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Durham University

Department of Physics

Physics student charter

This Charter outlines the expectations that staff and students should have of themselves and of one another in relation to the Department's educational provision.

We will

  • Offer high quality, intellectually demanding, research-led programmes of study, informed by the latest findings in your discipline.
  • Provide an excellent learning environment, equipment and resources.
  • Encourage you to become an independent learner.
  • Help you to develop your problem-solving and communication skills and your powers of intellectual synthesis, versatility and innovative thinking that give you the capacity to pursue careers in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Provide prompt and useful feedback on coursework assignments, based on clear assessment criteria and published turnaround times.
  • Ensure that you have access to your lecturers, though either an open-door policy or regular office hours, so that you can speak with them if you have questions about the course content.
  • Try to respond to emailed questions within two working days.
  • Reflect regularly on our degree programmes to ensure that we provide you with the best education we can.
  • Provide opportunities for you to reflect on your own progress throughout your degree programme.
  • Ensure that appropriate academic support and guidance is available to you through your academic adviser, who will get to know you personally, and through other means.
  • Provide you with clear, accurate and useful information relating to your studies and signposts to relevant sources of information available elsewhere.
  • Seek your views on your programme, listen to the feedback which you give us, then make it clear to you what action we have taken in response to the overall comments received.
  • Foster a culture of welcome, equality of opportunity and respect for diversity, and refrain from bullying and harassing behaviour and from propagating negative stereotypes.

You will

  • Take responsibility for your own learning, engaging in independent study and developing your capacity as an independent learner.
  • Engage with the learning activities provided by the Department, by preparing for and attending timetabled classes, completing formative and summative coursework and fulfilling all other academic commitments of your programme.
  • Reflect critically on the feedback we provide on your academic work, to develop your ability to learn from past experience and apply these lessons to future activities.
  • Show self-respect, self-discipline and self-will to achieve your potential.
  • Manage your time to ensure an appropriate balance between your academic commitments and your extra-curricular activities.
  • Read your university email every weekday (at least) during term-time and respond appropriately and promptly when a response is needed.
  • Engage fully with the academic support and guidance that we offer you, including attending scheduled meetings with your academic adviser.
  • Tell your academic adviser (or another member of staff) promptly if you are having problems relating to your academic studies.
  • Seek help for personal problems in a timely way from your college Student Support staff or from the relevant specialist student support services.
  • Engage constructively with the consultative process when we ask you for feedback on your programme, whether through your student representatives or through questionnaires.
  • Show respect and tolerance for others and refrain from bullying and harassing behaviour and from propagating negative stereotypes.