to parts of a question, the

final grade is based on the evaluation of the question as a whole against the above criteria.

The breakdown only provides guidance as to the suggested emphasis in your answer for

each part of the question.

You will be able to view past exam papers on the VLE, Blackboard.

6.7 Guidelines for Exercises

There are marked exercises in the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology II module. The

format of the answer will be specified. For Tables, Figures and References you must follow

the guidelines for the report in 6.8 below. The word and display items limits for exercises are

strict.

These exercises are graded. If the instructions are unclear, then you can of course ask the

appropriate staff member. But note that the aim of these exercises is for you to make your

decisions as you would in an exam.

6.8: Guidelines for Reports

The following are draft guidelines for the project reports. These may be modified to reflect

the developments of the project and staff/student discussions.

General guidelines for all reports

1. Students are expected to discuss their reports with their supervisors before starting to write up. At least two weeks before submission students should concentrate on completing the report. It is more important to produce a quality report than obtain all the results. You are permitted to show your supervisor or one other person your report for general feedback before submission, but please allow sufficient time for your supervisor to provide feedback. Detailed feedback can only be provided by one person once for any section.

2. The report should be in the format of a paper in a bioinformatics or systems biology journal. Your report should be aimed at readers who work in these areas but who is not a specialist in the precise area of your project. In contrast to a scientific paper, your report should clearly and extensively identify in the text what was your contribution to the project.

You can use “I” to show your work.

3. Students are advised to make frequent back-up copies of their work. Disk failure can occur, must be planned for, and are not a valid excuse for late submission. Projects must be submitted by the deadline. The penalty for late submission is 10% of the mark per day or part of day.

4. With the exception of the data analysis web-based report: the font size must be no smaller than 11 point and the report must be double spaced. Only one side of the paper should be used. Each major new section (e.g. Methods) should start on a new page. Pages must be numbered.

5. It is important to ensure that the report is concise, well laid-out and in scientific style English. Avoid slang and abbreviations such as “won’t”. Remember that “it’s” is an abbreviation for “it is” and “its” is used for the possessive.

6. The project report must include the word count on the title page (the number of words will be checked and failure to comply with the word limit will incur penalties).

7. As this is an MSc project undertaken in a limited time period, we appreciate that positive results (such as an improvement in an algorithm or a statistically significant observation) might not be obtained. Negative results are not penalised. In your report you need to show that you have undertaken a rigorous scientific study and critically evaluated your results.

8. The format should follow that of a scientific paper and must include the following sections: Title page, Abstract, Contents page, Abbreviations, Introduction, Conclusion, References, and if required an Appendix. The main part of the report can either follow the standard three sections of Methods, Results and Discussion or can be modified to best present the information. You are advised to discuss such a modification with your supervisor. For example, if there is a series of studies, you are free to report each study in turn as a main section and then under subsections detail the Methods, Results and Discussions.

9. The Abstract should be structured (i.e. aims, methods, results, conclusion), be no more than one side of paper (in written reports). Ideally the Abstract should cite some key numerical results rather than just generalities. Making a point in an abstract does not remove the requirement for it to be made elsewhere in the report. The report must be comprehensible even if the abstract is removed.

10. The Introduction should provide the necessary background to understand the relevance and topicality of the aims and objectives and your contribution of the research. In particular, how has this project advanced the field.

11. The Methods should be sufficiently (but not excessively) detailed, such that the reader can fully understand how the study was performed. It is important to provide an overview of the methodology, for example by a flow chart.

12. The Results should provide the necessary data, including negative results, to justify the conclusions drawn. It is important to summarise the results (for example in tables and/or graphs) and not just put in the output of the program. The results should describe testing where appropriate and an assessment of possible errors. Results should also discuss the conclusions drawn from the specific results.

13. The Discussion section should place the results into the context of published knowledge and understanding and provide details of future work and more general applications of the knowledge gained from the project. Avoid simply repeating the Results section.

14. The Conclusion can provide a brief summary of the key results and provide a brief statement of the impact of the work. Do not repeat previous sections. It is best to have a separate discussion and conclusion.

15. All mathematical expressions must have all the symbols defined and used consistently throughout the report.

16. All Figures must be clearly labelled with a full explanation of the different information (e.g. colours) presented. Graphs must have the axes labels and the lines in an easy to read presentation without tiny fonts and faint lines. Units are required on the axes. Figures must be referred to in the text i.e. see Figure X.

17. All Tables should be clearly explained with units and numbers given to the appropriate degree of accuracy. Use a sensible number of significant figures. Tables must be referred to in the text i.e. see Table X.

18. Full reference citations must be given: authors, year of publication, journal title, volume and page numbers are all needed. Two reference styles are acceptable. The first is author and date in the text with the references arranged alphabetically by first author’s surname. The second is numbering in the text and in the reference list in order of citation of the reference in the text. Authors’ first names must consistently be by initial only, even if you know the first name. The reference style must be consistent throughout.

19. Abbreviations and glossary. You should list on a separate page all the abbreviations that you have used in your thesis. Many of these are standard, such as DNA, and do not need to be defined. Try not to invent too many abbreviations of your own, as it can make it hard work for your examiner to read. In addition, the first time that you use an abbreviation in the main text, you must define it, e.g: We analysed the number of non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs). The next time you can simply use the abbreviation, e.g. Table 3 details the number of nsSNPs. You must be consistent. Once you have defined an abbreviation, always use the same abbreviation and do not revert to the original. For some reports, it can be helpful to go beyond a list of abbreviations and provide a glossary explaining technical terms

20. It is vital that any information including a mathematical derivation taken from another source is duly acknowledged otherwise you are plagiarising. Note many figures in books and papers are subject to copyright and cannot be reduced without copyright permission. The Library can advise but it is probable simplest not to use any published figure directly. You can of course redraw a figure and acknowledge the source upon which it is based.

21. The project report must be written in your own words. Imperial has software that will detect plagiarism – automatic zero mark if plagiarism is detected, with the burden of proof is on the student.

22. Occasionally a paper describing your project work will have been produced for submission to a conference or a journal prior to you writing your report. You cannot use the text from this paper – you must rewrite this for your report - even if you wrote the original paper. If this occurs you must discuss this with the Course Director or Deputy Director at the writing up stage.

23. Details of the submission mechanism of your report will be provided later.

Additional Requirements for Computing Project reports

1. The project consists of an integrated student report, submitted by the group and an individual statement.

Group report:

2. The report should be in the format of a manual/documentation including technical and user oriented information. The group report should be aimed at readers who work in bioinformatics or affiliated areas but who are not specialists in the subject cover in the project. Users should be able to read the group report and from it be able to use and continue to develop the work.

3. If needed, especially in the case of new algorithm, the manual can contain portion of code with explanation but it should not be a simple catalogue of the code. You should present the concepts and not just the features. Where relevant, provide examples describing the use of the software/code.

4. The group report should include a description of the problem motivating the project and discuss the parts that still need to be improved or developed.

5. The group report should not exceed 40 pages. In the group report you must use initials at the start of each section to indicate which student undertook the work and who wrote the section. We understand some sections are joint work and this should be indicated.

Individual report:

6. The individual report is a page-long reflective statement of the individual’s contribution to the project and the report. This is not graded but provides context to assess the group report and laboratory performance.

Additional guidelines for web-based report of data analysis

1. The aim is to present a web page describing the results of your data analysis project.

2. We are looking for use of web tools to enhance the information provided to the viewer of the page. Please use links to other web pages can be used where appropriate. You are free to make use of the multi-media capabilities of web sites; but remember that clarity and statistical soundness are important criteria for marking this project. Choose your colours and font sizes carefully to be attractive.

3. Websites will need to be Firefox compatible and will be hosted on our MSc server. Please check that all your links work under Firefox on this server. Web pages with links that fail will be heavily penalised.

4. Content and presentation will be important. You will need to justify the statistical methods used, explain where the data came from, the objective of the overall project. When presenting statistical information provide an assessment of variability of your results. If this is not possible then outline the reasons for why you have not done this.

5. The web page should be 2,500 words max (excluding references and data in tables). Supplementary material as a plain text file can be provided detailing the method (but is not required). This cannot be more than 1,000 words. Our assessment will focus on the main web.

6. The web page must have a scientific abstract of about 250 words

7. In addition there should be a lay summary of about 250 words explaining the project aimed at a biological/biomedical science journalist who is not a bioinformatician or theoretical systems biologist.

8. The marking for the project are laboratory work (1/3); scientific report (1/3) and how web resources were effectively used (1/3).

Additional guidelines for Project 3 report

1. The reports should be a maximum of 5,000 words plus diagrams, graphs, figure legends and references. There is a maximum of 12 display items (Figures or Tables). Please indicate on the front the number of words.

2. As this is the report on your final project, we are looking for a demonstration of critical and analytical ability. The best projects would be in a suitable for submission to a journal or a conference with only the most minor of modification (excluding any consideration of whether the report presents positive or negative results).

Writing Resources

There are many guides on the internet about writing styles. Here are a few

suggestions. It is worth reading these guides

Penn State Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students (general guidelines about a paper or report)

o http://www.writing.engr.psu.edu/

Writing a better scientific paper (note some comments about chatty style not appropriate for Biology, but good hints especially about mistakes non-native English scientists often make)

http://rmp.aps.org/files/rmpguapa.pdf

Guide to Grammar and Style by Jack Lynch ( a useful guide to A to Z, can be read through slowly and very sensible)

o http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/

The Internet Grammar of English from UCL (useful to check a detail)) o http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/

Instruction to Candidates for Examinations Students who are candidates for examinations are asked to note that all examinations are conducted

in accordance with the College’s Academic Regulations, the Regulations for Programmes of Study

and the Examination Regulations.

Instructions for exam candidates can be found here:

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/administration-and-support-

services/registry/academic-governance/public/academic-policy/exam-arrangements-and-re-

sits/Instructions-to-candidates-for-examinations.pdf

Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct As your programme of study continues, you will be taught the concept of academic integrity and how

you can ensure that any work that you complete now, or in the future, conforms to these principles.

This means that your work acknowledges the ideas and results of others, that it is conducted in an

ethical way and that it is free from plagiarism.

Academic misconduct is the attempt to gain an academic advantage, whether intentionally or

unintentionally, in any piece of assessment submitted to the College. This includes plagiarism, self-

plagiarism, collusion, exam offences (cheating) or dishonest practice. Full details of the policy can be

found at:

www.imperial.ac.uk/student-records-and-data/for-current-students/undergraduate-and-taught-

postgraduate/exams-assessments-and-regulations/plagiarism-academic-integrity--exam-

offences/

Definitions of the main forms of academic misconduct can be found below:

Plagiarism Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s thoughts, words, images or diagrams as though

they were your own. Another form of plagiarism is self-plagiarism, which involves using your own prior

work without acknowledging its reuse.

Plagiarism must be avoided, with particular care on coursework, essays, reports and projects written

in your own time and also in open and closed book written examinations.

Where plagiarism is detected in group work, members of that group may be deemed to have

collective responsibility for the integrity of work submitted by that group and may be liable for any

penalty imposed, proportionate to their contribution.

Collusion: This is the term used for work that has been conducted by more than one individual, in contravention

of the assessment brief. Where it is alleged that there has been collusion, all parties will be

investigated under the Academic Misconduct procedure.

Exam offences Exam offences include behaviour such as bringing authorised material into an exam, attempting to

communicate with others apart from the invigilator, trying to remove examination material without

permission, taking an exam for someone else or getting someone else to take an exam for you.

Dishonest practice Examples of dishonest practice include bribery, contact cheating (buying work from an essay mill or

other individual to submit as your own), attempting to access exam papers before the exam, making a

false claim for mitigating circumstances or providing fraudulent evidence, falsifying documentation or

signatures in relation to assessment.

4. Board of Examiners

Board of Examiners

Dr Derek Huntley (Chair)

Professor Michael Sternberg

Dr John Pinney

For external examiners

Dr Sophia Tsoka, King’s College, London

Prof Dov Stekel

It is common for Master’s level students to have some form of academic or social interaction with their

external examiners at some point during or after their studies as well as during the assessment

process itself.

It is inappropriate for you to submit complaints or representations direct to external examiners or to

seek to influence your external examiners. Inappropriate communication towards an examiner would

make you liable for disciplinary action.

A summary of External examiners reports from the previous academic year can be found here:

www.imperial.ac.uk/staff/tools-and-reference/quality-assurance-enhancement/external-

examining/information-for-staff

5. Location and Facilities Imperial has a number of campuses in London and the South East. All have excellent travel links and

are easily accessible via public transport.

Your main location of study will be:

South Kensington campus

Department of Life Sciences

Sir Ernst Chain Building

Imperial College London

South Kensington Campus

London SW7 2AZ

Facilities

Computer access and printing is available at 310/311, Floor 3, Sir Ernst Chain Building. The

Department’s postgraduate office is located at Room 202, Sir Ernst Chain Building and open

Monday to Friday, 09.00 – 17.00.

The PG common Room is on Floor 7 of Sir Ernst Chain Building.

Facilities for when you are your project rotation is confirmed nearer the time.

Maps Campus maps and travel directions are available at:

www.imperial.ac.uk/visit/campuses

Accessibility Information about the accessibility of our South Kensington Campus is available online through the

DisabledGo access guides:

www.disabledgo.com/organisations/imperial-college-london-2

Smoke-Free Policy

All Imperial campuses and properties are smoke-free. This means that smoking by staff and students

is not permitted on or within 20 metres of College land. The policy covers all College properties,

including student accommodation and sports grounds.

www.imperial.ac.uk/smoke-free

6. Working While Studying

If you are studying full time, the College recommends that you do not work part-time during term time.

If this is unavoidable we advise you to work no more than 10–15 hours per week, which should be

principally at weekends and not within normal College working hours.

Working in excess of these hours could impact adversely on your studies or health.

If you are here on a Tier 4 visa you can work no more than 20 hours a week during term time. Some

sponsors may not permit you to take up work outside your studies and others may specify a limit.

If you are considering part-time work during term time you are strongly advised to discuss this issue

with your supervisor or Personal/Senior Personal Postgraduate Tutor. If you are on a Tier 4 visa you

should also seek advice from the International Student Support team regarding visa limitations on

employment.

7. Health and Safety

You are responsible for looking after your own health and safety and that of others affected by your

College-related work and leisure activities. You must:

comply with all local and College policies, procedures and codes of practice and with the arrangements which the College has in place to control health and safety risks.

ensure that your activities do not present unnecessary or uncontrolled risks to yourself or to others.

attend appropriate induction and training.

report any accidents, unsafe circumstances or work-related ill health of which you become aware to the appropriate person.

not interfere with any equipment provided for Health and Safety.

inform your supervisor or the person in charge of the activity in cases where you are not confident that you are competent to carry out a work or leisure activity safely, rather than compromise your own safety or the safety of others.

The College’s Health and Safety Statement can be found at:

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/safety/safety-by-topic/safety-management/health-and-safety-

policy-statement/

Your Departmental safety contact is:

Stefan Hoyle

518, 5th Floor, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, South Kensington Campus

07872 850 018

[email protected]

All new members of the Department must acquaint themselves with the Dept safety web page;

https://imperiallondon.sharepoint.com/sites/fons/faculty/safety/LS/SitePages/Newhome.aspx

You MUST also take the following courses:

Mandatory courses

All staff and PG students - Risk Assessment Foundation Training: No enrolment necessary, just start the e-Learning course by clicking on this link and then at end of the course take the multiple choice test: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/safety/raft/frameset/frameset.htm

All staff and PG students - Month One Safety Training: No enrolment necessary, just start the e-Learning course by clicking on this link and then at the end of the course take the multiple-choice test: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/safety/most/

For fire safety training:

All PGs do the online Fire Safety and Awareness Training e-Learning course: No enrolment

necessary, just start the e-Learning course by clicking on this link and at the end of the course

complete the online test: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/safety/firesafety/

The College Safety Department

The Safety Department offers a range of specialist advice on all aspects of safety. This includes

anything which you feel might affect you directly, or which may be associated with teaching, research

or support service activities.

The College’s activities range from the use of hazardous materials (biological, chemical and

radiological substances) to field work, heavy or awkward lifting, driving, and working alone or late.

All College activities are covered by general health and safety regulations, but higher risk activities will

have additional requirements.

The Safety Department helps departments and individuals ensure effective safety management

systems are in place throughout the College to comply with specific legal requirements.

Sometimes the management systems fail, and an accident or a near-miss incident arises; it is

important that we learn lessons from such situations to prevent recurrence and the Safety Department

can support such investigations. All accidents and incidents should be reported online at:

www.imperial.ac.uk/safety

To report concerns or to ask for advice you should contact your programme director, academic

supervisor or departmental safety officer in the first instance. You may also contact the Safety

Department directly.

Occupational Health requirements

The College Occupational Health Service provides services to:

protect health at work

assess and advise on fitness for work

ensure that health issues are effectively managed

The Service promotes and supports a culture where the physical and psychological health of staff,

students and others involved in the College is respected, protected and improved whilst at work.

www.imperial.ac.uk/occupational-health

Lone working & supervision

Students must be appropriately supervised and monitored when working in a laboratory area or in a

computer office. Masters Students must not be left to work alone in the lab or in a computer office.

Masters Students cannot supervise each other, an experienced competent member of the

group must be available. Except with permission from their formal academic supervisor (and not a

PhD or postdoctoral researcher), Masters students can only work between 9am and 7pm Monday to

Friday (and not on public holidays).

College policy on Student Alcohol and Substance misuse View the College policy on Alcohol and Substance misuse

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/current-students/public/Student-Alcohol-and-

Substance-misuse-policy.pdf

8. College Policies and Procedures

Regulations for Students All registered students of the College are subject to the Regulations for Students, the College

Academic and Examination Regulations and such other regulations that the College may approve

from time to time.

www.imperial.ac.uk/about/governance/academic-governance/regulations

www.imperial.ac.uk/students/terms-and-conditions

Academic Feedback Policy We are committed in providing you with timely and appropriate feedback on your academic progress

and achievement, enabling you to reflect on your academic progress. During your study you will

receive different methods of feedback according to assessment type, discipline, level of study and

your individual need. Further guidance on the Policy of Academic Feedback can be found on the

Academic Governance website:

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/administration-and-support-

services/registry/academic-governance/public/academic-policy/academic-feedback/Academic-

feedback-policy-for-taught-programmes.pdf

Provisional Marks Guidance Provisional marks are agreed marks that have yet to be ratified by the Board of Examiners. These

results are provisional and are subject to change by the Board of Examiners. The release of

provisional marks is permitted except in certain circumstances. Further information can be found in

the Guidelines for Issuing Provisional Marks to Students on Taught Programmes:

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/administration-and-support-

services/registry/academic-governance/public/academic-policy/marking-and-

moderation/Guidelines-for-issuing-provisional-marks-to-students-on-taught-programmes.pdf

Late Submission Policy You are responsible for ensuring that you submit your coursework assessments on time and by the

published deadline. Any piece of assessed work which is submitted beyond the published deadline

(date and time) would be classed as a late submission. Further guidance on Late Submission of

Assessments can be found on the Academic Governance website:

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/administration-and-support-

services/registry/academic-governance/public/academic-policy/marking-and-moderation/Late-

submission-Policy.pdf

Academic Misconduct Policy and Procedures It is important that you learn how to properly attribute and acknowledge the work, data and ideas of

others. Plagiarism is scientific misconduct, and students whose assessments can be shown to contain

plagiarism are subject to penalties as outlined in the College’s Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

www.imperial.ac.uk/about/governance/academic-governance/academic-policy/complaints-

appeals-and-discipline

Assessment Timetable

Assignment Module Start/Deadline Feedback date and

format and

provisional marks

Python 1 Computing 26 October 2018- 5

November 2018

26 November 2018

Protein A Bioinformatics II 2-12 November 2018

Protein B Bioinformatics II 9 -19 November 2018

Genomes Bioinformatics II 16-26 November 2018 10 December 2018

Assignment R Mathematics 23 November – 3

December 2018

Python 2 Computing 30 November – 10

December 2018

7 January 2019

Bioinformatics I

exam

Bioinformatics I 9 January 2019 30 working days

Bioinformatics II

exam

Bioinformatics II 4 January 2019 30 working days

Maths exam Maths 7 January 2019 30 working days

Project 1

Computing

Project 1

Group Project

and

Presentation (10

weeks)

14 January – 2 April 2019

Presentation 11 April

2019

30 working days

Python Computing

Timed

Assignment 3hr

8 April 2019 29 April 2019

Project 2 Data

Analysis

Project 2

Web design

project (11

weeks)

3 April 2019 – 11 June

2019

30 working days

Project 3

Bioinformatics

Project 3

Final report (13

weeks)

12 June 2019 – 2

September 2019

30 working days

Internal Viva Project 3 9 September 2019 September 2019

External Viva 19 September 2019

(provisional)

Feedback

Students will receive feedback from their exercises in the first term. During your projects you will

receive feedback from your supervisor and examiners on a bespoke assessment pro forma. The

class will also receive general feedback on Project 1 and Project 2 and, if there are concerns, specific

one to one feedback will be provided.

Appeal and Complaints Procedures We have rigorous regulations in place to ensure assessments are conducted with fairness and

consistency. In the event that you believe that you have grounds for complaint about academic or

administrative services, or wish to appeal the outcome of an assessment or final degree, we have laid

out clear and consistent procedures through which complaints and appeals can be investigated and

considered:

www.imperial.ac.uk/about/governance/academic-governance/academic-policy/complaints-

appeals-and-discipline

Student Disciplinary Procedure The College has the right to investigate any allegation of misconduct against a student and may take

disciplinary action where it decides, on the balance of probabilities, that a breach of discipline has

been committed. The general principles of the Student Disciplinary Procedure are available on the

College website:

www.imperial.ac.uk/admin-services/secretariat/college-governance/charters/ordinances/students/

Intellectual Property Rights Policy For further guidance on the College’s Intellectual Property Rights Policy is available on the College

website:

www.imperial.ac.uk/students/enterprising-students/intellectual-property/

Use of IT Facilities View the Conditions of Use of IT Facilities:

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/admin-services/ict/self-service/computers-printing/staff-

computers/conditions-of-use-for-it-facilities/

9. Well-being and Advice

Student Space The Student Space website is the central point for information on health and well-being.

www.imperial.ac.uk/student-space

Departmental support and College tutors Your Department has a system of academic and pastoral care in place to make sure you have access

to the appropriate support throughout your time here. This includes:

Personal Postgraduate Tutor

The Department’s Personal Postgraduate Tutor can offer pastoral support and advice. You can

arrange to have a meeting with them at any time during your studies – what you discuss will be

completely confidential.

If necessary they will direct you to an appropriate source of support.

Advice services The tutor system is complemented by a College-wide network of advice and support. This includes a number of specialist services.

Careers Service

The Careers Service has strong links to your Department and you will have a named Careers

Consultant and Placement and Internship Adviser who will run both group sessions and individual

meetings within your Department. You can arrange to meet with your linked Careers Consultant or

Placement and Internship Adviser either in your Department or centrally on Level 5 Sherfield where

the Careers Service is based.

Visit the Career Service’s website to:

Book a careers appointment

Find resources and advice on successful career planning

www.imperial.ac.uk/careers

Counselling and Mental Health

The Student Counselling and Mental Health Advice Service offers short-term counselling to all

registered students. The service is free and confidential. Counsellors are available at the South

Kensington, Hammersmith and Silwood Park Campuses.

www.imperial.ac.uk/counselling

Financial support and tuition fees

If you’ve got any questions about student financial support (loans, scholarships and research council

studentships, US and Canadian loans) then contact the Student Financial Support team:

020 7594 9014

[email protected]

If you suddenly find yourself in financial difficulties or experience an unexpected change in

circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for emergency financial help through the Student Support

Fund. The Fund offers a one-off payment of up to £2,000 to cover such emergencies as last minute

accommodation and travel necessities, equipment and childcare. It does not have to be repaid.

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding/financial-assistance/student-support-fund/

For tuition fees queries, contact the Tuition Fees team:

020 7594 8011

[email protected]

Imperial College Union (ICU) Advice Centre

Imperial College Union runs the Advice Centre independently of the College with advisers on hand to

provide free, confidential, independent advice on a wide range of welfare issues including housing,

money and debt, employment and consumer rights, and personal safety.

www.imperialcollegeunion.org/advice

Student Hub

The Student Hub represents a single point of contact for all key administrative information and

support. The Student Hub team can help you with enquiries about:

Accommodation (including checking contracts for private accommodation)

Admissions

International student enquiries

Research degrees

Student financial support

Student records

Tuition fees

Level 3, Sherfield Building, South Kensington Campus

020 7594 9444

[email protected]

www.imperial.ac.uk/student-hub

Health Services

NHS Health Centre and finding a doctor

Even if you’re fit and healthy we recommend that you register with a local doctor (GP) as soon as you

arrive in London. For help finding your nearest GP see the Student Space website:

www.imperial.ac.uk/student-space/here-for-you/find-a-doctor

There is the Imperial College Health Centre on our South Kensington Campus which you may visit

during clinic hours if you’re feeling unwell. Students living within the practice catchment area are

encouraged to register with the Centre.

www.imperialcollegehealthcentre.co.uk

NHS Dentist (based in the Imperial College Health Centre)

Imperial College Dental Centre offers a full range of NHS and private treatment options.

www.imperial.ac.uk/student-space/here-for-you/dentist

Disability Support

Disability Advisory Service

The Disability Advisory Service provides confidential advice and support for all disabled students and

students with specific learning difficulties.

If you think you may have dyslexia or another specific learning difficulty but have never been formally

assessed, the Disability Advisory Service offers initial screening appointments.

Room 566, Level 5, Sherfield Building, South Kensington Campus

020 7594 9755

[email protected]

www.imperial.ac.uk/disability-advisory-service

Departmental Disability Officers

Departmental Disability Officers are the first point of contact within your department. They can apply

for additional exam arrangements on your behalf, and will facilitate support within your Department.

Dr Tony Southall is DDO for the Department.

More information on Departmental Disability Officers is available at:

www.imperial.ac.uk/disability-advisory-service/support/ddos

More information on procedures for the consideration of additional exam arrangements in respect of disability is available at:

www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/administration-and-support-services/registry/academic-governance/public/academic-policy/exam-arrangements-and-re-

sits/Exam-arrangements-in-respect-of-disability.pdf

Library and IT

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)

If you’re having problems with technology (including computers, laptops and mobile devices), you can

get help from ICT’s Service Desk.

020 7594 9000

www.imperial.ac.uk/ict/service-desk

Software shop

The Software shop offers a variety of general and subject specific software programs and packages

for free or at a discounted price for Imperial students.

www.imperial.ac.uk/admin-services/ict/shop/software

Library services

The Central Library at South Kensington is open around the clock pretty much all year. Make sure you

find out who your departmental librarian is as they’ll be able to help you find resources for your

subject area. Also, don’t forget to check out the Library’s range of training workshops and our other

campus libraries for access to specialist medicine and life sciences resources. Alongside these

physical spaces and resources, the Library provides over 170,000 electronic books, journals and

databases available both on and off campus and a free document delivery service to help you source

books and articles from around the UK and the rest of the world:

www.imperial.ac.uk/library

Religious support

The Chaplaincy Multi-faith Centre has chaplains from many different religions, as well as prayer

rooms and information on places of worship. In addition, it runs meditation classes and mindfulness

workshops for stress management. There is a student-run Islamic prayer room on campus and

separate areas available for male and female Muslims.

www.imperial.ac.uk/chaplaincy

Support for International Students English language support

The Centre for Academic English provides free in-sessional English courses for international students

while they are studying. These include classes and workshops on academic language, social

language, the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking, 1-1 consultations with a tutor to

work on a piece of academic writing or an oral presentation, self-study resources in the VLE

Blackboard, and the Conversation Project, which partners students with a native-speaker volunteer to

practise social and conversational English.

www.imperial.ac.uk/academic-english

International Student Support team

Students from outside the UK make up around half of our student population, so our International

student Support team offers year-round support to help our international students settle into Imperial

life. This includes UK visa and immigration advice and trips to different places of interest.

www.imperial.ac.uk/study/international-students

10. Student Records and Data

The Student Records and Data Team are responsible for the administration and maintenance of the

student records for all students studying at the College. This includes enrolments, programme

transfers, interruption of studies, withdrawals and processing of examination entry for research

degree students. The team also use this information to fulfil reporting duties to the Student Loans

Company, Transport for London and the UKVI, as well as other external bodies.

The Team is responsible for the processing of student results and awards on the student record

system as well as the production and distribution of academic transcripts and certificates of award.

The Student Records and Data Team produce a variety of standard document requests for both

current and previous students including council tax letters, standard statements of attendance and

confirmation of degree letters.

Student records and examinations

+44 (0)20 7594 7268

[email protected]

Degree certificates

+44 (0)20 7594 8037

[email protected]

11. Work-life Balance

12.

13. The pace and intensity of postgraduate study at Imperial can be demanding so it’s important

to find time for outside interests.

14. Imperial College Union

15. The Union’s range of 380+ student-led clubs, societies and projects is one of the largest of

any UK university, opening up lots of ways for you to enjoy your downtime.

16. www.imperialcollegeunion.org/about-us

17. Graduate Students’ Union

18. The Graduate Students’ Union is the postgraduate arm of Imperial College Union. The GSU

works alongside the Imperial College Union President to ensure that the requirements of

postgraduate students are catered for. It also organises a number of academic and social

events during the year.

19.

20. Physical Activity Sport

21. Imperial College has a wide range of sports and activities on offer that cater for all standards

and abilities. We have a recreational activity offer, competitive sports teams and an elite

sport programme. We are dedicated to ensuring we have a diverse, inclusive and exciting

offer for all.

22.

23. With an annual fee of £30 you will get use of the gym and swimming facilities on our campuses.

24. 25. www.imperial.ac.uk/sport

26. Student feedback and representation

Feedback from Students

The College and Union is committed to continually improving your education and wider experience and

a key part of this is your feedback. Feedback is thoroughly discussed by your student representatives

and staff.

Student Representation

Student Representatives are recruited from every department to gather feedback from students to

discuss with staff. More information about the role, and instructions on how to become an academic

representative, are available on the Imperial College Union (ICU) website.

www.imperialcollegeunion.org/your-union/your-representatives/academic-

representatives/overview

Staff-Student Committee

Staff-Student Committees are designed to strengthen understanding and improve the flow of

communication between staff and students and, through open dialogue, promote high standards of

education and training, in a co-operative and constructive atmosphere. College good practice guidelines

for staff-student committees are available here:

www.imperial.ac.uk/about/governance/academic-governance/academic-policy/student-feedback

54

27. Student Surveys

Student Surveys

Your feedback is important to your department, the College and Imperial College Union.

Whilst there are a variety of ways to give your feedback on your Imperial experience, the following

College-wide surveys give you regular opportunities to make your voice heard:

PG SOLE lecturer/module Survey or departmental equivalent

Student Experience Survey (SES)

The PG SOLE lecturer/module survey or equivalent runs at the end of the autumn term. This survey is

your chance to tell us about the modules you have attended and the lecturers who taught them.

For PG SOLE your lecturers will receive their individual numerical results and comments shortly after

the survey closes. To make the most of your opportunity to give your feedback, please do not use

offensive language or make personal, discriminatory or abusive remarks as these may cause offence

and may be removed from the results. Whilst this survey is anonymous, please avoid self-identification

by referring to personal or other identifying information in your free text comments.

The Student Experience Survey (SES) is another opportunity to leave your views on your experience.

This survey will cover your induction, welfare, pastoral and support services experience.

The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) is the only national survey of Master’s level (MSc,

MRes, MBA and MPH) students we take part in. This is the only way for us to compare how we are

doing against the national average and to make changes that will improve our Master’s students’

experience in future. PTES covers topics such as motivations for taking the programme, depth of

learning, organisation, dissertation and professional development. PTES last ran in spring term 2018

and will next run in Spring 2020.

All these surveys are anonymous and the more students that take part the more representative the

results so please take a few minutes to give your views.

As a result of feedback to previous surveys, we have increased the contribution of Mathematics to the

total for Bioinformatics II.

The Union’s “You Said, We Did” campaign shows you some of the changes made as a result of survey

feedback:

www.imperialcollegeunion.org/you-said-we-did

If you would like to know more about any of these surveys or see the results from previous surveys,

please visit:

www.imperial.ac.uk/students/academic-support/student-surveys/pg-student-surveys

For further information on surveys, please contact the Registry’s Surveys Team at:

[email protected]

55

28. And finally

Alumni Services

When you graduate you will be part of a lifelong community of over 190,000 alumni, with access to a

range of alumni benefits including:

discounts on further study at the College and at Imperial College Business School

alumni email service

networking events

access to the Library and online resources

access to the full range of careers support offered to current students for up to three years after

you graduate

access to our Alumni Visitor Centre at the South Kensington Campus, with free Wifi,

complimentary drinks, newspapers and magazines, and daytime left luggage facility

Visit the Alumni website to find out more about your new community, including case studies of other

alumni and a directory of local alumni groups in countries across the world.

www.imperial.ac.uk/alumni

Opportunities for Further Study

After you have completed MSc Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology, you may

choose to complete a PhD. Many previous graduates have gone on to complete PhDs in the

UK, overseas and at ICL.