News archive 2003
The Life Sciences review: statement07 Nov 2003, PR 75/03
King’s College London has undertaken a review of research and teaching activities in the Department of Life Sciences.
The Department contains a broad range of research and teaching across the biological, environmental and molecular life sciences. The review took place against the stated College objectives that all research activity should be judged by external peer review to be at upper quartile level, and that teaching of an excellent standard should be led by high quality research.
The review also took place in the context of changing student recruitment patterns. Applications to biochemistry and related degrees have remained very buoyant, while students applying for undergraduate programmes in the biological and environmental science/health area have seen a significant decline in numbers.
The College provided a formal consultation framework to consider future plans from 28 April 2003 to 19 September 2003. This was followed by a management plan which outlined the proposed way forward, and recommended a reduction in teaching and research activities in microbiology, biological sciences and environmental sciences. In accordance with normal College procedures, the management plan was submitted to Academic Board in October, and its recommendation that the plan be approved will be considered by College Council in December.
The College is committed to ensuring that all students currently registered on programmes offered by the Department of Life Sciences will be properly supported through the remainder of their studies and will continue to experience a coherent and high quality teaching programme. It is envisaged that the outcome of the review process will be agreed in sufficient time to impact, where appropriate, on the 2004 entry and that prospective students will not be recruited to certain courses currently taught in the department; prospective students who have applied to these courses are currently being advised of their options.
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is the fourth oldest university in England with more than 13,700 undergraduates and nearly 5,600 graduate students in nine schools of study based at five London campuses. It is a member of the Russell Group: a coalition of the UK's major research-based universities. The College has had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level, and it has recently received an excellent result in its audit by the Quality Assurance Agency.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, international relations, medicine, nursing and the sciences, and has played major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of health care professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres – more than any other university.
King's is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings, with income from grants and contracts of more than £114 million, and has anannual income of more than £369 million.
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