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The provision of degrees and awards

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B1. Degrees and Other Awards Granted by the University

PRINT: Ordinance B1 - Degrees and Other Awards (Feb 2014) pdf

 

The Degrees


1. The following degrees, listed in alphabetical order with their abbreviated titles, are those which may be granted by the University:

a. First Degrees

Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB,BS)
Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Master in Science (MSci)
Master of Engineering (MEng)

b. Postgraduate Taught Degrees

Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Master of Education (MEd)
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Master of Research (MRes)
Master of Science (MSc)

c. Specialist Doctorates

Doctor in Engineering (EngD)

d. Research Degrees

Doctor of Medicine (Research) (MD(Res))
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

e. Higher Doctorates

Doctor of Literature (DLit)
Doctor of Literature (Education) (DLit(Ed))
Doctor of Science (DSc)
Doctor of Science (Economics) (DSc(Econ))
Doctor of Science (Engineering) (DSc(Eng))
Doctor of Science (Medicine) (DSc(Med))

Diplomas and Certificates


2. The diplomas and certificates listed in the Academic Regulations may be granted by the University.

Citation and Designation of Awards


3. Citation of a degree shall be by the title or abbreviation given in Paragraph 1 above with, in parenthesis, the name of the University.

4. The titles of the first and postgraduate taught degrees listed in Paragraph 1 above may be augmented by the addition of the names of one or more disciplinary specialisms as provided in the relevant Academic Regulations under which the degree is awarded.

Additions to the List of Degree Titles


5. The Council may, on the recommendation of the Senate, approve additions to the list of degrees which the University may grant.

Criteria for Degrees


6. The following criteria are specified for University degrees:

a. First Degrees

(1) All First Degrees

(a) An academically coherent programme of study, followed over a period of time equivalent to three years full -time,1 or longer where appropriate to the degree and/or subject concerned, which is designed to ensure:

i. Academic progress in terms of depth of study;

ii. Ability to study at an advanced level, to assimilate, assess, interpret and apply information and to communicate effectively;

(b) The achievement of a satisfactory overall standard in a scheme of assessment which tests the Student's:

i. Command of an appropriate body of knowledge and skills;

ii. Familiarity and ability to deal with the methodologies appropriate to the discipline(s) concerned;

iii. Capacity for independent and critical thought.

(c) the achievement of learning outcomes appropriate to a qualification at the relevant level (Honours or Master's) of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

(2) Additional Criteria. Additional criteria are specified for some first degrees as follows:

(a) Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery;. These degrees shall be taught in accordance with curricula that meet the requirements of the General Medical Council. MBBS degree programmes shall involve not less than 56 months of full-time study, at least the final 33 months of which shall have been undertaken while registered at the University except in the case of the Accelerated Graduate Entry Programme for the MBBS degrees, when the overall length of the programme shall be not less than 45 months, of which the final 33 months must be spent at the University.

(b) Bachelor of Engineering. The programme of study shall give emphasis to preparation for professional practice. It shall provide the necessary understanding of the scientific basis of engineering and include a substantial engineering applications component as an integrated part of the course, together with some appreciation of the industrial and business environment (i.e. enhanced courses in Engineering Council terms).

(c) Master in Science.

i. The programme of study shall be followed over a period of time equivalent to four years full-time. It shall include a major project and provide a sound basis for a subsequent scientific or technically-based career or research.

ii. It shall provide for study of scientific disciplines in greater depth than BSc so as to demand a level of attainment which is comparable to that required for a taught Master's degree at a UK university. Not less than three academic years and two terms shall be full-time University-based study, of which up to one year may be spent studying at an approved academic institution abroad, and of which not less than one academic year of study shall be at Level 4 (Master's) of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

(d) Master of Engineering. The programme of study shall be followed over a period of time equivalent to four years full-time, of which not less than three academic years and two terms shall be full-time University-based study of which up to one year may be spent studying at an approved academic institution abroad and of which not less than one academic year of study shall be at Level 4 (Master's) of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It shall satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

i. Provide for study of a particular engineering discipline in greater depth than the Bachelor of Engineering;

ii. Provide for multi-disciplinary study of a range of engineering disciplines;

iii. Provide for study of a particular engineering discipline in depth and incorporate a significant proportion of industrial and business studies as an integral part of the curriculum; together with all the following criteria:

aa. Include the teaching of design through the use of project work and case studies, preferably in an industrial context;

bb. Include a major project;

cc. Demand a level of study and attainment which is equivalent to that required for a Postgraduate Taught Degree in this University.

b. Postgraduate Taught Degrees

(1) Certificate of Advanced Study [no longer awarded]. The Certificate of Advanced Study is intended for award on the satisfactory completion, including formal examinations, of a prescribed programme of full-time study on an advanced course beyond the Bachelor’s degree level over a period not less than three months full-time study or its part-time equivalent, or as prescribed by the Senate.

(2) Postgraduate Certificate. The Postgraduate Certificate is intended for award on the satisfactory completion, including formal examinations, of a prescribed programme of full-time study on an advanced course beyond the Bachelor’s degree level over a period not less than three months full-time study or its part-time equivalent, or as prescribed by the Senate.

(3) Postgraduate Diploma. The Postgraduate Diploma is intended for award on the satisfactory completion, including formal examinations, of a prescribed programme of full-time study on an advanced course beyond the Bachelor’s degree level over a period not less than six months full-time study or its part-time equivalent, or as prescribed by the Senate.

(4) All Postgraduate Taught Degrees

(a) A prescribed programme of study2 beyond the standard first degree level which assumes the general level of educational competence implicit in the award of a first degree and which extends over a period equivalent to a m inimum of one calendar year full-time.

(b) A satisfactory overall standard in a scheme of assessment appropriate to the Master's course concerned.

(c) Achievement of learning outcomes appropriate to a qualification at Master's level of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

(2) Additional Criteria. Additional criteria are specified for some postgraduate taught degrees as follows:

(a). Master of Science (MSc). The programme of study shall require an element of independent research and/or scholarship as evidenced by a substantial independent written report.

(b). Master of Business Administration (MBA)

i. A prescribed programme of study lasting betwee n one and two year s depending on delivery format. A minimum of two years post g raduate experien ce is required for entry.

ii. The programme involves theoretical and analytical perspectives on business and management combined with the ir applications in re al and ca se study situations.

(c) Master of Education (MEd)

i. A prescribed programme of study with students studying full-time over one calendar year or part-time over two or three academic years.

ii. The programme will be firmly founded in research and shall be within all or some of the areas of theory, pedagogy, learning, policy or organisation in relati on to a defined educational stage or area of professional practice.

iii. Assessment is by a combination of at least two of the following, with the last, the dissertation, being a compulsory element: continuous assessment coursework of any appropriate type (including oral presentations and assessed teaching sessions); summatively marked essays, reports or portfolios; written examinations (eg unseen open and pre-disclosed); dissertations.

(d) Master of Public Health (MPH). During the programme of study a student must work as a public health professional in an international, national or local government agency, in a non-governmental or charitable organisation concerned with public health, or in a community or public health environment, or in a university department concerned with community or public health.

(e) Master of Research (MRes). The programme of study shall:

i. Be a free-standing and formally examined prescribed course of full-time study beyond the bachelor's degree level of at least one calendar year or its equivalent in part-time study; and

ii. Provide a structured and progressive research training programme which is an adequate foundation for doctoral study or a research career in industry or the public sector; and include

iii. A grounding in research techniques relevant to the broad disciplinary area;

iv. A significant research component, which enables the student to demonstrate initiative and creativity and is assessed by means of a written report;

v. Elements designed to broaden students' experiences by equipping them with a range of transferable skills.

c. Specialist Doctorate.

(1) Doctor in Engineering. A programme of study and examination for the degree shall satisfy the following criteria:

(a) The aims and objectives of the programme shall be such that it will provide an education at an intellectual level equivalent to that required for the PhD;

(b) The programme of study shall extend over a period of at least three years' full-time study or the part time equivalent;

(c) The programme shall include a substantial research component which is of a nature appropriate to the discipline concerned on which the final examination contributing to the award of the degree will be based (see also Paragraphs (4) and (7) below);

(d) The results of the research shall be presented in the form of a thesis or portfolio which makes a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and affords evidence of originality shown by the discovery of new facts and/or the exercise of independent critical power. The minimum length of the thesis shall be not less than 25,000 words and be appropriate to the subject concerned, having regard to the other formally assessed elements for the degree;

(e) The programme shall include elements of a practical/ work-related/ professional nature and formally taught elements appropriate to support its academic objectives;

(f) The elements listed at Paragraph (5) above shall be assessed by methods and at an intellectual level and at a time appropriate to the programme. Such assessment shall involve at least one examiner external to the University;

(g) The final examination contributing to the award of the degree shall be designed to:

i. Test the thesis against the stated criteria (see Paragraph (4) above) and

ii. Test the candidate's conceptual understanding of the integration of all elements of the course and their related assessment;

(h) The final examination shall include an oral examination of each candidate conducted by at least two examiners, one of whom shall be external to the University.

d. Research Degrees

(1) Master of Philosophy

(a) The minimum period of study shall be two calendar years' full-time study or the part-time equivalent.

(b) Assessment for the award shall in all cases be by submission of a thesis and an oral examination, which shall be conducted in English. The scope of the thesis shall be what might reasonably be expected after two or at most three years of full-time study, and the length shall not, other than in the most exceptional circumstances, exceed 60,000 words.

(c) The thesis shall:

i. Consist of the candidate's own account of his or her investigations;3

ii. Be either a record of original work or an ordered and critical exposition of existing knowledge and shall provide evidence that the field has been surveyed thoroughly;

iii. Be an integrated whole and present a coherent argument;4

iv. Give a critical assessment of the relevant literature, describe the method of research and its findings and include a discussion on those findings; and

v. Be written in English and the literary presentation shall be satisfactory.

(2) Doctor of Philosophy

(a) The minimum period of study shall be two calendar years' full-time study or the part-time equivalent.

(b) Assessment for the award shall in all cases be by submission of a thesis and an oral examination, which shall be conducted in English. The scope of the thesis shall be what might reasonably be expected after three or at most four years of full-time study, and the length shall not, other than in the most exceptional circumstances, exceed 100,000 words.

(c) The thesis shall:

i. Consist of the candidate's own account of his or her investigations, the greater proportion of which shall have been undertaken during the period of registration under supervision for the degree;5 and

ii. Form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and afford evidence of originality by the discovery of new facts and/or by the exercise of independent critical power; and

iii. Be an integrated whole and present a coherent argument;6 and

iv. Give a critical assessment of the relevant literature, describe the method of research and its findings, include discussion on those findings and indicate in what respects they appear to the candidate to advance the study of the subject; and, in so doing, demonstrate a deep and synoptic understanding of the field of study (the candidate being able to place the thesis in a wider context), objectivity and the capacity for judgement in complex situations and autonomous work in that field; and

v. Be written in English and the literary presentation shall be satisfactory; and

vi. Demonstrate research skills relevant to the thesis being presented; and

vii. Be of a standard to merit publication in whole or in part or in a revised form (for example, as a monograph or as a number of articles in learned journals).

(3) MD (Res) Degree

(a) The minimum period of study shall be tw o calendar years' full-time study or the part-time equivalent.

(b) The emphasis of the programme of study will be on the development in the individual student of:

i. The ability to recognise and validate problems;

ii. Original, independent and critical thinking and the ability to develop theoretical concepts;

iii. A knowledge of recent advances within the field in related areas;

iv. An understanding of research methodologies and tec hniques and their appropriate application with the research field;

v. The ability to analyse critically and evaluate the research findings and those of others; and

vi. An ability to summarise, document, report and reflect on progress.

(c) Assessment for the award shall in all cases be by submission of a thesis and an oral examination, which shall be conducted in English. The scope of the thesis shall be what might reasonably be expected after three or at most four years of full-time study, and the length shall not, other th an in the m ost e xceptional circumstances, exceed 50,000 words.

(d) The thesis shall:

i. Consist of the candidate's own account of his or her investigations, the greater proportion of which shall have been undertaken during the period of registration under supervision for the degree;7 and

ii. Form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and afford evidence of originality by the discovery of new facts and/or by the exercise of independent critical power; and

iii. Be an integrated whole and present a coherent argument;8 and

iv. Give a critical assessment of the relevant literature, describe the method of research and its findings, include discussion on those findings and indicate in what respects they appear to the candidate to advance the study of the subject; and, in so doing, demonstrate a deep and synoptic understanding of the field of study (the candidate being able to place the thesis in a wider context), objectivity and the capacity for judgment in complex situations and autonomous work in that field; and

v. Be written in English and the literary presentation shall be satisfactory;

vi. Demonstrate research skills relevant to the thesis being presented; and

vii. Be of a standard to merit publication in whole or in part or in a revised form (for example, as a monograph or as a number of articles in learned journals).

e. Higher Doctorates. The degrees of Doctor of Literature (DLit), Doctor of Literature (Education) (DLit(Ed)), Doctor of Science (DSc), Doctor of Science (Economics) (DSc(Econ)), Doctor of Science (Engineering) (DSc(Eng)), Doctor of Science (Medicine) (DSc(Med)) shall only be conferred as Honorary Degrees.

Diplomas for Degrees and Other Awards


7. Except as provided in Paragraph 8 below, a diploma shall be issued under the Seal of the University to those who have been awarded a degree, diploma, or certificate.

8. In the case of a degree awarded jointly by the University and another institution, a diploma in the names of the University and the other institutions which have jointly awarded the degree shall be issued, the form of the diploma to be agreed by the University and the other institution or institutions and approved by the President.

Academic Dress


9. The Academic Dress of members of the University shall be defined by Regulation.

Approved by the Council 23 March 2007
Effective from 8 July 2007
Revisions Approved by the Council 3 May 2013
Effective from 1 October 2010
Revisions approved by the Council: 7 February 2014

Notes


  1. Includes the degrees of Intercalated Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Medical Science where a one-year course of study builds on a two-year course of basic medical sciences at the University or another university in the UK, EU or EFTA.
  2. This may include programmes of study which are 'conversion courses' where graduates in one discipline acquire knowledge and develop a set of skills in another discipline.
  3. The part played by the candidate in any work done jointly with the supervisor(s) and/or fellow research workers must be clearly stated by the candidate and certified by the supervisor.
  4. A series of papers, whether published or otherwise, is not acceptable for submission as a thesis. Research work already published, or submitted for publication, at the time of submission of the thesis, either by the candidate alone or jointly with others, may be included in the thesis. The published papers themselves may not be included in the body of the thesis, but may be adapted to form an integral part of the thesis and thereby make a relevant contribution to the main theme of the thesis. Publications derived from the work in the thesis may be bound as supplementary material at the back of the thesis.
  5. The part played by the candidate in any work done jointly with the supervisor(s) and/or fellow research workers must be clearly stated by the candidate and certified by the supervisor.
  6. A series of papers, whether published or otherwise, is not acceptable for submission as a thesis. Research work already published, or submitted for publication, at the time of submission of the thesis, either by the candidate alone or jointly with others, may be included in the thesis. The published papers themselves may not be included in the body of the thesis, but may be adapted to form an integral part of the thesis and thereby make a relevant contribution to the main theme of the thesis. Publications derived from the work in the thesis may be bound as supplementary material at the back of the thesis.
  7. The part played by the candidate in any work done jointly with the supervisor(s) and/or fellow research workers must be clearly stated by the candidate and certified by the supervisor.
  8. A series of papers, whether published or otherwise, is not acceptable for submission as a thesis. Research work already published, or submitted for publication, at the time of submission of the thesis, either by the candidate alone or jointly with others, may be included in the thesis. The published papers themselves may not be included in the body of the thesis, but may be adapted to form an integral part of the thesis and thereby make a relevant contribution to the main theme of the thesis. Publications derived from the work in the thesis may be bound as supplementary material at the back of the thesis.

B2. Procedures for the Conferment of Honorary Degrees and Honorary Awards

Ordinance B2 - Honorary Degrees (Nov 12) pdf

 

Honorary Awards


1. The Council may confer any degree of the College on any person honoris causa (hereinafter referred to as 'honorary degrees'). The Council may also award the Imperial College Medal to such persons or organisations who have, in the opinion of the Council, rendered exceptional service to the College.

2. Although Imperial College welcomes the support provided to the College by philanthropic donations, it does not and will not confer honorary degrees of Imperial College in return for such donations. For this reason, a person who has made a philanthropic donation to the College may only be considered for the award of an honorary degree if they satisfy the stringent criteria for these awards set out below.

Conferment of Degrees Honoris Causa


3. An honorary degree may be conferred on persons of conspicuous merit, who have achieved the highest national or international prominence in fields which are highly valued by the College.

4. An honorary degree shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be conferred in absentia.

5. An honorary degree shall not be conferred posthumously. However, where the Council has formally resolved to confer an honorary degree on a person, and the death of that person occurs before the conferment takes place, the honorary degree shall be deemed to have been conferred, the date of the conferment being deemed to be the day preceding the date of death.

6. An honorary degree conferred by the College shall be cited in the following form: Title of degree (Imperial College London) honoris causa, e.g. DSc (Imperial College London) honoris causa.

7. The Council shall prescribe the form of the diploma for those upon whom an honorary degree has been conferred and shall determine the procedures for inviting and considering nominations and the arrangements for conferring the degrees. It may also develop the criteria for the conferment of honorary degrees more fully, if it sees fit.

8. The Higher Doctorates that may be awarded are as follows:

Doctor of Literature (DLit)
Doctor of Literature (Education) (DLit(Ed))
Doctor of Science (DSc)
Doctor of Science (Economics) (DSc(Econ))
Doctor of Science (Engineering) (DSc(Eng))
Doctor of Science (Medicine) (DSc(Med))

Award of the Imperial College Medal


9. The Imperial College Medal may be awarded to such persons or organisations, whether members of the College or not, as may be deemed eligible by reason of their having rendered exceptional or outstanding service to Imperial College or having otherwise acted over a period of time to enhance its reputation, mission and/or objectives.

Revocation


10. The Council may revoke any degree, diploma, certificate or other award, qualification or distinction granted by the College and all privileges connected therewith, if it shall at any time be discovered and proved to the satisfaction of the Council that there was any irregularity in the events or circumstances leading to the grant of that degree, diploma, certificate, or other award, qualification or distinction and, in the case of degrees and other distinctions conferred honoris causa, for such reasons as shall satisfy the Council.

Approved by the Council 23 March 2007
Effective from 8 July 2007
Revised by the Council 23 November 2007
Revised by the Council 20 November 2009
Revised by the Council 26 November 2010
Revised by the Council 10 February 2012
Revised by the Council 23 November 2013

Notes
1. See Ordinance B1, Paragraph 1 for the list of degrees.