Undergraduate Teaching

Part IB briefing notes - Lent term supplement

Part IB briefing notes - Lent term supplement

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Table of contents

This section contains updates for the Lent term and should be read in conjunction with the briefing notes issued in the Michaelmas term.  Please make sure you read them as they contain information relevant to the Easter term as well as Lent.

Link back to main IB briefing notes.

Dyson Centre for Engineering Design

The Dyson Centre for Engineering Design will open for business on Thursday 14 January, with a party and a day of challenges. Between 10am and 5pm there will be refreshments, including freshly made popcorn, and short construction projects to start getting undergraduates familiar with the Centre and what they can do there. There will be two maker competitions: students can work individually or in teams to build automatic musical instruments (in 40 minutes), or to build a cardboard bridge. See the Dyson Centre website for more information about this event and the Centre itself:


For more information email the Outreach Officer.


Library internal opening event

As you will know, there has been considerable construction work over the last six months to refurbish the library, which is now linked by a new bridge to the Dyson Creativity centre.  The library is now ready for use: staff and students are invited to explore the new facilities at the internal opening event on Thursday 14 January, when the Dyson Centre is also opening for business.

The key changes are that the library has been split into two main areas, a silent study area and a more collaborative area. The collaborative area is linked via the new bridge to the Dyson Centre.

Part II engineering options

In Easter term, all second year students will be required to indicate their third year course preference (eg IIA, MET IIA, ECP, NUS) and to make a provisional choice of Part IIA modules by the end of Easter Full Term (Friday 16 June 2017), which can be changed at the start of Michaelmas 2017 and Lent 2018.  Note: Students planning to take MET or go on an exchange also need to choose a set of IIA modules as their 'back-up' option.

Full details can be found in the Part IIA Options document.

A timetable of talks about Part II options is available on-line.

Manufacturing Engineering Tripos

Following on from the MET options talk there will be a 'Meet the METs' lunch on Thursday 9 February 2017 in LR4, 1.00-2.00pm.  The current MET students will be your hosts and will be around to answer any questions you may have regarding MET.

Advance notification:  The MET group will be holding an open afternoon on Wednesday 10 May 1.00-3.00pm, at the Institute for Manufacturing to explain the course to interested students (and staff).  Refreshments will be served and MET staff and current students will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Students who are interested in taking the Manufacturing Engineering Tripos for their third and fourth years should visit the MET website, download and complete the application form and email it to the MET Office by Friday 2 June 2017. Interviews for MET will take place during the week commencing 12 June 2017 (after the IB examinations).

CUED exchanges with ECP and NUS 2017/18

Applications are invited to these two exchange schemes.  Note that a minimum standard of French will be required for participation in the ECP exchange.

For all exchanges students will need to submit a completed application form, a reference form and a 1-2 page Curriculum Vitae to their College Referee (DoS) by 9am on 25th January.  The referee must then complete the reference form and submit all documents to the Senior Tutor for counter signature by Wednesday 1st February who should then forward the application to the Language Centre Administrator here in CUED by Wednesday 8th February 2017.

Further information on the exchange programme can be found at: http://teaching.eng.cam.ac.uk/content/part-iia-student-exchange-overview

Signing up long labs undertaken at the end of Michaelmas or Lent terms

Unmarked work carried over from the end of Michaelmas or Lent terms should be signed up as follows:

E4 (wave transmission) and experiment I1 (spectrum analysis) should be booked on the online booking system.

Language teaching

The Lent term timetable for language classes can be found on-line on the language unit website.

If you wish to offer the language option as one of your electives within Paper 8 of Part IB, you should inform the Language Programme Director, Mr Tual and Lisa Morrow as well as your Director of Studies, no later than Monday 29 February.  No applications to offer the language option will be accepted after this date.

Part IB Paper 8: selected topics

The topics

Section A covers material presented in the Lent term course “introductory business economics”.

In addition, there are 7 further sections, B-H, covering the variety of specialist topics taught in the Easter term (which are designed to give you a flavour of the engineering areas you can choose from in Part II):

B: Civil and structural engineering: Design and construction of underground space

C: Mechanical engineering: Mechanical engineering for renewable energy systems

D: Aerothermal engineering: Design of a jet engine

E: Electrical engineering: Micro and nano-electronic devices

F: Information engineering: Photo editing and image searching

G: Engineering for Bioengineering: Engineering applied to the living world

H: Manufacturing and Management: Bringing technology innovations to market

You may, if you wish, start off by attending lectures for more than two topics, in order to decide which two you would like to study for the examination. You will not be required to specify which topics you intend to follow.

Each course has 16 timetabled slots (4 per week), equivalent to 14 lectures and 2 examples classes - although in some cases explanation of examples may be spread throughout the course. There will be the equivalent of two example papers per topic with fully worked solutions being made available for you to see. There are no supervisions for these courses.

The material in these selected topics is not a prerequisite for Part IIA courses, although some preliminary reading may be expected by those who have not taken a particular topic.


The examination for Paper 8 will be of 2.5 hours’ duration, except for those candidates offering the Foreign Language Option, for whom the examination will be of 1.5 hours’ duration.

You are reminded that the examination for Paper 8 will be divided into 8 sections, labelled A-H.

Section A is compulsory and all students must answer one of the questions on the 'introductory business economics' course.

Sections B-H correspond to the 7 selected topics described above, of which you are required to answer two questions on each of your two chosen topics, unless you are taking the foreign language option.

Foreign language option

Part IB students who take the Language Programme for Engineers (LPE) may offer this course as one of their two options in Paper 8, or they may choose to enter for a Language Certificate. The certificate will record the level of their course (i.e. beginners’, intermediate or advanced) and the level achieved. See the LPE information on line.

Timetables for language classes will be posted on the notice-board in the Language Unit, on the ‘Language Programme for Engineers’ noticeboard in the Inglis building and also online.

If you wish to offer the Language Option as one of your electives within Paper 8 of Part IB, you should inform the Language Programme Director, Mr David Tual and Lisa Morrow as well as your Director of Studies, no later than Monday 1 March. No applications to offer the language option will be accepted after this date.

The credit scheme for candidates who have elected to offer a language course as one of their two options in Part IB Paper 8 will be posted on the examinations notice board in the Inglis corridor.

Candidates who have registered to offer the language option in their Selected Topics for Paper 8 should answer two questions from only one of sections B-H on the examination paper.


In July, the Department will issue College Tutorial Offices with an electronic transcript for each student showing details of their performance over the academic year .  Transcripts will be passed on to you by your Tutorial Office or your Director of Studies.  Should you require a transcript before this time, or one for previous years, you should contact your Director of Studies or your College Tutorial Office, not the CUED Teaching Office as copies of this Departmental transcript are not kept by the Department.

Exams skills

Examinations study skills session

A study skills session on 'exam skills' will be held on Wednesday 15th March 2017 from 2.00-4.00pm in lecture room 4.  The course is particularly targeted at first-years, exchange students and incomers from other courses.

How to save time in Part IA Engineering Exams: Know how to use your calculator

It is clear from many answers in CUED Tripos Examinations that candidates are simply unfamiliar with the standard-issue calculator and thereby lose marks.  Some calculator exercises can be found here.

Workshop skills sessions (Lent term)

This voluntary practical is based on the manufacture of a small oscillating air engine. The engine will consist of several parts, some of which will be supplied. You will be required to make the remaining parts and then assemble the engine. Manufacture will include turning, milling and drilling operations using workshop machine tools.

Sessions for this activity take place in the Instrument Workshop (reached from the south-east corner of the DPO) and last from 9 am to 4 pm with an hour's break for lunch. This activity will take place on Friday 10 March 2017.

12 students can be accommodated, and you should book on the booking sheet, which will be posted in the Instrument Workshop on Thursday 23 February 2017.

If you book a session and then find you are unable to attend, please inform Dr Parks (tel. 748553) or Mr Ross (tel. 332853) at the earliest opportunity.


Science and engineering ambassadors

Cambridge Science Festival, the highlight of the Outreach year, takes place at the end of Lent term.  If you only do one Outreach activity, this is it!  Put Saturday 12th March into your diary now.

Over 1000 people will attend this flagship event and make model aircraft powered by rubber bands to take away.  It is big, buzzy and fun, it will remind you why you wanted to study Engineering in the first place and you get the great tee shirt as a souvenir.  You don't need to be a STEM Ambassador to volunteer for the Science Festival, just email the Outreach Officer or come and see me in the DPO.

The Outreach Development Group will continue to meet at 1pm on Thursdays in LR5.  Join us to organise the scope, logistics and marketing of the Light Flight Challenge and eat cake. 

Lower key Outreach opportunities will also occur.  If being part of a panel who answer questions from a group of 15 sixth formers and dispel their misconceptions of Cambridge is more your style, get onto the Outreach mailing list by emailing the Outreach Officer.

Online guide to writing skills

The online guide to writing skills incorporates advice to students on report writing, record keeping and plagiarism, introduced through IA Exposition.  But the guide also progresses to the much greater depth required by the time students complete their IIB project report.  It will also be linked to any other guidance specific to particular report writing tasks, providing a one-stop shop on the Teaching webpages.  Feedback and any suggestions for improvements to the resource would be welcome and should be sent to Dr Hugh Shercliff.

Fast feedback facility

The fast feedback facility can be used to send rapid messages to warn teaching staff of problems as they arise (or to complement teaching staff on a job well done).  These messages are automatically anonymised (email addresses are hidden).  In order for the system to work, it is necessary to specify the general topic area of each feedback comment using the menus at the top of the comment window.  Note that all fast feedback traffic is monitored (before anonymisation) by the Director of Undergraduate Education in the Teaching Office.

To use the fast feedback facility for a machine in the DPO either (i) type "feedback" at the teaching system prompt, or (ii) click on the "fast feedback" icon on the desktop. To access the facility from elsewhere: click on the "fast feedback" link on the CUED local web page, which takes you to http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/teaching/apps/FFF/.  If you have any problems with the fast feedback facility please contact the Director of Undergraduate Education.

Course material on Moodle

Most courses in the department have a page on the University's Virtual Learning Environment Moodle.

These pages are maintained by course lecturers. Students registered to these courses are automatically enrolled at the start of the course and can engage in the course activities, including coursework submission when appropriate.

Other members of the University, staff or students, can self-enroll as observer and gain access to handouts and other documents made available to the students by the lecturers. This access is provided to students so that they can make an informed decision regarding their course selection. There might be copyright restrictions to the course material; any use of the course content that is not related to students education is not allowed. The material should not be redistributed by the students in any circumstances.

A key is needed to self-enroll on any course. By using this key, you indicate that you agree with the condition above.

Enrolment key: cued_moodle_access

NB. If you wish to unenrol yourself from a page that you have enrolled yourself on, please look for the Administration block within the course (usually lower down the page on the left) and click 'unenrol me'.

Undergraduate students buying goods on expenses

For further information about buying goods on expenses click here

Last updated on 18/01/2016 10:32