Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Advanced Research Topics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Research project planning skills.  30%
Semester Assessment Two assessments on core set themes  (question sheets, reports, essays)  40%
Semester Assessment Three assessments on themes selected from options  (question sheets, reports, essays)  30%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed components.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate the skills underpinning the planning, presentation and assessing of a research project.

Critically evaluate the aspects of a spectroscopic measurement in a range of applications.

Critically evaluate the fundamental physics of the interaction of radiation and matter in a range of applications.

Interpret concepts, calculations and observations in advanced topics underpinning current research areas.

Present and discuss the concepts, calculations and observations in written themed tasks.

Brief description

The module will be delivered in six distinct blocks. Three will cover the core themes and will be compulsory for all students. In these, students will gain experience of core skills in research project planning and subject specific training relevant to materials and space physics research and industry. The remaining three sessions will be selected from optional themes that cover various aspects from materials and space physics.


The aim of this module is to enable students to master concepts in research topics that are aligned with both the theme of their chosen degree scheme and research expertise of the department. The module covers six main topics, three being core and three optional. Students are introduced to a variety of applications and techniques and associated experimental and computational methods. Students are introduced to communication skills considered to be important for successful implementation of a research project.


1. Core themes:
Research project planning skills.
Radiation-matter interaction.
Optical Spectroscopy.

2. Optional themes: (these are typical, the extended list will depend on the research interests of current staff)

Analogical Models.
Space plasmas and fields.
Planetary surfaces.
Surface science.
Molecular modelling.
Quantum theory and modelling.
Nano- and energy materials.

  • External experts will occasionally be invited to teach an optional theme.
  • The Research project planning skills theme is normally covered as a 5-day residential course at Gregynog, jointly with Swansea University and Cardiff University.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Answering questions and data analysis for assignments will require numerical skills.
Communication Assignments will require a written element. Oral communication forms part of the research project planning.
Improving own Learning and Performance Assignments are designed to encourage self-directed learning and improve performance, with feedback.
Information Technology Computers will be required for data analysis and image processing. Topics will be researched using the internet.
Personal Development and Career planning The student will develop an awareness of advanced techniques and their relevance to research. Discussion of the relevance of topics to industry will strengthen awareness of the link between academia and the work-place.
Problem solving Problem solving is a key skill in physics and will be tested by continuous assessment assignments associated with each block of lectures and workshops.
Research skills The assignments will require researching the topic.
Subject Specific Skills Detail will depend on the research topics studied.
Team work Group discussions at workshops and in the research project planning.


This module is at CQFW Level 7