The SPCS Teaching Approach

Dedicated Teaching Assistants for regular pastoral and academic support

uc science radio, rudi marquez, medicinal chemistry

The School Leader who understands and cares about students

Our teaching approach, that has a strong focus on making the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences (SPCS) attractive to the students, starts with our leadership. The Head of School, Professor Rudi Marquez, has vast experience of both studying and working at Universities around the world, including China. Professor Marquez therefore understands the importance of a dedicated academic and pastoral care support programme for students.

Professor Marquez was a University harassment advisor whilst he was an academic at the University of Glasgow. He personally makes sure that our policy for zero tolerance of any form of harassment actually works at our school. Indeed, we have a thriving and mutually respectful student community at our School.

SPCS academics talking about fields of study

Our ability to communicate Science is recognised within UC

Professor Richard Hartshorn received the top UC Teaching Award in 2009, Professor Ian Shaw was awarded Science Lecturer of the Year by the University of Canterbury Student’s Association in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2020, while Associate Professor Vladimir Golovko and his team received the UC College of Science Teaching Award in 2019.

Our academics communicate Science not only in classrooms

Professor Ian Shaw received the New Zealand Association of Scientists Science Communicator Award in 2009 for communicating science to non-scientists. He is a regular science feature writer for The Press, a popular guest on Radio NZ National’s This Way Up. He has given two TEDx talks, his second book, Is it Safe to Eat? (Springer, 2004) was made into a TV series; this evolved into TVNZ’s series What’s really in our food? The series reached a wide audience when it was shown on SkyTV. Associate Professor Owen Curnow, course coordinator and lecturer of CHEM111, also coaches award-winning Chemistry Olympiad teams from NZ.

Teaching Assistants (TAs) and superb teaching and research laboratories 

We cherish our teaching assistants and the best of our PhD students are actively engaged in teaching our undergraduate students. Our School will provide Teaching Assistants (TAs) who will provide dedicated academic assistance and pastoral care to international students enrolling into SPCS ‘Start online; finish on-campus’ pathway.

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