PHY3138 Projects and Dissertations 2018-19
Dr C.M. Brunt
Delivery Weeks: T1:01-11, T2:01-11
Level: 6 (NQF)
Credits: 30 NICATS / 15 ECTS
Enrolment: 53 students (approx)


This module comprises two one-term projects, which may be theoretical or experimental, and are normally undertaken in a pair. These projects are open-ended. Although normally inspired by research in the Department, students may propose their own topics for investigation. Students will produce a formal written scientific report of their first project, and will collaborate to make a poster presentation of their second project.

Module Aims

Project work not only gives students the opportunity to carry out research or a detailed investigation into a specific area of experimental or theoretical physics but it also requires them to develop and apply analytical and problem-solving skills in a context where they won't be told the 'right' answer but must discover, and validate it themselves. This may involve devising explanations or solutions, use of the library, computer, and other resources, working in small groups, and in the presentation and communication of their work, in both written and oral form.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

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

Syllabus Plan


Project 1 Project 2 Activity
Week T1:01 Week T2:01 Project allocated (Monday)
Week T1:03 Week T2:03 Assessment of laboratory work
Week T1:05 Week T2:05 Oral presentations (Friday)
Week T1:07 Week T2:07 Assessment of laboratory work
Week T1:09/T1:10   Discussion of plan for report
  Week T2:09/10 Discussion of plan for poster
Week T1:11   Formal Report deadline (Friday 1600)
  Week T2:11 Poster deadline (Friday 1600)

In the Term 1, students work on the first project and must write-up the project in a formal report which must be handed in before the Christmas vacation. This will be typset with LaTeX or word-processed (for word-limit see 'Assessment Methods' above). It will review the background to the project, outline the work done and the results obtained in the project. Work in Term 2 follows a similiar pattern, except that the final report is in the form of a poster presentation which will which will be displayed on the first-floor corridor wall. Details of the various exercises and the assessment criteria are given in the BSc Final Year Projects section of the Physics handbook.

Supervision and assistance is available from project supervisors and/or laboratory demonstrators during the project periods.

Learning and Teaching

Learning Activities and Teaching Methods

Description Study time KIS type
66×3-hour laboratory sessions 198 hours SLT
Reading and private study 102 hours GIS


Weight Form Size When ILOS assessed Feedback
0% Discussions with demonstrator 1-hour weekly Weeks T1:01-11, T2:01-11 1-11 Verbal
20% Term 1 Laboratory work 3×3-hour sessions each week Weeks T1:01-11 1-6,9,11,12,14 Written and verbal
10% Term 1 Oral Presentation 15 minutes See syllabus plan 10 Written and verbal
20% Formal Report 3000-words See syllabus plan 7,8,13 Written and verbal
20% Term 2 Laboratory work 3×3-hour sessions each week Weeks T2:01-11 1-6,9,11,12,14 Written and verbal
10% Term 2 Oral Presentation 15 minutes See syllabus plan 10 Written and verbal
20% Term 2 Poster presentation A0 poster See syllabus plan 10 Written and verbal

Notes:  Refer to the detailed description of the BSc Final Year Projects 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 N/A
Co-requisite Modules N/A


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 198 hrs
GIS - guided independent study 102 hrs
PLS - placement/study abroad 0 hrs
Total 300 hrs
Summative assessment
Coursework 20%
Written exams 0%
Practical exams 80%
Total 100%


Availability Physics BSc programmes only
Distance learning NO
Keywords Physics; Project; Work; Assessment; Report; Form; Presentation; Safety; Poster.
Created 01-Oct-00
Revised 17-Jan-18