There is a strong emphasis on developing the learning skills required for studies at higher education level in the UK. The teaching of the three depth modules – Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry or Computer Studies – encourages students to evaluate and apply information, and to develop the problem-solving skills required at the undergraduate level. In Physics and Chemistry, students also develop skills in planning, executing, and analysing practical investigations.
The Physics component of the programme is divided into Core Physics, Further Physics 1 and Further Physics 2. The aim of these modules is to develop knowledge and understanding as well as an appreciation of the applications of physics and their importance to different fields of human activity. In Further Physics modules, there is also an emphasis on the development of skills in designing and executing experiments.
Core Mathematics is designed to ensure that all students have an appropriate level of mathematical knowledge and competence in order to progress on to undergraduate studies in a range of subjects. For engineering students it provides the foundation for further studies in terms two and three. It is based on A Level Core Mathematics modules, C1 and C2.
In the second and third terms, Further Maths builds on the themes covered in the Core Mathematics module as well as introducing topics in Mechanics. The syllabus is predominantly based on C3, C4, and M1 from the A level Maths syllabus.
Core Chemistry introduces students to the fundamentals of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry. Students start with atomic structure and the arrangement of electrons in an atom. They also learn how to calculate amounts of substances and how to write formulae and balance equations. The main types of chemical bonding and structures are also studied as well as an introduction to organic and inorganic chemistry.
In the second and third terms of the foundation programme in Engineering, students build on the knowledge already obtained and gain a deeper understanding of the topics studied. They study energetics, rates of reaction and equilibria, performing multi step calculations in each case. They also study more organic chemistry and gain an understanding of additional functional groups of aromatic molecules. Students also develop their skills in planning and carrying out practical investigations.
The computer science module covers a wide range of topics including programming, databases, networks and web development. The course is practically based with a strong emphasis on applying to learn to real-life situations in different fields. Students also have the opportunity to complete a project which allows for more in-depth study of a chosen topic and helps to develop research and analytical skills which are so important in order to succeed at a higher academic level.