Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LLLC0187 Core Physics: Mechanics, Thermal Physics and Electricity & Magnetism

30 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Emma Pittard

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module aims to develop your understanding of several core topics in physics, including Mechanics, Thermal Physics and Electricity & Magnetism, using theoretical descriptions, demonstrations and worked examples. Throughout this module you will be given lots of opportunities to develop your own experimental and problem solving skills, and learn how to apply the theories introduced to simple real-life situations. These will cover a diverse range of topics, from simple forces to complex electric circuits. Therefore this module will provide you with a chance to learn key concepts and skills needed for a variety of Science and Engineering degree programmes.


The aim of this module is to provide students with the core concepts and skills needed to succeed within the fields of Mechanics, Thermal Physics and Electricity & Magnetism. Through many worked examples students will be shown how to model simple real-life problems and apply the theories introduced. This module will also allow students to gain the experimental skills needed to be a successful working Scientist or Engineer.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. present physical ideas using appropriate scientific language, mathematical notation and diagrams
2. model a physical problem and formulate a mathematical solution to describe different physical phenomena
3. demonstrate good experimental practice by carefully recording experimental details and results and interpreting data obtained using appropriate physical theories and error analysis techniques
4. define key ethical issues associated with scientific disciplines

Skills outcomes
- The ability to model a physical problem
- The ability to solve physical problems using mathematics
- The ability to use the knowledge gained in this module in new situations and to solve related problems
- To gain practical experimental skills in physics
- The ability to be able to describe, explain and interpret results in physics terms and be able to apply mathematical methods to analyse results


The content will be delivered through lectures, workshops and laboratory work, and will cover topics such as:
- Equations of motion (constant acceleration in 1 and 2 dimensions)
- Vector analysis (resolving vectors, resultant vectors)
- Newton's laws of Motion (objects in equilibrium, linear and circular motion)
- Momentum
- Work done
- Newton's Law of Gravity and Gravitational potential
- Simple Harmonic Motion
-Temperature scales and absolute zero
- Zeroth and First Law of Thermodynamics
-Specific Heat capacity
- Thermal conduction
- Gas Laws
- Work done by a gas
- Kinetic Theory
- Kirchhoff's Laws for electric circuits (containing resistors and/or capacitors)
- Coulombs Law (electric fields and electrical potential)
- Electromagnetic Induction (Faraday and Lenz' Law))

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours50.00
Private study hours130.00
Total Contact hours120.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

In the first semester coursework will be predominately summative to encourage student engagement with the academic content and with the practice of independent study. In the second semester this scaffolding is removed and the focus shifts to more formative assessment to further develop the appropriate skills as independent learners to support undergraduate study.
General feedback on assignment performance will be posted on Minerva, while individual feedback will also be provided upon marking of assignments. Students will also participate in self and peer review across the foundation year.
Workshop sessions will allow students to engage in specific elements of the module by undertaking planned individual and group activities. These sessions will also provide guided practice of physics concepts in order to support as independent learner.
Students have opportunity to receive formative feedback in small group laboratory sessions through guidance with a dedicated lab demonstrator, practical session activities during workshops and short essays.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written Work3 x lab bench notes10.00
In-course Assessment45 minute exam5.00
Written Work5 x 2 hour problem sets15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

Due to the developmental and pedagogical nature of some assessments and timings, there is not a viable opportunity to provide a resit for the following: Science mid-terms in the first semester; laboratory sessions provided by external departments, or after a coursework deadline has passed and the model answers have been shared. If a student fails the module coursework the resit opportunity will be an equivalent problem based learning assessment in July. Students who miss any of these learning opportunities can apply for mitigating circumstances and potentially could be given consideration at the exam board. A minimum attendance standard is expected for lab sessions.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 00 mins35.00
Unseen exam 2 hr 00 mins35.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:23:10


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019