Back to University

Last week my lectures began for the final (Masters) year of my degree. This year is going to be packed: I have four 15-credit modules (supposedly equal to 150 hours of study each) this semester, along with a Group Design Project (GDP) worth 45 credits that runs through to the end of the academic year. Next semester I have a further three 15-credit modules, so I’m going to be busy. The full list is:

  • Semester 1:
    • Advanced Computational Methods 1
    • Advanced Partial Differential Equations
    • Spacecraft Engineering Design
    • Spacecraft Structural Design
  • Semester 2:
    • Spacecraft Propulsion
    • Spacecraft Orbit Mechanics and Control
    • Hypersonic and High Temperature Gas Dynamics
  • Whole year: Lunar Hopper GDP

That’s some heavy stuff. It’s a good job I like these kinds of things….

This year is sometimes known as a ‘Masters’ year because it is the final year of an integrated masters programme; whereas someone might do a three-year BEng programme then a separate MSc, my degree programme takes me straight through to an MEng. The equivalent standing of an MEng to an MSc is supposedly debatable, but in theory the MEng programme combines the two into one four-year course.

Fortunately the timetable itself isn’t particularly heavy. This semester I have 12 lectures a week (with a handful of additional one-off lectures through the semester) along with a few hours of tutorials, a one-hour computing lab each week and weekly GDP meetings which are still settling down. This reduces to nine weekly hours of lectures and three 3-hour labs in the second semester. All told, this is going to be a busy year.


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