Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Practical Research Skills (10 credits)
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Oral Presentation  15 minutes (group)  15%
Semester Assessment Poster  1 page (group)  15%
Semester Assessment Individual Report  10 pages (individual)  40%
Semester Assessment Exercise - Risk assessment  2 pages (Group)  15%
Semester Assessment Literature review  2 pages (group)  15%
Supplementary Assessment Resit Assessment  As determined by the Departmental Examinations Board.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Seek knowledge related to the project work through online research of scientific papers and articles, critically review the literature and present a review utilising appropriate bibliography software.

Organise and participate in a project with minimal input from teaching staff,

Gather data experimentally or from online resources demonstrating awareness of instrument operation and calibration.

Analyse, interpret and evaluate experimental data.

Share the results of an experiment and its results in an oral presentation, a poster and a formal report.

Formulate a risk assessment for experimental work.

Brief description

The module is the bridge between first-year laboratory work and the final-year projects. It gives students experience of the environment of practical physics research. Students will be introduced to the skills required for the final-year project and will develop these by working on an allocated project in small teams (normally of four or five). The students will develop an understanding of project planning and execution, instrumentation and computing techniques, risk assessment, literature searching, data analysis and interpretation. They will communicate their project-work and results by poster, oral presentation and a formal report


Students are introduced to:
- Library and internet searching, referencing software, reading and writing scientific papers
- Analytic and computational techniques on topics such as image processing, modelling and simulation.
- Instrumentation and data from various resources.
- Safety in project work covering Risk Assessment and items such as COSHH, DSEAR, laser and radiation safety.
The students will work in teams (normally of four or five) on an allocated project. They will be required to apply the skills developed in the module to research the background to the project, plan the project, develop an experimental strategy, and analyse and interpret the results. The project-work assessment will include a group literature review, poster and oral presentation and an individual formal report. The students will also be assessed on an exercise on formal risk assessment.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience The students develop and improve their performance in a set of skills used in final-year undergraduate projects.
Co-ordinating with others Students work on a project in small teams (normally of four to five).
Creative Problem Solving Problem-solving is a core skill in physics project work.
Critical and analytical thinking Students are expected to research the background to the work, the context of the experiments and to be aware of the most recent related literature.
Digital capability Students research the background to a project using internet and library searches and present a literature review using Endnote or similar bibliographic software. Students develop computational skills in data analysis and use facilities available for word processing and presentations.
Professional communication Students will communicate their project work through a literature review, an oral presentation, a poster and a formal report.
Real world sense Many of the skills developed are essential elements of a physics degree and in future employment. Risk assessment is a transferrable skill in the workplace.
Subject Specific Skills Knowledge of appropriate research tools, e.g. computational programming, instrumentation. Application of number is essential in analysing data, including for error propagation and uncertainty.


This module is at CQFW Level 6