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School of Physics and Astronomy

2.2 Outcomes for all undergraduate programmes in physics (16/17)

Knowledge and Understanding - Graduates should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of fundamental physical laws and principles, in particular in the areas of classical and quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical physics, wave phenomena, thermodynamics and properties of matter.

2. Apply these principles to diverse areas of physics, including a number of the following: astrophysics, atomic physics, laser physics, particle and nuclear physics, condensed matter physics and materials, plasmas and fluids and biomedical physics. The range of applications encountered will be programme dependent, but all students will encounter several.

In addition students completing a Masters programme should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes of the corresponding bachelors' programme at a higher level than in their third year deriving from the study of advanced topics, many at the forefront of the discipline.

Intellectual skills - Graduates should be able to:

1. Formulate and solve problems in physics, identifying the relevant physical principles and making approximations necessary to obtain solutions; use special cases and order-of-magnitude estimations to guide their thinking and make assumptions clear in the presentation of their solution.

2. Use mathematics to describe the physical world and show an understanding of mathematical modelling of physical phenomena; use appropriate mathematical tools in physics problems.

3. Carry out a substantial open-ended investigation; analyse critically the results of an investigation, with particular reference to the significance of the results and how they compare with theoretical prediction.

In addition students completing a Masters programme should be able to:

4. Apply fundamental physical laws and principles to diverse areas of physics including some at the forefront of the discipline.

5. Apply their theoretical and practical skills to the understanding and/or investigation of subjects at the forefront of knowledge.

6. Use a wide variety of source material including primary sources.

Practical skills - Graduates should be able to:

1. Work safely in a laboratory, identifying hazards and operating apparatus to avoid risk to themselves and others.

2. Demonstrate technical competence in adjustment, calibration and use of experimental apparatus.

3. Communicate the results of an experiment in formal presentations, both oral and written.

In addition, students completing a Masters programme should be able to:

4. Plan and carry out an investigation under supervision; analyse the results critically making appropriate reference to prior relevant original research.

Transferable skills enhanced by the degree programmes include the ability to:

1. Present data graphically and use appropriate IT and programming tools to analyse data at a level appropriate to their degree.

2. Communicate scientific information orally and in writing, at a level appropriate to their degree demonstrating the awareness of the requirements of different types of published output.

3. Organise their own learning and use appropriate learning resources; work both independently and as part of a team.

In addition, students completing a Masters programme should be able to:

4. Demonstrate enhanced personal skills from studying in another country.

In addition, students studying Physics with Study in Europe should be able to:

5. Demonstrate the high level of personal organisation and motivation needed to study in Europe.

In addition, students completing a Masters programme should be able to:

6. Work independently in both lecture-based courses and project work.