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PH30080: MPhys project/placement preparation

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
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: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before or while taking this module you must take PH20105 OR take PH20106 OR take PH20114
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.

Written Communication T/F A, Information Technology T/F A, Project planning/management T/F A.

Scientific literature Types of scientific papers (primary, review, conference) and their purpose. Scientific journals: pecking order, citations, impact factors. Searching the scientific literature, analysis and management of bibliographic information. The process of publication: editors, referees, the peer review process. Other forms of dissemination. Scientific writing. Case study of the development of a recent hot topic in physics. Research in practice Defining a research problem: aims, objectives, milestones, incremental vs adventurous. Project management: estimation of resources, estimation of timescales, critical path analysis, risk management, representation of project plans (Gantt charts). Ethical issues in research: nature of research, uses of research, acknowledgement of assistance, shared authorship, plagiarism, scientific fraud. Data management: record keeping, transparency, reproducibility, sharing of research data. Research funding: major funders of Physics research, research 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-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 3)
  • USPH-AAM12 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AFM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research placement (Year 3)
  • USPH-AKM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change 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.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.