KD7030 - Physics Research Project

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What will I learn on this module?

This module provides the student with an opportunity to demonstrate an integrated approach to the application of their specialist knowledge and skills within a physics-based research project supervised by an academic staff member engaged in active research in an area of physics. The student will be provided with an authentic research experience that will prepare them for further academic study or employment.

The student will work on an open-ended research problem focused on a topic at the forefront of physics research. They will gain competence in the use of specialist equipment, analysis techniques, specialist software packages and/or computer programming as required to complete the module. The student will have the opportunity to develop further communication skills through oral presentations and a dissertation. The academic level of the dissertation is aimed at suitability for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

How will I learn on this module?

The student will undertake a self-managed research-based project, under the supervision of a member of the academic staff. This will involve the definition of the aims and objectives of the project and the preparation of a project plan, in consultation with the supervisor. The student will carry out the project in one of the research laboratories and will interact with the research team working in that area to achieve the project plan. Project development will be effected through formal and informal discussions. Rich technology enhanced learning opportunities exist as students typically use advanced instrumentation (e.g. the scanning electron microscope) and industry standard computer programming packages (e.g. Matlab and Interactive Data Language).

In addition, a series of lectures will introduce the student to concepts of good practice in research, as well as related concepts such as research management, research funding, funding bodies in the UK and in the European Union, topical scientific meetings and networking opportunities.

Students are encouraged to monitor their own progress based on the project plan and to readjust timescales when necessary. The student will be required to submit a final project report towards the end of the module and to present the results of the project to the supervisor, second markers and peers. The student must maintain contact with the supervisor over the duration of the module and keep a log book detailing the progress made on the project.

Assessment will be by attendance at supervisory meetings and review of log/lab book by the supervisor, the submission of an individual dissertation and an oral presentation. Formative feedback will be provided in project seminars and during presentations and summative written feedback will be provided on the report.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The student will be supervised by an appointed academic who will support the student in defining their project and experimental/theoretical planning specification and will oversee the student’s planning and management of any allocated resources for the project. The student will attend regular meetings with their supervisor to consider progress, discuss any problems and jointly consider the results of the work.
In addition, to support the student’s development, seminar sessions will be used to address literature reviews, project planning, risk management and contingency, research impact, building a collaborative network, scientific writing and presentation. Furthermore, it is expected that students will join regular research group meetings and benefit from the wider community of PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Critically analyse the results of the investigation and draw legitimate conclusions.
• Critically evaluate the significance of the results against the current research landscape in the relevant Physics branch through consultation of a wide variety of sources including textbooks, specialised texts and research articles

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Develop, through supervised planning and execution, an experimental or theoretical investigation
• Communicate scientific ideas, background and results of the project accurately and informatively.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Effectively manage the student’s own learning through time allocation of activities

How will I be assessed?

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
1. Attendance at supervisory meetings and review of log book by supervisor (20%) – KU1, KU2, IPSA 1, PVA1
2. Oral presentation of project (20%) – IPSA2
3. Individual written report in a style suitable for a peer-review publication (60%) – KU1, KU2, IPSA2

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT
1. Series of regular formative meetings with project supervisor – KU1, KU2, IPSA1, PVA1
2. Participation in seminars to gain research background and assess progress – KU1, KU2, IPSA2

Formative feedback will be derived from the process of undertaking the project. Written feedback will be provided on the summative assessment.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

The Physics Research Project will give you the opportunity to work on an individual research project, but as part of wider research team in a physics-based topic that is part of the active research portfolio of the University. The project topic will be appropriate to either the physics or astrophysics subject area, according to the course you are following. You will gain experience in project planning, completion and reporting, supported by your supervisor. You will get also the opportunity to use the resources of the research group to which you are linked and will receive training on specialist equipment or software that is necessary for your work. The project work is also supported by a series of lectures covering various research skills. The skills you will gain in this module apply to a wide range of future careers based around problem solving and interaction with other team members.

Course info

UCAS Code F2W4

Credits 60

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

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