07 August 2009 Institute of Nanotechnology

Report Analyses Masters Modules in Interdisciplinary Nano Education

When developing a new course of study there is always a great deal of soul-searching about what should, or should not, be contained in the course. This is especially so in an area of technology that is truly multi-disciplinary and developing rapidly into new thematic areas such as Nanotechnology.

To inform the process, a document has now been produced by Kshitij Aditeya Singh, Coordinator of the Nanotechnology Masters Directory and Recognition Scheme, in conjunction with Steve Dunn from Cranfield that provides a snapshot as to what various institutions across Europe have elected to teach at post-graduate level under a large and exciting variety of Nanotechnology Masters qualifications. The document has been published online this week via the NanoMasters website: http://www.nano.org.uk/nanomasters/PDFs/M-LevelModulesAnalysis_May09.pdf .

It shows that there are teaching programmes devoted to the pursuit of convergence of physics, chemistry, material science at the nanoscale, courses that can develop an entrepreneur and courses that are focused on using Nanotechnology for the betterment of mankind through the development of medical or energy harvesting devices. In essence this document contains the key information of the modules which are seamlessly pieced together to generate a Nanotechnology Masters.

The study aims to provide educators preparing new educational programmes at the masters level (M-level), those engaged in continual improvement of programmes and professional bodies engaging in accreditation, with an overview of current practices and methods collectively applied by higher education establishment.

The understanding of the knowledge dissemination practice was developed through core knowledge being imparted, the learning outcome achieved and assessment methods. The objective of the study was to identify, the core knowledge that is being imparted to students within the current MSc courses.

The module content is drawn from knowledge of different disciplines; physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, management, philosophy, and social studies. This was achieved by segmenting the collection of modules and identifying discipline orientation for the scientific and technical knowledge content. Information was processed to relate the nature of the module in the program. The aim was also to identify the preferred assessment method of learning outcomes and the credits assigned to the modules.

Nanotechnology Masters Directory and Recognition Scheme

The Institute of Nanotechnology has developed the Nanotechnology Masters Directory and Recognition Scheme in collaboration with a consortium of course-providing academics and industry representatives. Many international institutions are now also participating in the scheme. Nanotechnology Masters Courses each vary in their emphasis and content, and the NanoMasters Course Website provides a means for prospective students to search for details of NanoMasters Courses of specific interest to them.

Aims of the recognition scheme are:

  • To encourage dialogue between academics and industry to ensure that courses equip students with the skills and knowledge required to fulfill industry needs.
  • To provide an international forum for the sharing of knowledge and best practice amongst course providers, and encouraging co-operation in terms of facilities, lectures and modules, as appropriate.
  • To enable an online comparison of multi-disciplinary content of courses
  • To allow a prospective student to choose the correct course based on their skills and future aspirations
  • To offer course providers the opportunity to reach out to talent internationally
  • To assist employers in understanding the acquired competences of course graduates, in relation to their business needs, and provide feedback
Visit http://www.nano.org.uk/nanomasters/index.htm


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