We extend a warm welcome to the online postgraduate electronics courses
hosted by the School of Built Environment and Engineering at the University of Bolton. We want you to get the most out of the experience, complete
your plans successfully and enjoy studying with us, and will do our best
to support you throughout the time you are enrolled here.
For historical reasons this website has its own URL (www.ami.ac.uk) which unfortunately means people sometimes overlook the excellent services provided centrally by the university. To begin with then, it is worth spending time browsing around the main university website, to see what is available to current students.
- University home page:
Click on the tab at the top marked "Current Students" and then follow any routes that look interesting. Be sure to find your way to the library and also to "My Details" where you can check and update the address details held centrally. It is possible to change your password here, but we would ask you not to do that without checking with us first, as it can easily lead to problems later. Note that the university's main Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), WebCT, is not used at all by the postgraduate electronics courses. This is because the learning environment for the electronics courses was developed before WebCT was purchased and it still has some significant advantages over the central system.
- Study skills (BISSTO)
These online tutorials within the library site will be especially helpful if you have been out of education
for some time. You can work through the sections systematically in your
own time, or dip in and out of bits that look most interesting and relevant.
The library also publishes their own set of booklets to help with study skills, each
of which can also be downloaded as a PDF file from their page on Study
Moving back here, to the postgraduate electronics site (www.ami.ac.uk),
the pages linked in the left-hand column when the "Student" tab is selected comprise an online handbook for the programmes. A few pages require a username and password and these should be emailed
to you by the postgraduate programmes office about a week before the modules
are due to start.
Some pages that are particularly important are briefly described below.
We ask you to access each of the links so you are aware that these pages
exist and know how to refer to them later.
- Library and online resources
The page describes briefly how library team at Bolton can help you in your studies, and many other schemes
to assist e-learning students. Be sure to follow the link to the pages
for Computing and Electronic Technology and to Distance learning
students. Note also that the online catalogue can be browsed without
entering any account details. However, to reserve or renew books you need
to access "Patron Functions" which will ask for your student number and a "password", which is your date of birth in the form of six digits, DDMMYY. This system is due to be replaced by September 2008 and after that your normal university username and password will be used.
This page attempts to point you to the appropriate person or department
to assist with any problems or issues that might arise during your studies.
Here you will find instructions on how to work out when each assignment
is due and the best way to submit it. We ask
that you email (or post) all assignments to the Postgraduate Office
where they will be checked and you will receive a prompt acknowledgement
stating exactly what has arrived or indicating any problems. Some tutors
ask you to copy the work to them direct, which is fair enough, but please
only do this if they ask, as otherwise it leads to duplication. The External
Examiner may need to see your work, so it is important that a copy is
There is a penalty for submitting work late as this is only fair to those
students who make the effort to hand work in on time and it creates extra
work for tutors trying to mark consistently and within a short time. Mitigating
circumstances such as severe illness or family difficulties should be
put in writing to the module tutor before the date when an assignment
is due. If the work ends up being more than a week late, it becomes a
matter for the Examination Board and you should ask for a "Mitigating
Circumstances Envelope" and return it enclosing an explanation and
Naturally we expect that the work submitted for assessment is your own. If anything is copied directly from somewhere it's only fair to make this clear, and forgetting to do so risks penalties, as described under the heading plagiarism.
The full university regulations for postgraduate modular programmes are linked from this page too.
- Future Module Choice
The table shows modules currently being studied and provisional plans for the future
(where known) for everyone currently enrolled, or about to start. Please
check your entry and let us know of any changes.
- Email and related means of communication
Everyone who enrols at Bolton is allocated a webmail account of the form
email@example.com. This is the email address you must use to contact tutors and your fellow students. Also you will receive important emails from the university and administrators from time to time so you should check this account regularly.
This page desribes how to use this account.
The page also describes how a message form is made available for each
module, constructed dynamically from the student record system. Students
are only allowed access for the module they are enrolled on. There are
a few ways of finding the form. It is linked from the home page of the
Students site, and from each module in the menu bar along the top - "Contact
tutor/group"; also from here. Sending a
message from this facility uses a script on the web browser which automatically
sends a copy back to you. No record is retained centrally. The default
is that the message is addressed to all the class and the tutor, but the
form allows you to de-select anyone, so you can easily email the class
without the tutor, or email the tutor alone. Unfortunately we have found that some mail in-boxes assume messages generated by a web form must be spam, and consign them to the bin. So please check the contents of your trash folder and if you find mail there from the tutor, alter the settings of your mailbox to allow mail through. You can easily test if the form is working, by selecting only yourself and sending a short test message.
Another route to the email form is through "Mysite" in the menu
bar to the right. Once you have logged in, a list of the modules you are
currently studying will be displayed in the "Mysite" panel.
Clicking on the module code will take you direct to the courseware for
the module; clicking on the envelope icon will take you to the "Contact
- Configuring a PC for direct
dial to Bolton (restricted)
Most people will be happy with their current Internet Service Provider
and can safely ignore this page. However, if you are based in the UK and
using a 56K modem or an ISDN connection, you have the option of dialing
direct to Bolton.
- Downloading and Configuring
Citrix ICA Client
If you are about to study a module that involved remote access to EDA
tools, you will need to download and install Citrix Metaframe client on
your PC first. Details of how to do this are to be found in "IT configuration".
Please note, if you intend to study from work, tell the IT people first.
You will need their support to configure the company firewall, so it is
best to involve them from the outset.
- Programme handbooks
These are the official documents describing the MSc programmes. Much of
the information is now contained in web pages within either the "courses"
pages or the "students" pages. Alternative brief descriptions
of each of the programmes are provided as links from the home page (www.ami.ac.uk).
That's enough for an introduction. The study material, which is really
why you are here, is in the "courses" part of the site. Clicking
on any of the modules listed will take you to the home page for the module
concerned. The contents list or the drop-down menu provides a means of navigating
to the units and assignments that comprise the module. The later units (4
upwards) and the assignments are restricted and will require a username
and password, but you only have to do this once in any session. Note that
your account will give access to the teaching material for all the modules,
not just the one that you have enrolled on.
The study plan in the home page for each module indicates in terms of study
weeks which unit or assignment your should be studying throughout the duration
of the course. To match study weeks to real dates, click on "students"
in the top menu bar, then on "Calendar" in the left menu bar,
and then select the calendar for this year. Study weeks start on a Thursday
and end on a Wednesday, and the dates for each of the 12 study weeks in
each term are listed.
The "front-line" team supporting distance learning programmes
in electronics comprises
Linda Holland, Neil Cole, Frank Mackin and Roy Attwood. Linda handles the
administration, Neil is the expert on EDA tools and remote access and course
leader for Advanced Microelectronics. Frank is the course leader for Electronic
Product Development, and Roy coordinates the tutors and the web development
team and sorts out any other issues. Our email addresses and telephone numbers
||+44 (0)1204 903020
Course Leader for MSc AM
Remote access and EDA expert
||+44 (0)1204 903535
Course Leader for MSc EPD
||+44 (0)1204 903847
Postgraduate Programmes Co-ordinator
||+44 (0)1204 903554
If you have any concerns or queries please email or telephone one of us
and we will try to reply promptly. All the tutors and support staff look
forward to supporting you in the months ahead.
Postgraduate Programmes Office,
School of Built Environment and Engineering,
University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton, BL3 5AB, UK
Updated 15.04.10 KS.