Frequently asked questions

What is I-Explore?

I-Explore is a broad portfolio of for degree credit modules that will launch in Oct 2020 and will give you a chance to broaden your knowledge and tackle a subject area outside of your core discipline.

Undergraduate students who have started in academic year 2019/20 onwards, will choose a for-credit module from I-Explore’s wide selection. Depending on your department, you will take your I-Explore module in either your second or third year of study at Imperial.

To make it easier to follow your interests, we’ve divided the I-Explore portfolio into a series of categories:

  • Imperial Horizons modules
  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists (BPES) modules
  • STEMM modules
  • Multidisciplinary Project module

What is the purpose of the modules?

The College is committed to providing a broader and more inclusive education experience for all students. From academic year 2019/20 we will take a significant step forward in realising that ambition, with undergraduate students being offered a for-credit module from options outside of their core subject.

The College wants to help prepare you to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world by giving you educational experiences, skills, and knowledge which go beyond the traditional limits of a university curriculum. By taking part in challenging activities outside of your discipline, you will be able to apply your knowledge in a new context.

What are the types of modules I can choose from?

You can choose from modules in the following four categories:

Imperial Horizons modules

Imperial Horizons gives you access to a wide range of options, including modules focused on humanities, social sciences, languages, and culture, society and global challenges. There are opportunities to collaborate and work on projects with real-world impact.

Business for Professionals of Engineering and Science (BPES) modules

BPES modules, delivered by Imperial College Business School, give you the chance to gain a greater understanding of the financial, strategic and operational context of your core subject.

STEMM modules

These modules allow you to study areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) which are outside of your core curriculum. This will also include topical STEMM areas being pioneered by our researchers that are not currently offered within our undergraduate degrees.

Multidisciplinary project modules

Multidisciplinary Projects have collaboration at their heart. You will work in a team of students from other departments to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society. Together you will work on both developing and pitching your product or idea.

Is I-Explore a compulsory part of my degree, and can I opt-out if I have a good reason?

An I-Explore module in Year 2 or 3 is an integral part of your degree. Your Department will decide on which year you will take your chosen module.

There is no option to opt-out of taking an I-Explore module. The College considers it critical to your learning experience that you have the chance to broaden your knowledge and tackle a brand new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules built into your degree.

Am I taking my I-Explore module in my second or third year of study?

Current first-year students in the Physics, Maths and Life Sciences Departments, as well as first-year students on the MBBS and BMB Programmes will be taking their I-Explore module in their second year of study.

Current first-year students in the Chemistry Department and the Engineering departments will take their I-Explore module in their third year of study. 

How and when do I select my modules?

You will select your I-Explore module in the academic year before you take the module.

If you are currently a first-year student in/on the

  • Physics Department
  • Maths Department
  • Life Sciences Department
  • MBBS Programme
  • BMB Programme

you will select your module preferences between 4 – 17 June 2020 through the ‘My Imperial’ platform. To do this, please visit please visit: my.imperial.ac.uk and navigate to the ‘I-Explore’ tile.

You will be asked to indicate 6 I-Explore modules that you would be interested in taking (in order of preference). We will be using a Sequential Prediction Algorithm to allocate you a module.

To help you decide, we will send you a Module Guide when launching the module selection period. The guide will outline all the modules that are included in the I-Explore portfolio. 

*Please note that Horizons and BPES operate a different selection period for students taking Horizons and BPES modules outside of I-Explore.

Can I switch my I-Explore module?

It will not be possible to switch your allocated I-Explore module. Please browse the Module Guide and carefully consider the six module choices which you rank in order of preference. We will endeavour to match you with one of your high-ranked choices.

When do the I-Explore modules run?

The dates, times and teaching locations listed below are indicative. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic these may be subject to change. Please bear this in mind when choosing your preferred I-Explore module.

I-Explore modules for 2nd year students generally run 16:00-18:00 on a Monday.

On-campus BPES modules do not run during the Monday slot. We expect the following BPES modules to run:

In Autumn term:

  • Business Economics, Thursday or Friday, 12:00-14:00 (similar online course available)
  • Entrepreneurship, Tuesday, 12:00-14:00 (similar online course available)
  • Managing Innovation, Friday, 10.00-12.00

In Spring term:

  • Finance and Financial Management, Tuesday, 12:00-14:00 (similar online course available)
  • Project Management, Monday, 12:00-14:00 
  • Business Strategy, Friday, 14.00-16.00

If you are interested in taking an on-campus BPES module, we advise speaking to your Department's Undergraduate Office about your expected timetable during your I-Explore year.

Where do the modules take place?

The dates, times and teaching locations listed below are indicative. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic these may be subject to change. Please bear this in mind when choosing your preferred I-Explore module.

Most I-Explore modules will take place on our South Kensington campus.

Please note that the online BPES courses often involve group work, which might require you to meet up with your peers. The examinations for online BPES courses take place at our South Kensington campus.

 

Do I-Explore modules contribute credits?

Yes, I-Explore modules contribute 5 ECTS to your overall degree credit, and this has been designed into your degree. 

Can I take I-Explore modules in multiple academic years?

No, an I-Explore module is intended to be an exploratory learning experience that complements your core subject, rather than a replacement for it. As such, I-Explore modules are available to you in one specific year of your degree.

Some of the modules available within the I-Explore portfolio are also available in certain circumstances as extra credit modules (Horizons) and as for-credit modules (Horizons and BPES). See below – ‘Why have I heard about some students taking Horizons and BPES modules outside of their I-Explore year?'.

Why have I heard of some students taking Horizons and BPES modules outside of their I-Explore year?

Both the Horizons and BPES programmes existed before the launch of I-Explore and therefore have a longstanding tradition of offering modules to students throughout their time at Imperial. It is still possible to take Horizons and BPES modules outside of I-Explore, as outlined below.

Horizons modules come in three forms:

  • For-credit I-Explore modules in Year 2 or Year 3
  • For-credit or extra credit modules in a different academic year from your I-Explore year (only available to students on certain degree programmes)
  • Non-credit modules in Year 1

It is not possible to take for-credit and extra credit Horizons modules in the same academic year as these are taught in the same timetable slot.

BPES modules come in two forms:

  • For-credit I-Explore modules in Year 2 or Year 3,
  • For-credit elective modules as part of your degree (only available to students on certain degree programmes)

How will I-Explore complement my core subject?

I-Explore modules have been developed in areas that will encourage collaborative, imaginative and innovative ways of thinking, complementing your core subject by allowing you to apply your knowledge in a new context.

I-Explore modules will not reduce your contact time with your teachers or peers during your degree, nor does it limit what you will learn in your curriculum – in fact it does the opposite as you will be interacting and learning with students from across College and have the opportunity to be taught by academic staff from outside you home Department!

Are some I-Explore modules more work than others?

The ECTS value of a module represents the amount of work associated with that module. 

  • Language modules are 7.5 ECTS. While most I-Explore modules are 5 ECTS, this larger size is intended to enable students to progress from one language level to another (e.g. Language Level A2 to Language Level B1).
  • BPES modules are 6 ECTS.
  • All other I-Explore modules are 5 ECTS. 

You may also want to consider the amount of time that I-Explore modules are taught over (either 10 weeks or 20 weeks). 

You’ll find that BPES, Multidisciplinary Project and STEMM modules are taught over 10 weeks and that Horizons modules are taught over 20 weeks. 

However, a 5 ECTS module taught over 20 weeks will carry the same overall workload as 5 ECTS module taught over 10 weeks. It is the balance of class time and independent work that differs (20 week modules require less work at home).

What is the level of difficulty of the modules?

FHEQ levels are used to represent the difficulty of modules at Imperial (and Universities generally). The modules you take in your second year of a degree programme are typically level 5, and typically level 6 in your third year.  

As a general rule, our I-Explore modules are either FHEQ level 5 or 6.  We will be listing the FHEQ level of each I-Explore module in our Module Guide which will launch prior to your module selection period.

Language modules do not follow FHEQ levels, and instead map onto Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). In order of ascending difficulty, the CEFR Levels are A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2.

I-Explore language modules range from CEFR Level A2 – C1. A1 language modules (Level 1) are not available within the I-Explore Programme.

How will the modules be assessed?

All I-Explore modules will be assessed but the ways in which they are assessed will differ - you will find indicative details about how each module is assessed in our Module Guide (to be launched prior to your module selection period).

I-Explore modules are pass/fail and this means that while you will obtain a numerical mark, the numerical mark you obtain will not be included in the calculation of your final degree result. You will be awarded the full 5 ECTS credit provided you pass the I-Explore module.

What happens if I don't pass my I-Explore Module?

You are required to take and fully attempt all components of your chosen I-Explore module and you are expected to pass it.

However, if you do not pass this module, it will be eligible for compensation if you achieve a mark between 30.00 to 39.99 (inclusive). If the module cannot be compensated (there are limits on the amount of compensation which can be applied each year) or you receive a mark below 30.00, you will be required to resit the module*.

*For students on the MBBS only: you will still be able to progress with the approval of the Exam Board if you do not successfully pass the module.

Are there any restrictions on which I-Explore modules I can apply for?

We’ve worked hard to minimise the number of restrictions regarding the modules which you can pick.

Unfortunately, the following restrictions apply: 

  • Due to timetabling issues, School of Medicine students on the MBBS and BMB Programmes will not be able to take on-campus BPES modules. Most of the on-campus BPES modules have online equivalents and all online BPES modules are open to School of Medicine students.
  • Due to timetabling issues, Life Sciences students are restricted to lunchtime and online BPES modules.
  • Language modules offered within I-Explore start at Level 2. To be eligible for a Level 2 language module, you need to have achieved a GCSE (or equivalent) in the language. Eligibility criteria for the I-Explore language modules are noted on the Horizons webpages. Additionally, please note that language modules are not intended for native or near-native speakers.
  • If you are on a study abroad programme and need to increase your proficiency in a foreign language, you will find that your I-Explore module choice is restricted to your foreign language module (language classes are timetabled in the same slot as other I-Explore modules). 
  • If you are completing a “with management” degree, you will not be able to take a BPES module as your I-Explore module. This is due to the overlap of content with the core content of your degree. 

Is I-Explore open to all students?

I-Explore modules are built into most of our undergraduate degrees for students who have started in academic year 2019/20 onwards. 

Please note, students studying the following degrees will not be able to take I-Explore module:

  • Chemical Engineering students on the MEng Chemical with Nuclear Engineering programme.
  • Chemical Engineering students who are abroad in year 3 (but talk to your Director of Undergraduate Studies about selecting a similar module at your year abroad institution).
  • Earth Science Engineering students who are abroad in year 3 (but talk to your Director of Undergraduate Studies about selecting a similar module at your year abroad institution).
  • Computing students who are abroad in year 3 (but talk to your Director of Undergraduate Studies about selecting a similar module at your year abroad institution).
  • Chemistry students on MSci Chemistry with Language for Science.
  • Life Sciences students on BSc Biochemistry with Language for ScienceBSc Biological Sciences with Language for Science or BSc Biotechnology with Language for Science.

Who should I approach if I have any questions?

If you have questions around I-Explore and what it means for you and your studies, we recommend that you contact your Department's Undergraduate Office.

Once you are enrolled on an I-Explore module, we recommend you discuss any administrative, academic or personal concerns with the module leader or your personal tutor.

For more general queries, we have set up an I-Explore mailbox: iexplore@imperial.ac.uk