Module – Physics in Context

FHEQ Level: Level 4 (First Year)
Credits: 20
Module Code: F300 10040
Course Reference Number (CRN): 59406
Delivery: September Start, Trimesters 1&2 (Long Thin)

Syllabus Outline

• A series of short thematic keynote lecture courses including seminars by external speakers demonstrating the role of the physicist in the workplace and the role of physics in addressing real world problems.
Themes include:
– Energy (Nuclear Fission and Fusion, Renewable, Storage);
– Medical Physics (Diagnostics and Treatment);
– Nanotechnology (including Vacuum Physics);
– Space Technology;
– Archaeology;
– Building Physics.
You will undertake problem-based learning exercises related to the themes.

• Skills Elements: Problem solving; team building; research skills; presentation skills; report writing and graphical presentation skills; word processing; spread sheets. Groups are supported by tutors throughout the investigations, and reflective sessions are built into the process.
Specific content will include:
– Learning how to present to different audiences;
– The development of free scientific thinking, to be able to look at problems and issues from different viewpoints and to formulate and present ideas;
– The use of Fusion360 CAD/CAM software;
– Producing an effective LinkedIn profile;
– Scientific report writing and the research of relevant data, including the importance of accurate referencing.


Coursework: Problem Solving Journal, 70%
Coursework: Energy Research, 30%
More detailed information may be found in the Assessments section.


Various library produced guides.

Further updates and supplementary texts may be found in the University Reading Lists system.


This module concentrates on the underlying skills required in science and engineering. The importance of units, dimensional analysis, problem solving, presentation skills, use of scientific IT as well as CAD/CAM will be introduced and put into context. Seminars from various physics -based industrial organisations will give you the opportunity to consider your future employment options and what will be required to achieve your goals. The relationship between the various aspects of this module and their role to scientists and engineers in the workplace will be highlighted.


1. To communicate to you some of the exciting areas in which physics plays a key role.
2. To communicate to you the range of employment opportunities for physicists.
3. To develop core skills in problem solving, research, team working, presentation, scientific and report writing skills.
4. To introduce the entrepreneurial and competitive environments in which high technology organisations operate.

Knowledge & Understanding

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

1. Have an appreciation of the current role of the physicist in industry.
2. Use IT for presentation of written material and to support oral presentation.
3. Use CAD/CAM software for production of 3D printed items.
4. Demonstrate an ability to contribute effectively to group activities and organise your own time in working towards identified targets.
5. Apply problem-solving skills within the context of a group activity/project.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

The module is delivered through a series of seminars and group activities. The group activities will, in part, be used to provide input in relation to developing group cohesion, presentation skills, report writing skills and will be supervised by a tutor who will act as advisor but will also closely monitor student progress.

Much of your learning will however, occur through your involvement in research-based projects focused towards particular industrial sectors. The CAD/CAM element will be taught as a practical subject, at the computer, with each student working individually at their own pace from the student workbook, this will be linked to the Makerspace unit.

There is a strong emphasis on formative assessment and feedback in this module. ‘Live’ verbal feedback is given during problem-based learning exercises and after group presentations. Feedback on CVs and interview skills, through mock interviews, is provided. Feedback on drafts of the project reports is also offered.

A series of seminars will introduce the role physicists play in a range of employers and sectors.