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PH30080: MPhys project/placement preparation

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: OT 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (OT 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: After taking this unit you must take PH40081 or take PH40082
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to provide MPhys students with an insight into the practice of research, and to enable them to prepare for their final year project or placement.

Learning Outcomes:
While taking this unit the student should:
* use bibliographic tools to research and analyse the development of a current hot topic in Physics;
* write a report on this topic in the style and format of a journal paper;
* research the scientific background to their research project or placement, and understand the academic or business context in which it will take place;
* write a proposal for their research project or placement;
* engage in peer review of these proposals.

Written Communication T/F A, Spoken Communication T/F A, Numeracy T/F A, Information Technology T/F A, Working as part of a group T/F, Project planning/management T/F A.

Scientific literature Types of scientific papers (primary, review, conference, etc) and their purpose. Scientific journals: pecking order, citations, impact factors. Searching the scientific literature (Web of Science, Google Scholar); analysis and management of bibliographic information. Case study of the development of a recent hot topic in physics. The process of publication: editors, referees, the peer review process. Other forms of dissemination: conferences, e-print servers, web pages, press releases.
Ethical issues in research Nature of research; uses of research. Recordkeeping and transparency. Data Protection Act. Health and Safety legislation. Acknowledgement of assistance, shared authorship; plagiarism and fraud. Intellectual property and ownership of results. Publication versus patents; the process of obtaining patents.
Project planning Defining a research problem. Common concepts, e.g, 'aims', 'objectives', 'milestones', 'feasibility', 'risk management', 'incremental' versus 'adventurous' and identification of these within a project. Estimation and justification of resource requirements. Critical path analysis. Estimation of timescales; time management and multi-tasking. Representation of project plans (Gantt charts). Preparing project proposals. The peer review process.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH30080 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 3)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.