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Imperial announces new degrees

Apr 01 2004 00:03
Captain Mainwaring
Imperial College is to launch several new undergraduate degree programmes with effect from the 2006-7 academic year.
Probably a different kind of mouse to the ones that might be studied on Imperial's new Rodent Biology degree.

[Editor's note: Yes, for those who hadn't guessed, this article is an April Fools joke...]

Imperial College today announced plans to launch several new undergraduate degrees in 2006. Most of the new programmes will be offered at the Wye Campus but there will also be two new courses launched at South Kensington as part of the Humanities Department.

A BSc Media Practices and Marketing and a more general BSc Media Studies will both launch in 2006, drawing on expertise developed for Imperial?s existing Science Communication taught masters courses. Preliminary plans are for both courses to be run on a distance-learning basis, as part of the University of London External Programme, with actual time in college for students kept to the minimum. College?s hope is that apparently this could lead to effective handling of high student numbers with minimum expansion of the current facilities.

A part-time BSc and one year MSc in Rodent Biology appears to be one of the slightly stranger of the planned options, to be run jointly between the Agricultural Sciences and Biological Sciences departments. ?Laboratory mice are a key component of many experiments in the Life Sciences,? claims Imperial?s press release, ?and these new programmes from Imperial College London will help to meet a need for skilled laboratory technicians to work with these animals in the future.?

Privately, some College figures have admitted that the new courses are more about diversification than specific expansion. ?At the moment the average cost of an undergraduate degree at Imperial College is over £10,000 a year,? said one College source. ?At present many other universities are able to subsidise expensive science and engineering courses with income from less expensive options. Imperial needs to be able to do that if we are to compete effectively in the global market for education.?

Sir Richard Sykes, Imperial?s Rector, has spoken about getting ?bums on seats?. Les Ebdon, Vice-Chancellor of Luton University, was critical of Sir Richard. Speaking as the head of a teaching focused university, he said: ?Imperial College has a mission to be a world-class research university. It's doing a different job and we need to understand that we have different universities doing different things?.

Imperial College plans to charge the full £3,000 a year fee allowed under the government?s new Higher Education legislation for all undergraduate courses including the new launches from 2006.

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Discussion about “Imperial announces new degrees”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Apr 01 2004 09:28


I thought Imperial (and Sykes) traditionally took the piss out places that offer media studies...


Apr 01 2004 09:54

What's the date Andy? Are the long hours shrivelling your brain?

3. Seb   
Apr 01 2004 10:05


Apr 01 2004 10:14

Is this some sad April Fools joke?

Apr 01 2004 10:24


Fell for that one, didn't I?

And yes, the long hours are shrivelling my brain (which is bad given the size it started at)...

Apr 01 2004 11:59

I have already enrolled in the Rodent biology course. They tell me its more challenging than EE, and there are less vermin!!!

Apr 01 2004 12:19


Excuse me, why are the joke degrees associated with the Wye campus?

Is there an assumption that Wye runs joke degrees already, attracting students who couldn't possibly think up a storyline such as this?

Apr 01 2004 12:34

Get off you high horse about Wye (no pun intended) and just enjoy the humour presented by this article.

Apr 01 2004 13:39

It wasn't getting on a high horse (or even a high rodent...); just suggesting that the South Kensington students might hop down from theirs.

10. Ralphy   
Apr 01 2004 14:34

Imperial is South Kensington!

country bumpkins in wye are simply an unwanted add on!

11. ...   
Apr 01 2004 15:50

Correction. Imperial is an unwanted add-on of Wye, I think you'll find.

Apr 01 2004 16:33

Apparently they're renaming Imperial to:

Imperial College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine, Media Studies, Farming, Innovation, Management, and Business.

Apr 02 2004 09:32

...and Imagineering!

Apr 02 2004 09:59

Technology = Engineering = Innovation

Managment = Business


Imperial College of Science, Technology, Medicine, Media Studies, Farming, and Business.

15. To ...   
Apr 02 2004 10:01

If you don't want Imperial to be connected to Wye then why are you using this Imperial news site?

16. Andy   
Apr 02 2004 11:54

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Apr 02 2004 18:33

Just for the record, I'm not sure who "..." is, if they are from Wye they can put a name to their comment, but there are a lot of Wye students (more in each new intake) who are very happy to be a part of Imperial... but would be rather less so if they knew the extent to which some London-based IC students look down on courses they've never studied. We don't teach sheep studies or tractor studies or wearing-green-wellies-and-barbours studies, we teach science and business applied to such trivial areas as actually feeding people in the future.

18. Seb   
Apr 03 2004 01:32


What? We teach home economics at Wye?


19. Ralphy   
Apr 03 2004 01:50

Someone told me that most of the women at wye tend to look like their work- usually some form of cattle...

is this true?

What is your experience of this?

Apr 03 2004 13:36

I think we all in our own eccentric way seem to reflect the "work" we study in the form of well established stereotypes. Hence most guys at South Ken supposedly speak, think and talk like computers.

However I can vouch that most of the women at Wye do not look like sheep, horses, cattle or EU farming directives... ;-)

Apr 03 2004 22:00

"Hence most guys at South Ken supposedly speak, think and talk like computers."

Less of the supposedly thank you very much. I've worked long and hard on my EE degree to loose all of the social skills I ever had, and I'm proud of it. And that's coming from someone who is 'northern scum' to start off with.

Apr 04 2004 00:47

In that sense Imperial is a sort of primitive Matrix where people spend so much time in front of computers that their thoughts become similarly algorithmic.

Just a thought.

Apr 04 2004 10:00


Apr 04 2004 20:48

How do you know that John??!!!

Apr 05 2004 13:21

Wye girls are hot - it's just a pity that more of them don't go to the Union. If they're a part of Imperial they should come down to South Ken more often AND the Union should subsidise their coach trips on Wednesday/Friday nights. The Union is losing masses of revenue on Wednesday nights because they're not making an effort.

Apr 05 2004 13:26

I'm not being sexist - the Wye coach trips should be for men, women, and sheep.

27. Ralphy   
Apr 05 2004 13:56

What are the male/female/sheep percentages at Wye?

28. Tam   
Apr 05 2004 13:56

Wye is this night so different from all others????

Apr 05 2004 14:04

Wye? Because those are the nights when people spend the most money at the bar - probably due to sports clubs and stuff.

Apr 05 2004 14:10

At the last census it was 0.05/0.25/99.7%

data from

Apr 05 2004 15:52

There is a Union Bar on the Wye campus. Trying to somehow bus students en-masse up to South Ken on a wednesday or friday would only serve to make the Wye bar financially unsustainable, leading to it closing. Assuming that anyone wanted to brave the three hour coach journey regularly the net result would only be the loss of a social focal point for Wye college, a massive bill for coaches for the Union and probably little else.

Apr 05 2004 18:26

Yes, we ran a coach up to International Night- 20 people went. That was considered a good turnout, seeing as it's 10% of all undergraduates- I don't suppose it would make an enormous difference to the whole Union bar complex at South Ken, although the Friday I was there it would certainly have been noticable...

Fridays, a lot of the new students, coming from London, do go back there at the weekend, so they could perhaps be targetted, but that would rather be admitting defeat with respect to getting them to stay in Wye.

And to echo Shrenik's point, yes, how does John know about *most* of the women at Wye?

Apr 05 2004 18:33

Stop being silly!

I've been to Wye what, 8 times over the last 6 months? (including today) and generally when I walk around the campus I don't wear a blindfold. There are only 150 undergrad girls in Wye and I reckon I've seen at least 75.5 (one uncertain on account of length of hair) - most of them either from a distance, for a split second passing moment or both. And they don't have four legs / udders / etc either!

Apr 05 2004 19:13

Stop Press! Guilds President-elect has been checking Wye girls for udders...

Apr 05 2004 19:32

So they have their own clubs and societies, their own bar, they're as close to us as France, they have shown very little interest in visiting campus South Ken to the extent that they think that "Imperial is an unwanted add-on of Wye" (if you don't believe me read the quote above)...

The question then is Wye bother with Wye? If they're not going to make the effort to respect their overlords then we should double the price of their beer!!!!

Of course this doesn't go for all Wye students (evidently a scarce few make more of an effort than others).

Apr 05 2004 19:57

(forget the 'overlords' bit - before I get complaints)

37. Remark   
Apr 06 2004 11:19

To be quite frank, if you took all the Wye students and replaced them with random South Ken ones, you will find the same level of apathy. In fact, the % level of involvement by South Ken students in the Union is probably even worse.

A more interesting question is 'how many South Ken students have bothered going to Wye (except Mr Collins obviously)?'

38. Ralphy   
Apr 06 2004 13:43

Wye would anyone go to Wye.

People don't move from the heart of a major World capital to an ugly backwater for no reason. Nobody would go to wye at all unless they really had to!!!

"Remark" above is clearly idiotic.

My suggestion is to sell wye and use the profits to buy some halls of residence in Central-ish areas , near-ish to College, and have guaranteed accommodation for students in their first and third years!!

Now that would be a worthwhile project- and might really imporve Imperial's standing as a University and not just a research centre. NO doubt a few sad sad hacks will question this idea pointing to dodgy practicalitites- but this stratregy will work= the money can be found- all that is needed is the will!

And who spends 27 million on a repugnant greenhouse (Tanaka) and several millions on a legoblock (the blue "faculty" bdg) but spends virtually nothing on Student accommodation...

Apr 06 2004 13:43

Well I don't know about any Wye girls but I'm quite proud of my udders. :-)

Apr 06 2004 14:15

Ugly backwater... do the letters AONB mean anything to you?

And yesterday the Rector was heard saying to Wye staff, "You can't actually sell an institution..." which perhaps carries rather more weight than you would attach to a hack pointing out such "technicalities" as "except it would be illegal."

41. Remark   
Apr 06 2004 15:24

Frankly Ralphy, I suggest you unblinker your eyes as to how Imperial is viewed by the majority of the population.

IC is an unknown to many. And to those that know it, it is only a 'science' or geeky college, not even as a research centre.

"and might really imporve Imperial's standing as a University and not just a research centre."

It's research that brings in most of IC's money. Undergrad courses are effectively being subsidised by it. The new buildings and their aims can only improve this. Equally Wye plays a part, however much you hate the place.

So Ralphy...I may be idiotic in supporting Wye, but looking at the way you want to run IC, muppetism seems the best way to go.

Apr 06 2004 16:16

With all the money from selling off Wye we should reopen Basics pizzeria, the remaining cattle and other livestock should then be transferred to the Tanaka centre's atrium where they can graze on newly laid turf alongside Imperial's new intake of entrepeneurs and management types. The Wye students should be transferred to the Biology department where they can do a 1 year masters on whatever.

Problem solved.

43. Beci   
Apr 06 2004 16:36


I'm sorry my dear, but if you've never been to Wye, you won't know what a beautiful place it is. I enjoy going to London, including South Ken, but it's nice to step of the train, breathe clean air and look at the countryside.

And I don't think "Remark" is being idiotic at all. Looking at percentages, South Ken's having a worse time than Wye are for Union attendance.


Although we are inviting South Ken students down to Wye for our Cricket Week, I would like to extend a personal invite to you, so I can show you what Wye has to offer.

Go on.

Get out of the city for a week and I guarantee that, by the end of the week, you'll think differently of the place.

If you don't want to accept the offer, then don't f**king well slag off where I live, because you won't easily get away with.

Apr 06 2004 16:41

Yeah, you can't sell an institution - but you can sell a *campus*. After all, that's what Wye is now - a campus.

Perhaps the reason why South Kensington's students view Wye's courses as inferior is because, in the first year post-merger, offers for courses that led to the same degrees (on paper) as those at South Kensington were *significantly* lower. Oh, and the fact that Wye campus was a ghost town last year probably doesn't help matters as it gives the impression that nobody wants to be there, even though this may not necessarily be the case.

Oh, and the letters AONB mean nothing to me. Do enlighten me please as I am eager to know what on earth you are gibbering on about.

Face it ladies and gents of Wye, if you start slagging the main campus off on an Engineering messageboard you are bound to get flamed. The same thing happened when the medics slagged off engineers many years ago. And what have we learned from that little episode? YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED! RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

Now get over yourselves and appreciate the article for what it actually was, an amusing prank.

45. Ralphy   
Apr 06 2004 18:35

Beci, while you seem like a fiesty woman and indeed one is almost slighlty tempted to watch you play with cricket balls if you look anything like the average wye girl

then I would have to refuse???

As to me not easily "getting away with" slagging off- well I have been doing a good job for the past 2 years on live!!

Heck the number of angry responses by Wye people bears testament to that !

But good try anyway- full marks for attempting to take on the Master!

46. Remark   
Apr 07 2004 00:17

A self proclaimed Master anyway (alomost like the Rodent Biology Bachelor's degree)...

47. Beci   
Apr 07 2004 09:17

The fact that you are only "self-proclaimed" should realy speak for itself.

I am proud to say that I do indeed look very little like a sheep and wish to remain so for some time yet.

To the person / persons unnamed titled "give it a rest"...

The letters AONB stand for the designation of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is defined by the Associations for AONB as being "a precious landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nation's interest to safeguard them".

Anyway, here's a thought...

Imperial is supporting Wye financially and, I will admit, that there are many aspects of South Ken that could welcome the money. Halls, for example. Southside is a bit of a state and FK isn't exactly 5 star.

But if you guys really want to get rid of us that badly, want to stop supporting us, paying for us, etc, why don't you do something about it. Hold a referendum, vote on it, Forma Council, etc and see how far you get. It would be very interesting to watch.

But I do have to say that I have only ever met one London student who came to Wye and didn't like it, because he was a bit of a recluse and I've already meade him see the error of his ways.

48. C!   
Apr 07 2004 09:50

ermm FK is half of southside

Apr 07 2004 09:53

An important issue has come to my attention and it concerns everyone who posts on Live.

Every other messageboard in the country has some sort of policy on what kinds of posts are considered to be in good taste. If 'relevance' is an issue we need to know about it and it should be explicit in a set of 'house rules'.

For example this article had nothing to do with Wye college and yet the Editors have allowed this argument to continue. On other boards the Editors have removed posts REGULARLY for not being 'relevant'. We need a set of guidelines to outline on what basis posts are being eliminated. Asking the contributor to email the Editor is simply not good enough.

Apr 07 2004 10:05

This is controversial. Apparently all new students at Wye are forced to take a mandatory health and drugs test prior to being admitted to the college:

51. Beci   
Apr 07 2004 10:28

It was suspected that the donkey had been drugged with a date-rape substance. Apparently, Ralphy was feeling lonely and couldn't get anything else.

That poor donkey needed weeks of counselling to get over such a harrowing experience.

52. Ralphy   
Apr 07 2004 12:38

Beci that's not very nice.

Before you were invitng me to watch you play with your cricket ball at Wye farm!

Perhaps at Wye there is little difference between humans and donkeys but here in London we can tell the difference.

SO if you don;t look like a sheep - what do you look like?

or more likely

:-) ????

Apr 07 2004 12:44

The "RELEVANCE" is the suggestion that Imperial may be offering some degrees that are vastly inferior to others, a comment often made in connection to Wye with this article as no exception.

However, there is now a story about Sykes' talk on the future of Wye so if you care to hop across and leave this board for something else please do so.

Apr 07 2004 13:06

Thanks for clearing that whole AONB thing up. Nevertheless, just because it is pretty doesn't mean the College will keep the campus there. The perceived (and actual, for a number of years) academic inferiority, should it continue or re-emerge, will probably be a deciding factor for the College.

In response to your other comments Beci, I did not, at any time suggest we should sell off Wye. It is merely an option open to the College which it has hitherto been cunningly disguised with words.

If the pathetic tribalism that is evident from most of the comments and media stories eminating from members of the Wye campus is anything to go by, we probably wouldn't want to sell your beloved campus off and move you up to London. I dread to think how such persons would cope in a civilised society.

Just because some people from South Ken didn't hate Wye when they were there doesn't mean that everyone thinks Wye is great. Perhaps the people who have volunteered to go down to Wye do so because they don't totally hate the countryside, and perhaps those who haven't gone to Wye do hate the countryside.

And just for your edification, I have met a number of people who have gone down to Wye from London and hated it. So perhaps the people who have gone to Wye from South Kensington were just being polite to you when you asked them what they thought of Wye.

As for changing anti-Wye opinions - so what? You convinced (I dread to think how) some recluse that Wye isn't totally rubbish. So what? Just because we don't hate the look of the place doesn't mean we would all want to live there.

Face it, not everyone wants to move to the country, or even go to the country. I definately prefer "the Big Smoke".

55. Mo   
Apr 07 2004 17:36

Nichola trying to get publicity for your article eh :-) ????????

56. Ruth   
Apr 07 2004 20:29

To continue the Wye theme (despite its irrelevance to the article above) I tried, in my role as choir social secretary, to take IC choir to Wye for our "weekend away".

Unfortuately it was too expensive. Infact it was so expensive I got the impression students that from London were not wanted at Wye.

Perhaps people from Wye could help us bargain for a lower price for accomodation next year so the entirety of the choir can discover the joys of Wye?

Apr 07 2004 20:41

Ruth Have you not heard? It is forbidden to discuss anyhting about the Choir or anyhting that is not considered strictly "relevant" on Live! Soon the fairies will be removing your post...

Apr 07 2004 21:28

Just a shortish post, since I've had the entire long argument so many times before.

1) I've never insulted the main campus. I've never even said Wye is superior, just that it has its own good points that should not be dismissed by those who don't know the place. I'm not saying they all must personally like it, just accept that some do.

2) That said, there are people at Wye through choice. People with 4 As at A level, but who prefer their science degree applied to certain pressing matters, or believe that the natural environment is best studied when surrounded by it.

3) As for flaming, I've only ever posted in Wye's defence, in response to other comments, and I think the same goes for Beci. (There are other posters of whom this can't be said, but they don't use names and so are quite possibly not Wye students.)

4) That said, any other thoughts on Wye, please do email me. I'll pass it on to our Union Web Editor with the suggestion of an FAQ/ misconception-buster page, then I can link to there instead of repeating this after every article mentioning Wye throughout my time there.

59. Roald   
Apr 07 2004 21:38

nichola, an FAQ page!

We enjoy taking the piss out of Wye that is what it is there for!

60. Remark   
Apr 08 2004 00:50

And I suspect the link to this page will be posted many more times as some people can never be changed.

On a completely separate point, with the way the Choir Spring concert went Ruth, will you have the money for weekends away? :)

61. Ruth   
Apr 09 2004 15:29

Remark, whoever you are, the cost of the choir weekend away does not come from the choir budget. Choir members who want to go on the weekend away pay for it. I could not expect choir members to pay as much money as Wye would have cost. Instead we went to Oxford.

I assume your comment about the concert refers to the financial aspects of it on which I have no intention of commenting as that's not my area.

Apr 09 2004 20:12

Having heard nothing of the choir's plans through our Union, I can only assume the choir tried to book it directly with the College (unless you asked WCUS in the first few weeks of the year, before I was admitted to their meetings).

Accommodation availability has been an issue this year, as intake went up a lot at the last minute (when all the apparently spare student rooms had been hired out to police training), so that may only have left conference centre rooms, presumably with the associated conference and room hire costs.

In future, definitely get in touch with WCUS- students can book romms for performances/rehearsals for just a refundable deposit, recommend the cheapest way to feed yourselves in Wye, and provide our Union building as necessary (the fire inspector says the sports hall can sleep a hundred...)

Try for next year?

63. Ruth   
Apr 10 2004 16:46

Thanks Nichola. That's really helpful. I will suggest it to next year's social secretary :)

Aug 05 2004 15:58

In relation to the comments that I have enjoyed reading so much and giggled prefusely over, I think your all up your own a***s. Anyway, those from South Ken, enjoy it, and stop complaining, those from wye, you either love it or you hate accept that it is a country retreat but by no means are th degree courses for the academically faint hearted!!

Closed This discussion is closed.

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