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Unit information: Practical Physics 202 in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Practical Physics 202
Unit code PHYS29020
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Chris Bell
Open unit status Not open

PHYS10005,PHYS10006, PHYS10004 or equivalent.



School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science


Physics is a discipline which has observation and experimental validation at its heart. This unit is made up of laboratory work and computer workshop, and continues the development of key experimental skills, the use of various standard pieces of apparatus and analysis of data. The experiments allow for student input into design and measurement. Transferable skills are included by having formal write-up of experiments and an assessment viva for each experiment. The unit also allows for computing skills to be taught and used, with a requirement to produce computational exercises for assessment.


To enable further familiarity with the techniques of experimental physics including experimental design, use of appropriate apparatus, collection and analysis of data. To give experience of report writing. To increase computing skills.

To receive credit for this unit, students must make a reasonable attempt at every aspect of the teaching and assessment, including any pre- and post-laboratory work, practical experiments, formal reports, computing and workshop activities. Failure to do so may result in credit being withheld, even if the overall mark is above the pass mark for the unit.

Supplementary or resit assessment of this unit is only possible through engagement in the following academic year.

Intended learning outcomes

Able to use apparatus appropriately in order to allow meaningful results to be obtained. Understand some of the principles underlying the design of experiments. Understand the significance of a laboratory notebook, and the measurement and interpretation of data. Able to present the results of an experiment in a manner appropriate to a professional physicist. Able to use computational methods appropriately.

Teaching details

  • supervised laboratory sessions; students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode should note that it is likely they may be required to complete practical work or alternative activities in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy any accreditation requirements
  • asynchronous online materials, including narrated presentations and worked examples on error analysis and report writing, together with
  • guided independent exercises to develop and test understanding of computing
  • independent practical activities

Assessment Details

Mark for each experiment based on laboratory notebook and viva, formal write-up of one experiment, group presentation of another experiment, computing exercise.

Reading and References

To be advised.