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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 17/05/2022 10:39:29

Title of Module: Project & Professional Skills

Code: PHYS10003 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 40 ECTS: 20
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:David  O'Donnell

Summary of Module

The physics project is an opportunity for students to put their knowledge into practice and experience how physics is done in a research scenario. Students will conduct their independent research project with staff supervision. Some taught material on computing within the context of physics applications and more general PDP will be provided. In the first part of the Honours project the outcome for the student is a thorough understanding of their project area and a clear plan on what is to be achieved in the second part.

Projects are hosted within research groups, and make use of research-level equipment and software. 

Students will learn to keep a log book - it is essential for all research work that detailed dated records are maintained.

Students will learn to analyse data critically. The data must be analysed and conclusions drawn from this analysis. It is important that the relationship between the data and the conclusions is clear.

In terms of the Physics programme, this is where the student learns by experience and with guidance to confidently employ their physics knowledge and problem-solving techniques.

Assessment will take the following form:

  • We have defined a set of Graduate Attributes that are the skills, personal qualities and understanding to be developed through your university experience that will prepare for life and work in the 21st century ( The Graduate Attributes relevant to this module are listed below.

  • Graduate Attributes - Academic: critical thinker; analytical; inquiring; knowledgeable; digitally literate; problem solver; autonomous; incisive; innovative.

  • Graduate Attributes - Personal: effective communicator; influential; motivated.

  • Graduate Attributes - Professional: collaborative; research-minded; enterprising; ambitious; driven.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Develop a plan for an extended practical and/or computational investigation

L2. Demonstrate understanding of the context of the investigation

L3. Carry out an extended practical and/or computational investigation, applying appropriate experimental or computational techniques.

L4. Communicate the plan and the context to professional colleagues

L5. Demonstrate an understanding of computer programming and its use within physics

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 10.

The project covers all of the areas mentioned for K&U in SCQF level 10, the student reviews the background to the work to be undertaken using advanced textbooks, published literature, and interaction with supervisor and other research staff. Ideally they are able to identify or at least appreciate the key concepts to be investigated. In that specific focused area, they should aware of work at the forefront of the discipline, and have some understanding of how their own project work fits into the picture.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Using mathematical skills, techniques, practices and methods of physics to carry out an extended piece of work. The project is an excellent way for students to apply the knowledge and understanding they have learned in classes and in earlier Physics labs. Based on SCQF level 10, they will use the principal skills of Physics, together with a few more specialist advance skills. They will execute a project of research in which they have to plan an investigation and identify outcomes, and this is likely to involve professional interaction with other researchers or sometimes external collaborators.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Originate, present and evaluate information and ideas in a well documented form. Use a range of approaches to addressing problems and issues in physics

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

The student will use a range of advanced skills in physics. For example: to convey ideas in well-structured and coherent form; to use a range of forms of communication effectively in both familiar and new contexts; to use advanced techniques to obtain and process a variety of information and data; use a range of numerical and graphical skills in combination; use numerical and graphical data

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Exercise initiative and independence in carrying out planned activities. Take account of own and others’ roles and responsibilities in carrying out and evaluating tasks. Work with others in support of current professional practice under guidance

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Thermodynamics & Statistical Physics
Quantum Mechanics
Atoms & Nuclei
Other:or equivalent
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module consists of training in an extensive range of research, computing and other professional skills of relevance to any scientific or industrial career. Delivery of the project part of the module is primarily by individual learning. The student will be guided by the project supervisor in initial reading and background, and in the approach to be taken. However, the student is expected to take as much initiative as possible in design and development of their programme of work. The student is encouraged to read up-to-date literature to support understanding during their project work and in order to place their contribution within the context of current developments. It will be necessary for the student to use information retrieval systems provided by the University. There will be on average two hours per week of lecture/workshop activity to cover explicitly key computing and professional skills. An important part of professional skills is in communication of project findings. This course offers an opportunity for experience of formal communication by means of a comprehensive literature review, a poster session, conveying research findings via an oral presentation and the submission of a formal project report. Adjustments for special needs can be made on request. In the first term, the content delivered during the formal contact time will concentrate on computing skills and, in particular, programming with a focus on solving physics-related problems. In the second term, the formal contact time will focus on the development of professional skills such as scientific writing and delivering effective presentations in addition to liaising with staff from the careers service to advance the students' career prospects.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Independent Study376
400 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Materials will be indicated by Project Supervisor.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPhysical Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPhysical Sciences
ModeratorDavid Hutson
External ExaminerH Boston
Accreditation DetailsInstitute of Physics
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
There is no exam. In the first component of assessment the communication skills of the student will be enhanced and assessed through structured activities including workshops on scientific writing and presentation skills to provide the student with the tools necessary in order to communicate effectively with their peers.

In term 2, the first component of summative assessment will take the form of a written report (60 %). This will gauge the quality of the student's work overall. The student will also have to present the results of their project to their peers in the form of an oral presentation (20 %).
For the second component of assessment the soft skills and abilities of the student as a scientific researcher will be evaluated.

At the end of the project the student will submit their laboratory logbook (10%) and their overall performance during the project will be evaluated by the supervisor (10%). This will enable the supervisor to provide a mode of assessment from which the student can obtain feedback on their performance during the project.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark 600
Presentationcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark 200

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Laboratory/ Clinical/ Field notebookcheck mark check markcheck mark 100
Performance/ Studio work/ Placement/ WBL/ WRL assessmentcheck markcheck markcheck mark  100
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
It is envisaged that all students would be able to carry out this module.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.