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

Stage 1 Tutorial Support

All undergraduate physics tutorials follow the common guidelines for tutorials. The details specific to tutorials for Stage 1 Physics students are as follows:

Induction Period

All new students should read the document Effective Studying within their first week. It is a University requirement that within the first few weeks of Term 1 all students must complete these online modules:

and familiarise themselves with the University Library guide for Physics:

A significant minority of new students experience culture-shock during their first few months at University, and important function of the Stage 1 tutorials is to identify students who are having difficulty integrating into the academic programme. In particular, tutors should check that students are attending lectures, tutorials, laboratories, problems classes, etc. and are tackling work, particularly the self-study elements, in a systematic and effective manner.

The Stage 1 Co-ordinator should be contacted immediately in cases of difficulty, and advice and assistance should sought through the usual channels.

Tutorial Activities

  1. Weekly homework assignments of two hours duration; some assignments may take more than one week and at least 50% should involve written work.
  2. Approximately 50% of tutorial time to be devoted to course work.
  3. Some tutorials to be devoted to going over the students' lecture notes (at random).
  4. Some tutorials to be devoted to discussion of what they learnt at the last lecture.
  5. Discussion of experiments which they have performed in the laboratory.
  6. Week T2:01: Individual Self-Appraisal PDP interviews.
  7. Towards the end of Term T2 students chould be given a chance to discuss their choice of options for next year.

All students need to be able to use email and access the WWW. Tutors should confirm early in the term that their students are checking their email on an appropriately regular basis and are aware of the documentation and advice available in the Physics Handbook.

Homework Assignments

At least eight homework assignments during the year should involve answering problems set on coursework. Other common topics:

  1. Locate and read a short scientific article and provide a written summary of the important points.
  2. Write a 1000 word article on a topic in physics (2 weeks).
  3. Give an oral presentation of the article.
  4. Estimates of orders of magnitude.
  5. Interpret graphical information. Sketch graphs of physical formulae and deduce information.
  6. Treatment of data, including: consistent treatment of uncertainties, significant figures and SI units in calculations and results.
  7. Recognising the relevant fundamental principles. Simplification of physical situations, retaining the important physics.
  8. Course problems (2 weeks).
  9. Residual pool.
  10. Give an oral presentation (10 minutes) on a scientific topic of general interest chosen by the student (not necessarily physics).
  11. Group assignment involving collective effort on open-ended problems.

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