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PHY8006 : Advanced Topic in Physics (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Thomas Billam
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


This module will introduce students to an advanced topic in physics in which the School has an international research reputation, presented by a member of staff with expertise in that area and relevant to the student’s research project.

Outline Of Syllabus

An advanced topic in Physics in which the School has an international research reputation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0012:00“Interim review” video preparation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion421:0042:00Oral examination preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading841:0084:00Study of literature / Stage 4 material
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Intro. tutorial- present-in-person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Interim review- present-in-person.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery101:0010:00“Drop-ins”- present-in-person.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will study a topic set by their dissertation project supervisor, by undertaking directed reading. This independent study will be supplemented by guidance available from the supervisor via “drop-ins” concomitant with normal weekly supervision meetings. In some cases in addition to reading, attending/reviewing relevant parts of the Semester 1 component of a relevant Stage 4 undergraduate Physics or Applied Mathematics module (without taking the assessments) will be set as a study activity.

The expectations of the module and the nature of the oral exam will be explained in small group tutorials from the module leader. This guided self-study will promote students to develop deep understanding and critical thinking in the advanced topic area.

If necessary present-in-person activities and oral assessments may be moved to synchronous online. Students should consult their individual timetable and Canvas for up-to-date delivery information.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination401A100Student presentation of topic overview, followed by oral examination by the assessors.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1M“Interim review” presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Summative assessment is via an oral examination with questioning conducted by the supervisor and a second academic. Such assessment promotes deep learning of the advanced topic material and encourages students to engage with fundamental concepts and think critically.

To help students progress, and practice answering questions on the topic, they will record a mid-semester formative “interim review” presentation video. The student will present an overview of their knowledge of the topic so far, which will be watched by the supervisor. The student will then meet the supervisor so that:

a) the supervisor can ask the student questions based on the interim review presentation;

b) the supervisor can give formative feedback on the student’s presentation and their responses to questions.

Reading Lists