Frequently asked questions

What is I-Explore?

I-Explore modules will give you the chance to deepen your knowledge in a brand new subject area.

From academic year 2019/20, our undergraduate degrees will include one for-credit module from I-Explore’s wide selection.

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

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

 Depending on your Department, you will take an I-Explore module in either your second or third year of study.

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.

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

Yes, an I-Explore module in Year 2 or 3 is an integral part of your degree. Your Faculty will decide in 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 deepen your knowledge in a new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules built into your degree.

How and when do I select my modules?

You will select your I-Explore module using the College system for selecting modules.

You do not need to consider which I-Explore module you would like to select until the Summer Term of Year 1 or 2, dependent on which Department you are in and the structure of your degree programme. At that point the range of options will be made available to you.

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 (Horizons) and for-credit modules (Horizons and BPES) in a different academic year from that in which you’re taking your I-Explore module (see below – ‘Do I-Explore modules contribute credits?’).

What are the types of modules I can choose from?

You can choose any module in any of the 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 also opportunities to collaborate with the Enterprise Lab and the Advanced Hackspace and work on projects with real-world impact.

Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists (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 through face-to-face and online classes.

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

Like the Faculty of Natural Sciences’ annual ‘Make-A-Difference’ competition, these multidisciplinary projects have collaboration at their heart. You will work with staff and students from across the College on projects which provide the opportunity and space to explore an idea, solve a problem, create a prototype, or develop a product.

Do I-Explore modules contribute credits?

Yes, I-Explore modules contribute a varying amount of credits to your overall degree credits, depending on the type of module you select. More information will be provided when you are making your selection of I-Explore module in the Summer Term of Year 1 or 2.

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. This means both programmes have a longstanding tradition of offering students modules throughout their time at Imperial.

Horizons modules come in three forms:

  • A for-credit I-Explore module in Year 2 or Year 3
  • A for-credit or an extra credit module in a different academic year from your I-Explore year.
  • A non-credit module in Year 1

The College does not allow an overlap of for-credit and extra credit Horizons modules in the same academic year as your timetable will not allow it.

BPES modules come in two forms:

  • A for-credit I-Explore module in Year 2 or Year 3,
  • A for-credit elective module in a different academic year from your I-Explore year.

It will be clear at the time of you selecting your Year 2 or Year 3 modules whether a module is part of the I-Explore programme or not.

How will I-Explore complement my core subject?

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

I-Explore 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!

How will the modules be assessed?

Your I-Explore module may be assessed in a similar way as your core subject, however all modules will be slightly different. The College is continually researching and implementing assessment and feedback methods that reflect our graduates’ authentic experience in further academia or employment.

You do not need to consider which I-Explore module you would like to select until the Summer Term of Year 1 or 2, dependent on which Department you are in and the structure of your degree programme. At that point it will be clear how each module will be assessed.

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.

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.

Who should I approach if I have any problems with the modules?

If you have questions around I-Explore and what it means for you and your studies, we recommend that you contact your programme or department administrator.

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.