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

Stage 2 Laboratory

The NQF level 5 module PHY2026 Practical Physics II builds on the Stage 1 training. The experiments are more detailed, and sometimes more exotic than before and may involve more advanced techniques. They are open-ended and take three or more sessions for completion. Most complement material lectured during the second and subsequent years but some, for which the theory is not covered directly in lectures, are included with the aim of extending a student's overall view of physics.

The module aims to develop a wide range of experimental skills, careful record keeping and the critical interpretation of data. During Term T2 students undertake an extended experiment which allows them to implement and demonstrate some of the skills they have acquired.


Proficiency in practical work is an important skill and students must attend laboratory classes regularly, completing sufficient experimental work to a satisfactory standard. Students are required to attend the number of sessions specified on the module descriptor for PHY2026.

Assessment Procedures

Laboratory work is continuously assessed. Students have to complete each experiment on time, write up the report and discuss the results with the demonstrator. A mark for each experiment is given to indicate general progress. These marks, suitably moderated, form part of the overall mark for practical work.

The experiments start with an initial discussion with a demonstrator about the physics involved, the aim of the experiment, and the experimental method. For this reason it is essential that students prepare for the experiment in advance. The student is not allowed to start the experiment until a satisfactory discussion has taken place.

After the experiment has been completed, the notebook with a diary and a formal report is handed in to the demonstrator and a time is arranged for the final discussion within the next two weeks. Students have to complete each experiment and hand in the report on time — late submission of the report will incur the standard penalties:

specified the Physics Handbook. During the final discussion with the demonstrator a mark for the experiment is given.

The overall mark for the course is the average of marks for the experiments undertaken, and the mark for the extended experiment weighted as specified in the assessment section of the applicable module descriptor:

Students must satisfy the following minimum criteria:

Experiments have to be performed at a satisfactory level. For students on Physics Programmes a fail mark in the overall laboratory assessment will result in failure of the Stage (refer to the Progression and Assessment Conventions for further details).

Assessment Criteria

Mechanical Workshop Course

All MPhys students will be expected to complete a short workshop practice and safety course which will be held in Term 3 after the Stage 2 examinations. This course is also available to BSc students who wish to participate. Details of the times of the course are normally circulate in April/May.

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