FG31 Combined Honours Mathematics and Physics

Combined Honours Programme Information (2017/18 Intake)

1. Awarding institution:

University of Exeter

2. Department(s)/teaching institution:

Department of Mathematics and Department of Physics and Astronomy

3. Programme accredited/validated by:

(none)

4. Final award(s):

BSc (Hons)

5. Programme title:

Combined Honours Mathematics and Physics

6. Programme code:

FG31 (UCAS)

7. FHEQ Level of Final Award

6

8. QAA subject benchmarking group:

Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research, and
Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics

9. Date of production/revision:

August 2013

The definitive programme specification for this programme is published by the Department of Mathematics. The information on this page is for administrative purposes within the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and should not be used in other contexts.

Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules, credits and awards

The following tables describe the programme planned for delivery to students commencing Stage 1 in the academic year 2017/18. Some modules will be updated or replaced in future years as a consequence of normal programme development activity and staff rotation.

11. Educational aims of the programme

Mathematics programme

Refer to information published by the Department of Mathematics.

Physics programme

The programme is intended to:

  • Provide education and training of high quality in Physics.
  • Stimulate and encourage in students a questioning and creative approach, thus developing their enthusiasm for Physics and a capacity for independent judgement.
  • Facilitate students' personal development through the acquisition and use of a wide range of transferable skills.
  • Provide students with a sound foundation in Physics, preparing them well for employment or further study and meeting the national needs for qualified graduates as identified by the relevant professional accrediting bodies.

The Department of Physics intends to provide students taking this programme with:

  • Opportunities to engage with a range of advanced concepts and applications, drawing upon the specialist expertise of the staff.
  • The opportunity, through the flexibility provided by a wide range of choices of both degree programmes and modules, to complete a programme of study relevant to their interests and aptitudes.
  • Regular and frequent small-group contact with staff with the appropriate teaching skills and experience, including current activity in high-level research.
  • An environment which is caring and supportive in both academic and pastoral aspects and which will have encompassed an appropriate range of teaching methods and broadened their learning experience.

12. Programme outcomes

Mathematics programme

Refer to information published by the Department of Mathematics.

Physics programme

On successful completion of the programme, it is intended that the student should be able to demonstrate:

  1. Subject knowledge and skills
    • Knowledge and understanding of most fundamental physical laws and principles, and competence in the application of these principles to diverse areas of physics.
    • Ability to solve problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools. Students should be able to identify the relevant physical principles and make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
    • Ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour.
  2. Core academic skills
    • Ability to execute and analyse critically the results of an experiment or investigation and draw valid conclusions. Students should be able to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results and compare these results with expected outcomes, theoretical predictions or with published data. They should be able to evaluate the significance of their results in this context.
    • Sound familiarity with laboratory apparatus and techniques.
  3. Personal and key skills
    • Ability in numerical manipulation and the ability to present and interpret information graphically.
    • Ability to communicate scientific information. In particular students should be able to produce clear and accurate scientific reports.
    • Ability to manage their own learning and to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources.

Reference points used to construct this specification:

13. Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Mathematics programme

Refer to information published by the Department of Mathematics.

Physics programme

Teaching/learning:

  1. Subject knowledge and skills
    • Material is introduced by lectures and directed reading/research. Students are given clear guidance in how to manage their learning and are expected to take progressively more responsibility for their own learning at each stage. Understanding is developed and consolidated in problems classes and tutorials and by laboratory work and private study exercises, carried out individually and in pairs or groups. A mix of self-assessed and tutor-marked work provides rapid feedback. Project work is used to integrate material and make knowledge functional. A set of compulsory core modules cover the 'fundamental physical laws' in progressively greater depth at each stage of the programme. These laws are applied in the options modules and projects at Stages 2 and 3. Mathematical skills are learned within dedicated modules and are applied and reinforced in the other 'physics' modules.
  2. Core academic skills
    • The 'Practical Physics' modules at Stages 1 and 2 provide a thorough training in the execution and critical analysis of an experimental investigation. These skills are developed further in the Stage 3 projects which require students to plan and execute experiments. They must also present and defend their conclusions.
  3. Personal and key skills
    • Initial training in the manipulation, presentation and interpretation of data occurs during Stage 1 in the mathematics, and Practical Physics modules and in tutorials. These skills are developed and used at progressively higher levels throughout the programme.
    • Initial training in scientific communication occurs during Stage 1 in the Practical Physics module and in tutorials. These skills are developed and used at progressively higher levels throughout the programme.
    • Students learn, with the guidance of tutors and module instructors, to take progressively more responsibility for managing their own learning at each stage of the programme.

Assessment methods:

  1. Subject knowledge and skills
    • Direct assessment is through a range of mid-semester tests (Stage 1 and 2 only), formal written examinations, and marked coursework in the form of problem sheets, laboratory reports, reports/essays based on directed reading and research. The Stage 3 project assessment is based on performance in laboratory work, oral presentations, planning ability, a formal written report and a poster presentation. Assessment criteria are published in the School Handbook.
  2. Core academic skills
    • Analytical skills are assessed within many modules through a range of formal written examinations, and marked coursework in the form of problem sheets, etc. These skills are primarily demonstrated in project work however. The 'Practical Physics II' module at Stage 2 includes a small scale project, assessed by practical work/results and a presentation. This leads onto the Stage 3 projects. The Stage 3 project assessment is based on performance in laboratory work, oral presentations, planning ability, a formal written report and a poster presentation. Assessment criteria are published in the School Handbook.
  3. Personal and key skills
    • Assessment of key skills is mostly through items of coursework: written and oral presentations, and through project work.