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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS3003 Advanced Techniques in Theoretical Physics

30 credits

Module manager: Dr Gavin Burnell

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

Year running 2021/22

This module is mutually exclusive with

PHYS3001Advanced Techniques in Experimental Physics
PHYS3002Advanced Techniques in Astrophysics
PHYS3004Advanced Techniques in Physics (Joint Honours)
PHYS3160Physics Project (Jh)

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The ability to apply physical understanding and higher level problem solving skills to the processes in designing and carrying out theoretical and computational studies is essential for both higher level academic study in theoretical and computational sciences and to many professional careers for physicists. This module forms the bridge between the first and second year modules developing problem solving and and communications skills in the theoretical physics s courses and the research focusses, open-ended projects of the 4th year Theoretical Physics programmes. In this module, students carry out extended, open ended studies using techniques commonly used by the School’s theoretical physics academics each programmes to hone skills in these areas.


This module will give the students and increased awareness of skills required in preparing, conducting, analysing and interpreting of a wide range of advanced theoretical and computational physics techniques through the use of appropriate mathematical, data analysis and statistical approaches and to communicate and defend their work in a variety of professional contexts.

Learning outcomes
1. Perform or evaluate advanced theoretical and computational physics techniques and calculations.
2. Explain and apply a range of theoretical, statistical and computational analytical techniques to model systems.
3. Develop problem solving skills and practical approaches to troubleshooting calculations and simulations and time management.
4. Present scientific findings and defend results and methodology in oral presentations to small groups and in extended written work, at an appropriate level and in a professional manner.
5. Communicating complex concepts succinctly and coherently in one-to-one situations.


Each student undertakes 3 "mini-projects" of 3 weeks from a list of appropriate techniques to theoretical and computational physics.
The list of potential projects reflects the research activity in the Theoretical Physics Research Group and other academics in closely related areas within the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours148.00
Total Contact hours152.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Regular meetings with mini-project supervisors and demonstrators and discussion of interim results.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical ReportFormal Report25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 12/07/2021 13:47:39


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