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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff–Student Consultative Committee (Undergraduate)

Annual summaries of action taken in response to student feedback, minutes, and summaries of meetings are available at the Physics Undergraduate section of DUO. Current students can access these documents at the link below.

Co-Chairs: Student: Ryan Harris (Level 3) Staff: Professor Cedric Lacey

The Physics Department has a Staff–Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) which operates under the University’s Principles of Student Engagement:

Students and staff work in partnership to co-create Durham’s distinctive educational environment. Through effective student engagement in partnership with Durham Students’ Union, the University shall continue to enhance its provision, ensure a collegial and respectful environment based on mutual responsibilities of staff and students, and develop our students’ skills and qualities.

The purpose of the SSCC is therefore to facilitate an effective dialogue between the student body and their respective departments/schools regarding the educational experience provided by Durham University. The SSCC is underpinned by the concept of co-responsibility; staff and student members have a shared obligation for ensue the effective running of the Committee.

The Committee meets once per term. It has student representatives from each year and if you have issues you wish to raise, you should contact your year representatives (see list below).

The SSCC also seeks feedback from all undergraduate students on all aspects of their Physics courses by way of module questionnaires towards the end of the academic year. The SSCC reports to the Board of Studies, the body directly responsible for running the Department, and plays an active role in promoting high-quality teaching in the Department. An important function of the SSCC is to elect the course representatives to the Board of Studies.

If you have concerns about teaching which are not covered by these meetings and questionnaires, contact can be made directly with one of the SSCC Co-Chairs, with the Learning and Teaching Manager or with the relevant Director of Studies.

Communication between the SSCC and the student body

Prior to each meeting, the student representatives (see list below) solicit feedback from the students in their year group, by email or other methods. This ensures that all students have opportunities to provide feedback on all elements of their courses. The student representatives collate the replies and report them at the meeting. The minutes of the SSCC meetings are made publicly available on the Physics Undergraduate section of DUO. These minutes include details of action taken in response to student feedback. In addition, a student member of the SSCC is elected to act as spokesperson for all undergraduate students taking physics modules, with responsibility for producing a short summary of the outcomes of each SSCC meeting. This summary is circulated to the student body by email before the following meeting of the Committee, thereby 'closing the loop' and helping to ensure both that students know that feedback on the course is listened to and valued and that it is clear to them how their comments have been acted upon. Additional SSCC documentation is also made available via duo (‘Physics Undergraduates’).