Physics with Medical Applications BSc (Hons) Add to your prospectus

  • Offers study abroad opportunities Offers study abroad opportunities
  • Opportunity to study for a year in China Offers a Year in China
  • This degree is accreditedAccredited

Key information


  • Course length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: F350
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33 / BTEC : Applications considered
physics-4

Module details

Programme Year One

The first year starts with a one-week project to familiarise you with the staff and other students. There will be two Maths modules in each of the first two years; these are designed to provide the Mathematical skills required by Physics students.

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Newtonian Dynamics (PHYS101)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims
    • To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of classical mechanics at an elementary level.
    • To provide an introduction to the study of fluids.
    • To introduce the use of elementary vector algebra in the context of mechanics.
    Learning Outcomes

    Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the laws of classical mechanics, and understand physical quantities with magnitudes, directions (where applicable), units and uncertainties.

    • understand physical quantities with magnitudes, directions (where applicable), units and uncertainties.
    • apply the laws of mechanics to statics, linear motion, motion in a plane, rotational motion, simple harmonic motion and gravitation.

    Apply the laws of mechanics to unseen situations and solve problems.

    Develop a knowledge and understanding of the analysis of linear and rotational motion.

    ​Develop a knowledge and understanding of the analysis of orbits, gravity, simple harmonic motion and fluid flow.

  • Thermal Physics (PHYS102)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    The module aims to make the student familiar with

    • The concepts of Thermal Physics
    • The zeroth, first and second laws of Thermodynamics
    • Heat engines
    • The kinetic theory of gasses
    • Entropy
    • The equation of state
    • Van der Waals equation
    • States of matter and state changes
    • The basis of statistical mechanics
    Learning Outcomes

    Construct a temperature scale and understand how to calibrate a thermometer with that scale

    ​Calculate the heat flow into and work done by a system and how that is constrained by the first law of Thermodynamics

    ​Analyse the expected performance of heat engines, heat pumps and refrigerators

    ​Relate the second law of thermodynamics to the operation of heat engines, particularly the Carnot engine

    ​Understand the kinetic theory of gases and calculate properties of gases including the heat capacity and mean free path

    ​Use the theory of equipartition to relate the structure of the molecules to the measured heat capacity

    ​Calculate the linear and volume thermal expansions of materials

    ​Understand the basis of entropy and relate this to the second law of thermodynamics andcalculate entropy changes

    ​Relate the equation of state for a material to the macroscopic properties of the material

    ​Understand the PV and PT diagrams for materials and the phase transitions that occur when changing the state variables for materials

    ​Be able to link the microscopic view of a system to its macroscopic state variables
  • Wave Phenomena (PHYS103)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims
    • To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of wave phenomena.
    • To highlight the many diverse areas of physics in which an understanding of waves is crucial.
    • To introduce the concepts of interference and diffraction.
    Learning Outcomes

    At the end of the module the student should be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of oscillators.
    • Understand the fundamental principles underlying wave phenomena.
    • Apply those principles to diverse phenomena.
    • Understand wave reflection and transmission, superposition of waves.
    • Solve problems on the behaviour of electromagnetic waves in vacuo and in dielectric materials.
    • Understand linear and circular polarisation.
    • Understand inteference and diffraction effects.
    • Understand lenses and optical instruments.
    • Apply Fourier techniques and understand their link to diffraction patterns.
    • Understand the basic principles of lasers.
  • Foundations of Modern Physics (PHYS104)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims
    • To introduce the theory of special relativity and its experimental proofs.
    • To carry out calculations using relativity and visualise them.
    • To introduce the concepts and the experimental foundations of quantum theory.
    • To carry out simple calculations related to quantum mechanical problem tasks.
    • To show the impact of relativity and quantum theory on contemporary science and society.
    Learning Outcomes

    An understanding why classical mechanics must have failed to describe the properties of light, the motion of objects with speeds close to the speed of light and the properties of microspopic systems.

    ​A basic knowledge on the experimental and theoretical concepts which founded modern physics, i.e. that either relativity or quantum theory or both are needed to explain certain phenomena.​

    ​A knowledge of the postulates of special relativity.​

    ​An understanding of the concept of spacetime, of the relativity of length, time and velocity.​

    An ability to apply the Lorentz transformation and the concept of Lorentz invariance to simple cases​

    ​An ability to apply the equations of relativistic energy, momentum and rest mass.​

    ​An understanding of the Doppler effect for light and visualisation of relativistic effects.​

    ​An ability to solve problems based on special relativity.​

    ​An understanding why quantum theory is the conceptual framework to understand the microscopic properties of the universe.​

    ​An understanding of the quantum theory of light and the ability to apply the energy-momentum conservation for light, e.g. photo-electric effect, Compton effect.​

    ​An understanding of the structure of atoms and its experimental foundations.

    ​An understanding of Bohr''s theory of the atom and its application to the H-atom including the concept of principal quantum numbers.​

    ​An understanding of de Broglie waves and their statistical interpretation.​

    ​An ability to explain the experimental evidence of de Broglie waves with scattering experiments of electrons, X-rays and neutrons.​

    ​An understanding of the principles of quantum mechanical measurements and Heisenberg''s uncertainty principle.​

    ​An understanding of the identity principle of microscopic particles and the basic idea of quantum (Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein) statistics.​

    ​A basic knowledge of contemporary applications of quantum theory and relativity, e.g. nuclear reactor and nuclear fissions, and the impact on our society.​

  • Practical Physics I (PHYS106)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims
    • 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 in doing experiments, keeping records and writing reports.
    • To compliment the core physics program with experimental examples of material taught in the lecture courses.
    Learning Outcomes

     

    • Experienced the practical nature of physics.

     

    • Developed an awareness of the importance of accurate experimentation, particularly observation, record keeping. 

    • Developed the ability to plan, execute and report on the results of an investigation using appropriate analysis of the data and associated uncertainties

     

    • Developed the practical and technical skill required for physics experimentation and an appreciation of the importance of a systematic approach to experimental measurement.

    • Developed problem solving skills of a practical nature

     

    • Developed analytical skills in the analysis of the data

     

    • Developed communication skills in the presentation of the investigation in a clear and logical manner

    • Developed investgative skills in performing the experiment and extracting information from various sources with which to compare the results

    • Developed the ability to organise their time and meet deadlines

     

    • Understand the interaction between theory and experiment, in particular the ties to the material presented in the lecture courses.
  • Mathematics for Physicists I (PHYS107)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To provide a foundation for the mathematics required by physical scientists.

    To assist students in acquiring the skills necessary to use the mathematics developed in the module.

    Learning Outcomes

  • a good working knowledge of differential and integral calculus



  • familiarity with some of the elementary functions common in applied mathematics and science



  • an introductory knowledge of functions of several variables


  • manipulation of complex numbers and use them to solve simple problems involving fractional powers


  • an introductory knowledge of series


  • a good rudimentary knowledge of simple problems involving statistics: binomial and Poisson distributions, mean, standard deviation, standard error of mean
  • Mathematics for Physicists II (PHYS108)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims
    • To consolidate and extend the understanding of mathematics required for the physical sciences.
    • To develop the student’s ability to apply the mathematical techniques developed in the module to the understanding of physical problems.
    Learning OutcomesAbility to manipulate matrices with confidence and use matrix methods to solve simultaneous linear equations.

    ​Familiarity with methods for solving first and second order differential equations in one variable.

    ​A basic knowledge of vector algebra.

    A basic understanding of Fourier series and transforms.

    ​A basic understanding of series methods for the solution of differential equations

  • Working With Medical Physics I (PHYS115)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims
    • 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 the students with a broad introduction to medical physics
    • To provide the students with the physics basis for measurement techniques used in medicine
    Learning Outcomes

    ​Basic understanding of the underlying physics properties and ideas that are utilised in medical physics

    ​Basic knowledge of the physics involved in measurement techniques used in medicine

    ​Understanding of the techniques used in measurements in medical applications

    ​Ability to solve simple problems in medical physics

Programme Year Two

In year two you will broaden your understanding of Physics, with modules designed to ensure you have mastered the full range of Physics concepts.

Year Two Compulsory Modules

  • Electromagnetism (PHYS201)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims
    • To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of electrostatics, magnetostatics, electromagnetism and Maxwell''s equations, and electromagnetic waves.
    • To introduce differential vector analysis in the context of electromagnetism.
    • To introduce circuit principles and analysis (EMF, Ohm''s law, Kirchhoff''s rules, RC and RLC circuits)
    • To introduce the formulation fo Maxwell''s equations in the presence of dielectric and magnetic materials.
    • To develop the ability of students to apply Maxwell''s equations to simple problems involving dielectric and magnetic materials.
    • To develop the concepts of field theories in Physics using electromagnetism as an example.
    • To introduce light as an electromagnetic wave.
    Learning Outcomes

    ​Demonstrate a good knowledge of the laws of electromagnetism and an understanding of the practical meaning of Maxwell''s equations in integral and differential forms.

    ​Apply differential vector analysis to electromagnetism.

    ​Demonstrate simple knowledge and understanding of how the presence of matter affects electrostatics and magnetostatics, and the ability to solve simple problems in these situations.

    ​Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how the laws are altered in the case of non-static electric and magnetic fields and the ability to solve simple problems in these situations.

  • Condensed Matter Physics (PHYS202)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    The aims of Phys202 are to introduce the most important and basic concepts in condensed matter physics relating to the different materials we commonly see in the world around us. Condensed matter physics is one of the most active areas of research in modern physics, whose scope is extremely broad. The ultimate aim of this course is to introduce its central ideas and methodology to the students.

    Condensed matter refers to both liquids and solids and all kinds of other forms of matter in between those two extremes, generally known as “soft matter". While the course will touch on liquids, the emphasis will be on crystalline solids, including some nano-materials. The reason for focusing on crystals is that the periodicity of a crystal is what allows us to make progress in developing a theory for various phenomena in solids based on first principles. Two important concepts are:

    • the electronic states of electrons in a solid and

    • the vibrations of atoms in the solid.

    The description of these ideas basically refer to the theory of electronic band structure and the theory of phonons. These concepts form the basis for understanding a wide range of phenomena including how the atoms bond together to form the crystal, what are some basic statistical properties like specific heat, how electrons move in solids and electronic transport, why are some materials metals and others semiconductors and insulators, and how do solids interact with electromagnetic fields. The course will also introduce optical and magnetic properties in solids, scattering phenomena, thermal conductivity and effect of defects in solids, semiconductors, magnetism and go beyond the free electron model to touch on intriguing effects such as superconductivity.

    Learning Outcomes

    On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to understand the basic concepts of bonding in solids, establish an understanding of electron configuration in atoms and in the condensed matter in terms of bonding, and relating them to band structure description.

    ​Students will be able to understand how solid structures are described mathematically and how material properties can be predicted​.

    ​Students will be able to establish a foundation in basic crystallography, using Bragg''s law, and understand the concept of the reciprocal lattice.


    ​Students will understand basic transport properties, both electronic and thermal, in solids.

    ​ Students will understand the concept of electron and hole carrier statistics, effective masses and transport in intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors

    ​Students will learn the basics of magnetism, the atomic origin and classical treatment of diamagnetism and paramagnetism, quantization of angular momentum and Hund''s rule, and introduced to weak magnetism in solids.


    ​​Students will become familiar to the general language of condensed matter physics, key theories and concepts, ultimately enebling them to read and understand research papers.


  • Quantum and Atomic Physics (PHYS203)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims
    • To introduce students to the concepts of quantum theory.
    • To show how Schrodinger''s equation is applied to particle flux and to bound states.
    • To show how quantum ideas provide an understanding of atomic structure.
    Learning Outcomes

    At the end of the module the student should have:

    • An understanding of the reasons why microscopic systems require quantum description and statistical interpretation.
    • Knowledge of the Schrodinger equation and how it is formulated to describe simple physical systems.
    • Understanding of the basic technique of using Schrodinger''s equation and ability to determine solutions in simple cases.
    • Understanding of how orbital angular momentum is described in quantum mechanics and why there is a need for spin.
    • Understanding how the formalism of quantum mechanics describes the structure of atomic hydrogen and, schematically, how more complex atoms are described.
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics (PHYS204)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims
    • To introduce Rutherford and related scattering.
    • To introduce nuclear size, mass and decay modes
    • To provide some applications and examples of nuclear physics
    • To introduce particle physics, including interactions, reactions and decay
    • To show some recent experimental discoveries
    • To introduce relativistic 4-vectors for applications to collision problems
    Learning Outcomes

    At the end of the module the student should have:

    • basic understanding of Rutherford, electron on neutron scattering
    • understanding of the basic principles that determine nuclear size, mass and decay modes
    • knowledge of examples and applications of nuclear physics
    • knowledge of elementary particles and their interactions
    • basic understanding of relativistic 4-vectors
  • Working With Physics II (PHYS205)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims
    • To develop essential research skills
    • To use programming techniques to solve problems in Physics, Nuclear Physics, Astrophysics and/or meduical applciations of physics.
    • To develop skills in modelling the solution to a problem
    • To give students experience iof working in small groups to solve a problem
    • To give students further experience of communicating their results using computer packages
    Learning Outcomes

    Knowledge of programming techniques in Matlab


      ​The ability to solve problems using a computer program​

      ​Mastered a basic set of research skills

      ​Experience of working in a small group​

      ​Improved communication skills written, Oral and Poster

    • Practical Physics II (PHYS206)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      The aims of the module "Practical Physics II" are to teach how to

      • setup and calibrate equipment;
      • take reliable data;
      • obtain experimental results with associated errors;
      • compare experimental results with theoretical expectations;
      • use computer software for simulation and data analysis;
      • write experimental reports and scientific papers;
      • understand physics in depth by performing experiments;
      • develop practical and technical skills required for electronics experimentation;
      • use electronics in physical and technical applications.
      Learning Outcomes

      The students will acquire systematic understanding of practical physics and learn how to perform experiments using modern techniques.

      They will understand in details the fundamental physics behind the experiments.

      They will be trained in data analysis techniques using modern IT packages.

      ​They will be familiar with modern techniques of data acquisition.

      They will have enhanced ability to plan, execute and report the results of an investigation.

      ​They will understand the concept of measurement errors and how they propagate to the final results.

      ​They will be able to initiate and carry out projects.

    • Mathematics for Physicists III (PHYS207)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
      Aims
      • To re-inforce students'' prior knowledge of mathematical techniques
      • To introduce new mathematical techniques for physics modules
      • To enhance students'' problem-solving abilities through structured application of these techniques in physics
      Learning Outcomes

      At the end of the module the student should be able to:

      • Have knowledge of a range of mathematical techniques necessary for physics and astrophysics programmes
      • Be able to apply these mathematical techniques in a range of physics and astrophysics programmes
    • Accelerators and Radioisotopes in Medicine (PHYS246)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To introduce the students to ionising and non ionising radiation including its origins and production.
      • To introduce the various ways in which radiation interacts with materials.
      • To introduce the different accelerators and isotopes used in medicine and to give examples of their use.
      Learning Outcomes


      • A basic knowledge of the origins of radiation and its properties.

      ​​

      • An understanding of ways in which radiation interacts with materials.

      • An understanding of how accelerators operate and how isotopes are produced.

      • Knowledge of applications of the use of accelerators and isotopes in medicine.​​​

    Programme Year Three

    Comprises a mix of core modules and optional modules in Physics, including a project on Medical Physics with a member of the academic staff and staff from the NHS

    Year Three Compulsory Modules

    • Radiation Physics Advanced Practical (PHYS380)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      • To give further training in laboratory techniques, in the use of computer packages for modelling and analysis, and in the use of modern instruments
      • To develop the students'' independent judgement in performing radiation physics experiments
      • To encourage students to research aspects of physics complementary to material met in lectures and tutorials
      • To consolidate the students ability to produce good quality work against realistic deadlines
      Learning Outcomes

      At the end of the module the student should have:

      • Experience of taking physics data with modern equipment
      • Knowledge of some experimental techniques not met in previous laboratory practice
      • Developed a personal responsibility for assuring that data taken is of a high quality
      • Increased skills in data taking and error analysis
      • Increased skills in reporting experiments and an appreciation of the factors needed to produce clear and complete reports
      • Improved skills in the time management and organisation of their experimental procedures to meet deadlines
      • Experience working as an individual
    • Radiation Therapy Applications (PHYS384)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims
      • To introduce the physics principles of radiation therapy and treatment planning.
      • To understand interactions of radiation with biological materials and detectors.
      • To understand the need for modelling in radiobiological applications.
      • To obtain a knowledge of electron transport.
      • To construct a simple model of a radiation therapy application.
      Learning Outcomes

      to understand the principles of radiotherapy and treatment planning

      to develop a knowledge of radiation transport and the interaction of radiation with biological tissue​

      ​to understand the need for Monte Carlo modelling and beam modelling

      to have a knowledge of electron transport​

      ​to have a basic understanding of radiobiology

      ​to have experience developing a simple radiotherapy treatment plan

    • Medical Physics Project (PHYS386)
      Level3
      Credit level30
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      • To give students experience of working independently on an original problem related to medical physics
      • To give students an opportunity to display the high quality of their work
      • To give students an opportunity to display qualities such as initiative and ingenuity
      • To improve students ability to keep daily records of the work in hand and its outcomes
      • To give students experience of report writing displaying high standards of composition and production
      • To give an opportunity for students to display communication skills
      Learning Outcomes

      At the end of the module the student should have:

      • Experience of participation in planning all aspects of the work
      • Experience researching literature and other sources of relevant information
      • Experience in different aspects of modern medical imaging techniques including Monte Carlo simulations
      • Improved skills and initiative in carrying out investigations
      • Improved ability to organise and manage time
      • Improved skills in making up a diary recording day by day progress of the project
      • Improved skills iin report writing
      • Improved skills in preparing and delivering oral presentations
    • Communicating Science (PHYS391)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      • To improve science students'' skills in communicating scientific information in a wide range of contexts
      • To develop students'' understanding of some concepts of:
      • Science in general
      • Their particular area of science
      • Other areas of science
      Learning Outcomes

      ​ An ability to communicate more confidently​

      ​ An understanding of some of the key factors in successfulcommunication

      ​An appreciation of the needs of different audiences​

      ​Experience of a variety of written and oral media​

      ​A broader appreciation of science and particular areas ofscience​

    Year Three Optional Modules

    • Stellar Physics (PHYS351)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
      Aims
      • To provide students with an understanding of the physical processes which determine all aspects of the structure and evolution of stars, from their birth to their death.
      • To enable students to determine the basic physical properties of stars via observation (e.g. determination of temperatures, masses and radii etc. using continuum fluxes, broad-band colours, line profiles etc).
      Learning Outcomes

      At the end of the module the student should have knowledge of how the basic physical properties of stars can be determined from observation.

      At the end of the module the student should have ​an understanding of how stellar structure can be probed using observable quantities and simple physical principles.​

      ​At the end of the module a student should have an understanding of the changes in structure and energy sources for stars throughout their lives.​

    • Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Physics (PHYS361)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To build on the second year module on Quantum and Atomic Physics
      • To develop the formalism of quantum mechanics
      • To develop an understanding that atoms are quantum systems
      • To enable the student to follow elementary quantum mechanical arguments in the literature 
      Learning Outcomes​Understanding of the role of wavefunctions, operators, eigenvalue equations, symmetries, compatibility/non-compatibility of observables and perturbation theory in quantum mechanical theory.

      ​An ability to solve straightforward problems - different bound states and perturbing interactions.​

      ​Developed knowledge and understanding of the quantum mechanical description of atoms - single particle levels, coupled angular momentum, fine structure, transition selection rules.​

      ​Developed a working knowledge of interactions, electron configurations and coupling in atoms.​

    • Nuclear Physics (PHYS375)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To build on the second year module involving Nuclear Physics
      • To develop an understanding of the modern view of nuclei, how they are modelled and of nuclear decay processes
      Learning Outcomes

      At the end of the module the student should have:

      • Knowledge of evidence for the shell model of nuclei, its development and the successes and failures of the model in explaining nuclear properties

      ​Knowledge of the collective vibrational and rotational models of nuclei

      ​Basic knowledge of nuclear decay processes, alpha decay and fission, of gamma-ray transitions and internal conversion

      ​Knowledge of electromagnetic transitions in nuclei

    • Surface Physics (PHYS381)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • Develop a syllabus to describe the properties of surfaces
      • Convey an understanding of the physical properties of Surfaces
      • Provide knowledge  of a raneg of surface characterisation techniques
      • Illustrate surface processes and their relevance to technologies
      Learning Outcomes

      explain how the presence of the surface alters physical properties such as atomic an electronic structure​

       choose the right characterisation technique to assess different surface properties

       have gained an  appreciation of surface processes and their relevance to the modification of surface properties

      ​be able to describe surface alterations and processes using the right terminology

    • Materials Physics (PHYS387)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To teach the properties and methods of preparation of a range of materials of scientific and technological importance
      • To develop an understanding of the experimental techniques of materials characterisation
      • To introduce materials such as amorphous solids, liquid crystals and polymers and to develop an understanding of the relationship between structure and physical properties for such materials
      • To illustrate the concepts and principles by reference to examples
      Learning Outcomes

      At the end of the module the student should have:

      • An understanding of the atomic structure in cyrstalline and amorphous materials
      • Knowledge of the methods used for preparing single crystals and amorphous materials
      • Knowledge of the experimental techniques used in materials characterisation
      • Knowledge of the physical properties of superconducting materials
      • An appreciation of the factors involved in the design of biomaterials
      • The ability to interpret simple phase diagrams of binary systems
    • Semiconductor Applications (PHYS389)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To develop the physics concepts describing semiconductors in sufficient details for the purpose of understanding the construction and operation of common semiconductor devices
      Learning Outcomes

      At the end of the module the student should have:

      • Knowledge of the basic theory of p-n junctions
      • Knowledge of the structure and function of a variety of semiconductor devices
      • An overview of semiconductor device manufacturing processes
      • Knowledge of the basic processes involved in the interaction of radiation with matter
      • Understanding the application of semiconductors in Nuclear and Particle physics
    • Statistical and Low Temperature Physics (PHYS393)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To build on material presented in earlier Thermal Physics and Quantum Mechanics courses
      • To develop the statistical treatment of quantum systems
      • To use theoretical techniques to predict experimental observables
      • To introduce the basic principles governing the behaviour of liquid helium and superconductors in cooling techniques
      Learning Outcomes

      Understanding of the statistical basis of entropy and temperature

      ​Ability to devise expressions for observables, (heat capacity, magnetisation) from statistical treatment of quantum systems

      ​Understanding of Maxwell Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose Einstein gases

      ​Knowledge of cooling techniques

      ​Knowledge and understanding of basic theories of liquid helium behaviour and superconductivity in cooling techniques

    • Advanced Condensed Matter Physics (PHYS363)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To develop concepts introduced in Year 1 and Year 2 modules which relate to solids.
      • To consolidate concepts related to crystal structure.
      • To introduce the concept of reciprocal space and diffraction.
      • To enable the students to apply these concepts to the description of crystals,transport properties and the electronic structure of condensed matter.
      • To illustrate the use of these concepts in scientific research in condensed matter.
      • To introduce various other solids
      Learning Outcomes

      Familiarity with the crystalline nature of both perfect and real materials.

      ​An understanding of the fundamental principles of the properties of condensed matter

      ​An appreciation of the relationship between the real space and the reciprocal space view of the properties of crystalline matter

      ​An ability to describe the crystal structure and electronic structure of matter

      ​An awareness of current physics research in condensed matter.

    • Advanced Electromagnetism (PHYS370)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To build on first and second year modules on electricity, magnetism and waves by understanding a range of electromagnetic phenomena in terms of Maxwell''s equations.
      • To understand the properties of solutions to the wave equation for electromagnetic fields in free space, in matter (non-dispersive and dispersive dielectrics, and conductors).
      • To understand the behaviour of electromagnetic waves at boundaries.
      • To understand the behaviour of electromagnetic waves in cavities, waveguides and transmission lines.
      • To understand the properties of electric dipole radiation.
      • To introduce an explicity covariant formulation of electromagnetism in special relativity.
      • To further develop students'' problem-solving and analytic skills.
      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students should have an understanding of the properties of solutions to the wave equation for electromagnetic fields in free space and in matter (non-dispersive and dispersive dielectrics, and conductors).

      ​Students should have an understanding of the behaviour of electromagnetic waves at boundaries.

      ​Students should have an understanding of the behaviour of electromagnetic waves in cavities, waveguides and transmission lines.

      ​Students should have an understanding of the properties of electric dipole radiation.

      ​Students should have the ability to explain an explicity covariant formulation of electromagnetism in special relativity.

    • Relativity and Cosmology (PHYS374)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims
      • To introduce the ideas of general relativity and demonstrate its relevance to modern astrophysics
      • To provide students with a full and rounded introduction to modern observational cosmology
      • To develop the basic theoretical background required to understand and appreciate the significance of recent results from facilities such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
      Learning Outcomes​The ability to explain the relationship between Newtonian gravity and Einstein''s General Relativity (GR)

      ​Understanding of the concept of curved space time and knowledge of metrics​.

      A broad and up-to-date knowledge of the basic ideas, most important discoveries and outstanding problems in modern cosmology​.

      ​Knowledge of how simple cosmological models of the universe are constructed​.

      The ability to calculate physical parameters and make observational predictions for a range of such models.
    • Introduction to Particle Physics (PHYS377)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To build on the second year module involving Nuclear and Particle Physics
      • To develop an understanding of the modern view of particles, of their interactions and the Standard Model
      Learning Outcomes

      At the end of the module the student should have:

      Basic understanding of relativistic kinematics (as applied to collisions, decay processes and cross sections)

      ​Descriptive knowledge of the Standard Model using a non rigorous Feynman diagram approach

      ​Knowledge of the fundamental particles of the Standard Model and the experimental evidence for the Standard Model

      ​Knowledge of conservation laws and discrete symmetries

    • Physics of Life (PHYS382)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To explain the constraints on physical forces which are necessary for life to evolve in the Universe
      • To describe the characteristics of life on earth
      • To describe physical techniques used in the study of biological systems
      Learning Outcomes​​​

      At the end of the module the student should have:

      • An understanding of the framework of physical forces within which life is possible

      • An understanding of the nature of life on earth


      • Familiarity with physical techniques used in the study of biological systems​
    • Physics of Energy Sources (PHYS388)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims
      • To develop an ability which allows educated and well informed opinions to be formed by the next generation of physicists on a wide range of issues in the context of the future energy needs of man
      • To describe and understand methods of utilising renewable energy sources such as hydropower, tidal power, wave power, wind power and solar power.
      • To give knowledge and understanding of the design and operation of nuclear reactors
      • To give knowledge and understanding of nuclear fusion as a source of power
      • To give knowledge and understanding relevant to overall safety in the nuclear power industry
      • To describe the origin of environmental radioactivity and understand the effects of radiation on humans
      Learning Outcomes

      At the end of the module the student should have:

      • Learned the fundamental physical principles underlying energy production using conventional and renewable energy sources
      • Learned the fundamental physical principles underlying nuclear fission and fusion reactors
      • Studied the applications of these principles in the design issues power generation
      • An appreciation of the role of mathematics in modelling power generation
      • Learned the fundamental physical principles concerning the origin and consequences of environmental radioactivity
      • Developed an awareness of the safety issues involved in exposure to radiation
      • Developed problem solving skills based on the material presented
      • Developed an appreciation of the problems of supplying the required future energy needs and the scope and issues associated with the different possible methods

    The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.


    Teaching and Learning

    Our research-led teaching ensures you are taught the latest advances in cutting-edge physics research. Lectures introduce and provide the details of the various areas of physics and related subjects. You will be working in tutorials and problem-solving workshops, which are another crucial element in the learning process, where you put your knowledge into practice. They help you to develop a working knowledge and understanding of physics. All of the lecturers also perform world class research and use this to enhance their teaching.

    Most work takes place in small groups with a tutor or in a larger class where staff provide help as needed. Practical work is an integral part of the programmes, and ranges from training in basic laboratory skills in the first two years to a research project in the third or fourth year. You will undertake an extended project on a research topic with a member of staff who will mentor you. By the end of the degree you will be well prepared to tackle problems in any area and present yourself and your work both in writing and in person. In the first two years students take maths modules which provide the support all students need to understand the physics topics.