Natural and Computing Sciences

Natural and Computing Sciences

Postgraduate Taught

January 2023

Welcome Event

Information to be confirmed.

Chemistry
Key Contacts in School

Rowena Hardy
Email: ncspgt@abdn.ac.uk

Reading Lists

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyAberdeen. In the meantime, you can brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website.

Assessments

We will use a variety of ways to assess your learning throughout the term. These may include exams, essays, online exercises, and timed assessments online. This will vary from course to course, and there will be specific details in every course guide at the start of term.

Practicals and placements

Your course with involve lab work or other kinds of practical sessions. If your course includes a placement, we will follow national guidance and health and safety requirements from professional bodies.

Guidance of Laboratory Coats and Safety Glasses

Please note that all new Science Teaching Hub students should possess a clean, white, Howie laboratory coat to use in laboratory classes. This should be a ‘Howie’ style laboratory coat – elasticated cuffs, fastening all the way up to the neck with popper fastenings. Press stud fastenings are integral for Howie style coats to enable the coat to be removed quickly should contamination occur.  Older lab coats that are open at the collar or those with button fastenings are not suitable and should be avoided. Fabric · Polyester Cotton approximately [65%:35%]. Coats made from this fabric are light weight [195g/coat] and easily laundered.

If a practical has a special exemption where a laboratory coat is not required, students will be informed. However, you should always assume you need your lab coat for practicals and bring it with you. If you do not bring a laboratory coat, you will not be admitted to a laboratory class.

Students must also bring their own safety glasses.

You will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining your own laboratory coat and safety glasses throughout the term.

New students can pick up a lab coast and safety glasses pack on Tuesday 13 September from 10am to 5pm at the Science Teaching Hub. Alternatively, you can purchase a lab coat on campus from Bear Essentials in the Student Union Building. 

For Safety Glasses, there are many options available online. They should have side shields. The examples below all have a suitable safety rating (EN 166) and  If you wear spectacles, you should look for styles of safety glasses that will fit over them.

Computing Science
Academic Induction

MSc Cybersecurity

Date: Wednesday 14th September
Time: 1-2pm
Venue: MacRobert 815

MSc Artificial Intelligence

Date: Friday 16th September
Time: 10-11am
Venue: Fraser Noble 114

MSc Information Technology

Date: Wednesday 21st September
Time: 3-4pm
Venue: Fraser Noble 114

Key Contacts in School

Rowena Hardy
Email: ncspgt@abdn.ac.uk
 

Reading Lists

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyAberdeen. In the meantime, you can brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website.

Assessments

Most courses will not be assessed by formal exams on campus, unless you are taking a course for which a formal exam is required by a professional body. We will use alternative ways to assess your learning throughout the term. These may include essays, online exercises, and timed assessments online. This will vary from course to course, and there will be specific details in every course guide at the start of term.

Practicals and placements

If your course includes lab work or other kinds of practical sessions, we will aim to provide these subject to safety constraints or create online alternatives. If your course includes a placement, we will follow national guidance and health and safety requirements from professional bodies.

Minimum IT Specification Requirements

For Computing Science degrees at Undergraduate level plus the MSc Information Technology and MSc Artificial Intelligence programmes:

All Students MUST have:

  • A modern computer (not a phone or tablet) with stand-alone compute capacity and the ability to function when not connected to the internet (not a chromebook etc).
  • Students intending to study not fully online must have a functional laptop with a good battery that they can take to campus.
  • Enough main memory (RAM) on the computer (indicatively, a typical minimum of 8GB)
  • Enough free space on the hard drive (indicatively, a minimum of 40GB, for most activities, but more for some)
  • A fast and stable enough internet connection to enable them to participate in online assessments and activities at scheduled times
  • Built-in devices or peripherals to allow for interaction in meetings via sound and vision (camera, headphones).
  • A backup drive, or cloud storage.

All students SHOULD:

  • Arrange so that they will have uninterrupted access to their personal IT resources in the event of lockdowns
  • Be advised to have to have a safe and comfortable place, properly configured  with appropriate peripherals (e.g., large monitor, separate keyboard and mouse) to work for extended periods.

Students MAY use any operating system of their choice, with specific exclusions and caveats as below:

  • The operating system MUST interface adequately with the University’s information resources (webpages, myAberdeen, myTimetable, student portal, Office365, Microsoft teams, etc.)
  • Students without a Microsoft or Mac OS operating system (e.g. using Linux only) accept as their own responsibility any difficulties they may have in interacting with Microsoft Office products, e.g. through variations in supported fonts resulting in documents not displaying correctly.
  • Students on the courses CS3026 Operating Systems and CS4048 Robotics MUST have access to the Linux Ubuntu operating system.  A partition for dual-boot may have more acceptable performance than a virtual machine.

Students will be REQUIRED:

  • To administer their own computers:
  • This includes the requirement that they install and maintain the software required for courses or study on their machine.
  • Digital and Information Services (DIS) do not do this. Academics in the School will not be able to do this.
  • To install software on their machines as required for courses
  • To set-up accounts and use accounts on third-party services used in courses, for example, but not limited to, Codio, Google, Amazon.

For students studying the MSc Data Science programme, the requirements are as follows:

Minimum requirements:

  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra) or later
  • Linux (Ubuntu 16.04 or later or equivalent)
  • Chrome Books, iPADs, Surface Go, etc will not be sufficient
  • Intel i7 or equivalent
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • 512 GB HDD
  • >=13” screen
  • Headset or appropriate speaker/microphone (Jabra)
  • Internet access, download speed >5 MBits, upload >1 Mbit (Download of required software > 5GB, software is campus license)
  • External hard drive 

Ideal Specification:

  • Windows 10, Mac OS 10.13 (High Sierra) or later, Ubuntu 19.04 or later 
  • Chrome Books, iPADs, Surface Go, etc will not be sufficient
  • Intel i7 or equivalent
  • 32 GB of RAM
  • 1GB SSD as HDD
  • >=13” screen
  • Headset or appropriate speaker/microphone (Jabra)
  • Internet access, download speed >50 MBits, upload >10 MBits (Download of required software > 5GB, software is campus license)
  • NVIDIA GPU (for Windows Systems, not supported by OS X)
  • internet connection speed 8-10 MB/s download and 2 MB/s upload. 
Mathematics
Academic Induction

MSc FinTech

Date: 21st September
Time: 3-4pm
Venue: Meston G05a

Key Contacts in School

Rowena Hardy
Email: ncspgt@abdn.ac.uk

Reading Lists

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyAberdeen. In the meantime, you can brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website.

Assessments

Most courses will be assessed by both traditional exams and in course assessments. The in course assessment may include essays, homework or online tests. This will vary from course to course, and there will be specific details in every course guide at the start of term.

Physics
Key Contacts in School
Rowena Hardy
Email: ncspgt@abdn.ac.uk
Reading Lists

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyAberdeen. In the meantime, you can brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website.

Assessments

Most courses will not be assessed by formal exams on campus, unless you are taking a course for which a formal exam is required by a professional body. We will use alternative ways to assess your learning throughout the term. These may include essays, online exercises, and timed assessments online. This will vary from course to course, and there will be specific details in every course guide at the start of term.

Practicals and placements

If your course includes lab work or other kinds of practical sessions, we will aim to provide these subject to safety constraints or create online alternatives. If your course includes a placement, we will follow national guidance and health and safety requirements from professional bodies.

Undergraduate

September 2022

Welcome Event

New students taking a degree in Chemistry, Computing Science, Maths and Physics are warmly invited to our welcome event. 

Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2022
Time:1pm–2pm
Venue: Meston 1

This will be followed by a pizza lunch and an opportunity to meet other students and staff.

Please note: Individual Inductions dates for Chemistry, Computing Science, Mathematics and Physics can be found under each discipline.

Chemistry
Induction

1st Year and Direct Entry 2nd Year Induction

Date: Thursday 15 September
Time: 12pm
Venue: Meston 2 (GF)

3rd Year Information Session

Date: Thursday 15 September
Time: 11am
Venue: Meston 2 (GF)

5th Year Information Session

Date: Tuesday 20 September
Time: 10am
Venue: Meston MTG22
Getting Prepared

Chapter 1 of the main textbook Chemsitry3 is available as a PDF.

This chapter aims to review the topics you should have covered in your final year at school or college of Advanced Highers or A levels. Please make some time to look over the content. Don’t worry – we will provide a summary of these topics in your first year!

At university you will have a lot more independence and responsibility for your own study. You will be responsible for filling the gaps in your timetable with self-study, reviewing class notes or listening to recorded lectures, doing practice worksheets or textbook problems, and writing lab reports and doing continuous assessments.

Over summer try to get into a good daily routine, including organising daily tasks such as cooking, shopping, or laundry, around any summer job, social time, or study. Or at least think about how good you are at time management, and consider ways you can make it work for you.

If you struggle to focus on tasks (and let’s be honest, there’s lots of distractions around!) you might want to consider a productivity hack such as pomodoro technique. A guide to this is on our really useful Uni Toolkit.

Get into the habit of reading – including thinking about what you agree or disagree with, and what you don’t understand. It’s ok not to understand something at first – that’s what learning is all about!

You could consider science pages of well know broadcasters and newspapers, general science magazines such as New Scientist, or Chemistry World which is published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This will help with your study routine and also help to develop your writing and explaining skills.

Maths – yes, we will use some numbers and equations! Students mainly struggle to apply the maths they know to a chemistry context. Look over the Chem3 chapter PDF available here, and think about the example calculations for a refresher.

Getting support. If you have any accommodations or provisions in place at school or college to help you with your studies, then you will need to let the University know. If you have a disability, ongoing health condition, or specific learning difference this information will not automatically follow you from school, so we need to be informed so we can best support you.

Reading Lists

The list of recommended textbooks for 1st year chemists is available at Blackwells. Other deals and second-hand copies are often available, so don’t feel that you need to buy all the books before you arrive.

Key Contacts in School

Sinatra Farquharson
chemistry@abdn.ac.uk

Assessments

You will be assessed in a variety of different ways; online multiple choice and typed answer tests, written lab reports, class exams. Continuous assessments may be individual or group work submissions. We use a range of assessment methods to allow everyone to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways.

Practicals and placements

All of our labs will take place in the University’s new Science Teaching Hub.

The lab manual will be available online in advance. You will normally have to complete an online pre-lab test before coming to the lab to ensure that you are prepared and understand the experiment and health and safety issues. Some courses have online post-lab tests, and others have online submission of written lab reports. You will be given more information in class before your first lab session.

Guidance of Laboratory Coats and Safety Glasses

Please note that all new Science Teaching Hub students should possess a clean, white, Howie laboratory coat to use in laboratory classes. This should be a ‘Howie’ style laboratory coat – elasticated cuffs, fastening all the way up to the neck with popper fastenings. Press stud fastenings are integral for Howie style coats to enable the coat to be removed quickly should contamination occur.  Older lab coats that are open at the collar or those with button fastenings are not suitable and should be avoided. Fabric · Polyester Cotton approximately [65%:35%]. Coats made from this fabric are light weight [195g/coat] and easily laundered.

If a practical has a special exemption where a laboratory coat is not required, students will be informed. However, you should always assume you need your lab coat for practicals and bring it with you. If you do not bring a laboratory coat, you will not be admitted to a laboratory class.

Students must also bring their own safety glasses.

You will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining your own laboratory coat and safety glasses throughout the term.

New students can pick up a lab coast and safety glasses pack on Tuesday 13 September from 10am to 5pm at the Science Teaching Hub. Alternatively, you can purchase a lab coat on campus from Bear Essentials in the Student Union Building. 

For Safety Glasses, there are many options available online. They should have side shields. The examples below all have a suitable safety rating (EN 166) and  If you wear spectacles, you should look for styles of safety glasses that will fit over them.

Computing Science
Induction

1st Year Induction

Date: Friday 16 September
Time: 1pm
Venue: Meston 1

2nd Year Information Session

Date: Friday 16 September
Time: 2pm
Venue: Meston 1

3rd Year Information Session

Date: Thursday 15 September
Time: 1pm
Venue: Meston 2

4th Year and 5th Year Information Session

Date: Thursday 15 September
Time: 2pm
Venue: Meston 1

Key Contacts in School

Shirley Mackie - "Computing Science -NCS"
computingscience@abdn.ac.uk

Reading Lists

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyAberdeen later in the summer. In the meantime, you can brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website.

Assessments

Most courses will not be assessed by formal exams on campus, unless you are taking a course for which a formal exam is required by a professional body. We will use alternative ways to assess your learning throughout the term. These may include essays, online exercises, and timed assessments online. This will vary from course to course, and there will be specific details in every course guide at the start of term.

Practicals and placements

If your course includes lab work or other kinds of practical sessions, we will aim to provide these, subject to safety constraints or create online alternatives. If your course includes a placement, we will follow national guidance and health and safety requirements from professional bodies.

Minimum IT Specification Requirements

For Computing Science degrees at Undergraduate level plus the MSc Information Technology and MSc Artificial Intelligence programmes:

All Students MUST have:

  • A modern computer (not a phone or tablet) with stand-alone compute capacity and the ability to function when not connected to the internet (not a chromebook etc).
  • Students intending to study not fully online must have a functional laptop with a good battery that they can take to campus.
  • Enough main memory (RAM) on the computer (indicatively, a typical minimum of 8GB)
  • Enough free space on the hard drive (indicatively, a minimum of 40GB, for most activities, but more for some)
  • A fast and stable enough internet connection to enable them to participate in online assessments and activities at scheduled times
  • Built-in devices or peripherals to allow for interaction in meetings via sound and vision (camera, headphones).
  • A backup drive, or cloud storage.

All students SHOULD:

  • Arrange so that they will have uninterrupted access to their personal IT resources in the event of lockdowns
  • Be advised to have to have a safe and comfortable place, properly configured  with appropriate peripherals (e.g., large monitor, separate keyboard and mouse) to work for extended periods.

Students MAY use any operating system of their choice, with specific exclusions and caveats as below:

  • The operating system MUST interface adequately with the University’s information resources (webpages, myAberdeen, myTimetable, student portal, Office365, Microsoft teams, etc.)
  • Students without a Microsoft or Mac OS operating system (e.g. using Linux only) accept as their own responsibility any difficulties they may have in interacting with Microsoft Office products, e.g. through variations in supported fonts resulting in documents not displaying correctly.
  • Students on the courses CS3026 Operating Systems and CS4048 Robotics MUST have access to the Linux Ubuntu operating system.  A partition for dual-boot may have more acceptable performance than a virtual machine.

Students will be REQUIRED:

  • To administer their own computers:
  • This includes the requirement that they install and maintain the software required for courses or study on their machine.
  • Digital and Information Services (DIS) do not do this. Academics in the School will not be able to do this.
  • To install software on their machines as required for courses
  • To set-up accounts and use accounts on third-party services used in courses, for example, but not limited to, Codio, Google, Amazon.

For students studying the MSc Data Science programme, the requirements are as follows:

Minimum requirements:

  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra) or later
  • Linux (Ubuntu 16.04 or later or equivalent)
  • Chrome Books, iPADs, Surface Go, etc will not be sufficient
  • Intel i7 or equivalent
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • 512 GB HDD
  • >=13” screen
  • Headset or appropriate speaker/microphone (Jabra)
  • Internet access, download speed >5 MBits, upload >1 Mbit (Download of required software > 5GB, software is campus license)
  • External hard drive 

Ideal Specification:

  • Windows 10, Mac OS 10.13 (High Sierra) or later, Ubuntu 19.04 or later 
  • Chrome Books, iPADs, Surface Go, etc will not be sufficient
  • Intel i7 or equivalent
  • 32 GB of RAM
  • 1GB SSD as HDD
  • >=13” screen
  • Headset or appropriate speaker/microphone (Jabra)
  • Internet access, download speed >50 MBits, upload >10 MBits (Download of required software > 5GB, software is campus license)
  • NVIDIA GPU (for Windows Systems, not supported by OS X)
  • internet connection speed 8-10 MB/s download and 2 MB/s upload. 
Mathematics
Induction

1st Year and Direct Entry 2nd Year Induction

Date: Friday 16 September
Time: 10am
Venue: Meston 1

3rd Year Information Session

Date: Friday 16 September
Time: 2pm
Venue: Meston 2

4th Year Information Session

Date: Friday 16 September
Time: 3pm
Venue: Meston 2

Key Contacts in School

Sinatra Farquharson – "Maths -NCS"
maths@abdn.ac.uk

Reading Lists

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyAberdeen later in the summer. In the meantime, you can brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website.

Assessments

Most courses will be assessed through Continuous Assessment and a final Exam worth 50%. Continuous Assessment may include essays, projects, online exercises, and timed assessments online. This will vary from course to course, and there will be specific details in every course guide at the start of term.

Physics
Induction

1st Year and Direct Entry 2nd Year Induction

Date: Friday 16 September
Time: 12pm
Venue: Meston 3

2nd Year Information Session

Date: Friday 16 September
Time: pm
Venue: Meston 3

3rd Year and 4th Year Information Session

Date: Friday 16 September
Time: 10am
Venue: Microsoft Teams only

Key Contacts in School

Shirley Mackie - "Physics -NCS"
physics@abdn.ac.uk

Reading Lists

Reading lists for individual courses will be available through MyAberdeen later in the summer. In the meantime, you can brush up your study skills and learn more about the University at our award-winning Toolkit website.

Assessments

Most courses will not be assessed by formal exams on campus, unless you are taking a course for which a formal exam is required by a professional body. We will use alternative ways to assess your learning throughout the term. These may include essays, online exercises, and timed assessments online. This will vary from course to course, and there will be specific details in every course guide at the start of term.

Practicals and placements

If your course includes lab work, we will aim to provide these, subject to safety constraints or create online alternatives.

Postgraduate Research

As well as being a Postgraduate Research Student in the School of Natural and Computing Sciences you are also part of a wider PGR community through the Postgraduate Research School.

Orientation

We are looking forward to welcoming you to campus to start your research journey with us. As a Postgraduate Research student you will have the opportunity to attend a University wide induction in addition to your school induction.

The University of Aberdeen Orientation programme has been designed to take you through all of the essential information you will need for your student life. You can get started now by working through the interactive modules.

There are a series of modules that you can work through before you arrive. Once you have registered you can access the remaining modules and complete your mandatory training programme through your bespoke PGR training platform on our virtual learning environment.

There will be a school welcome event for Postgraduate Research students. This will provide an opportunity to meet Postgraduate coordinators and PhD supervisors. There will also be time to answer any questions you may have. Further details regarding the welcome event will follow in due course.

Audit Master‘s Courses

As a PGR student you may have the opportunity to audit Master‘s courses to augment your research training. Please discuss this with your supervisor and check out the postgraduate taught pages above.

The PGR School also offers a comprehensive training programme to support your research journey.

Timelines and Milestones

The PGR School training and development programme offers academic, professional, and personal development through a number of training workshops, resources and opportunities, all intended to support the PGR community at the University of Aberdeen.

Find out more here.