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Department of Physics, Unit Catalogue 2011/12

PH30080: MPhys project/placement preparation

Click here for further information Credits: 6
Click here for further information Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Click here for further information Period: Semester 2
Click here for further information Assessment: OT 100%
Click here for further information Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Click here for further information Requisites: After taking this unit you must take PH40081 or take PH40082
Click here for further information 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.
Click here for further informationProgramme availability:

PH30080 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys Physics (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys Physics with Research Placement (Full-time) - Year 3

NB. Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.