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REPORT ON PROGRAMME VALIDATION

Part 1

Draft Q3 Report

Programme details

Proposed title

ME in Advanced HVAC Systems

Nature and duration


of programme

1 year full-time; part-time on a modular basis

DIT awards sought

Master of Engineering in Advanced HVAC Systems


Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced HVAC Systems
Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced HVAC Systems
(see Findings of Panel)

Classifications of award

ME: First Class Honours; Second Class Honours, Upper


Division; Second Class Honours, Lower Division; Pass
Postgraduate Diploma: Distinction; Merit Upper Division;
Merit Lower Division; Pass
Postgraduate Certificate: Distinction; Merit Upper
Division; Merit Lower Division; Pass

Professional/external accrediting body


The School intends to seek Engineers Ireland and Chartered Institution of Building Services
Engineers (CIBSE) accreditation of this programme.
Background
The proposed ME in Advanced HVAC Systems underpins the needs of a wide range of
disciplines in the Built Environment, Engineering and Sterile Industrial Manufacturing. The
demand for the programme in part stems from the academic requirement for registration as
a Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland (now at level nine) and the growing
requirement to make provision for graduates to progress to higher level programmes, and
from the expansion in knowledge and research in the area of sustainability and buildings and
the need to put this into practice.
The programme is to be offered in full-time and part-time modes by the School of
Mechanical and Design Engineering.
Stated aims and learning outcomes of the programme
Upon completion of the programme, students will have:
have advanced knowledge and understanding of the mathematics, sciences,
engineering sciences and technologies related to Advanced HVAC Systems. This
understanding generally informed by and underpinned by knowledge and insights at the
forefront of the field. A critical awareness of and an ability to discuss, the key principles
and techniques and facts that would be required to participate at a professional level in
conceptual design decision making relating to Advanced HVAC systems;
have the ability to identify, formulate, analyse and solve complex engineering problems;
have a detailed knowledge of the issues associated with the development of low carbon
and energy efficient systems;

have the ability to design and conduct experiments and to apply a range of standard and
specialised research tools and techniques of enquiry;
have developed a competency in statistical methods and the ability to apply these
methods in the marshalling of data, analysis of research results and experimental
measurement;
have an understanding of the need for high ethical standards in the practice of
engineering, including the responsibilities of the engineering profession towards people
and the environment;
have the ability to work effectively as an individual, in teams and in multi-disciplinary
settings, together with the capacity to undertake lifelong learning;
have the ability to communicate effectively on complex engineering activities with the
engineering community and with society at large;
take responsibility for the work of individuals and teams and lead and initiate activity in
design or operation or construction.
Programme structure
The programme is a 90 ECTS one calendar year long programme consisting of twelve 5
ECTS taught modules and a 30 ECTS research/development/thesis project. There are
currently four core modules and students choose from two blocks of optional modules (see
condition of Panel).
Entry Requirements
The proposed programme is aimed at deepening the knowledge of graduates who have
already obtained degrees in disciplines related to HVAC Engineering/Building Services
Engineering/Mechanical Engineering. Graduates of such degree courses who have
achieved an honours (2.2) grade or higher are eligible to apply. Applications from
candidates who have an equivalent qualification will also be considered. Candidates who
have degrees in other disciplines but have significant relevant work experience will also be
considered.
Student assessment
In accordance with DITs General Assessment Regulations.
Derogations from the General Assessment Regulations
Part 2

None sought

Validation details and membership of panel

Date of Validation Event Friday 20 June 2014


Venue: Room 365, DIT Bolton Street
09.00 hrs

Introductory meeting between Panel and College of Engineering and Built


Environment, Head of School of Mechanical and Design Engineering,
Assistant Head of School and Programme Committee members as
appropriate.

09.15 hrs

Private meeting of Panel to discuss agenda.

10.15 hrs

Meeting of Panel with Head of School, Assistant Head of School and


appropriate members of the Programme Committee to discuss specific issues
raised by the Panel.

11.15 hrs

Meeting of Panel with staff who will teach on the programme to discuss such
matters as syllabi, teaching methods and assessment issues.

12.30 hrs

Panel visits facilities available to the programme at Bolton Street.

13.30 hrs

Lunch

14.00 hrs

Private meeting of Panel to consider draft report.

15.00 hrs

Final meeting of Panel with key staff from the School of Mechanical and
Design Engineering.

Members of Validation Panel


Internal Members
Dr Amr Arisha (Chair)

Assistant Head of School of Marketing, DIT Aungier


Street

Alison Malkin

School of Biological Sciences, DIT Kevin Street

Eamonn Donnelly

School of Surveying and Construction Management,


DIT Bolton Street

External members
Mr Conor Clarke
Dr Donal Finn

Senior Engineer, Office of Public Works, Dublin


School of Mechanical and Materials
Engineering, UCD

Officer
Ms Jan Cairns
Part 3

Quality Assurance Officer, DIT 143-149 Rathmines


Road

Comments on documentation and arrangements for event

Documentation provided
The documentation provided for the Validation Panel included Supporting Documentation
and the Student Handbook, as well as extracts from the Handbook for Academic Quality
Enhancement setting out procedures and other matters associated with the validation of
programmes.

Part 4

Findings of the Panel

Findings and Recommendations of Panel in relation to awards sought


The Panel is pleased to recommend to Academic Council approval of the Master of
Engineering in Advanced HVAC Systems, the Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate
Certificate in Advanced HVAC Systems, at Level Nine within the National Framework of
Qualifications, subject to a condition and with a number of recommendations.
The Panel would like to acknowledge the sincere effort of the Programme Team in putting
this document together. The Panel is impressed with the teaching teams experience and
with the unique offering that is proposed. It is also believed that the programme team should
emphasise more the staff achievements in relation to the development of their competencies
in teaching and learning and the use of technology to enhance student experience.
Condition
The programme should be reconfigured as follows:
The modules in HVAC Systems for Sterile Manufacturing, Water Conservation,
Appraisal and Validation, Advanced Energy Systems modules should be core
modules for all students of the ME in Advanced HVAC Systems.
Heat and Mass Transfer and Thermal Concepts and Processes 1 modules should be
reviewed and offered both at foundation and at advanced level. The foundation
version of these modules should be core for non mechanical or building services
graduates. Mechanical and Building Services Engineering graduates should not be
allowed to take the foundation level modules.
Students should then take the remainder of the ECTS from all the other options
available
Recommendations
1.

The module on advanced Thermal Concepts and Processes should replace TCP2 and
should to remove heat transfer and refocus on thermodynamic cycles, turbo-machinery
and advanced HVAC applications, and the inclusion of new advanced material should
be added as appropriate.

2.

Page 13 of the Handbook should clarify that the programme leads to a Masters
qualification but that students may in exceptional circumstances seek to exit with a
PgCert or PgDiploma. The Panel recommends that the programme management
carefully review the title of the PgCert award.

3.

The Panel recommends that a section related to the strategy on internationalisation be


included in the programme documentation.

4.

The programme learning outcomes should be revised to be more broadbased and there
should be a clear alignment between the module learning outcomes and the overall
programme learning outcomes.

5.

In order to facilitate integration, commonalities and synergies between modules should


be evident within module descriptors.

6.

The Programme Team should ensure that students will develop particular skills (eg
project management, understanding of tendering contracts, EU legislation etc) upon the
successful completion of the programme.

7.

The Student Handbook should clarify the requirement for student self-directed learning
as part of the modules.

8.

The language within the module learning outcomes should be reviewed to ensure that it
reflects the relevant NQF award descriptor.

9.

The Programme Team should review the assessment strategy, in particular the heavy
weighting on the final written examination in the majority of modules.

10. Further clarification of the continuous assessment/coursework element of module


assessment should be provided as necessary.
11. Assessment criteria should be included within the Student Handbook, in particular in
relation to the dissertation.
12. Module reading lists should be reviewed and revised as appropriate, for example the
Appraisal and Validation in DSM essential reading list.
13. Module descriptors should be reviewed to indicate their relevance to HVAC and their
application, for example the Environmental Noise Assessment module.
14. A dissertation handbook or guidelines should be developed that includes timelines for
the completion of the various stages of the dissertation.
15. The programme documentation should be proofread and edited to ensure accuracy and
consistency throughout, eg module learning hours within module descriptors, and other
areas within the supporting documentation in relation to graduate attributes and distance
versus blended learning.