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PHY8050 : Extended Project - MPhys Theoretical Physics

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Danielle Leonard
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0


To enhance the understanding of physics through the experience of a research project.
Students undertake a research project that is training for a future career as a professional physicist. The project is normally carried out in a research environment and is conducted by a member of staff with an expertise in the relevant academic field. Through working alongside a member of the research staff the student is introduced to research methodology.

Outline Of Syllabus

The list of research topics available is issued in the summer term of the preceding academic year. Students should discuss the topic they are interested in with staff member supervising the topic.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion10:200:20Oral presentation of key findings to supervisor and 2nd examiner
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Writing and preparing oral presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion158:0058:00Writing and preparing report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion186:0086:00Research, preparation and submission of project plan
Guided Independent StudyProject work1219:40219:40N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Peer feedback session on report draft
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision241:0024:00Supervisory meetings – present in person or on line
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students are allocated an academic supervisor to discuss the aims and objectives of the project to be undertaken. At the MPhys level students are expected to undertake the majority of the work independently and show a high degree of self-reliance.
The writing of the reports increases the depth of knowledge and understanding and helps to establish a systematic approach to the research in the module. The information retrieval necessary for the report provides an insight into the methods adopted by practising physicists and paves the way for future self-directed research.
Supervisory meetings will allow the student to talk through any difficulties and ensure good progress is being made.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal1M10Project plan, brief literature review & gantt chart
Oral Examination2M20Oral presentation of key findings
Dissertation2M70Final dissertation, in appropriate journal style. Max 8000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The project plan ensures that the student has understood the goals of the research project, has a basic grasp of the essential physics / techniques required to undertake the research work and has a plan to complete it within the two semesters.
The dissertation will comprise a maximum of 8000 words in a journal style appropriate for the sub-discipline of the project. Supported by a portfolio of additional electronic information, e.g. additional results, code written by the student, derivations etc.

From the various presentations plus report the ability of the student will be assessed regarding;
• subject-specific, core and cognitive skills
• critical evaluation of results
• self-reliance – assessed from general observations of the supervisor.
• self-motivation– assessed from general observations of the supervisor.
• innovation and initiative taking - established from a technical assessment of the initial study, implementation issues and evaluation of end project plus dissertation and the general observations of the supervisor.

Reading Lists