Frequently asked questions

What is I-Explore?

I-Explore is a broad portfolio of for degree credit modules that launched in Oct 2020, providing an opportunity for you 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?

Students in the Physics, Maths and Life Sciences Departments, as well as students on the MBBS and BMB Programmes, take an I-Explore module in their second year of study.

Students in the Chemistry Department and in Engineering departments take an I-Explore module in their third year of study. 

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

Please note that you cannot select more than four BPES modules within your six I-Explore preference choices, and that languages modules can only be selected as a first or second choice preference. This is to help achieve optimal satisfaction for the greatest number of students, when we run our module allocation algorithm.

We’ve worked hard to minimise the number of restrictions regarding the modules which you can pick. However, the following do restrictions apply:

I-Explore module restrictions
DepartmentRestrictions
 Aeronautics

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).

For timetabling reasons, the BPES offer for Aeronautics students is restricted to online asynchronous BPES modules, Business Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Finance and Financial Management.

 Bioengineering

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).

 Chemical Engineering I-Explore is not offered for students on the MEng Chemical with Nuclear Engineering programme.
 
Students who are abroad in their 3rd year will pick an I-Explore type module at their 3rd year institution.
 Chemistry

I-Explore is not offered to students on "language for science" programmes.

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. If you are planning to switch onto the "with management" degree, please do not take an I-Explore BPES module (as you will no longer be eligible to enrol onto the with management degree).

 Civil Engineering

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).

 Computing

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).

 Design Engineering

The "Designing Interventions for Behavioural Change" STEMM module is not offered to Design Engineering students via I-Explore. This is because you can take this module as an elective in your 3rd or 4th year.

 EEE

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. If you are planning to switch onto the "with management" degree, please do not take an I-Explore BPES module (as you will no longer be eligible to enrol onto the with management degree).

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).

 ESE

Students who are abroad in their 3rd year will pick an I-Explore type module at their 3rd year institution.

 Life Sciences

I-Explore is not offered to students on "language for science" programmes.

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. If you are planning to switch onto the "with management" degree, please do not take an I-Explore BPES module (as you will no longer be eligible to enrol onto the with management degree).

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).

 Materials

Materials students are restricted from choosing the "Managerial Economics Online" and "Business Economics" BPES modules. This is because you'll take "Managerial Economics Online" as a core module in your degree.

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. If you are planning to switch onto the "with management" degree, please do not take an I-Explore BPES module (as you will no longer be eligible to enrol onto the with management degree).

 Mathematics

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 that is level 3 or above. (language classes are timetabled in the same slot as other I-Explore modules).

 MBBS

If you are planning to complete an intercalated BSc in Management, you should not take a BPES module as your I-Explore module. This is due to the overlap of content with the core content of your degree. If you take an I-Explore BPES module, you will not be eligible to enrol onto the Management BSc.

 Medical Biosciences (BMB)

For timetabling reasons, School of Medicine students will not be able to take synchronous BPES modules. Most of the synchronous BPES modules have online asynchronous equivalents and all online asynchronous BPES modules are open to School of Medicine students.

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. If you are planning to switch onto the "with management" degree, please do not take an I-Explore BPES module (as you will no longer be eligible to enrol onto the with management degree).

 Mechanical Engineering

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).

 Physics

 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).

 

 
Summary of the table's contents

Please note that 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.

Are I-Explore modules first-come-first-serve?

We do not use a first-come-first-serve system for I-Explore.

As we allocate using a happiness optimizing algorithm for I-Explore,  you can submit or change your 6 preferences any time during the module selection period. All preferences submitted during the module selection period will be treated equally.

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

or you are currently a second-year student in:

  • the Chemistry Department
  • an Engineering Department

you will select your module preferences between 11 May – 8 June 2022 through the ‘My Imperial’ platform. To do this, please use our module selection platform.

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.

*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?

When allocations are released in August, there will be a link to a module switch request form. This form must be completed by the 7th September 2022. The form allows you to pick from modules which still had some capacity following the initial allocation. Module switches are then completed on a first-come-first-serve basis, with successful switches confirmed on 15 September 2022.

After the 15th September, module switching is not permitted except in very limited cases, please see the IMIG module switching principles.

When do the I-Explore modules run?

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

Face-to-face I-Explore modules for 3rd year students run 16:00-18:00 on a Thursday.

Where do the modules take place?

Most Face-to-Face I-Explore modules will take place on our South Kensington campus. However, some modules can take place on our other campuses or other locations (such as local schools). The module selection platform will provide an indication of where we expect the module to take place.

Please note that the online asynchronous courses often involve group work, which might require you to meet up with your peers.  

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. The numerical mark you receive will be recorded on your Academic Transcript.

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.

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