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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS1001 Introduction to Experimental Physics

20 creditsClass Size: 250

Module manager: Dr Peter Hine

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

Year running 2022/23

This module is mutually exclusive with

PHYS1260Laboratory 1a (Joint Honours and Geophysics)
PHYS1261Laboratory 1a (Joint Honours)

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces students to undergraduate experimental physics. The module consists of a range of experimental procedures that students undertake on a rota basis throughout the year. The experimental work is accompanied by a range of other essential skills required by a physicist such as error analysis, report writing, oral presentation and teamwork.


On completion of this module students should be able to:
- achieve an adequate level of competence in regular practical work;
- demonstrate the ability to use simple laboratory apparatus;
- use statistical methods of error analysis and critically analyse data;
- communicate experimental results individually in the form of written exercises, oral presentations and a formal report.
- communicate experimental results as a team

Learning outcomes
Execute an experiment and evaluate the level of uncertainty in results.
Communicate in writing the results of their work or other scientific information.
Communicate verbally experimental results
Work as a team to produce a science communication output.

Skills outcomes
Practical laboratory skills
Scientific writing
Data analysis
Experiment planning


The first two laboratory sessions are a group experiment designed to give an introduction to taking measurements, graph plotting and error analysis. The remaining sessions will consist of a variety of experiments drawn from: Mechanics, Atomic Physics, Optics, Thermal Physics and Electromagnetism.
Coursework includes a 15 minute oral presentation, two formal reports chosen from two of the experiments carried out, and a science communication output (e.g. video or poster) as a group on one of the experiments.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session221.0022.00
Group learning14.004.00
Private study hours131.00
Total Contact hours69.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparation in advance of practical sessions.
Preparing assessment pieces and responding to feedback.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students are given feedback on a weekly basis on their practical reports.
They will receive feedback on the other elements of assessment.
For example, the semester 1 formal report will provide feedback for the semester 2 formal report.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral PresentationOral presentation10.00
Group ProjectScience communication (video)10.00
Practical ReportExperimental write ups65.00
ReportFormal reports15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students must submit a serious attempt at all assessments for this module, in order to pass the module overall.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 10/10/2022


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