- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

PH20106: Self-directed learning (NS Y2)

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Physics
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Assessment Detail:
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: This unit is only available to students on programmes in Natural Sciences.
Description: Aims:
The aim of this unit is to allow students transferring from Natural Sciences programmes at the end of Year 2 to catch up with core Physics material that they did not cover in Years 1 and 2 of their previous programme.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* write down the essential results and formulae of special relativity;
* describe important experiments (real or thought) in special relativity;
* solve simple kinematic and dynamical special relativity problems;
* describe the characteristics of the fundamental forces, and quote and use conservation laws to determine allowed particle reactions;
* discuss binding in nuclei and explain the energetics and mechanisms of radioactive decay;
* describe the physical processes involved in fission and fusion reactions and in stellar nucleosynthesis;
* conserve linear and angular momentum in collisions;
* use the concepts of kinetic and potential energy and mechanical work to solve a range of physical problems;
* use conservation of energy to qualitatively describe the motion of particles in potentials and determine the regimes of bound and free motion;
* use the concepts of angular momentum, torque and moment of inertia to describe rotations of rigid bodies.

Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

This unit covers core Physics material in years 1 and 2 that Natural Sciences students do not take. The courses involved are Special Relativity (part of PH10103), Particles & Nuclei (part of PH20016) and Classical Mechanics (PH10004). The detailed content of each of these may be found in the relevant unit descriptions. This unit is not lectured. Students are provided with course material that forms the basis of their learning. There are weekly tutorials to provide academic support.

Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH20106 is only available subject to the approval of the Physics Director of Studies/Director of Teaching.


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • 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.