Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
PH21510, MP26020
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 16 hours
Seminars / Tutorials 2 x 1-hour Seminars
Other Wiki student project based on group research and collaboration on a common project; Assignment Sheets
Workload Breakdown Every 10 credits carries a notional student workload of 100 hours; 16 hours Lectures, 2 x 1-hour Seminars, 20 hours Assignment Sheets, 20 hours Wiki research and preparation, 42 hours independent study


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Semester Exam  50%
Semester Assessment 2 x Assignment Sheets (15% each)  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Supplementary Exam  100%
Semester Assessment Wiki group project  20%
Semester Assessment 2 Assignment sheets  30%
Semester Assessment Semester Assessment Wiki Group Project  20%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Describe the physical characteristics of the different regions of the solar interior;
2. Discuss critically the evidence for fusion in the solar core, with particular reference to the observed neutrino flux;
3. Explain the methods of transfer of energy through the body of the Sun with reference to the physical properties of the solar material;
4. Describe how helioseismology can be used to obtain information on the internal structure of the Sun;
5. Discuss the relationship between photospheric features and structures in the convection region;
6. Describe how different observational methods can be used to obtain information on photospheric structures.

Brief description

This module examines the physics of our nearest star. Energy production and transport in the Sun are discussed, together with the causes and effects of solar activity on both long and short timescales.


  • Structure of the Sun;
  • Nuclear processes in the core. Solar neutrinos;
  • Radiative and convective zones, energy transport;
  • Solar seismology;
  • Photosphere and Chromosphere. Sunspots, faculae, plages, prominences, filaments;
  • Flows in the convection region and the origins of solar activity. Active regions and eruptions;
  • Measurement techniques.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number All questions set in tests, example sheets and formal examinations will include numerical problems
Communication Written communication is developed via the Wiki project and lecture assignments. Visual communication is also developed via the wiki project.
Improving own Learning and Performance Formative assignments are used in order that students might reflect on their progress during the module. The Wiki project will provide an opportunity to compare their work with those of other groups and form an idea of 'best practice'.
Information Technology Students will be required to research topics within the module via the internet. The wiki project will help promote web development skills
Personal Development and Career planning The module will highlight the latest developments in this field and hence will assist with career development. The wiki project, requiring students to work as a team is of importance in fostering career development.
Problem solving Problem solving is a key skill in physics and will be tested via continuous assessment during the semester and in formal examination at the end of the module.
Research skills A Wiki project, for which students are required to independently research one of a range of topics covered by the course, forms 20% of the module assessment. Research skills will also be developed.
Subject Specific Skills The discussion of helioseismology will equip the students with the most developed observational techniques in the field.
Team work The Wiki project is a group assignment, so team work will be developed as students co-operate to research the various areas covered and develop the presentation


This module is at CQFW Level 5