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Undergraduate Programme Specification

MSci Physics with Astro-Physics

Academic Year 2021/22

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 processes. All degrees are awarded by Queen's University Belfast.

Programme Title MSci Physics with Astro-Physics Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)
Master in Science
Programme Code PHY-MSCI UCAS Code F3FM HECoS Code 100415 - Astrophysics - 25
100425 - Physics - 75
ATAS Clearance Required No
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

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Mathematics & Physics

Quality Code
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code

Higher Education Credit Framework for England
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/higher-education-credit-framework-for-england

Level 7

Subject Benchmark Statements
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/qualifications-frameworks.pdf

Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019)

Accreditations (PSRB)

Institute of Physics

Date of most recent Accreditation Visit 26-03-19

Regulation Information

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

No

Programme Specific Regulations

Transfers to other Programmes

At any time, normally up to the end of Level 2, students may transfer to the BSc Programme in Physics with Astrophysics. Students may transfer to the BSc Physics, or Physics with Medical Applications (or MSci if they have achieved a weighted average of at least 55% before rounding), provided they have passed all the compulsory modules on the programme to which they are transferring up to that time of transfer.

Progression

Students must pass PHY1004 Scientific Skills to progress to Level 2.

At the end of Levels 2 and 3, students require an overall weighted average of at least 55% before rounding to progress to the next Level.

At the end of Levels 2 and 3, students with an overall weighted average less than 55% will be required to transfer to the BSc Physics with Astrophysics degree.

To progress from Level 3 to Level 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.

MSc. Physics with Astrophysics

For the award of the degree, in addition to the standard University requirements, it is required to pass modules PHY2003, PHY3003, and at least two out of PHY4005, PHY4006 and PHY4016. If the standard University requirements for the award of an MSci degree is met, but these pass criteria have not been met, an MSci Physics degree may be awarded instead. If the criteria for the award of an MSci degree is not met, a BSc degree in either Physics or Physics with Astrophysics may be awarded.

Students with protected characteristics

N/A

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

Educational Aims Of Programme

Interpret the physical world/universe and how it works through experimental observation and the application of fundamental postulates and assumptions, with particular emphasis on astrophysical bodies and phenomena.

Demonstrate mathematical, computational, practical, problem solving, and personal skills which prepares the student to perform research and development in the physical sciences within academic, public or private institutions, or employment in a range of sectors, such as education, engineering, biotechnology, 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:

Exploit modern computer technology to develop bespoke software codes, perform simulations, solve equations, and analyse data

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Coding techniques and strategies introduced via lectures and then applied in computer labs through development of physical models, numerical solutions to equations, and statistical analysis. Skills also applied in experimental labs, computational projects/assignments and research project work

Methods of Assessment

Use of computing for laboratory/project analysis and reports, coding assignments, numerical problem solving assignments, mini-projects (group and individual)

Perform dimensional analysis and order of magnitude estimates

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Discussed and demonstrated in lectures and tutorials.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments, tutorial performance

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

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

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

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Primarily through lectures and directed self-study from a range of resources. Reinforcement via tutorials, laboratory experiments and projects

Methods of Assessment

Examinations, class tests, written and online assignments, tutorial performance, written reports, oral presentations

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding in selected specialist physics topics, and an awareness of current trends and developments at the research frontiers of these subjects

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures and directed self-study from a range of resources, research projects and group projects.

Methods of Assessment

Examinations, assignments, written reports/essays, oral presentations, and oral review meetings

Display knowledge of a range of mathematical techniques and apply them in a variety of physical situations, especially astrophysical phenomena

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures, workshops, tutorials and problem solving classes to acquire and practice mathematical techniques and their application

Methods of Assessment

Explicitly in examinations, class tests, written and online assignments. Implicitly in all other assessments using quantitative physical models

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

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

Identify the principles underlying physical problems, formulate them mathematically, and obtain analytical, approximate, or numerical solutions.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Concepts primarily introduced in lectures. Techniques used to obtain quantitative outcomes presented, discussed and practiced in lectures, tutorials, laboratories, individual and group projects

Methods of Assessment

Examinations, class tests, written and online assignments, tutorial performance, written reports, oral presentations

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, computational projects and research projects

Methods of Assessment

Assignments, written reports, oral presentations, oral review meetings

Plan and execute a substantial experimental or theoretical investigation in a current research area of physics, including critical and quantitative assessment of their own work and the work of others

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students work full time in a research laboratory for a whole semester. One-to one supervision of substantial project performed individually or as part of a team in a current area of physics research to a level which could lead to publications in peer reviewed journals.

Methods of Assessment

Online safety tests, risk assessments, literature reviews, oral presentations, laboratory performance, oral review meeting, written report

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

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

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. Supervision during labs, research projects and group projects, and formative and summative feedback for student coursework.

Methods of Assessment

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

Communicate complex information in a clear and concise manner both orally and in a written format with proper regard for the needs of the audience.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

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, research projects and group projects, and formative and summative feedback for student coursework.

Methods of Assessment

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

Write computer programmes and use software packages to analyse data, perform numerical calculations, report results and prepare documents.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures and computer practicals on computer coding principles, syntax for specific languages, using Excel and Matlab, data analysis and numerical techniques.

Methods of Assessment

Coding and numerical problem solving assignments and mini-projects (group and individual)

Work independently and as part of a team/group of peers while demonstrating time management and the ability to meet deadlines.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Laboratory experiments, research projects, group projects, and personal tutoring/supervision/mentoring

Methods of Assessment

Written reports, oral presentations, peer review. Time management /deadlines implicit to all continuous 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

Module Information

Stages and Modules

Module Title Module Code Level/ stage Credits

Availability

Duration Pre-requisite

Assessment

S1 S2 Core Option Coursework % Practical % Examination %
The Physics of Nanomaterials PHY4010 4 10 YES 6 weeks N YES 30% 0% 70%
Atomic and Nuclear Physics PHY2005 2 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 20% 20% 60%
Astrophysics I PHY2003 2 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 40% 20% 40%
Scientific Skills PHY1004 1 20 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 50% 50% 0%
Physics of the Solid State PHY2002 2 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 20% 20% 60%
Mathematical Physics PHY2006 2 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 40% 0% 60%
Employability for Physics PHY2010 2 0 YES 10 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Advanced Electromagnetism and Optics PHY3004 3 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 20% 0% 80%
Quantum Mechanics and Relativity PHY3001 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 20% 0% 80%
Professional Skills PHY3008 3 20 YES YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Computational Projects PHY3009 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Physics Research Project PHY4001 4 60 YES 12 weeks N YES 70% 30% 0%
Electricity, Magnetism and Optics PHY2004 2 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 20% 20% 60%
Astrophysics II PHY3003 3 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 20% 0% 80%
Planetary Systems PHY4005 4 10 YES 6 weeks Y YES 100% 0% 0%
Medical Radiation Simulation PHY4004 4 10 YES 6 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Physics of Materials Characterisation PHY4009 4 10 YES 6 weeks N YES 30% 0% 70%
Cosmology PHY4016 4 10 YES 6 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers PHY1002 1 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 20% 0% 80%
Advanced Solid State Physics PHY3002 3 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 20% 0% 80%
Nuclear and Particle Physics PHY3005 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 20% 0% 80%
Ultrafast Science PHY4011 4 10 YES 6 weeks N YES 30% 0% 70%
High Energy Astrophysics PHY4006 4 10 YES 6 weeks N YES 30% 0% 70%
Plasma Physics PHY4008 4 10 YES 6 weeks N YES 30% 0% 70%
Ionising Radiation in Medicine PHY4003 4 10 YES 6 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Laser Physics PHY4007 4 10 YES 6 weeks N YES 30% 0% 70%
Foundation Physics PHY1001 1 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 30% 0% 70%
Physics in Medicine PHY3006 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 50% 0% 50%
Quantum & Statistical Physics PHY2001 2 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 20% 20% 60%
Computational Modelling in Physics PHY1003 1 20 YES YES 18 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%

Notes

At Stage 1 Students are required to take the four compulsory modules listed

At Stage 2 Students are required to take the six compulsory modules listed. Students wishing to take a placement year must enrol on module PHY2010

At Stage 3 students must take PHY3003, PHY3008 and PHY3009, plus an approved combination of THREE other Stage 3 modules.

At Stage 4 students must take PHY4001, PHY4005, PHY4006, PHY4016 and any combination of THREE of the other half-modules listed.