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PHY2034 : Computational Methods and Professional Skills for Theoretical Physics

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Mark Rayson
  • Lecturer: Mr Chris Traynor
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To raise awareness of and develop students' transferable Physics career management skills.
To enable students to utilise current careers information to help them to make future careers decisions.
To reflect and market their employability attributes in job applications.

To work towards the idea of coding user-defined functions and further towards programming aimed at solving more substantial problems.

To promote some element of independent thinking and critical appraisal by linking the computational experience to the tackling of unfamiliar problems.

Module Summary

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. Computing methods are of great use in a wide range of applications of Physics. This module will introduce and develop familiarity with numerical computing, relate this to problem solving techniques based on independent thinking, and develop the ability to apply such methods independently, towards specific goals in Physics: theory and applications.

Outline Of Syllabus

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

Numerical Analysis: root finding, interpolation, numerical differentiation and integration, minimisation of functions, linear algebra and iterative methods.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Formal Lectures – Present in Person (Computational Methods)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00Formal Lectures – Present in Person (Careers)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion451:0045:00Completion of in course assignments/ examination revision
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study311:0031:00Preparation time for lectures, background reading, coursework review
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on marked work.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1M50Career management portfolio made up of report of current graduate landscape, selection of 1 career idea, annotated USP, media report
Written exercise1M15Numerical analysis coursework assignment
Written exercise1M35Numerical analysis coursework assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The two coursework assignments allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques and to practise the methods learnt in the module. They also allow the assessment of the computational skills acquired by the students.

The application portfolio will consist of a number of tasks (which could be, for example, application questions, CVs and cover letters).

Reading Lists