|Project and Dissertation
Prof. M.R. Bate and Research Group Staff
T1:01-11, T2:01-11, T3:05-07
|30 NICATS / 15 ECTS
|40 students (approx)
Students will work on a project linked to one of the existing main
research groups in the Department. Over the period of the project, they
will learn how to work as part of a research group. The students will not only develop
research skills and communication skills but also gain valuable experience in
team work. Between two and four students will work on a particular research
topic, and within a group the students will normally work in pairs.
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 is to foster the
open-ended problem solving necessary for the practising physicist.
PHY3122 constitutes the first part of a two-part 75-credit project
extending over Stages 3 and 4 of MPhys programmes.
forms the second part.
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
A student who has passed this module should be able to:
Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:
- perform a literature search and successfully discern the relevant
from the irrelevant, and the reliable from the unreliable;
- give a scientific talk which conforms to conventional standards
for a presentation;
- demonstrate an awareness of the general requirements of safety regulations;
- identify any specific hazards associated with their particular project and/or its environment,
describe the associated procedures for safe working, and explain the rationale for such procedures;
- appropriately complete risk assessment forms (such as those published by the Department or the
University Safety Office)
as applicable to their particular project;
- include consideration of safety aspects in the design of experiments;
Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:
- undertake independent background research;
- write scientific reports;
- keep a contemporaneous research notebook that is neat, accurate and objective;
Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge:
- communicate by means of oral and written presentations;
- make appropriate use of information technology.
- work productively and co-operatively in with others;
- communicate clearly using a variety of methods;
- meet deadlines for completion of work and apply appropriate time-management
All students should refer to the detailed description of the
MPhys projects and assessment
in the Physics Handbook. The hours of work specified below are the core hours
for groups to work together; the additional hours needed to correspond to 30 credits are
spent individually analysing results, writing reports, etc.
In weeks T1:01-04 of Term 1 the students will spend one day per
week in background reading, team discussions and laboratory
demonstrations. At the end of this period each student will give an assessed
presentation on his or her individual progress.
In weeks T1:05-09 each student will be engaging in
team discussions of the project work. Again, one day per week will be
assigned to this work. Each student will prepare an individual
introductory report on the project, to be submitted by the deadline in the table above.
Each student's introductory report will be assessed and discussed in a viva voce examination.
Project Work 1
During weeks T1:10 and T1:11 students spend one day per week preparing for project work,
e.g. by completing any training needed to use equipment/software.
In weeks T2:01-10 in Term 2
the students will spend an average of 1.5 days per week on project work,
making a total of 15 days. Five days (T3:05) of the period of full-time work
after the May/June examinations also count towards the credits for this module.
Project Work 2
In the remainder of Term 3 of Stage 3 the students will work a further 9 days (e.g
four days of week T3:06 and
the whole of week T3:07) on the
project. This work contributes nine credits to be carried forward to the
Stage 4 module PHYM009.
Throughout the work each student will be responsible for
keeping a record of his or her work in a research notebook (in the form of a
detailed diary). The student will also produce (in the log book) 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.
Learning and Teaching
Learning Activities and Teaching Methods
|31 days of project work
|Reading and private study
|Reports for supervisor
|Throughout project work
|Written and verbal
|Background report and viva
|2500 words, 20 minutes
|Report deadline week T1:10, viva voce in week T1:11
|Written and verbal
|Laboratory work and Viva voce
|20-minute notebook discussion
|Written and verbal
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).
Prior Knowledge Requirements
Re-assessment is not available except when required by referral or deferral.
|Original form of assessment
|Form of re-assessment
|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
|GIS - guided independent study
|PLS - placement/study abroad
|MPhys programmes only
|Physics; MPhys Project; Research; Safety; MPhys; Reports; Notebook.