I am writing to you in my capacity as Programme Director for the MSc in Translational Neuroscience. We are looking forward to welcoming you at the start of the new academic year.  

I am contacting you with an update regarding the final plans for our MSc during the coming Academic year. At all times, the programme will be subject to the requirements of the current UK Public Health guidance and College Health and Safety measures. It may be necessary to be responsive if there is resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.  If this is the case, then we are well prepared to deliver our programme ensuring that all approved learning outcomes are met and assessed, and that all the course components are completed within the normal timeframe. 

The Autumn term, comprising core modules 1-4, will be delivered fully online. To access the content of the programme remotely you will need a computer with an installation of Microsoft Teams and a reliable internet connection. Your College IT account will provide you with free access to the Office365 suite of tools including Teams. Training and support for how to use online systems and software will be provided during the programme induction. Live interaction sessions will be scheduled towards the middle of the day to enable access for people in different time zones and course assessments during this time will be completed remotely. 

Specific details regarding  term  dates can be found on the  College  webpages. The programme will start in the first week of October 2020 and we have planned online inductions sessions in the introductory week for you to meet the people who are running the course, your fellow students on the programme, and your tutors. These induction sessions will also provide an opportunity for you to familiarise yourselves with the online platforms and tools we will be using in the year, and for all of us to set expectations around the programme and online/on-campus learning and teaching.  

 

Our plan

The elective modules (modules 5 and 6 for Stream 1 and modules 7 and 8 for Stream 2) occur during the Spring term of 2021. We currently plan to deliver these in-person within College campuses. However, be assured that we are fully prepared to continue uninterrupted with blended or online approaches if there is an escalation of the current outbreak or a new outbreak of COVID-19. 

Module 9 comprises the research project, which is scheduled to run for six months from March 2021. If there is a suspension of on-campus activity during this time due to an escalation of the current outbreak or a new outbreak of COVID-19, then projects will continue uninterrupted. In such circumstances computational projects will be completed remotely. Priority access to campus facilities will be given for lab-based projects where possible. If this is not possible, you will be offered alternative research tasks that extend the project and can be completed remotely. 

 Throughout the year, there will be opportunities to socialise and feel part of our MSc cohort. To this effect, we will organise several online group work sessions, some with our group tutors, as well as social events.  

The MSc team has prepared an exciting programme for you to investigate many fascinating aspects of translational neuroscience. There will be work that each of you will need to do outside of the virtual classroom and in your own time (asynchronous) to prepare for the live face-to-face (synchronous) interactive sessions with our academics. We have timetabled these activities to help you organise your work effectively. Importantly, this approach will provide you with opportunities to develop your knowledge and skills, individually and in teams.  

Your experience at Imperial goes beyond just your academic studies. With the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Imperial has been working with your Union to ensure that we are able to provide, enhance and facilitate all areas of your student experience under all eventualities.  We identified key pillars of the wider student experience:   academic experience; research culture and environment; amenities and accommodation; student community; wellbeing support; co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities.    Information on how we will deliver these, along with information on our Library Services, considering current social distancing restrictions, as well as a full lockdown, are set out on our website

As always, should you have any questions, please contact me or Dr Stefano Sandrone, our Senior Teaching Fellow, and we will be delighted to talk to you and clarify any points that might still lack clarity. 

Thank you for choosing Imperial as the institution to undertake your postgraduate studies. We are enthusiastic about you joining our outstanding student body, and look forward to welcoming you in the Autumn, online! 

 

Dr Adam Hampshire 

Programme Director 

MSc Translational Neuroscience