PHYM005 Independent Study 2023-24
Prof. M.E. Portnoi
Delivery Weeks: T1:01-11 or T2:01-11
Level: 7 (NQF)
Credits: 15 NICATS / 7.5 ECTS
Enrolment: 1 students (approx)


The independent study module may be taken in either Term 1 or Term 2 and is an unconventional option available to Stage 4 students. The student must take responsibility for identifying the topic to be studied, planning a programme of study and the method and criteria by which and end product (normally a report) will be judged.

Module Aims

The module aims is to enable the student to broaden their education and develop his/her skills in goal-setting and time-management by pursuing a completely self-defined programme of study

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

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

Syllabus Plan

Students following this module will exercise their goal-setting and time-management skills extensively. They will learn how to define a critical path to deliver a stated result within a given time and develop skills in resourcing, selecting and organising relevant information. They will acquire the discipline to complete their self-defined goal within a time constraint. Equally importantly they will learn not to spend too much time on a project which constitutes only a fraction of their Stage 4 credit. Depending on their chosen form of assessment, they will exercise oral, written or poster presentation skills. They will learn to defend themselves in a viva and apply constructive self-criticism to their final work.

To satisfy the module requirement, the student must:

  1. Identify a suitable piece of work to accomplish
  2. Define and meet a series of intermediate goals
  3. Produce a final result.
The entire exercise should take the equivalent of 10 hours per credit. The word length of written essays reports, etc. should be commensurate with Physics norm, i.e. 500 words per credit.

Learning and Teaching

Learning Activities and Teaching Methods

Description Study time KIS type
Independent study 150 hours GIS


Weight Form Size When ILOS assessed Feedback
0% Initial project plan 500 words Week T1:01/T2:01 1-2 Written and/or verbal
0% Progress reports 250 words Fortnightly 3 Written and/or verbal
100% Report and viva 7500 words Week T2:00/T3:01 4-6 Written and verbal

Notes:  The report and/or other end products will be assessed by two members of staff, and the student will normally required to attend an viva voce examination. This will be decided when the form of the end product of the independent study is agreed at the start of the module. In addition, students will be asked to make an evaluation of their own work, and this will be included in the assessment process. N.B. Students are not permitted to register for this module until the convener is satisfied that the project plan involves an appropriate amount and level of learning and will lead to a satisfactory end product.


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 0 hrs
GIS - guided independent study 150 hrs
PLS - placement/study abroad 0 hrs
Total 150 hrs
Summative assessment
Coursework 100%
Written exams 0%
Practical exams 0%
Total 100%


IoP Accreditation Checklist
  • N/A this is an optional module.
Availability MPhys only
Distance learning NO
Keywords Physics; Time; Goal setting; Word; Management; Result; Work; Self criticism; Suitable piece; Form; Much time.
Created 01-Oct-11
Revised N/A