University of Exeter Handbook (Physics) Questions/Comments Department (Physics)

Assessment of MPhys Final Reports

Each student will have their report read by two assessors and answer questions in a viva voce examination normally lasting 20 minutes. Reports are normally expected to broadly comply with the guidelines written by WLB and SJM. In accordance with the published Marking Strategy, each assessor should complete an individual pro-forma, on which comments are to be made and marks recorded. These, along with a further pro-forma of 'agreed marks' are to be returned to the Module Lead. All marks are subject to consistency checks and, if necessary moderation. The marks for this assessment contribute to the overall module mark in proportion to the weighting indicated in the module descriptor.

The overall mark for this assessment (out of 100) is obtained as follows:

Report

Marks (maximum 50) are given for the coverage, content, presentation of the report. The expected components in the report include: introduction, aims, background; theory; design, planning; description of project work; discussion of results; conclusions; suggestions for future work; and references and bibliography. Material that has already been assessed (e.g. from the introductory report) should not be reproduced in its entirety in the final report, although a brief summary of such material may be included if appropriate.

(a) REPORT
Mark RangeAssessors look for: completeness of all expected components; logical coherence and structure of material; high-quality and scientific and literary accuracy of the text and figures; consistent and thorough referencing; skilled use of diagrams to enhance the clarity of the text and provide evidence for the conclusions.
43–50 A report that is difficult to fault. This work is of publishable quality, with only very minor amendments, and would be likely to receive that judgement if submitted to a high-quality peer-reviewed journal.
35–42 Outcome at excellent level. No significant deficiencies, but a number of minor errors. Clear text and diagrams with a well defined focus, reflecting a very good knowledge of material and very good competence in its critical assessment.
30–34Outcome at focal level. Only one or two significant deficiencies. Expected components present, with good content, structure and presentation.
25–29No major flaws, but a number of significant deficiencies. Expected components present in an acceptable form.
20–24Outcome at threshold level. Only one or two major flaws. Expected components present in a recognisable form.
10–19A number of major flaws. Lacking in overall structure. Evidence of a lack of basic knowledge and critical ability.
0–9Nothing approaching an acceptable report.

Technical and Scientific Attainment

Marks (maximimum 25) are given to reflect the student's attainment, as demonstrated by the scientific quality of aspects of the project over which the student has some ownership.

(b) TECHNICAL AND SCIENTIFIC ATTAINMENT
Mark RangeAssessors look for evidence in the report of: advanced practical / technical skills; finesse; consistency checks and validation of results; independent input to the project; innovative creative approach; self-detection and self-correction of errors; identification and follow-up of interesting results; independent use of the literature; refinement / optimisation / adaptation of existing methods; a well-judged and strategic approach.
21–25A command of all relevant aspects that is difficult to fault. The project makes a novel contribution to its research field and is at the level expected of work reported in a high-quality peer-reviewed journal.
18–20Outcome at excellent level. A command of most relevant aspects that is difficult to fault. Some minor deficiencies. The report will be a useful technical reference for others working in the field.
15–17Outcome at focal level. A command of most relevant aspects in some depth. The student has the ability to produce experiments (or software, etc.) that work well.
13–14An adequate command of most relevant aspects. The student has the ability to produce experiments (or software, etc.) that work adequately.
10–12Outcome at threshold level. A command of most relevant aspects at a relatively superficial level. The student has the ability to produce experiments (or software, etc.) that work to some extent.
5–9Little evidence of technical ability or relevant skills. Experiments (or software, etc.) unlikely to work.
0–4No evidence of technical ability or relevant skills.

Viva Performance

Marks (maximum 25) are given to reflect the student's understanding of material presented in the dissertation and of related topics.

(c) VIVA PERFORMANCE
Mark RangeAssessors look for: ability to address questions in a concise, clear and technically accurate manner; detailed knowledge of the work undertaken and its rationale; a knowledge of key literature; ability to interpret and drawn conclusions from work undertaken, etc.
21–25A thorough understanding of all aspects that allows questions to be answered accurately and fluently and the discussion to be extended with confidence into difficult or unfamiliar areas.
18–20Outcome at excellent level. A thorough understanding of most aspects, with some ability to extend the discussion into difficult or unfamiliar areas.
15–17Outcome at focal level. An understanding of most aspects in some depth, with the ability to extend the discussion so as to make relevant links (e.g. between theory and experiment).
13–14An adequate understanding of most aspects, with some ability extend the discussion so as to make relevant links.
10–12Outcome at threshold level. A relatively superficial understanding of most aspects, with the ability to make relatively simple links.
5–9Little understanding shown. Unable to make relevant links.
0–4No understanding demonstrated.


University of Exeter Handbook (Physics) Questions/Comments Department (Physics)