The University of Madras and the University of Melbourne have come together to offer a blended B.Sc. programme from the next academic year.
The curriculum would be provided by the Australian University. The blended course included Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology. Madras University’s Syndicate has agreed to give equivalence to B.Sc. major in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.
The programme will be conducted by the University of Madras. On request, professors of the University of Melbourne will offer some courses online. The evaluation and academic audit would be done by that university to enable students take up higher studies on a par with those from Melbourne.
The biology component of the course will include application of the three basic sciences to biology and students can take up research in biology related areas in future. On Monday, officials of both universities, including S. Gowri, Vice-Chancellor of University of Madras will sign a letter of intent. Australian government representatives are expected to be present at the event.
Rita John, head of the Department of Theoretical Physics, said: “The flexibility is up to two courses per semester. It would be almost the same as Melbourne University. The degree will be awarded by the University of Melbourne but an equivalence will be given to it by the University of Melbourne.”
All the four subjects of physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology would be blended. For the first four semesters, students would do common courses together. The last two semesters they would focus on one of the three subjects — Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics — that the students choose. Though biology had not been given equivalence, students can take up research in future in biology, she said.
There would be common features in the subjects. “For example, if it is thermodynamics then both physics and chemistry would offer the paper. Or in the case of complex numbers, all three subjects would conduct them together,” she said.
A common platform is provided by giving a strong curriculum for basic foundation and in the final year, the students go deeper into the area they take, she said. The course is of higher standard than our programme and comes with different features – more lab work, research and projects are offered. Those who take major say in Physics they would get a B.Sc. degree in Physics though the standard is higher, Dr. Rita said.
The programme would be offered only in the university at present. As for admission, there would be a stringent procedure, she added saying the modality was yet to be worked out.