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Study our fascinating solar system, exploring topics including dark matter and black holes on the Physics with Astrophysics BSc (Hons) course

The UK space sector is growing. Graduates in Physics with Astrophysics have never been more in demand, and at Northumbria you will be learning from the best, in world class learning environments with the aid of the best technology.

Choosing Physics with Astrophysics at Northumbria can open up your career possibilities. 

Physicists are problem solvers, future shapers, and at Northumbria we empower our Physics students to think creatively about how to tackle the challenges we put in front of them. 

The research strengths of our staff include astro-particle physics and solar physics, as well as quantum devices, smart and nano materials, soft matter, chaos theory and dynamical systems.  

 

How does this BSc (Hons) Physics with Astrophysics degree prepare me for work?

A Physics with Astrophysics BSc from Northumbria is highly valued by employers and cuts across disciplines, giving you a vital edge in a competitive job market. Throughout your time here, you will learn from world-leading experts and develop transferable skills including problem solving, data analysis, computer programming and communication.
You will also learn practical skills such as laboratory skills, software knowledge, and research techniques, which will be especially useful for your success as a physicist.
Northumbria has recently invested more than one million pounds into Physics facilities and learning environments, further enhancing our reputation for innovation and excellence.

Why choose Northumbria to study BSc (Hons) Physics with Astrophysics?

Physics & Astronomy at Northumbria is ranked Top 40 in the UK by the Complete University Guide for 2024.

Physics & Astronomy at Northumbria is ranked 3rd in the UK for Teaching Quality (Times Good University Guide, 2024).

95% of students studying Physics at Northumbria were satisifed with the teaching and assessment on their course, meaning we ranked 3rd in the UK (Guardian University League Table, 2024).

100% of students studying Physics & Astronomy at Northumbria believed their course was intellectually stimulating and felt free to express their ideas, opinions, and beliefs (NSS, 2024).

Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist. 

IOP

Study our fascinating solar system, exploring topics including dark matter and black holes on the Physics with Astrophysics BSc (Hons) course

The UK space sector is growing. Graduates in Physics with Astrophysics have never been more in demand, and at Northumbria you will be learning from the best, in world class learning environments with the aid of the best technology.

Choosing Physics with Astrophysics at Northumbria can open up your career possibilities. 

Physicists are problem solvers, future shapers, and at Northumbria we empower our Physics students to think creatively about how to tackle the challenges we put in front of them. 

The research strengths of our staff include astro-particle physics and solar physics, as well as quantum devices, smart and nano materials, soft matter, chaos theory and dynamical systems.  

 

How does this BSc (Hons) Physics with Astrophysics degree prepare me for work?

A Physics with Astrophysics BSc from Northumbria is highly valued by employers and cuts across disciplines, giving you a vital edge in a competitive job market. Throughout your time here, you will learn from world-leading experts and develop transferable skills including problem solving, data analysis, computer programming and communication.
You will also learn practical skills such as laboratory skills, software knowledge, and research techniques, which will be especially useful for your success as a physicist.
Northumbria has recently invested more than one million pounds into Physics facilities and learning environments, further enhancing our reputation for innovation and excellence.

Why choose Northumbria to study BSc (Hons) Physics with Astrophysics?

Physics & Astronomy at Northumbria is ranked Top 40 in the UK by the Complete University Guide for 2024.

Physics & Astronomy at Northumbria is ranked 3rd in the UK for Teaching Quality (Times Good University Guide, 2024).

95% of students studying Physics at Northumbria were satisifed with the teaching and assessment on their course, meaning we ranked 3rd in the UK (Guardian University League Table, 2024).

100% of students studying Physics & Astronomy at Northumbria believed their course was intellectually stimulating and felt free to express their ideas, opinions, and beliefs (NSS, 2024).

Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist. 

IOP

Course Information

UCAS Code
F3F5

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department
Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024 or September 2025

Fees
Fee Information

Modules
Module Information

Student Profiles / Physics with Astrophysics

Hear what it is really like to study Physics with Astrophysics BSc (Hons) from our current students.

Being on the physics course has been an enjoyable experience, mainly due to the friendly staff who are always able to help and offer advice.

NESST / North East Space Skills and Technology Centre

Our current and future projects work towards establishing the North East as a world-renowned hub for agile, dynamic, cutting-edge space research and development.

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£50M SPACE SKILLS, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE →

News / Maths, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Find out what our Maths, Physics and Electrical Engineering students and staff are taking part in and achieving.

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This course is eligible for a scholarship

find out more →

Department / Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Our Department includes the subject areas of Maths, Physics, Astrophysics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Find out more about the department below.

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Study

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NUSTEM

Delve Deeper / Discover more about life at Northumbria

Book an Open Day / Experience Physics with Astrophysics BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Physics with Astrophysics. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

112 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, T Level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth by using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Northumbria University is committed to supporting all individuals to achieve their ambitions. We have a range of schemes and alternative offers to make sure as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to study at our University regardless of personal circumstances or background. To find out more, review our Northumbria Entry Requirement Essential Information page for further details www.northumbria.ac.uk/entryrequirementsinfo

Subject Requirements:

Applicants will need Grade B in A-level Mathematics and Physics, or recognised equivalents.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

There are no additional requirements for this course.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications which may not match those shown above.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, find out what you need by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section: www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

For further admissions guidance and requirements, please visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/admissionsguidance Please review this information before submitting your application.

Entry Requirements 2025/26

Standard Entry

112 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, T Level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth by using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Northumbria University is committed to supporting all individuals to achieve their ambitions. We have a range of schemes and alternative offers to make sure as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to study at our University regardless of personal circumstances or background. To find out more, review our Northumbria Entry Requirement Essential Information page for further details www.northumbria.ac.uk/entryrequirementsinfo

Subject Requirements:

Applicants will need Grade B in A-level Mathematics and Physics, or recognised equivalents.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

There are no additional requirements for this course.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications which may not match those shown above.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, find out what you need by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section: www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

For further admissions guidance and requirements, please visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/admissionsguidance Please review this information before submitting your application.

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1: £9,250

* The maximum tuition fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by government. Tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, these are subject to government regulations and in line with inflation.


EU Fee in Year 1: £19,750

International Fee in Year 1: £19,750


Please see the main Funding Pages for 24/25 scholarship information.

 


ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

Fees and Funding 2025/26 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1*: TBC

* Government has yet to announce 25/26 tuition fee levels. As a guide, 24/25 fees were £9,250 per year. 



EU Fee in Year 1: **TBC


International Fee in Year 1: TBC

ADDITIONAL COSTS

TBC

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

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How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

KC4009 -

Calculus (Core,20 Credits)

The module is designed to introduce you to the principles, techniques, and applications of Calculus. The fundamentals of differentiation and integration are extended to include differential equations and multivariable calculus. On this module you will learn:
• Differentiation: derivative as slope and its relation to limits; standard derivatives; product, quotient, and chain rules; implicit, parametric, and logarithmic differentiation; maxima / minima, curve sketching; Taylor and Maclaurin series; L’Hopital’s rule.
• Integration: standard integrals, definite integrals, area under a curve; integration using substitutions, partial fractions decomposition and integration by parts; calculation of solid volumes.
• Functions of several variables: partial differentiation and gradients; change of coordinate systems; stationary points, maxima / minima / saddle points of functions of two variables; method of Lagrange multipliers (constrained maxima / minima).
• Double integrals: standard integrals, change of order of integration.
• Ordinary differential equations: First-order differential equations solved by direct integration, separation of variables, and integrating factor. Second-order differential equations with constant coefficients solved by the method of undetermined coefficients.

More information

KC4014 -

Dynamics (Core,20 Credits)

This module is designed to provide you with knowledge in a special topic in Applied Mathematics. This module introduces Newtonian mechanics developing your skills in investigating and building mathematical models and in interpreting the results. The following topics will be covered:

Mathematics Review
Euclidean geometry. Vector functions. Position vector, velocity, acceleration.
Cartesian representation in 3D-space. Scalar and vector products, triple scalar product.

Newton’s Laws
Inertial frames of reference. Newton's Laws of Motion. Mathematical models of forces (gravity, air resistance, reaction, elastic force).

Rectilinear and uniformly accelerated motion
Problems involving constant acceleration (e.g., skidding car), projectiles with/without drag force (e.g., parabolic trajectory, parachutist). Variable mass. Launch and landing of rockets.
Linear elasticity. Ideal spring, simple harmonic motion. Two-spring problems. Free/forced vibration with/without damping. Resonance. Real spring, seismograph.

Rotational motion and central forces
Angular speed, angular velocity. Rotating frames of reference.
Simple pendulum (radial and transverse acceleration). Equations of motion, inertial, Coriolis, centrifugal effects. Effects of Earth rotation on dynamical problems (e.g. projectile motion).
Principle of angular momentum, kinetic and potential energy. Motion under a central force. Kepler’s Laws. Geostationary satellite.

More information

KC4017 -

Particles, Waves and the Big Bang (Core,20 Credits)

Outline Syllabus (note this is indicative rather than prescriptive):

Waves and Oscillations
Free, damped and forced vibrations, resonance, coupled oscillators; the nature of travelling waves and transport of energy; types of waves including sound, water waves and light; interference, beats and standing waves; dispersion; simple diffraction phenomena.

Geometrical Optics
Phenomena in geometrical optics, interference and diffraction and their practical applications. Properties of optical systems. The dependence of geometrical optics on wave theory.

Wave-particle duality
Electromagnetic spectrum, black body radiation and the photoelectric effect.

Standard Model and the Big Bang
A qualitative introduction to the standard model of particle physics. An introduction to Feynman diagrams. Basic constituents of matter, such as quarks and leptons, their fundamental properties and interactions, and their origin at the creation of the universe. Introductory Cosmology. Microwave Background Radiation. Star formation. Types of stars. Stellar classification.

More information

KD4010 -

Electricity, Magnetism and Electronics (Core,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to fundamental electromagnetism, electrical circuit theory and analogue electronics. Through a combination of lectures, labs and technology-enhanced resources, you will learn to analyse basic DC and AC circuits and to familiarise with fundamental electronic components such as operational amplifiers and semiconductor diodes. This module will provide you with core knowledge, and experimental, numerical and analytical skills to tackle problems in electrical and electronic principles, thus establishing firm foundations for future employability.

Electricity and Magnetism (25%)

Electrostatics: Coulomb's law of electrostatic forces, superposition of electrostatic forces and the electric field, electric flux, Gauss’s law and its applications to calculate electric field associated with the continuous charge distributions; Concept of electric potential and its relation to the electric field; Energy stored in an electric field; Introduction to magnetostatics.

DC and AC Circuit Theory (50%)

Introduction to ideal linear elements: resistor, inductor and capacitor. Transient currents across ideal elements. Current and voltage division rule. Applications of superposition: Kirchhoff’s law.


Properties of sinusoidal and periodic waveforms, average, RMS values. Phasors and phasor diagrams, and j operator. Complex impedance, impedance diagrams.

Applications to series circuits. Power in AC circuits, power factor, apparent power, active power, and reactive power. Complex admittance and applications to parallel
circuits. An introduction to series and parallel RLC circuits.

Analogue Electronics (25%)
Introduction to the properties of an ideal operational amplifier. Simple inverting and non-inverting applications using virtual earth principles. Properties and parameters of a non-ideal op-amplifier including gain-bandwidth. Op-amplifier applications including summing, integrator and differentiator.

More information

KD4014 -

Research, Analysis and Presentation (Core,20 Credits)

This module aims to introduce you to gathering research data from either laboratory or reference material, analysing the acquired data in an appropriate manner and then presenting the key findings. Formal training in experimental techniques acquired in this module will support your professional and personal skills.

Research
You will learn about methods to conduct research methods based on an open-ended research question provided by the tutors. You will learn: where and how to gather information, which can be applied to generate solutions to real world problems. The ability to select from a number of research methods is important, for example, the ability to research a method to design simple laboratory tests.

Analysis
Correct use of units and symbols for physics and engineering along with the use of data analysis techniques. Specific techniques may include, for example, mean and standard deviation, simple regressive techniques, log-log and log-linear relationships, and error analysis. Simple measurement techniques may include, for example, measuring velocity, voltage, current and power. Key factors in measurement include the need to analyse the accuracy, errors, resolution and the need for calibration. You will be introduced to suitable computational packages for data analysis and processing in physics and engineering.

Presentation
You will develop key communication skills in report writing, laboratory book writing (of laboratory data), and the presentation of information both visually (via graphs and diagrams) and using text. You will develop skills in processing information, for example, highlighting key findings and drawing suitable conclusions from a piece of work, and presenting the information in both written and oral format.

Group work
Communicating and working effectively in teams is a highly sought-after skill by employers. While working in a group with other students, you will develop skills in communication and project management. You will be responsible for managing individual tasks while ensuring completion of the group tasks. You will also be introduced to tools to keep track of your professional development throughout your programme

More information

KD4015 -

Experiments and Discovery (Core,20 Credits)

Experimental work is an important component of physics and this module provides the student with the opportunity to learn and develop core skills in observing physical phenomena and in the analysis of the results of measurements.

Students will perform experiments in a series of laboratory sessions across a broad range of physics topics, gaining experience in the use of standard laboratory equipment used in physics and also on the importance of systematic observation of physical phenomena capturing results and analyzing data to derive appropriate conclusions. The module also introduces the student to the concept of data acquisition, analysis using a computer and computer control of experiments.

Learnings and skills developed in this module:
Experiments spanning mechanics, optics, electromagnetism, electricity, thermodynamics, atomic physics and quantum physics.
Experimental techniques including recording data, plotting results, linear and logarithmic axes, and line of best fit.
Data analysis: statistical treatment of data; systematic and random errors; and combination and propagation of errors.
Computational work including: data acquisition and instrument control using National Instruments LabVIEW; and data analysis using Microsoft Excel.
Writing scientific reports: planning, structure, diagrams, tables, graphs and writing style.

More information

KL5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KC5028 -

Advanced Mathematics for Physics (Core,20 Credits)

The module is designed to provide you with the advanced mathematical and statistical techniques required to underpin study of physics at level 5 and beyond. Techniques covered will include Matrices, Fourier Series and Fourier and Laplace Transforms, Probability distributions, and an introduction to vector calculus (including div, grad and curl).

Students will develop skills in the use of advanced mathematical and statistical techniques, applying suitable mathematical calculations over a range of key topics, including explaining how a periodic waveform can be represented as an infinite series of sinusoids, and applying Fourier Transforms. The concepts of the eigenvalue and eigenvectors of a matrix, and how these can be found by algebraic means will also be covered. Finally, students will be introduced to vector calculus and vector operators, including div, grad and curl, and the Kronecker delta and Levi-Civita epsilon.

Linear Algebra
Algebraic evaluation of the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix (i.e. Matrices to the level of eigenvalues and eigenvectors). Application to the solution of a system of linear ordinary differential equations.

Vector Calculus
Coordinate systems; line, surface and volume integrals; Vector operators Grad, Div and Curl; Gauss’ (Divergence) Theorem, Stokes’ Theorem; Introduction to Cartesian tensors. Applications of vector calculus.

Fourier Series and Fourier and Laplace Transforms
Fourier series and periodic functions. Full-range and half-range series. Even and odd functions. Coefficients in complex form. Application to the solution of partial differential equations by the method of separation of variables. Fourier Transforms. Laplace Transforms. The convolution theorem. An introduction to the solution of partial differential equations.

Probability Distributions
Sample space, types of events, definition of probability, addition and multiplication laws, conditional probability. Discrete probability distributions including Binomial, Poisson. Continuous probability distributions including the Normal distribution.

More information

KC5029 -

Space-Time and Electromagnetism (Core,20 Credits)

The theory of Electromagnetism and its relativistic foundation is at the heart of modern physics and provides a fundamental paradigm for understanding contemporary physical theories. This module will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of Special Relativity, and to the origins and properties of electric and magnetic fields. A research inquiry approach will bring you through the step-by-step processes that led to the discovery of the Maxwell equations and understanding their relativistic nature.

Electrostatics and Magnetostatics
Coulomb's law and the electric field; Electric flux and Gauss' law; Circulation and electric potential; Calculating the field from the potential (gradient); Gauss law in differential form (divergence); Circulation law in differential form (curl); Poisson's and Laplace's equations and their solutions. Polarization, multi-pole expansion, electric potential of a dipole.
Definition of magnetic field and calculation of the force; Calculating the B field: the Biot-Savart law; Circulation and Ampere's law in differential form; Magnetic flux and Gauss law in differential form; Magnetic vector potential. Equation of motion of a charge in a electromagnetic field; cycloid motion; cyclotron frequency.
Electrical and magnetic fields in materials; Electrostatic fields and conductors (method of images); Electrostatic fields in dielectrics; Magnetostatic fields in materials.

Electrodynamics
Maxwell’s Equations. Ohm’s Law in differential form; Electromotive force; Electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law in differential form; Ampere-Maxwell law in differential form; Maxwell's equations and their solutions.
Electromagnetic Waves. Derivation from Maxwell's Equations; speed of light; Energy flow, Poynting vector. Electromagnetic wave polarisation; Incident, reflected and transmitted waves at plane interfaces.

Special Relativity
Einstein's postulates; Time dilation; Length contraction; Lorentz transformations; Light cone; Relativistic velocity transformation, energy-momentum relation; Twin paradox. Relativistic invariance of charge; Lorentz transformation of electromagnetic fields; EM of moving charges.

More information

KD5081 -

Theory, Computation and Experiment (Core,20 Credits)

This module aims to equip physics students with the knowledge and transferable skills involved in computational methods and experimental techniques. Students will analyse and present experimental data, create computational models for appropriate physical systems and perform comparisons between theory and experiment. Quantitative, analytical and modelling training acquired in this module will support students’ professional and personal skills. This module offers the additional opportunity of research-orientated learning through a hands-on approach to analysing research-based data.

Experiments - Topics may include (note this is indicative rather than prescriptive):
1. Doppler Effect
2. Optical properties of semiconductors
3. Particle accumulation on a glass surface (c.f. sand particles on photovoltaic modules and link to Monte Carlo)
4. The heat engine
5. Hall Effect
6. Fundamentals properties of X-rays
7. Radioactive decay of ?, ? and ? particles
8. Microwave Diffraction
9. PID Control
10. Thermal Conductivity
11. Cosmic Ray Detection
12. Solar photovoltaic efficiency measurement.

Computation - Topics may include (note this is indicative rather than prescriptive):
1. Curve fitting (linear and non-linear), statistical analysis and data presentation
2. Matrices to the level of eigenvectors and eigenvalues
3. Discretisation and series analysis
4. Ordinary differential equations
5. Partial differential equations (links to stock market modelling, radioactivity, electrical and mechanical systems)
6. Thermal modelling
7. Probability distribution functions

More information

KD5082 -

Quantum Universe (Core,20 Credits)

At very small scales, classical mechanics (Newton’s laws) breaks down and quantum mechanics must be used. This module introduces the foundations of quantum mechanics starting from the failure of classical physics to describe important experiments and the concept of wave-particle duality. Students are then introduced to the concept of a particle’s wave function and solving the Schrödinger equation for standard problems.

Key parts of quantum mechanics that are covered within the module include:

The Origins of Quantum Mechanics
Bohr model of the atom. Quantised nature of light and atomic spectra. Failure of classical mechanics to describe key experiments. The photoelectric effect. Young’s double slit experiment. Wave nature of particles. Concept of wave function and localisation. De Broglie equation. Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Quantum numbers and Pauli Exclusion Principle.

The Schrödinger Equation and Standard Solutions
Time dependent Schrödinger equation and general formulation. Wave function normalisation. Time independent Schrödinger equation. Boundary conditions. Infinite square well. Finite square well. Tunnelling through a potential barrier. Harmonic Oscillator. Three dimensional Schrödinger equation. Particle in a box. Hydrogen atom.

Matrix Mechanics
Postulates of quantum mechanics. Operators and representation of dynamical variables. Eigenfunctions and eigenvalues and linear combinations. Hamiltonian and operator representation of the Schrödinger equation. Hermitian operators. Expectation values. Commutating operators. Harmonic oscillator: raising and lowering operators. Angular momentum and spin. Time independent perturbation theory

Particle Physics
Fundamental Forces. Particle Classification and the Standard Model. Particle interactions, reactions and decays.

More information

KD5083 -

Semiconductor Physics (Core,20 Credits)

The module is aimed at providing students with core knowledge and understanding in semiconductor physics. The module also gives students an opportunity to develop professional and intellectual skills by analysing and discussing key industrial aspects of semiconductor materials applications. On completion of the module, students will be able to: 1. Explain the structure of matter and properties of solids in terms of atomic and molecular bonding. 2. Discuss how the band theory of solids arises when the Schrödinger equation is applied to the behaviour of electrons in solids. 3. Analyse the electrical and magnetic behaviour of solids in terms of the behaviour of their constituent electrons. 4. Analyse the behaviour of semiconductor materials in terms of the properties and behaviour of electrons and holes. 5. Discuss the common semiconductor materials, processing, devices and applications.

More information

KD5084 -

Thermal and Nuclear Energy (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces students to fundamental knowledge in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and nuclear physics with a focus on transferable skills through problem solving using mathematical modeling. This module also offers the opportunity to analyse nuclear energy power generation and environmental issues in a policy and wider sustainability context, strengthening students’ professional skills and values.

Classical Thermodynamics
Zeroth, first and second laws of thermodynamics, temperature scales, thermal energy and work, internal energy and heat capacity. Classical gas laws. Specific heat, thermal resistance and capacitance and dynamic thermal models of structures such as domestic properties. Thermal cycles, including Carnot, Rankine and Otto cycles; applications to heat engines and heat pumps. Thermodynamic efficiency of heat engines. Entropy, Enthalpy and Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies. Maxwell Relations and Thermodynamic Susceptibilities.

Statistical Mechanics
Kinetic theory of gases; derivation of gas laws, specific heat, and mass, momentum and energy transport coefficients. Statistical mechanical interpretation of entropy. Single and multiple-particle partition function and its relation to thermodynamics. Probability distributions, including Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distribution functions.

Nuclear Energy
The structure of the nucleus, zone of stability and simple nuclear models. Both natural and artificially induced radioactivity, including alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Nuclear fission and nuclear reactors. Nuclear fusion including an introduction to solar nuclear processes and current and future nuclear reactors. Nuclear instrumentation. Nuclear safety.

Nuclear and Thermal Power Sources and their effect on the environment
Thermodynamic efficiency, losses, overall effect on society, Sankey diagrams and simple modelling tools such as the McKay 2050 pathways calculator.

More information

KL5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KL5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KL5006 -

Work placement year (Optional,120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment to provide you with the option to take a one year work placement as part of your programme.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, as well as accreditation bodies such as BCS, IET, IMechE, RICS, CIOB and CIBSE within the appropriate working environments. Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised both in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Your placement period will normally be full-time and must total a minimum of 40 weeks.

More information

KL5007 -

Study abroad year (Optional,120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one full year as part of your programme.

This is a 120 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a year of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

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KL5008 -

Work placement semester (Optional,60 Credits)

This module operates within a partnership between the University, employer and yourself, and provides you with the opportunity to develop core competencies and employability skills relevant to your programme of study in a work based environment.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, within the appropriate working environments.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the placement is recognised both in your transcript as a 60 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

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KL5009 -

MPEE - Study Abroad Semester (Optional,60 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one semester as part of your programme.

This is a 60 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a semester of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad semester will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as an additional 60 credits for Engineering and Environment Study Abroad Semester.

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KC6027 -

Fluid Dynamics (Optional,20 Credits)

This module is designed to introduce fundamental concepts in the mathematical area of Fluid Dynamics. You will analyse the equations of continuity and momentum, and will investigate key concepts in this area. We will introduce the Navier-Stokes equations, and case studies will be used to visualise and analyse real-world problems (using appropriate software) as appropriate to delivery of the module. Initially, we will use the inviscid approximation and then utilise analytical and computational techniques to investigate flows. The second half of the module is a specialist course in laminar incompressible viscous flows, encompassing background mathematical theory allied to a case study approach, with solution to problems by both analytical and computational means.

Assessment of the module is by one individual assignment (30%) and one formal examination (70%).

The module is designed to provide you with a useful preparation for employment in an applied mathematical environment, physics environment or engineering environment.

Outline Syllabus
• Introduction of fluid dynamics, Navier-Stokes equations, equations of continuity and momentum for inviscid flow, unsteady one-dimensional flow along a pipe, irrotational flow, Bernouilli's equation, stream function formulation, flow past a cylinder, velocity potential.

• Low Reynolds Number Flow including: (i) lubrication theory, slider bearing, cylinder-plane, journal bearing, Reynolds equation, short bearing approximation; (ii) Flow in a corner, stream function formulation, solution of the biharmonic equation by separation of variables.

• High Reynolds Number Flow including boundary layer equations, skin friction, displacement and momentum thickness, similarity solutions, momentum integral equation, approximate solutions.

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KC6028 -

Dynamical Systems (Optional,20 Credits)

The module aims to present an introduction to Dynamical Systems and associated transferable skills, providing the students with tools and techniques needed to understand the dynamics of those systems. You will analyse non-linear ordinary differential equations and maps, focusing on autonomous systems, and will learn analytical and computational methods to solve them. This module offers the additional opportunity of research-orientated learning through a hands-on approach to selected research-based problems.

Topics may include (note this is indicative rather than prescriptive):
1. Autonomous linear systems, fixed points and their classification.
2. 1-dimensional non-linear systems: critical points; local linear approximations; qualitative analysis; linear stability analysis; bifurcations.
3. Multi-dimensional non-linear systems: linearisation about critical points, limit cycles, bifurcations.
4. Discrete systems: maps (such as tent map, logistic map, Henon map, standard map).
5. Numerical schemes for ordinary differential equations, such as the embedded Runge-Kutta method.
6. Numerical applications and programming: generation of the orbit of a map, Lorenz map for a dynamical system, orbit diagrams, cobwebs, simple fractals.
7. Elements of Chaos theory: Lyapunov exponents, sensitive dependence on initial conditions, strange attractors, Hausdorff dimension, self-similarity, fractals.

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KC6032 -

Cosmology and Stellar Evolution (Core,20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge of three main areas of astrophysics:
• Stellar evolution (including star formation, supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes)
• Galaxies (including morphology, spectral properties, Hubble classification, gravitational lensing)
• Cosmology (including Hubble’s law, expansion and curvature of the Universe, Inflation, Cosmic Microwave Background).

The student will be introduced to the big questions in astrophysics, including the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, the hunt for extra-solar planets and gravitational waves, and consider the ultimate fate of our Universe by looking at the curvature and geometry of space-time.

The module will be taught using a mixture of lectures and seminars. It will be assessed by coursework (30%) and formal examination (70%). Exam feedback will provided individually and also generically to indicate where the cohort has a strong or a weaker answer to examination questions. Written feedback will be provided on the coursework. Formative feedback will be provided during the seminars.

Outline Syllabus

Stellar Evolution
Structure and evolution of stars, including formation and fundamental properties, composition, nucleosynthesis, the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, spectroscopic classification. Extra-solar planets. Star formation, evolution and death, including supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars and black holes.

Galaxies
The morphology, spectral properties and population groups of galaxies (including elliptical, spiral and stellar nursery). Hubble classification. Review of apparent and absolute magnitudes, Doppler effect and redshifts. The main-sequence mass-luminosity relationship. Clusters, including chemical composition. The Interstellar Medium and the heliopause. Variable stars. Distance to the Galactic Centre. Galaxy formation and evolution. Gravitational lensing and gravitational waves. Dark matter.

Cosmology
Hubble’s law and the expansion of the Universe. Cosmological Principle. Review of the origin of the Big Bang and age of the Universe. Curvature and expansion of the Universe and curved space-time. Cosmic Microwave Background, Inflation. The curved, expanding universe as well as the geometry and ultimate fate of universes. Dark Energy

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KC6033 -

Solar Physics (Core,20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to investigate the Sun, our nearest star, as the energy powerhouse of our solar system. You will consider fundamental solar processes, solar radiation and neutrinos, nuclear fusion reactions, the physics of the solar interior and solar atmosphere, the coronal heating problem, sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, solar wind and space weather, geomagnetic storms and auroras, solar dangers and the Sun-Earth connection.

You will construct and apply mathematical models of the Sun to describe fundamental solar processes and phenomena, including the use of magnetic fluid dynamics and magnetism made visible.

Outline Syllabus

The Sun as a star
Solar radiation, solar constants, spectroscopy of the Sun, the Sun’s place in the Milky Way and universe, nuclear fusion reactions, solar neutrino problem, solar energy transfer, the solar atmosphere, sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, solar wind and space weather, geomagnetic storms and auroras, solar dangers (including satellites), and the Sun-Earth connection.

The physics of the Sun
Review of magnetism and Maxwell’s equations, fluid description and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations, magnetic induction, magnetic forces (Lorentz force), magnetism made visible, the vector potential, MHD waves (phase and group speeds), Alfvén waves, and mathematical models of the solar wind.

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KD6030 -

Optical Communications System Design (Optional,20 Credits)

The module will provide the knowledge and skills for you in two key themes of optical fibre and optical wireless communications. These are essential topics in electrical and electronics engineering programme that cover the fundamentals and advanced optical system designs in both fibre and wireless systems. Optical fibre communications provides the backbone for long-haul and medium range telecommunications that offers ultrahigh data transmission capacity whereas optical wireless communications is an emerging technology that enables data transmission via light, either in infrared or visible light band using laser and/or light emitting diode (LED) for indoor and short range communications system.

Through the module syllabus you will learn:

Fundamental optical fibre/wireless communications includes
- Introduction to the optical wire/wireless communications system and the overall design
- Identification of system elements, subsystems and required specifications
- Optical transmitter design, optical propagation channel, effect on the optical fibre, effect on the optical wireless channel, noise and losses, optical receiver design.

System design includes: multiple access techniques, system design and performance evaluation, analysis of the practical and industrial optical communications system

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KD6040 -

Individual Physics Project (Core,40 Credits)

The module aims to provide the student, as an individual, an opportunity to carry out an extended study in a specific area of physics, developing the student's ability to work independently and promoting self-reliance. Guidance to source and assess the appropriateness of information is provided by the module.

A key aim is to encourage students to apply theoretical and analytical techniques to problem solve. The module also aims to develop both verbal and written communication skills. The project will provide practical experience of drawing up a project specification defining aims, objectives and identifying an envisaged endpoint. With their supervisor’s guidance, the student will prepare a project plan that includes a Gantt chart, project background and sourcing previous work and associated theory/simulation to assess whether the aims and objectives are achievable and that their theoretical basis is sound.

To meet University requirements and gain practical experience, students must perform a risk assessment to identify potential risks/hazards associated with the project. The student will follow the defined plan to complete the project that will include, for example, experimental investigations and the application of appropriate theory and simulations

Students will be encouraged to monitor their progress based upon the project plan and, where necessary, adjust timescales/objectives. The student will be required to submit a final project report and present the project verbally to the supervisor, second markers and peers. Contact with the supervisor must be maintained on a regular basis to: discuss/assess progress and obtain advice.

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KD6041 -

Quantum Devices (Core,20 Credits)

Physicists are increasingly able to exploit quantum mechanical behaviour in new optoelectronic devices that will have a profound impact on our lives. These devices offer unprecedented performance in terms of speed and efficiency. The student will develop knowledge of how these characteristics stem from design at the atomic scale and of the challenges associated with scaling-up for practical applications such as sustainable energy and quantum computing.

Background Quantum Theory
Review of quantum mechanical concepts. Density of states function in one, two and three dimensions. Fermi-Dirac occupation function. Electron gas and the Fermi surface. Band theory of semiconductors and doping. Band structure of important semiconductors.

Low-dimensional Semiconductors
Energy and length scales. Fabrication techniques: top down and bottom up. High electron mobility transistor and the two-dimensional electron gas. Quantum Hall effect. Quantum wires and quantised conductance. Semiconductor quantum dots. Measurement methods for quantum devices.

Quantum Devices
Quantum computing, Quantum cryptography, Single photon and entangled photon emitters, Single electron transistor, Semiconductor quantum dot laser, Quantum cascade laser, Optical cavities, Third generation photovoltaics and quantum efficiency, Light emitting diodes and solid-state lighting, Resonant tunnelling diode, Future opportunities for quantum devices: properties of graphene and graphene-based devices; Scaling up nanotechnology, Sustainability and cost.

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KL5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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KL6003 -

Quantum and Molecular Photonics (Optional,20 Credits)

At the heart of all advances in photonics is a greater understanding of light-matter interactions and the processes used to fabricate devices.
students will develop knowledge of how matter responds to an interacting field, the underlying photophysics, and their performance and suitability for use in integrated quantum photonic devices. This module covers the following three topics:

Nonlinear Optics and Lasers
Linear Optics, Nonlinear effects -frequency mixing, Non-linear effects-self focussing, solitons, photorefractive effect, four wave mixing, Properties of laser light, Laser resonators, Types of lasers and applications

Molecular Photophysics
Organic Semiconductors, Molecular Orbitals, Jablonski Diagrams, Absorption and Emission Processes, Electron-Hole Pair Formation, Fluorescence, Phosphorescence, Excited State Lifetimes, Decay Rates, Organic Light-Emitting Diodes.

Integrated Quantum Photonics
Wavelength-scale optical waveguides, micro- and nano resonators, novel photon sources, photonic circuits design, Maxwell’s equations, light propagation in complex structures, classical and quantum optical circuits.

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KL6068 -

Satellite Systems and Space Environment (Optional,20 Credits)

The module provides students with skills and knowledge to develop scientific and/or electronic systems for space applications. The topics covered are:

The space environment - launch, orbits, rocket equation, drag, radiation, vacuum, thermal gradients.

Satellite systems and system development for space applications - radio communication, ground stations and link budgets, solar power, data processing, Earth observation, optimisation of systems for space, materials choice for space, component characteristics, mechanical and thermal testing.

Product Acceptance and Qualification Assurance for space – industry standards for space-worthy design, functional testing, simulation of operations, verification and validation processes.

Environmental Testing – theory and practice of vibration testing, resonant sweeps, shock tests and random noise tests. Theory and practice of thermal vacuum testing, the effect of vacuum on electronics and thermal cycling. Theory and practice of radiation testing, how radiation effects electronics, how to design to be radiation tolerant, and testing components in the x-ray irradiator.

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Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

KC4009 -

Calculus (Core,20 Credits)

The module is designed to introduce you to the principles, techniques, and applications of Calculus. The fundamentals of differentiation and integration are extended to include differential equations and multivariable calculus. On this module you will learn:
• Differentiation: derivative as slope and its relation to limits; standard derivatives; product, quotient, and chain rules; implicit, parametric, and logarithmic differentiation; maxima / minima, curve sketching; Taylor and Maclaurin series; L’Hopital’s rule.
• Integration: standard integrals, definite integrals, area under a curve; integration using substitutions, partial fractions decomposition and integration by parts; calculation of solid volumes.
• Functions of several variables: partial differentiation and gradients; change of coordinate systems; stationary points, maxima / minima / saddle points of functions of two variables; method of Lagrange multipliers (constrained maxima / minima).
• Double integrals: standard integrals, change of order of integration.
• Ordinary differential equations: First-order differential equations solved by direct integration, separation of variables, and integrating factor. Second-order differential equations with constant coefficients solved by the method of undetermined coefficients.

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KC4014 -

Dynamics (Core,20 Credits)

This module is designed to provide you with knowledge in a special topic in Applied Mathematics. This module introduces Newtonian mechanics developing your skills in investigating and building mathematical models and in interpreting the results. The following topics will be covered:

Mathematics Review
Euclidean geometry. Vector functions. Position vector, velocity, acceleration.
Cartesian representation in 3D-space. Scalar and vector products, triple scalar product.

Newton’s Laws
Inertial frames of reference. Newton's Laws of Motion. Mathematical models of forces (gravity, air resistance, reaction, elastic force).

Rectilinear and uniformly accelerated motion
Problems involving constant acceleration (e.g., skidding car), projectiles with/without drag force (e.g., parabolic trajectory, parachutist). Variable mass. Launch and landing of rockets.
Linear elasticity. Ideal spring, simple harmonic motion. Two-spring problems. Free/forced vibration with/without damping. Resonance. Real spring, seismograph.

Rotational motion and central forces
Angular speed, angular velocity. Rotating frames of reference.
Simple pendulum (radial and transverse acceleration). Equations of motion, inertial, Coriolis, centrifugal effects. Effects of Earth rotation on dynamical problems (e.g. projectile motion).
Principle of angular momentum, kinetic and potential energy. Motion under a central force. Kepler’s Laws. Geostationary satellite.

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KC4017 -

Particles, Waves and the Big Bang (Core,20 Credits)

Outline Syllabus (note this is indicative rather than prescriptive):

Waves and Oscillations
Free, damped and forced vibrations, resonance, coupled oscillators; the nature of travelling waves and transport of energy; types of waves including sound, water waves and light; interference, beats and standing waves; dispersion; simple diffraction phenomena.

Geometrical Optics
Phenomena in geometrical optics, interference and diffraction and their practical applications. Properties of optical systems. The dependence of geometrical optics on wave theory.

Wave-particle duality
Electromagnetic spectrum, black body radiation and the photoelectric effect.

Standard Model and the Big Bang
A qualitative introduction to the standard model of particle physics. An introduction to Feynman diagrams. Basic constituents of matter, such as quarks and leptons, their fundamental properties and interactions, and their origin at the creation of the universe. Introductory Cosmology. Microwave Background Radiation. Star formation. Types of stars. Stellar classification.

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KD4010 -

Electricity, Magnetism and Electronics (Core,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to fundamental electromagnetism, electrical circuit theory and analogue electronics. Through a combination of lectures, labs and technology-enhanced resources, you will learn to analyse basic DC and AC circuits and to familiarise with fundamental electronic components such as operational amplifiers and semiconductor diodes. This module will provide you with core knowledge, and experimental, numerical and analytical skills to tackle problems in electrical and electronic principles, thus establishing firm foundations for future employability.

Electricity and Magnetism (25%)

Electrostatics: Coulomb's law of electrostatic forces, superposition of electrostatic forces and the electric field, electric flux, Gauss’s law and its applications to calculate electric field associated with the continuous charge distributions; Concept of electric potential and its relation to the electric field; Energy stored in an electric field; Introduction to magnetostatics.

DC and AC Circuit Theory (50%)

Introduction to ideal linear elements: resistor, inductor and capacitor. Transient currents across ideal elements. Current and voltage division rule. Applications of superposition: Kirchhoff’s law.


Properties of sinusoidal and periodic waveforms, average, RMS values. Phasors and phasor diagrams, and j operator. Complex impedance, impedance diagrams.

Applications to series circuits. Power in AC circuits, power factor, apparent power, active power, and reactive power. Complex admittance and applications to parallel
circuits. An introduction to series and parallel RLC circuits.

Analogue Electronics (25%)
Introduction to the properties of an ideal operational amplifier. Simple inverting and non-inverting applications using virtual earth principles. Properties and parameters of a non-ideal op-amplifier including gain-bandwidth. Op-amplifier applications including summing, integrator and differentiator.

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KD4014 -

Research, Analysis and Presentation (Core,20 Credits)

This module aims to introduce you to gathering research data from either laboratory or reference material, analysing the acquired data in an appropriate manner and then presenting the key findings. Formal training in experimental techniques acquired in this module will support your professional and personal skills.

Research
You will learn about methods to conduct research methods based on an open-ended research question provided by the tutors. You will learn: where and how to gather information, which can be applied to generate solutions to real world problems. The ability to select from a number of research methods is important, for example, the ability to research a method to design simple laboratory tests.

Analysis
Correct use of units and symbols for physics and engineering along with the use of data analysis techniques. Specific techniques may include, for example, mean and standard deviation, simple regressive techniques, log-log and log-linear relationships, and error analysis. Simple measurement techniques may include, for example, measuring velocity, voltage, current and power. Key factors in measurement include the need to analyse the accuracy, errors, resolution and the need for calibration. You will be introduced to suitable computational packages for data analysis and processing in physics and engineering.

Presentation
You will develop key communication skills in report writing, laboratory book writing (of laboratory data), and the presentation of information both visually (via graphs and diagrams) and using text. You will develop skills in processing information, for example, highlighting key findings and drawing suitable conclusions from a piece of work, and presenting the information in both written and oral format.

Group work
Communicating and working effectively in teams is a highly sought-after skill by employers. While working in a group with other students, you will develop skills in communication and project management. You will be responsible for managing individual tasks while ensuring completion of the group tasks. You will also be introduced to tools to keep track of your professional development throughout your programme

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KD4015 -

Experiments and Discovery (Core,20 Credits)

Experimental work is an important component of physics and this module provides the student with the opportunity to learn and develop core skills in observing physical phenomena and in the analysis of the results of measurements.

Students will perform experiments in a series of laboratory sessions across a broad range of physics topics, gaining experience in the use of standard laboratory equipment used in physics and also on the importance of systematic observation of physical phenomena capturing results and analyzing data to derive appropriate conclusions. The module also introduces the student to the concept of data acquisition, analysis using a computer and computer control of experiments.

Learnings and skills developed in this module:
Experiments spanning mechanics, optics, electromagnetism, electricity, thermodynamics, atomic physics and quantum physics.
Experimental techniques including recording data, plotting results, linear and logarithmic axes, and line of best fit.
Data analysis: statistical treatment of data; systematic and random errors; and combination and propagation of errors.
Computational work including: data acquisition and instrument control using National Instruments LabVIEW; and data analysis using Microsoft Excel.
Writing scientific reports: planning, structure, diagrams, tables, graphs and writing style.

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KL5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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KC5028 -

Advanced Mathematics for Physics (Core,20 Credits)

The module is designed to provide you with the advanced mathematical and statistical techniques required to underpin study of physics at level 5 and beyond. Techniques covered will include Matrices, Fourier Series and Fourier and Laplace Transforms, Probability distributions, and an introduction to vector calculus (including div, grad and curl).

Students will develop skills in the use of advanced mathematical and statistical techniques, applying suitable mathematical calculations over a range of key topics, including explaining how a periodic waveform can be represented as an infinite series of sinusoids, and applying Fourier Transforms. The concepts of the eigenvalue and eigenvectors of a matrix, and how these can be found by algebraic means will also be covered. Finally, students will be introduced to vector calculus and vector operators, including div, grad and curl, and the Kronecker delta and Levi-Civita epsilon.

Linear Algebra
Algebraic evaluation of the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix (i.e. Matrices to the level of eigenvalues and eigenvectors). Application to the solution of a system of linear ordinary differential equations.

Vector Calculus
Coordinate systems; line, surface and volume integrals; Vector operators Grad, Div and Curl; Gauss’ (Divergence) Theorem, Stokes’ Theorem; Introduction to Cartesian tensors. Applications of vector calculus.

Fourier Series and Fourier and Laplace Transforms
Fourier series and periodic functions. Full-range and half-range series. Even and odd functions. Coefficients in complex form. Application to the solution of partial differential equations by the method of separation of variables. Fourier Transforms. Laplace Transforms. The convolution theorem. An introduction to the solution of partial differential equations.

Probability Distributions
Sample space, types of events, definition of probability, addition and multiplication laws, conditional probability. Discrete probability distributions including Binomial, Poisson. Continuous probability distributions including the Normal distribution.

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KC5029 -

Space-Time and Electromagnetism (Core,20 Credits)

The theory of Electromagnetism and its relativistic foundation is at the heart of modern physics and provides a fundamental paradigm for understanding contemporary physical theories. This module will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of Special Relativity, and to the origins and properties of electric and magnetic fields. A research inquiry approach will bring you through the step-by-step processes that led to the discovery of the Maxwell equations and understanding their relativistic nature.

Electrostatics and Magnetostatics
Coulomb's law and the electric field; Electric flux and Gauss' law; Circulation and electric potential; Calculating the field from the potential (gradient); Gauss law in differential form (divergence); Circulation law in differential form (curl); Poisson's and Laplace's equations and their solutions. Polarization, multi-pole expansion, electric potential of a dipole.
Definition of magnetic field and calculation of the force; Calculating the B field: the Biot-Savart law; Circulation and Ampere's law in differential form; Magnetic flux and Gauss law in differential form; Magnetic vector potential. Equation of motion of a charge in a electromagnetic field; cycloid motion; cyclotron frequency.
Electrical and magnetic fields in materials; Electrostatic fields and conductors (method of images); Electrostatic fields in dielectrics; Magnetostatic fields in materials.

Electrodynamics
Maxwell’s Equations. Ohm’s Law in differential form; Electromotive force; Electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law in differential form; Ampere-Maxwell law in differential form; Maxwell's equations and their solutions.
Electromagnetic Waves. Derivation from Maxwell's Equations; speed of light; Energy flow, Poynting vector. Electromagnetic wave polarisation; Incident, reflected and transmitted waves at plane interfaces.

Special Relativity
Einstein's postulates; Time dilation; Length contraction; Lorentz transformations; Light cone; Relativistic velocity transformation, energy-momentum relation; Twin paradox. Relativistic invariance of charge; Lorentz transformation of electromagnetic fields; EM of moving charges.

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KD5081 -

Theory, Computation and Experiment (Core,20 Credits)

This module aims to equip physics students with the knowledge and transferable skills involved in computational methods and experimental techniques. Students will analyse and present experimental data, create computational models for appropriate physical systems and perform comparisons between theory and experiment. Quantitative, analytical and modelling training acquired in this module will support students’ professional and personal skills. This module offers the additional opportunity of research-orientated learning through a hands-on approach to analysing research-based data.

Experiments - Topics may include (note this is indicative rather than prescriptive):
1. Doppler Effect
2. Optical properties of semiconductors
3. Particle accumulation on a glass surface (c.f. sand particles on photovoltaic modules and link to Monte Carlo)
4. The heat engine
5. Hall Effect
6. Fundamentals properties of X-rays
7. Radioactive decay of ?, ? and ? particles
8. Microwave Diffraction
9. PID Control
10. Thermal Conductivity
11. Cosmic Ray Detection
12. Solar photovoltaic efficiency measurement.

Computation - Topics may include (note this is indicative rather than prescriptive):
1. Curve fitting (linear and non-linear), statistical analysis and data presentation
2. Matrices to the level of eigenvectors and eigenvalues
3. Discretisation and series analysis
4. Ordinary differential equations
5. Partial differential equations (links to stock market modelling, radioactivity, electrical and mechanical systems)
6. Thermal modelling
7. Probability distribution functions

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KD5082 -

Quantum Universe (Core,20 Credits)

At very small scales, classical mechanics (Newton’s laws) breaks down and quantum mechanics must be used. This module introduces the foundations of quantum mechanics starting from the failure of classical physics to describe important experiments and the concept of wave-particle duality. Students are then introduced to the concept of a particle’s wave function and solving the Schrödinger equation for standard problems.

Key parts of quantum mechanics that are covered within the module include:

The Origins of Quantum Mechanics
Bohr model of the atom. Quantised nature of light and atomic spectra. Failure of classical mechanics to describe key experiments. The photoelectric effect. Young’s double slit experiment. Wave nature of particles. Concept of wave function and localisation. De Broglie equation. Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Quantum numbers and Pauli Exclusion Principle.

The Schrödinger Equation and Standard Solutions
Time dependent Schrödinger equation and general formulation. Wave function normalisation. Time independent Schrödinger equation. Boundary conditions. Infinite square well. Finite square well. Tunnelling through a potential barrier. Harmonic Oscillator. Three dimensional Schrödinger equation. Particle in a box. Hydrogen atom.

Matrix Mechanics
Postulates of quantum mechanics. Operators and representation of dynamical variables. Eigenfunctions and eigenvalues and linear combinations. Hamiltonian and operator representation of the Schrödinger equation. Hermitian operators. Expectation values. Commutating operators. Harmonic oscillator: raising and lowering operators. Angular momentum and spin. Time independent perturbation theory

Particle Physics
Fundamental Forces. Particle Classification and the Standard Model. Particle interactions, reactions and decays.

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KD5083 -

Semiconductor Physics (Core,20 Credits)

The module is aimed at providing students with core knowledge and understanding in semiconductor physics. The module also gives students an opportunity to develop professional and intellectual skills by analysing and discussing key industrial aspects of semiconductor materials applications. On completion of the module, students will be able to: 1. Explain the structure of matter and properties of solids in terms of atomic and molecular bonding. 2. Discuss how the band theory of solids arises when the Schrödinger equation is applied to the behaviour of electrons in solids. 3. Analyse the electrical and magnetic behaviour of solids in terms of the behaviour of their constituent electrons. 4. Analyse the behaviour of semiconductor materials in terms of the properties and behaviour of electrons and holes. 5. Discuss the common semiconductor materials, processing, devices and applications.

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KD5084 -

Thermal and Nuclear Energy (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces students to fundamental knowledge in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and nuclear physics with a focus on transferable skills through problem solving using mathematical modeling. This module also offers the opportunity to analyse nuclear energy power generation and environmental issues in a policy and wider sustainability context, strengthening students’ professional skills and values.

Classical Thermodynamics
Zeroth, first and second laws of thermodynamics, temperature scales, thermal energy and work, internal energy and heat capacity. Classical gas laws. Specific heat, thermal resistance and capacitance and dynamic thermal models of structures such as domestic properties. Thermal cycles, including Carnot, Rankine and Otto cycles; applications to heat engines and heat pumps. Thermodynamic efficiency of heat engines. Entropy, Enthalpy and Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies. Maxwell Relations and Thermodynamic Susceptibilities.

Statistical Mechanics
Kinetic theory of gases; derivation of gas laws, specific heat, and mass, momentum and energy transport coefficients. Statistical mechanical interpretation of entropy. Single and multiple-particle partition function and its relation to thermodynamics. Probability distributions, including Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distribution functions.

Nuclear Energy
The structure of the nucleus, zone of stability and simple nuclear models. Both natural and artificially induced radioactivity, including alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Nuclear fission and nuclear reactors. Nuclear fusion including an introduction to solar nuclear processes and current and future nuclear reactors. Nuclear instrumentation. Nuclear safety.

Nuclear and Thermal Power Sources and their effect on the environment
Thermodynamic efficiency, losses, overall effect on society, Sankey diagrams and simple modelling tools such as the McKay 2050 pathways calculator.

More information

KL5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KL5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KL5006 -

Work placement year (Optional,120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment to provide you with the option to take a one year work placement as part of your programme.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, as well as accreditation bodies such as BCS, IET, IMechE, RICS, CIOB and CIBSE within the appropriate working environments. Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised both in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Your placement period will normally be full-time and must total a minimum of 40 weeks.

More information

KL5007 -

Study abroad year (Optional,120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one full year as part of your programme.

This is a 120 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a year of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

More information

KL5008 -

Work placement semester (Optional,60 Credits)

This module operates within a partnership between the University, employer and yourself, and provides you with the opportunity to develop core competencies and employability skills relevant to your programme of study in a work based environment.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, within the appropriate working environments.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the placement is recognised both in your transcript as a 60 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

More information

KL5009 -

MPEE - Study Abroad Semester (Optional,60 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one semester as part of your programme.

This is a 60 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a semester of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad semester will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as an additional 60 credits for Engineering and Environment Study Abroad Semester.

More information

KC6027 -

Fluid Dynamics (Optional,20 Credits)

This module is designed to introduce fundamental concepts in the mathematical area of Fluid Dynamics. You will analyse the equations of continuity and momentum, and will investigate key concepts in this area. We will introduce the Navier-Stokes equations, and case studies will be used to visualise and analyse real-world problems (using appropriate software) as appropriate to delivery of the module. Initially, we will use the inviscid approximation and then utilise analytical and computational techniques to investigate flows. The second half of the module is a specialist course in laminar incompressible viscous flows, encompassing background mathematical theory allied to a case study approach, with solution to problems by both analytical and computational means.

Assessment of the module is by one individual assignment (30%) and one formal examination (70%).

The module is designed to provide you with a useful preparation for employment in an applied mathematical environment, physics environment or engineering environment.

Outline Syllabus
• Introduction of fluid dynamics, Navier-Stokes equations, equations of continuity and momentum for inviscid flow, unsteady one-dimensional flow along a pipe, irrotational flow, Bernouilli's equation, stream function formulation, flow past a cylinder, velocity potential.

• Low Reynolds Number Flow including: (i) lubrication theory, slider bearing, cylinder-plane, journal bearing, Reynolds equation, short bearing approximation; (ii) Flow in a corner, stream function formulation, solution of the biharmonic equation by separation of variables.

• High Reynolds Number Flow including boundary layer equations, skin friction, displacement and momentum thickness, similarity solutions, momentum integral equation, approximate solutions.

More information

KC6028 -

Dynamical Systems (Optional,20 Credits)

The module aims to present an introduction to Dynamical Systems and associated transferable skills, providing the students with tools and techniques needed to understand the dynamics of those systems. You will analyse non-linear ordinary differential equations and maps, focusing on autonomous systems, and will learn analytical and computational methods to solve them. This module offers the additional opportunity of research-orientated learning through a hands-on approach to selected research-based problems.

Topics may include (note this is indicative rather than prescriptive):
1. Autonomous linear systems, fixed points and their classification.
2. 1-dimensional non-linear systems: critical points; local linear approximations; qualitative analysis; linear stability analysis; bifurcations.
3. Multi-dimensional non-linear systems: linearisation about critical points, limit cycles, bifurcations.
4. Discrete systems: maps (such as tent map, logistic map, Henon map, standard map).
5. Numerical schemes for ordinary differential equations, such as the embedded Runge-Kutta method.
6. Numerical applications and programming: generation of the orbit of a map, Lorenz map for a dynamical system, orbit diagrams, cobwebs, simple fractals.
7. Elements of Chaos theory: Lyapunov exponents, sensitive dependence on initial conditions, strange attractors, Hausdorff dimension, self-similarity, fractals.

More information

KC6032 -

Cosmology and Stellar Evolution (Core,20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge of three main areas of astrophysics:
• Stellar evolution (including star formation, supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes)
• Galaxies (including morphology, spectral properties, Hubble classification, gravitational lensing)
• Cosmology (including Hubble’s law, expansion and curvature of the Universe, Inflation, Cosmic Microwave Background).

The student will be introduced to the big questions in astrophysics, including the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, the hunt for extra-solar planets and gravitational waves, and consider the ultimate fate of our Universe by looking at the curvature and geometry of space-time.

The module will be taught using a mixture of lectures and seminars. It will be assessed by coursework (30%) and formal examination (70%). Exam feedback will provided individually and also generically to indicate where the cohort has a strong or a weaker answer to examination questions. Written feedback will be provided on the coursework. Formative feedback will be provided during the seminars.

Outline Syllabus

Stellar Evolution
Structure and evolution of stars, including formation and fundamental properties, composition, nucleosynthesis, the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, spectroscopic classification. Extra-solar planets. Star formation, evolution and death, including supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars and black holes.

Galaxies
The morphology, spectral properties and population groups of galaxies (including elliptical, spiral and stellar nursery). Hubble classification. Review of apparent and absolute magnitudes, Doppler effect and redshifts. The main-sequence mass-luminosity relationship. Clusters, including chemical composition. The Interstellar Medium and the heliopause. Variable stars. Distance to the Galactic Centre. Galaxy formation and evolution. Gravitational lensing and gravitational waves. Dark matter.

Cosmology
Hubble’s law and the expansion of the Universe. Cosmological Principle. Review of the origin of the Big Bang and age of the Universe. Curvature and expansion of the Universe and curved space-time. Cosmic Microwave Background, Inflation. The curved, expanding universe as well as the geometry and ultimate fate of universes. Dark Energy

More information

KC6033 -

Solar Physics (Core,20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to investigate the Sun, our nearest star, as the energy powerhouse of our solar system. You will consider fundamental solar processes, solar radiation and neutrinos, nuclear fusion reactions, the physics of the solar interior and solar atmosphere, the coronal heating problem, sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, solar wind and space weather, geomagnetic storms and auroras, solar dangers and the Sun-Earth connection.

You will construct and apply mathematical models of the Sun to describe fundamental solar processes and phenomena, including the use of magnetic fluid dynamics and magnetism made visible.

Outline Syllabus

The Sun as a star
Solar radiation, solar constants, spectroscopy of the Sun, the Sun’s place in the Milky Way and universe, nuclear fusion reactions, solar neutrino problem, solar energy transfer, the solar atmosphere, sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, solar wind and space weather, geomagnetic storms and auroras, solar dangers (including satellites), and the Sun-Earth connection.

The physics of the Sun
Review of magnetism and Maxwell’s equations, fluid description and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations, magnetic induction, magnetic forces (Lorentz force), magnetism made visible, the vector potential, MHD waves (phase and group speeds), Alfvén waves, and mathematical models of the solar wind.

More information

KD6030 -

Optical Communications System Design (Optional,20 Credits)

The module will provide the knowledge and skills for you in two key themes of optical fibre and optical wireless communications. These are essential topics in electrical and electronics engineering programme that cover the fundamentals and advanced optical system designs in both fibre and wireless systems. Optical fibre communications provides the backbone for long-haul and medium range telecommunications that offers ultrahigh data transmission capacity whereas optical wireless communications is an emerging technology that enables data transmission via light, either in infrared or visible light band using laser and/or light emitting diode (LED) for indoor and short range communications system.

Through the module syllabus you will learn:

Fundamental optical fibre/wireless communications includes
- Introduction to the optical wire/wireless communications system and the overall design
- Identification of system elements, subsystems and required specifications
- Optical transmitter design, optical propagation channel, effect on the optical fibre, effect on the optical wireless channel, noise and losses, optical receiver design.

System design includes: multiple access techniques, system design and performance evaluation, analysis of the practical and industrial optical communications system

More information

KD6040 -

Individual Physics Project (Core,40 Credits)

The module aims to provide the student, as an individual, an opportunity to carry out an extended study in a specific area of physics, developing the student's ability to work independently and promoting self-reliance. Guidance to source and assess the appropriateness of information is provided by the module.

A key aim is to encourage students to apply theoretical and analytical techniques to problem solve. The module also aims to develop both verbal and written communication skills. The project will provide practical experience of drawing up a project specification defining aims, objectives and identifying an envisaged endpoint. With their supervisor’s guidance, the student will prepare a project plan that includes a Gantt chart, project background and sourcing previous work and associated theory/simulation to assess whether the aims and objectives are achievable and that their theoretical basis is sound.

To meet University requirements and gain practical experience, students must perform a risk assessment to identify potential risks/hazards associated with the project. The student will follow the defined plan to complete the project that will include, for example, experimental investigations and the application of appropriate theory and simulations

Students will be encouraged to monitor their progress based upon the project plan and, where necessary, adjust timescales/objectives. The student will be required to submit a final project report and present the project verbally to the supervisor, second markers and peers. Contact with the supervisor must be maintained on a regular basis to: discuss/assess progress and obtain advice.

More information

KD6041 -

Quantum Devices (Core,20 Credits)

Physicists are increasingly able to exploit quantum mechanical behaviour in new optoelectronic devices that will have a profound impact on our lives. These devices offer unprecedented performance in terms of speed and efficiency. The student will develop knowledge of how these characteristics stem from design at the atomic scale and of the challenges associated with scaling-up for practical applications such as sustainable energy and quantum computing.

Background Quantum Theory
Review of quantum mechanical concepts. Density of states function in one, two and three dimensions. Fermi-Dirac occupation function. Electron gas and the Fermi surface. Band theory of semiconductors and doping. Band structure of important semiconductors.

Low-dimensional Semiconductors
Energy and length scales. Fabrication techniques: top down and bottom up. High electron mobility transistor and the two-dimensional electron gas. Quantum Hall effect. Quantum wires and quantised conductance. Semiconductor quantum dots. Measurement methods for quantum devices.

Quantum Devices
Quantum computing, Quantum cryptography, Single photon and entangled photon emitters, Single electron transistor, Semiconductor quantum dot laser, Quantum cascade laser, Optical cavities, Third generation photovoltaics and quantum efficiency, Light emitting diodes and solid-state lighting, Resonant tunnelling diode, Future opportunities for quantum devices: properties of graphene and graphene-based devices; Scaling up nanotechnology, Sustainability and cost.

More information

KL5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KL6003 -

Quantum and Molecular Photonics (Optional,20 Credits)

At the heart of all advances in photonics is a greater understanding of light-matter interactions and the processes used to fabricate devices.
students will develop knowledge of how matter responds to an interacting field, the underlying photophysics, and their performance and suitability for use in integrated quantum photonic devices. This module covers the following three topics:

Nonlinear Optics and Lasers
Linear Optics, Nonlinear effects -frequency mixing, Non-linear effects-self focussing, solitons, photorefractive effect, four wave mixing, Properties of laser light, Laser resonators, Types of lasers and applications

Molecular Photophysics
Organic Semiconductors, Molecular Orbitals, Jablonski Diagrams, Absorption and Emission Processes, Electron-Hole Pair Formation, Fluorescence, Phosphorescence, Excited State Lifetimes, Decay Rates, Organic Light-Emitting Diodes.

Integrated Quantum Photonics
Wavelength-scale optical waveguides, micro- and nano resonators, novel photon sources, photonic circuits design, Maxwell’s equations, light propagation in complex structures, classical and quantum optical circuits.

More information

KL6068 -

Satellite Systems and Space Environment (Optional,20 Credits)

The module provides students with skills and knowledge to develop scientific and/or electronic systems for space applications. The topics covered are:

The space environment - launch, orbits, rocket equation, drag, radiation, vacuum, thermal gradients.

Satellite systems and system development for space applications - radio communication, ground stations and link budgets, solar power, data processing, Earth observation, optimisation of systems for space, materials choice for space, component characteristics, mechanical and thermal testing.

Product Acceptance and Qualification Assurance for space – industry standards for space-worthy design, functional testing, simulation of operations, verification and validation processes.

Environmental Testing – theory and practice of vibration testing, resonant sweeps, shock tests and random noise tests. Theory and practice of thermal vacuum testing, the effect of vacuum on electronics and thermal cycling. Theory and practice of radiation testing, how radiation effects electronics, how to design to be radiation tolerant, and testing components in the x-ray irradiator.

More information

To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

Physics with Astrophysics BSc (Hons)

Home or EU applicants please apply through UCAS

International applicants please apply using the links below

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Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



Accessibility and Student Inclusion

Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

Accessibility support

Student Inclusion support




All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

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