Expectations of ECS Students

The following framework is intended to provide guidance for students and staff involved in ECS courses. It addresses the School's expectations of its students and courses from 100-level to 400-level. The framework should lead to greater consistency across the School's courses. Not all courses are identical and the framework must be taken as a guideline.

100-Level: Fundamental Knowledge

During their first year students are expected to acquire a collection of basic knowledge and demonstrate sufficient comprehension of that knowledge to restate it in their own words and apply it to well defined, simpler problems.

Students should expect courses to be quite directive. Assigned work will be prescriptive, making it clear what students are and are not expected to do. Assessment will be presented at a level of detail that gives students sufficient information to decide where their time and energy are best placed. The majority of assessment will reward the acquisition of basic knowledge and the development of fundamental skills.

Students successfully completing Part 1 will have an excellent foundation for further study in their chosen engineering discipline.

200-Level: Competence

Students are expected to develop the ability to apply their knowledge and skills to the analysis and design of basic problems. They will develop the skills to explain their analysis and design to their peers and to staff.

Courses will feature an increased emphasis on the design and analysis of small artefacts. Advice such as lists of additional reading, and particular techniques that may be useful will be provided. Staff will be available to give advice on how some work might be completed, although this may not be specified as part of the assignment. Students will have greater freedom to choose which parts of projects to emphasise.

Practical work will generally assess the student's ability to follow a design process, to analyse a system or solution, and the quality of the design decisions made. Students can expect to be asked to describe their analysis and design decisions as part of course assessment. Tests and exams can be expected to focus on lecture material and required reading.

At the conclusion of the second year, students will be competent in the core techniques, methods, notations, and design processes in their chosen engineering discipline.

300-Level: Practice

Students are expected to learn how to synthesise the knowledge and skills acquired in different courses to analyse and design more complicated artefacts. The requirements for professional reports and presentations will be developed. Students will be expected to perform in a professional setting. Several courses will involve team work.

Courses will expect students to take an increased level of responsibility for their work, including seeking out of appropriate research material to support their learning. Work will often focus on the analysis and design of systems. Students should expect staff associated with courses or projects to set clear goals and to assist with methodology without directly specifying how work should be completed.

Assessment of practical work will focus on the achievement of goals and the application of methodologies appropriate to the course and the problem. Exams and tests may draw on recommended reading as well as required material.

At the conclusion of the third year, students will be able to undertake a design, development and evaluation project from start to finish, following best engineering practice, both individually and in teams.

400-Level: Professionalism and Research

While continuing to learn new material students are expected to demonstrate a significant ability to analyse a complex problem; design and evaluate a solution; implement that solution and communicate the solution in a professional manner.

Students are expected to work independently of staff guidance on the design of complex systems. Staff supervisors act as consultants at arms length from the day to day work on the project.

In courses, students are expected to read and research in line with general directions given by the course lecturer. Students should expect to lead course discussions on occasion.

Assessment will be broadly specified.

At the conclusion of the fourth year, students will be fully prepared to begin professional practice as a graduate engineer, and to proceed to further study (Masters and PhD) in engineering or computer science.