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PHY2028 : Laboratory and Professional Skills in Physics

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Toby Hallam
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr Aleksey Kozikov
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To raise awareness of and develop students' transferable Physics career management skills.

To enable students to utilise current careers information to help make future careers decisions.

To reflect and market their employability attributes in job applications.

To introduce and enhance practical skills through the use of challenging experimental Physics.

To enable the student to demonstrate enhanced capabilities in terms of error analysis and good experimental technique.

To develop data analysis skills in context of: the scientific method and modern scientific research.

To enhance scientific writing skills by reporting experimental Physics.

To continue the development of Python and LabView programming to enable the student to be able to use computing to support their learning and development.

The career management aspects of the module will develop students' understanding of what it means to be employable in the national and international labour market.

Outline Of Syllabus

Professional skills: employability attributes awareness and development, occupational/LMI awareness, marketability including application writing and interview techniques.

The experiments used in the laboratory portion of the module will be used to reinforce key aspects of Physics, including those covered in the Stage 2 taught modules.

The experiments used in the laboratory portion of the module introduce new physical behaviour and theory that extends from and connects material in their taught modules.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion101:0010:00Prof skills assessment writing
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00Lab Book Writing
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion46:0024:00Report Writing
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00Professional Skills Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical153:0045:00Laboratory – Present in Person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study231:0023:00Professional Skills Independent Study
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study751:0075:00Laboratory Independent Study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

S1 contains lecture-based professional skills component for 6 weeks.
Remainder of S1 and S2 is in person practical lab classes where data is taken for analysis during independent study.
Small group practical teaching supported by PGR and academics is used to connect theoretical underpinnings of contemporary physics theory with hands on experimental activity.

The teaching methods are appropriate to allow students to develop a wide range of skills - from understanding basic concepts and facts to higher-order thinking.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M12Lab report 1,2,3 choose best 3 out of 4 submitted Lab reports
Practical/lab report2M12Lab report 1,2,3 choose best 3 out of 4 submitted Lab reports
Practical/lab report2M13Lab report 1,2,3 choose best 3 out of 4 submitted Lab reports
Practical/lab report2M38MUST PASS (40%) Practical lab book (includes preliminary tasks and quizzes)
Prof skill assessmnt1M25Career management portfolio made up of a report of the current graduate landscape, a selection of one career idea & an annotated USP
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The laboratory sessions provide the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of laboratory Physics and the underlying skills. Emphasis is placed upon scientific communication, error analysis and analytical excellence.

Report assessment explores formal scientific communication methods.

The lab book is a live document marked throughout the academic year. The assessment is for content developed during the timetabled laboratory sessions and explores accurate analysis and elements of record keeping.

The professional skills portfolio provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of LMI, careers research skills, self-awareness and practical applications of career management.

Students will be given an opportunity to submit an additional (optional) lab report at the beginning of Semester 1 and get thorough feedback to understand what will be required from the. The mark for it will be for guidance only.

For IOP accreditation students must develop appropriate experimental skills through undertaking a variety of experiments covering the breadth of the subject and, where relevant, reflecting degree specialisms.

Students gain experience in using a variety of apparatus, acquiring robust data and identifying sources of error and uncertainty, processing, interpreting and analysing data, and presenting experimental results

Reading Lists