The University of Oxford’s online Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology is an online course aimed at professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds who wish to learn more about the foundations of nanotechnology, technological advances and the applications enabled by nanotechnology. There are opportunities to access cutting-edge research and current practice in a wide range of nanotechnology topics.
The course provides relevant, meaningful and up-to-date learning to enhance career development that is recognised and accepted within industry. A modular structure allows a flexible approach to learning and each module may be taken as an individual short course. The tutor-led approach lends cohesion to the distance learning experience which is tailored for busy people in full-time employment who wish to minimise time away from the workplace to study.
Applications for October 2016 are now being accepted. In the meantime you may be interested in applying for one of the modules from the Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology as a short course.
Nanotechnology is the production and application of devices and systems at the nanometre scale, which is of the order of one billionth of a meter. Developments in this area of technology are now coming to fruition, and increasingly impacting our daily lives. However, it is recognised that there is a need for more people to understand the basics about this technology.
The University of Oxford's online Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology offers a nine-month introduction to the subject. The course is taken part-time and online meaning that it can be taken from anywhere in the world by those seeking a solid foundation in nanotechnology, whilst having the option of working full-time. The course uses a blend of individual study of online learning materials, together with group work during live online tutorials, discussions and research. The group sessions with tutors are particularly valuable because they offer highly authentic learning and assessment opportunities.
Students study the Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology over three modules that introduce the most commonly used and most important analytical, quantitative and experimental methods in nanotechnology. The course has the following features:
- Three modules giving a thorough introduction to nanotechnology and the behaviour and characterisation of nanoparticles;
- The course is taken part-time so students can complete it whilst continuing to work full-time;
- The course is taught online and can be taken from anywhere in the world;
- Tutors provide online support and replicate electronically the famed Oxford tutorial system;
- Assessment throughout the modules ensures that students can monitor their progress;
- The course has a dedicated Course Director and administration team accustomed to supporting students undertaking distance learning courses;
- Students have access to staff at the University of Oxford’s Begbroke Science Park, particularly the Course Director, Dr Christiane Norenberg;
- Throughout the course, students can use the University of Oxford’s excellent electronic library resources to enable them to complete the assignment tasks.
Who is it for?
The Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology is a part-time, online course leading to a postgraduate qualification at the University of Oxford. The course is designed for students wishing to study part-time. It will appeal to those working in the commercial or healthcare sectors, who use, or expect to use, nanotechnology in their work. Previous students include electrical engineers, materials scientists, project managers, patent agents, chemists, medical practitioners, plastic surgeons and food technologists as well as those involved in manufacturing, research and legislation.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology begins in October and runs for nine months. Students take three online nanotechnology modules. At the end of the third module, students are required to attend a residential weekend in nanoscale materials characterisation based in Oxford. This takes place at the University of Oxford's Begbroke Science Park in July 2017.
The content of each module contains up-to-the-minute thinking and reflects the University of Oxford's world-leading research in nanotechnology. Each module has a different focus:
- Module 1: The Wider Context of Nanotechnology (24 October - 4 December 2016) looks at the current state of the technology and addresses its implications;
- Module 2: The Fundamental Science of Nanotechnology (9 January - 18 March 2017) explains the physical and mathematical foundations of nanoscale phenomena and properties of nanoscale materials;
- Module 3: Fundamental Characterisation for Nanotechnology (24 April - 2 July 2017) explores methods for investigating nanoparticles, thin films and nanostructures.
Each module lasts for 7 or 10 weeks corresponding approximately to the University of Oxford's term calendar. Within each module, there are weekly live online tutorials lasting for one hour as well as assignments and problem sheets. Most students should expect to spend an average of between 10 and 15 hours per week on independent study in addition to the timetabled tutorials.
By the end of the Postgraduate Certificate students will be expected to:
- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the physical principles, mathematical methods and techniques appropriate for solving nanotechnology problems and be able to apply them to industrial problems through a critical comprehension of the relative advantages and disadvantages of these methods;
- Demonstrate an understanding of some of the most common applications of nanoscale phenomena and how these relate to the solution of nanotechnology problems in industry;
- Manage their learning and research and conduct independent and effective study;
- Apply skills gained in analytical techniques from across the physical sciences.