PHYM010 Project and Dissertation 2023-24
Prof. M.R. Bate
Delivery Weeks: T1:01-11, T2:01-11
Level: 7 (NQF)
Credits: 60 NICATS / 30 ECTS
Enrolment: 15 students (approx)


Students will work on a project linked to one of the main research groups in the Department. Over the period of the project, they will learn what it means to work in an active research group. The students will not only develop research skills and communication skills but also gain valuable experience in team work. Normally, between two and four students will work on a particular research topic, and within the group the students will work in pairs.

Module Aims

A major distinguishing feature of the MPhys degree is its substantial project which requires students to apply the knowledge they have acquired to a real problem in a research environment. The aim of this module is to foster the open-ended problem solving skills that are characteristic of the practising physicist.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

A student who has passed this module should be able to:

Syllabus Plan

  1. Background and Project Proposal
    Each student will give an assessed presentation on the background report they prepared in PHY3205. (See table below.)
  2. Project Work
    In weeks T1:01-11 the students will spend an average of three days per week working on their project. Throughout the work each student will be responsible for keeping a record of their work in a research notebook (in the form of a detailed diary). The student will also produce (in the notebook) a brief (one-page) weekly summary of the work completed in the previous week and a list of the tasks intended to be completed in the coming week. (A photocopy of this summary should be provided each week to the main supervisor.) This part of the project will be assessed by examination of the student's lab books, and an oral examination (see table below).
  3. Project Work
    In weeks T2:01-07 in Term 2 students will spend an average of three days per week working on their project, assessed by examination of the student's lab books, and an oral examination.
  4. Poster Presentation
    In weeks T2:08-09 the students will spend four days jointly preparing a poster display on their work. The assessment will take the form of a discussion of the display with each student in turn (see table below).
  5. Final Dissertation
    In weeks T2:10-11 students will spend an average of three days per week (6 days) finalising 'practical' work on their project and undertaking the detailed analysis and preparation needed for an individual (not joint) final dissertation. The dissertation is expected to follow the guidelines in the Physics Handbook. The dissertation must not exceed the word-limit specified below. There will be also be a viva voce examination of project and dissertation, and this will be held during the Summer assessment period (see table below).

Learning and Teaching

Learning Activities and Teaching Methods

Description Study time KIS type
Supervision Meetings 22 hours SLT
Project work (60 days) 420 hours SLT
Poster preparation (4 days) 28 hours GIS
Work on final dissertation (10 days) 70 hours GIS
Reading and private study 60 hours GIS


Weight Form Size When ILOS assessed Feedback
0% Reports for supervisor Weekly Throughout project work 1,5-10 Verbal
7% Oral Presentation 15 minutes Week T1:06 1,8,9,11,13,14 Written and verbal
22% Laboratory work and Viva voce 1 20-minute notebook discussion Week T1:08 1,5-7,10-14 Written and verbal
22% Laboratory work and Viva voce 2 20-minute notebook discussion Week T2:06 1,5-7,10-14 Written and verbal
8% Poster (joint) and viva (individual) A0 display, 15-minute viva Display deadline week T2:10, vivia voce in week T2:11 3,4,13,14 Written and verbal
41% Dissertation and viva 7500 words, 20-minute viva Dissertation deadline week T3:01 (Mon), viva during weeks T3:02-04 2,9,10-14 Written and verbal

Notes:  Refer to the detailed description of the MPhys assessment criteria in the Physics Handbook.


The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of information that students are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Instructor(s).

Core text:

Supplementary texts:


Further Information

Prior Knowledge Requirements

Pre-requisite Modules Background Report for Project (PHY3205) or PHY3307
Co-requisite Modules none


Re-assessment is not available except when required by referral or deferral.

Original form of assessment Form of re-assessment ILOs re-assessed Time scale for re-assessment

Notes: Re-assessment is not available for this module.

KIS Data Summary

Learning activities and teaching methods
SLT - scheduled learning & teaching activities 442 hrs
GIS - guided independent study 158 hrs
PLS - placement/study abroad 0 hrs
Total 600 hrs
Summative assessment
Coursework 41%
Written exams 0%
Practical exams 59%
Total 100%


IoP Accreditation Checklist
  • N/A this is a project module
Availability MPhys only
Distance learning NO
Keywords Physics; Work; Project; Examination; Dissertation; Table; Form; Poster; Presentation; Notebook; Assessment.
Created 01-Oct-10
Revised 16-Nov-16