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Unit information: Contextualisation in 2020/21

Unit name Contextualisation
Unit code PHYSM0005
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Seddon
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science


This is a mandatory 10 cp unit of the 180 cp MRes programme in Nanoscience and Functional Nanomaterials. It will cover the more generic, or “contextualising” skills required to function as an independent scientist. Topics include: the generation of novel ideas and how to nurture them; where to go to find information and how to assess its validity; interdisciplinary team building, and methods to manage your work. This unit will provide the basic knowledge base underpinning the practical and research elements of the MSc in Nanoscience and Functional Nanomaterials. It aims to equip the students with the necessary interdisciplinary vocabulary in nanoscience in general and in the core competencies of controlling composition, characterisation, and construction of functional nanomaterials.

Intended learning outcomes

The students will be able to:

  • express themselves scientifically using the vocabulary of Nanoscience;
  • demonstrate an ability to contextualise information drawing it from several sources to develop a fuller understanding of nanoscale science;
  • demonstrate an awareness of the interconnectivity of the core disciplines of nanoscience;
  • demonstrate use of appropriate tools to source, collate and assess information.

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials, including narrated presentations and worked examples
  • synchronous group problems classes, workshops, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative exercises and other exercises
  • guided, structured reading

Assessment Details

Summative assessment will be by a onehour interview with two academics, on questions drawn from the lectures. The students will be expected to maintain a log of activity on the unit, and discuss this during the interview. Formative assessment will take place during the individual sessions and will be provided by the lecturer.

Reading and References

Detailed references and reading will be provided by the academics giving this unit.