Welcome to Natural Sciences at Keele!
Here you can find up-to-date information about your Natural Sciences course at Keele and the pre-arrival process for new Natural Sciences students.
Welcome to Keele University. We are very much looking forward to seeing you here on campus. Of course, this year has some uncertainties because of the need to work in a Covid safe environment and that means some of our first sessions will be online rather than in person. Please rest reassured that a shift to ‘blended’ delivery, with lectures moved online, and in situ teaching focused on workshops and small group sessions does not mean a reduction in learning and teaching provision. If anything, a lot of work is going into this transition and we see it as a real opportunity to improve how we integrate students’ independent learning with contact time discussing and debating issues with lecturers.
I have outlined our Natural Sciences cohort Welcome Week sessions below and you will see that we first get to meet in person on Wednesday when we have a joint welcome session with students on the BA/MA Liberal Arts degrees and their programme director Dr Rob Stannard. You will share a core module in your first year, Science and Society, with the Liberal Arts students and this is co-taught by myself and Rob. You have also chosen one core discipline that accounts for half your learning – and you will have Welcome Week sessions from that core discipline too. These will typically be outlined to you in a welcome letter similar to this one from that subject.
The Natural Sciences degree programme offers core disciplines and modules from the five Schools (Chemical & Physical Sciences; Computing & Mathematics; Geography, Geology & the Environment; Life Sciences; Psychology) that form the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Keele. For administrative purposes, the Natural Sciences degree is hosted within the School of Geography, Geology & the Environment (where I am based).
I am Adam, your programme director, and I look forward to meeting you. You will also get to know Emma Harvey, senior administrator for the natural science degree programmes, and have a personal tutor who is there for you to get to know as a friendly face and to help you settle in. Keele University has a dedicated central ‘Welcome Web’ for new students which provides information on enrolment and your first few weeks.
All the best
Online components for Welcome Week can be accessed on the Keele Learning Environment (KLE) through the ‘Natural Sciences Noticeboard 2020-2021’, and on Microsoft Teams in the ‘L&T – GGE – Natural Sciences Degree Courses’ team. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or Emma. Office staff including Emma will be working remotely this semester but are contactable by email – either Emma Harvey directly or (in the event that you receive an out of office reply) the general school office email on email@example.com. I have posted the 2020-21 Natural Sciences degrees programmes handbook on the KLE ‘Natural Sciences Noticeboard 2020-2021’. Please do not worry about printing this as it is quite detailed and will have intermittent updates in due course. You do not have to read this in full but have a look through – and later use as a resource for detailed guidance for various aspects of your degree. Your degree programme is structured by modules of study. Each module on which you are registered will have a module handbook or guide that details how that module will be taught and assessed, including recommended reading. You do not need to buy any textbooks in advance of starting your degree – we have provision of textbooks both as physical copies and (normally) e-books via the Keele library.
Natural Sciences Welcome Week programme:
ONLINE pre-recorded: Monday 28th September (access as suits you during the day)
The first introductory Natural Sciences session will be made available for 9am on the Monday morning of Welcome Week. This consists of pre-recorded talks that are available for you to access at a time to suit you during the day – if you could, please watch these before you join the live volcano scenario session on Tuesday with all students from across the School of Geology, Geography and the Environment.
- Welcome to Natural Sciences at Keele University
- Teaching and learning in a Covid-19 world
ONLINE live: Tuesday 29th September 9am - 5pm
Tuesday has an all-day live online project that you will engage with alongside students on our geography, geology and environment degree programmes. This session is led by Dr Ian Stimpson, Senior Lecturer in Geoscience, and role plays a live scenario around a volcanic eruption and how teams from different disciplines come together in society’s response.
- 9am-5pm: School of GGE Induction Project, ‘Volcano!’ (on Microsoft Teams). Please note: you may have clashes here with sessions from your core discipline – there may be some (e.g. lab inductions) that you will need to attend. Please contact myself or Emma if you have a clash. There will be flexibility to drop out of the all-day volcano project.
IN-SITU: Wednesday 30th September 12 noon – 1pm
Our welcome session on Wednesday will be in the Dorothy Hodgkin Building (room DH0.08). This will be held jointly with the Liberal Arts programme because we will be studying together on a core module at each level of study – in your first year that is the Science and Society module. We will have an informal get-to-know-you and then have a topical discussion on an interdisciplinary issue. This is an opportunity to meet staff, as well as your fellow students and future friends.
- Dorothy Hodgkin Building (room DH0.08)
IN-SITU: Friday 2nd October 11am – 12 noon
We will meet in the car park outside the William Smith Building (home of the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment). This is an opportunity to see the building where the programme is administered from and meet further staff supporting your study. We will have some small group visits to the building and, if possible, a walk around some of the central science facilities.
*Accreditation is dependent on the degree route and modules taken