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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 08/10/2021 11:01:41

Title of Module: Applied Nuclear Technology

Code: PHYS09010 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:David  O'Donnell

Summary of Module

This Module is a one of the SCQF Level-9 core components of the B.Sc. programme in Physics with Nuclear Technology. The Module is normally taken in Year-3 of the degree programme. The Module cover aspects of applied nuclear technology, taking forward elements of nuclear physics and radioactivity that were taught at Level 7 (PHYS079002) and in parallel at Level 9 (PHYS09002). The Module will prepare students for Level 10 Modules PHYS100001 (Nuclear & Particle Physics) and PHY10000N (Research Topics in Nuclear Physics).

This module will predominantly be delivered through lectures and tutorials with support in the form of practical sessions in the laboratory where the concepts are further explored.

Assessment is by examination (60%), lab work (20%), lab report (10%), and written
assignments (10%). The module will be supported by material on the Moodle internet resource. A brief outline of the module syllabus is given below.


Overview of nuclear energetics and reactions (~2 lectures)

Binding energy; separation energy; Q-values; nuclear decay; nuclear reactions

Radiation doses and hazard assessment (~2 lectures)

Doses and dose equivalents; biological effects; cancer risks; radiation protection standards

Principles of nuclear reactors (~8 lectures)

Neutron moderation; neutron life cycle; reactor kinetics; poisoning; diffusion equation;

Nuclear power (~8 lectures)

Electricity from thermal energy; reactor designs; nuclear fuel cycle; nuclear propulsion

Thermonuclear fusion (~4 lectures)

Energy production in plasmas; magnetically confined fusion; ITER; inertial confinement fusion

Nuclear technology in industry, research, and society (~6 lectures)

Tracer applications; labeled reagents; radio dating; neutron activation analysis; smoke detection

  • 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 1


Term 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. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of advanced concepts related to applied nuclear technology.

L2. To be able to apply the principles of advanced concepts in applied nuclear technology to solve relevant problems.

L3. To communicate experimental work clearly by recording procedures and observations in a log book, and by writing formal written laboratory reports.

L4. To perform practical tasks using a wide range of laboratory equipment, make accurate observations, estimate uncertainties, and draw conclusions.

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 9.

• Demonstrate and work with a broad and integrated knowledge and understanding of
the scope, main areas, and boundaries of applied nuclear technology
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of a selection of the principal theories,
principles, concepts, and terminology.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

• Use a selection of the principal skills, techniques, practices, and materials
associated with experimental work in physics.
• Use a few skills, techniques, practices, and materials that are specialised.
• Practice routines, methods of enquiry and research.
• Practice in a range of professional level contexts which include a degree of

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

• Undertake critical analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of ideas, concepts,
information, and issues.
• Identify and analyse problems and issues.
• Draw on a range of sources in making judgement.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

• Use a range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills in
support of established practices in physics, for example:
o make formal written presentations.
o use a range of IT applications to support and enhance work.
o interpret, use, and evaluate numerical and graphical data.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

• Exercise autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level.
• Take some responsibility for a range of resources.
• Practice in ways which take account of roles and responsibilities.
• Deal with professional issues in accordance with current professional codes or
practices, seeking guidance where appropriate.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Optics & Electronics
Oscillations, Waves & Fields
Properties of Matter
Mathematics for Physicists
Classical Mechanics and Special Relativity
Other:or equivalent
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This delivery of this complex advanced Physics module is primarily lecture based, having an additional focus on complementary practical work, which is incorporated by a selection of relevant laboratory projects. Lectures are complemented by tutorial work, or small-group exercises that address the underlying physical principles of applied nuclear technology. Lectures are designed to give students a sound insight into subject area. A reading list is provided which will point the students towards literature relating to the course content. Students are encouraged to use the modern information retrieval systems for further understanding of the subject area. All lecture material and handouts will be made available on the Moodle VLE. Adjustments for special needs can be made on request. Tutorials will allow students to gain a deep understanding. Critical evaluation of problems is an important part of the learning agenda in the tutorials. Group work is highly encouraged. As Physics is an experimental science, selected experiments are incorporated in laboratory work (e.g. studies of neutron absorption). Within the laboratory the students have the unique possibility to gain a hands-on knowledge using state-of-the-art equipment and computer systems for analysis. Each experimental exercise will be recorded in log books which will be assessed. An effective communication of experimental findings and an appreciation of their relevance in the bigger picture are essential for successful completion of the Module. It is expected that students will extend their knowledge in private study. The student can refer to a collection of relevant material provided. Self-study and self-assessment with formative exercises as published e.g. on Moodle will be highly encouraged.
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 Delivery36
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Independent Study140
200 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:

• K. S. Krane “Introductory Nuclear Physics” Wiley (1988)

• J. S. Lilley “Nuclear Physics – Principles and Applications”
Manchester Physics Series – Wiley (2001)

• J. K. Shultis and R.E. Law “Fundamentals of Nuclear Science and Engineering”
CRC Press (2008)

• J. Wood “Nuclear Power” IET – Institute of Engineering and Technology (2007)

(**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
ModeratorJohn F Smith
External Examiner
Accreditation DetailsInstitute of Physics
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
60% Assessment Category 1 (final exam)
40% Assessment Category 2 (coursework + laboratory work)
(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) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen closed book (standard)check markcheck mark  600

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of written workcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark400
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
An element of lab work will be required
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.