At the School of Natural and Computing Sciences, we are very much looking forward to you joining us in September. Following Scottish Government guidance, we expect our campus to be open. Safety is our primary concern and the University is working hard on variety of measures to safeguard your welfare.

Below you will find details of orientation, reading lists and other blended learning information for School of Natural and Computing Sciences students to help you start your student journey with us.

Undergraduate

Chemistry
Key Contacts in School

Sinatra Farquharson - "Chemistry - NCS"
chemistry@abdn.ac.uk

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your personal tutor. As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

  • In the meantime you should complete the University's Orientation programme.

    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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

    Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen. Other teaching activities, such as tutorials and practicals may take place either on campus or online. We plan for all students to have some in-person teaching time on campus each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow.

If you cannot be on campus you will be able to complete our courses online. This will include lecture material being delivered online and opportunities to interact with staff and other students both synchronously (in real time) and asynchronously.

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen, and may be presented in short sections, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals, may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

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. We will use alternative ways to assess your learning throughout the term. These may include lab reports, online exercises and activities, timed online assessments, and open-book or take-home exams.

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

We will aim to provide these subject to safety constraints or create online alternatives. Physical distancing requirements may mean that we need to review the timetabling of lab sessions and how specific experiments are run. This may include reducing the length of experiments to allow us to run enough repeat sessions to allow all on-campus students an opportunity in the labs. We will focus on core lab skills and work to ensure that they are covered over the course of both terms.

Online alternatives will include example experiments, online simulations were possible, and data analysis.
If your course includes a placement (e.g. MChem research project), we will follow University and national guidance and health and safety requirements.

Computing Science
Key Contacts in School

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

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your personal tutor. As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

  • In the meantime you should complete the University's Orientation programme.

    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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

    Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen. Other activities, such as tutorials and practicals may take place either on campus or online. We plan to offer all students optional on campus activities each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow.

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen, and may be presented in short sections, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals, will be offered primarily online, and we will endeavor to additionally offer these on-campus where necessary from a pedagogical point of view. Such activities may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

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
Key Contacts in School

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

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your personal tutor. As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

  • In the meantime you should complete the University's Orientation programme.

    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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

    Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen. Other teaching activities, such as tutorials and practicals may take place either on campus or online. We plan for all students to have some in-person teaching time on campus each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow.

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen, and may be presented in short sections, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals, may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

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.

Physics
Key Contacts in School

Anne Gall - "Physics -NCS"
physics@abdn.ac.uk

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your personal tutor. As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

  • In the meantime you should complete the University's Orientation programme.

    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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

    Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen. Other teaching activities, such as tutorials and practicals may take place either on campus or online. We plan for all students to have some in-person teaching time on campus each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow.

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen, and may be presented in short sections, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals, may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

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

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

Postgraduate Taught

Chemistry
Key Contacts in School

Sinatra Farquharson - "Chemistry - NCS"
chemistry@abdn.ac.uk

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your Programme Director.  As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

  • In the meantime you should complete the University's Orientation programme.

    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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

    Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen. Other teaching activities, such as tutorials and practicals may take place either on campus or online. We plan for all students to have some in-person teaching time on campus each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow.

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen, and may be presented in short sections, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals, may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

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.

Computing Science
Key Contacts in School

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

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your Programme Director.  As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

  • In the meantime you should complete the University's Orientation programme.

    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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

    Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen. Other activities, such as tutorials and practicals may take place either on campus or online. We plan to offer all students optional on campus activities each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow.

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen, and may be presented in short sections, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals, will be offered primarily online, and we will endeavor to additionally offer these on-campus where necessary from a pedagogical point of view. Such activities may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

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.

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
Key Contacts in School

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

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your Programme Director. As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

 

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

  • In the meantime you should complete the University's Orientation programme.

    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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

    Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen. Other teaching activities, such as tutorials and practicals may take place either on campus or online. We plan for all students to have some in-person teaching time on campus each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow.

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen, and may be presented in short sections, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals, may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

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.

Physics
Key Contacts in School

Anne Gall - "Physics -NCS"
physics@abdn.ac.uk

Orientation

We expect our campuses to be open in September, and we will work hard to keep everyone safe. There will be opportunities for you to meet or e-meet other students and key staff, such as your Programme Director.  As Scottish Government restrictions ease, more campus services and student activities will resume.

There will be activities for incoming students in Welcome Week: 21-25 September and in the early weeks of term.

  • In the meantime you should complete the University's Orientation programme.

    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. We have broken it down into 2 parts.  You should get started on Part 1 now by working through the interactive modules.

    Student Orientation - You could win £200 Amazon Vouchers

Blended Learning

Blended learning means that there is a mix of online and in-person teaching activity. In the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year, lectures will be delivered online through MyAberdeen. Other teaching activities, such as tutorials and practicals may take place either on campus or online. We plan for all students to have some in-person teaching time on campus each week, as Scottish Government guidelines allow.

All lectures will be available online in MyAberdeen, and may be presented in short sections, rather than in one block. You will also have opportunities to learn through other formats in My Aberdeen such as quizzes, discussion boards and group chat. In-person tutorials, seminars and practicals, may be in smaller groups than usual if physical distancing is required.

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.

Postgraduate Research

Orientation

As a PGR student you have the opportunity to attend a University wide orientation in addition to your School specific event.

Check back soon for information on your school induction programme.

Blended learning

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.