The Stage 1 Physics Laboratory is designed to bring all students up to a level of of competence in all the common aspects of laboratory work. The experiments often complement topics met in the lecture courses, but are not intended to illustrate fully or to follow those courses. In addition to a physics laboratory module, Stage 1 physics students undertake practical investigations in electronics (PHY1028) or astrophysics (PHY1029). The Stage 1 laboratory also includes a Communication Skills training component which is held over three days in the 'opportunities week' break in Term 1.
The laboratory classes are designed to introduce the student to a range of experimental techniques and a number of basic concepts in electronics, and to provide experience in:
Most of the experiments can be completed in two three-hour sessions. A range of student ability is catered for. Further details and detailed intended learning outcomes, assessment components, etc. are given in the applicable module descriptors.
Single-honours students are required to attend the laboratory for one 3-hour session each week in the first term, starting in week T1:01 with introductory lectures, and for five six-hour sessions in the second term. Combined-honours students attend approximately half as many sessions as single-honours students, the schedule of which will be discussed in the introductory sessions.
In addition to the sessions in the laboratory, students are expected to spend a roughly equal amount of time outside the laboraory analysing results and writing up experiments.
Attendance is compulsory. Absence for medical reasons must be supported by an appropriate Mitigating Circumstances Claim Form or a formal Department Warning will be issued.
The NQF Level 4 Physics Laboratory modules (PHY1027, PHY1030) are continuously assessed. Experiments are marked by a demonstrator, during a 15-minute marking session with each student. Marks are given for preparedness, general layout, demonstration of good experimental technique, analysis of the results and conclusions drawn. The mark is meant to give students a general indication of their progress through the year. Guidelines for performing and writing-up experiments are given in the Laboratory Manual.
Full scientific reports are required for experiments undertaken in Term 2.
The module descriptors specify the number of experiments that need to be completed in order to satisfy the attendance requirements.
Students will have their work marked by several different demonstrators. This rotation ensures that 'marker bias' does not significantly affect an individual student's end-of-year marks. The module co-ordinator also monitors the distribution of marks from each demonstrator and will moderate marks if necessary.
All the marks, after moderation, are combined using the weights specified on the module decsription to form the final percentage mark for the module. There is no referred assessment available for this module.
PHY1027 is a non-condonable module in all physics single honours programmes. This means that FAILURE WILL AUTOMATICALLY PREVENT PROGRESSION TO STAGE 2.
|Mark Range||Qualities of Report|
|85% - 100%||
Exceptional / Outstanding. At a level that would be expected from a graduate.
Normally, all the following criteria must be met to achieve this grade:
|70% - 84%||Excellent / Exceptional. Typically:
|60% - 69%||Very Good. Typically :
|50% - 59%||Competent: An acceptable standard of work (one which all students can reasonably be expected to achieve). Typically:
|40% - 49%||Weak. The report contains one of the following flaws :
|0% - 39%||Poor (Fail). Several of the following flaws are present :