Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code PHYS156
Coordinator Professor M Chartier
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 4 FHEQ Second Semester 7.5


To develop skills with spreadsheets; to develop skills in using computers to perform mathematical calculations; to illustrate the insight into physics which can be obtained by exploiting computational software packages; to improve science students' skills in communicating scientific information in appropriate written and oral formats; to provide a core of essential introductory laboratory methods which overlap and develop from A-level; to introduce the basis of experimental techniques in physical measurement, the use of computer techniques in analysis and to provide experience doing experiments, keeping records and writing reports.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Ability to use spreadsheets and mathematical packages to calculate and graph mathematical equations.

(LO2) Ability to apply mathematical software packages to physics problems.

(LO3) Appreciation of how to present results by computer.

(LO4) Ability to communicate more confidently.

(LO5) Understanding of some of the key factors in successful communication.

(LO6) Appreciation of the practical nature of physics.

(LO7) Awareness of the importance of accurate experimentation, particularly obervation and record keeping.

(LO8) Ability to plan, execute and report on the results of an investigation using appropriate analysis of the data and associated uncertainties.

(LO9) Practical and technical skill required for physics experimentation and an appreciation of the importance of a systematic approach to experimental measurement.

(S1) Problem solving skills.

(S2) Communication skills.

(S3) IT skills.

(S4) Analytical Skills - ability to grasp complex concepts, to understand and interpret data precisely and to construct logical arguments. Ability to distil a problem to its basic elements.



Skills sessions involve spreadsheet exercises based on physics examples and on error evaluation as well as plotting functions, complex numbers, animations, integration and differentiation. Important elements of good communication in oral presentations, written reports (including laboratory reports). Practical sessions involve weekly practical sessions to incrementally develop experimental  design, data acquisition, analysis and interpretation, construction of logical arguments, communication of findings and appreciation of what constitutes unethical behaviour. Introduction to experimental errors with  Hooke's Law and Stefan's Law Handling cryogens (Liquid Nitrogen experiment), basic electronics using the LCR circuit data handling exercises using Milikan's oil drop experiment use of simple and complex equipment.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Laboratory Work
Description: Scheme of work has been designed to incrementally improve student's abilities in experimental design, data acquisition, data analysis and interpretation, their communication of findings in report form and team work.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours       72

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 3


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
laboratory There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :S2      100       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.