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MSci Theoretical Physics

Academic Year 2017/18

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Programme Title

MSci Theoretical Physics

Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Master in Science

Programme Code

TPH-MSCI

UCAS Code

F344

JACS Code

F390 (DESCR) 100

Criteria for Admissions

Stage 1 Entry: 3 A-levels AAA or A*AB (or equivalent) grade A Mathematics grade B Physics

ATAS Clearance Required

No

Health Check Required

No

Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Mode of Study

Full Time

Type of Programme

Undergraduate Master

Length of Programme

4 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme

480

Exit Awards available

INSTITUTE INFORMATION

Awarding Institution/Body

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Mathematics & Physics

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level 
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance

Level 7

QAA Benchmark Group
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research (2015)

Accreditations (PSRB)

Institute of Physics

Date of most recent Accreditation Visit 06-06-14

External Examiner Name:

External Examiner Institution/Organisation

Professor P Browning (Physics)

University of Manchester

Professor Y Fyodorov (Applied Mathematics)

Queen Mary, University of London

Professor J Kedra (Pure Mathematics)

University of Aberdeen

Dr Peter van der Burgt (Physics)

Maynooth University

REGULATION INFORMATION

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

No

Programme Specific Regulations

Students will not be permitted to register for Stage 2 unless they have passed all their core Level 1 modules.

Transfers to Other Pathways
At the end of Stage 2, Students may transfer to other Pathways (BSc, or if they have achieved a weighted average of at least 55%, before rounding MSci), provided they have passed all the compulsory modules on the Pathway to which they are transferring up to that time of transfer.

Progression
At the end of Stages 2 and 3, students require an overall weighted average of at least 55% before rounding to progress to the next stage.
At the end of stages 2 and 3, students with an overall weighted average of less than 55% before rounding will be required to transfer to the BSc degree.

To progress from stage 3 to stage 4 students must maintain a weighted average of at least 55% before rounding
Students who fail to maintain this average will be required to transfer to the BSc pathway. They may be awarded a BSc degree if they meet the criteria for this award.

Students with protected characteristics

N/A

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME

- Demonstrate appropriate understanding of the basic body of knowledge of theoretical physics and its mathematical underpinning, and appropriate skill in manipulation of this knowledge, including in its application to problem solving

- Apply core physics and associated mathematics concepts in well-defined contexts, through the judicious use of analytical and computational methods, tools and techniques and the judicious use of logical arguments

- Interpret the physical world/universe and how it works through their description in terms of theoretical physics and associated mathematics

- Communicate theoretical physical arguments to a range of audiences in both written and oral form

- Carry out a range of experimental and/or computational investigations related to physics

- Demonstrate mathematical, computational, practical, problem solving, and personal skills which can be exploited by a variety of employers, such as those involved in industrial or academic research and development, engineering, education, health care, software development, business and finance.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Apply physical and mathematical knowledge logically and accurately in the solution of examples and small-scale problems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

By their nature, physics and its underpinning mathematics have to be presented logically. The lectures and model examples to problems provide exemplars of this logical structure. They also identify the tools needed to address certain problems. Tutorial problems and assignments offer the students opportunities to develop their logical reasoning skills, to develop skills in organising their reasoning and application of mathematical and physical principles, and to develop skills in the selection of techniques.

Methods of Assessment

The assessment of these skills is implicit in most methods of assessment, including exams, coursework, practicals and project work. The overall degree of success in any assessment depends to a large extent on students’ mastery of logical and accurate methods of solution, well-organised structure of answers, and the identification of the appropriate solution method.

Organise their work in a structured manner

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

By their nature, physics and its underpinning mathematics have to be presented logically. The lectures and model examples to problems provide exemplars of this logical structure. They also identify the tools needed to address certain problems. Tutorial problems and assignments offer the students opportunities to develop their logical reasoning skills, to develop skills in organising their reasoning and application of mathematical and physical principles, and to develop skills in the selection of techniques.

Methods of Assessment

The assessment of these skills is implicit in most methods of assessment, including exams, coursework, practicals and project work. The overall degree of success in any assessment depends to a large extent on students’ mastery of logical and accurate methods of solution, well-organised structure of answers, and the identification of the appropriate solution method.

Analyse small-scale and complex problems and situations in physical and mathematical terms, and identify the appropriate physical and mathematical tools and techniques for their solution

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

By their nature, physics and its underpinning mathematics have to be presented logically. The lectures and model examples to problems provide exemplars of this logical structure. They also identify the tools needed to address certain problems. Tutorial problems and assignments offer the students opportunities to develop their logical reasoning skills, to develop skills in organising their reasoning and application of mathematical and physical principles, and to develop skills in the selection of techniques.

Methods of Assessment

The assessment of these skills is implicit in most methods of assessment, including exams, coursework, practicals and project work. The overall degree of success in any assessment depends to a large extent on students’ mastery of logical and accurate methods of solution, well-organised structure of answers, and the identification of the appropriate solution method.

Conduct an advanced theoretical physics investigation under supervision

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The project module offers the students the opportunity to identify what it takes to carry out an extended, advanced investigation in theoretical physics. These skills are also developed through extended assignments in a wide range of modules across the entire spectrum

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed mainly through project reports and oral presentations on project work in both physics and mathematics of increasing complexity, culminating in the final project

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate understanding of the connection between theoretical physics and mathematics.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures provide the core method for the presentation of the knowledge required for students to be successful. Each lecture-based module has associated tutorials, and, where appropriate, laboratory and /or practical classes to assist the student with the development of understanding of the core contents, including its application. Assignments are provided to assist further development of understanding. These assignments are marked and returned to students typically within one week with individual feedback. Model solutions to these assignments are made available to students for additional self-study.

Methods of Assessment

This is built into the heart of the programme by the combination of mathematics and physics modules. This is tested in particular in the project modules, as this is where the combination of mathematics and physics may be exploited in particular.

Demonstrate understanding, and application of this understanding, within a range of more specialist optional topics within theoretical physics, and an awareness of current trends and developments at the frontier of these subjects

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures provide the core method for the presentation of the knowledge required for students to be successful. Each lecture-based module has associated tutorials, and, where appropriate, laboratory and /or practical classes to assist the student with the development of understanding of the core contents, including its application. Assignments are provided to assist further development of understanding. These assignments are marked and returned to students typically within one week with individual feedback. Model solutions to these assignments are made available to students for additional self-study.

Methods of Assessment

Formal exams, class tests, small reports, presentations
The final-year project provides insight into current theoretical-physics research

Understand and appreciate the importance of mathematical logic

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures provide the core method for the presentation of the knowledge required for students to be successful. Each lecture-based module has associated tutorials, and, where appropriate, laboratory and /or practical classes to assist the student with the development of understanding of the core contents, including its application. Assignments are provided to assist further development of understanding. These assignments are marked and returned to students typically within one week with individual feedback. Model solutions to these assignments are made available to students for additional self-study.

Methods of Assessment

Formal exams, class tests, small reports, presentations
This appreciation is of particular importance to the project modules, as mathematical logic is critical to arrive at appropriate mathematical conclusions

Demonstrate knowledge and conceptual understanding of the theory and applications of core concepts in physics in the areas of classical and relativistic mechanics, quantum physics, condensed matter, electromagnetism, optics and thermodynamics.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures provide the core method for the presentation of the knowledge required for students to be successful. Each lecture-based module has associated tutorials, and, where appropriate, laboratory and /or practical classes to assist the student with the development of understanding of the core contents, including its application. Assignments are provided to assist further development of understanding. These assignments are marked and returned to students typically within one week with individual feedback. Model solutions to these assignments are made available to students for additional self-study.

Methods of Assessment

Formal exams, class tests, small reports, presentations, tutorial performance

Use these fundamental concepts and techniques in a range of application areas, including, for example, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, tensor-field theory and statistical mechanics

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures provide the core method for the presentation of the knowledge required for students to be successful. Each lecture-based module has associated tutorials, and, where appropriate, laboratory and /or practical classes to assist the student with the development of understanding of the core contents, including its application. Assignments are provided to assist further development of understanding. These assignments are marked and returned to students typically within one week with individual feedback. Model solutions to these assignments are made available to students for additional self-study.

Methods of Assessment

Formal exams, class tests, small reports, presentations
Application of the fundamental concepts is also of importance to any of the project modules, as deeper understanding will result in higher marks

Demonstrate understanding of the fundamental concepts and techniques of theoretical physics and its underpinning through calculus, analysis, algebra, and linear algebra

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures provide the core method for the presentation of the knowledge required for students to be successful. Each lecture-based module has associated tutorials, and, where appropriate, laboratory and /or practical classes to assist the student with the development of understanding of the core contents, including its application. Assignments are provided to assist further development of understanding. These assignments are marked and returned to students typically within one week with individual feedback. Model solutions to these assignments are made available to students for additional self-study.

Methods of Assessment

Formal exams, class tests, small reports, presentations

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate understanding of logical mathematical arguments, including mathematical proofs and their construction, and apply these arguments appropriately.
Demonstrate understanding of physical concepts, and apply these concepts appropriately.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Each lecture-based module has associated tutorials, and, where appropriate, practical classes to assist the student with the development of understanding and application of logical mathematical arguments, physical concepts and/or analytic/numerical mathematical techniques. Assignments also assist the development of understanding in these areas.

The project modules allow students to spend time on a more extended problem, which will enable a more in-depth development of mathematical and/or physics arguments and application of mathematical and/or physics techniques

Methods of Assessment

Assessment is mainly through formal examination and class tests for lecture-based modules. This assessment is supplemented through written reports, oral presentations, on-line assessment and tutorial performance. For project modules, written reports and oral presentations form the main method of assessment.

Carry out basic physics experiments appropriately, including the correct handling of experimental equipment, adequate planning of experiments and accurate analysis of findings;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Laboratory experiments,

Methods of Assessment

Formal exams, class tests, small reports, presentations

Present mathematical and physical findings through oral and written means to a range of audiences

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Communication through reports and/or oral presentations forms a compulsory part of many modules across the entire range of modules offered.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are primarily assessed through compulsory reports and presentations within many modules.

Use a range of mathematical software for the solution of theoretical physics problems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Basic skills are developed through the scientific skills module, the professional skills modules and the computer algebra module. Numerical analysis has associated computer practicals, using appropriate specialist software.
In the project modules, further opportunities to use mathematical software may be available.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are primarily assessed through reports and presentations associated with work carried out using mathematical software.

Plan, execute and report the results of an experiment or investigation, and compare results critically with predictions from theory

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Laboratory experiments, and computational projects

Methods of Assessment

Assignments, written reports, oral presentations, oral review meetings

Perform dimensional analysis and order of magnitude estimates

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Discussed and demonstrated in lectures and tutorials. Routinely practiced in other modules.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments, tutorial performance

Apply a wide range of analytic and/or numerical mathematical and physics-based techniques within well-defined contexts, and to formulate and solve problems in more loosely defined contexts

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Each lecture-based module has associated tutorials, and, where appropriate, practical classes to assist the student with the development of understanding and application of logical mathematical arguments, physical concepts and/or analytic/numerical mathematical techniques. Assignments also assist the development of understanding in these areas.

The project modules allow students to spend time on a more extended problem, which will enable a more in-depth development of mathematical and/or physics arguments and application of mathematical and/or physics techniques

Methods of Assessment

Assessment is mainly through formal examination and class tests for lecture-based modules. This assessment is supplemented through written reports, oral presentations, on-line assessment and tutorial performance. For project modules, written reports and oral presentations form the main method of assessment.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Adopt an analytic approach to problem solving

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Analytic thinking is part of any module in mathematics and physics, and is therefore cultivated through the tutorials, practicals and assignments associated with each lecture-based module, including all the project components.

It is also a critical skill developed during the project modules

Methods of Assessment

Analytic thinking is embedded implicitly in every assessment within mathematics and physics.
Problem solving skills will be assessed through an extended range of project work, culminating in the final-year project modules

Use computer technology efficiently for a variety of purposes

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Basic computer modelling skills are developed through the scientific skills module, and the computer algebra module. Numerical analysis has associated computer –oriented tasks, where students can develop skills in the use of appropriate specialist software.
In the project modules, further opportunities to use mathematical software may be available.
Written reports develop skills in the use of word-processing software, while the presentations can develop skills in the use of presentation software

Methods of Assessment

Computer modelling skills are primarily assessed through reports and presentations associated with work carried out using numerical software.
The main test in Computer Algebra takes place through a direct assessment of their use of appropriate software
Computer skills in word-processing and presentation development are assessed implicitly in the project and presentation assessment

Appreciate and demonstrate the importance of health and safety, risk assessment and scientific ethics

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Safety training courses, lectures, workshops, personal supervision

Methods of Assessment

Project/lab risk assessments, online safety tests, assignments

Search for, evaluate and reference relevant information from a range of sources

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures/workshops on how to use and reference and review library books, scientific papers, and internet sources, explicitly taught in PHY1004. Re-enforced through supervision during labs.

Methods of Assessment

Written reports and essays, oral presentations (for individual and group projects), literature reviews

Oversee small-scale projects, involving individual work and work within in a team

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Project work associated with modules at each Level is the prime method for development. The increase in level of complexity of such projects throughout the programme, in line with student’s overall development, will implicitly develop the students’ skills in project management.
This includes laboratory experiments, group projects, and personal tutoring/supervision/mentoring

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed implicitly as part of any project component to a module. A higher level of skill in time management will provide student with greater opportunity to present a well thought-through report, which allows the students to better highlight their achievements.
Time management /deadlines implicit to all continuous assessment

Manage their time

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Project work associated with modules at each Level is the prime method for development. The increase in level of complexity of such projects throughout the programme, in line with student’s overall development, will implicitly develop the students’ skills in project management.
This includes laboratory experiments, group projects, and personal tutoring/supervision/mentoring

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed implicitly as part of any project component to a module. A higher level of skill in time management will provide student with greater opportunity to present a well thought-through report, which allows the students to better highlight their achievements.
Time management /deadlines implicit to all continuous assessment

Present findings through oral communication

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Any assignment or coursework or project work involves the communication of mathematical and/or physical ideas, and these skills are thus embedded indirectly in any module.
Any report or presentation will provide an explicit learning opportunity, where the increase in complexity at higher levels will provide a means for communication skill development
Lectures/workshops on how to prepare and execute oral presentations, scientific reports/popular articles, and writing concisely. Re-enforced at all levels through supervision during labs, and formative and summative feedback for student coursework.

Methods of Assessment

The assessment of communication skills takes place through the reports and presentations, where higher skill levels will result in higher overall marks

Communicate mathematical and physical ideas and concepts

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Any assignment or coursework or project work involves the communication of mathematical and/or physical ideas, and these skills are thus embedded indirectly in any module.
Any report or presentation will provide an explicit learning opportunity, where the increase in complexity at higher levels will provide a means for communication skill development
Lectures/workshops on how to prepare and execute oral presentations, scientific reports/popular articles, and writing concisely. Re-enforced at all levels through supervision during labs, and formative and summative feedback for student coursework.

Methods of Assessment

The assessment of communication skills takes place through the reports and presentations, where higher skill levels will result in higher overall marks

Present findings through written reports

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Any assignment or coursework or project work involves the communication of mathematical and/or physical ideas, and these skills are thus embedded indirectly in any module.
Any report or presentation will provide an explicit learning opportunity, where the increase in complexity at higher levels will provide a means for communication skill development
Lectures/workshops on how to prepare and execute oral presentations, scientific reports/popular articles, and writing concisely. Re-enforced at all levels through supervision during labs, and formative and summative feedback for student coursework.

Methods of Assessment

The assessment of communication skills takes place through the reports and presentations, where higher skill levels will result in higher overall marks

MODULE INFORMATION

Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

Credits

Availability

Duration

Pre-requisite

 

Assessment

 

 

 

 

S1

S2

 

 

Core

Option

Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Electromagnetic Theory

AMA3001

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

30%

0%

70%

Quantum Theory

AMA3002

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

30%

0%

70%

Tensor Field Theory

AMA3003

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

0%

20%

80%

Partial Differential Equations

AMA3006

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

0%

20%

80%

Advanced Quantum Theory

AMA4001

4

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

20%

0%

80%

Advanced Mathematical Methods

AMA4003

4

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

10%

20%

70%

Classical Mechanics

AMA2001

2

20

YES

12 weeks

Y

YES

40%

0%

60%

Statistical Mechanics

AMA4004

4

20

YES

12 weeks

Y

YES

50%

0%

50%

Project

AMA4005

4

40

24 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Investigations

AMA3020

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Practical Methods for Partial Differential Equations

AMA4006

4

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

0%

50%

50%

Computer Algebra

PMA3008

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

0%

100%

0%

Calculus of Variations & Hamiltonian Mechanics

AMA3013

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

30%

0%

70%

Information Theory

AMA4009

4

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

30%

0%

70%

Mathematical Methods for Quantum Information Processing

AMA4021

4

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

30%

0%

70%

Analysis and Calculus

AMA1020

1

30

24 weeks

N

YES

10%

0%

90%

Numbers, Vectors and Matrices

PMA1020

1

30

24 weeks

N

YES

10%

0%

90%

Foundation Physics

PHY1001

1

40

24 weeks

N

YES

50%

0%

50%

Scientific Skills

PHY1004

1

20

24 weeks

N

YES

50%

50%

0%

Medical Radiation Simulation

PHY4004

4

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Planetary Systems

PHY4005

4

10

YES

6 weeks

Y

YES

50%

0%

50%

High Energy Astrophysics

PHY4006

4

10

YES

6 weeks

Y

YES

50%

0%

50%

Laser Physics

PHY4007

4

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Plasma Physics

PHY4008

4

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

50%

0%

50%

Physics of Materials Characterisation

PHY4009

4

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

50%

0%

50%

The Physics of Nanomaterials

PHY4010

4

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Ultrafast Science

PHY4011

4

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Cosmology

PHY4016

4

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Quantum & Statistical Physics

PHY2001

2

20

YES

12 weeks

Y

YES

20%

20%

60%

Physics of the Solid State

PHY2002

2

20

YES

12 weeks

Y

YES

20%

20%

60%

Electricity, Magnetism and Optics

PHY2004

2

20

YES

12 weeks

Y

YES

20%

20%

60%

Advanced Solid State Physics

PHY3002

3

20

YES

12 weeks

Y

YES

20%

0%

80%

Introduction to Partial Differential Equations

AMA2008

2

10

YES

6 weeks

Y

YES

60%

40%

0%

Linear Algebra & CV

PMA2020

2

30

18 weeks

Y

YES

10%

0%

90%

Notes

At Stage 1 Students must take the 4 compulsory modules

At Stage 2 - Students must take the 6 compulsory modules

At Stage 3 Students must take an approved combination of six Level 3 modules normally chosen from the list. AMA3001, AMA3002, AMA3003, AMA3020 and AMA3013 are compulsory.

Stage 4. Students must take an approved combination of modules with a combined weight of 120 CATS points. The choice must include AMA4005, AMA4001 and AMA4004. It is strongly recommended that students take at most 2 PHY half modules (20 CATS).