Module Identifier PX35010  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Geraint O Thomas  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite Core Physics Modules at Level 1  
Course delivery Practical   11 four hour sessions  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Course Work: Laboratory Notebook and one page summary  30%
Semester Assessment Presentation: Oral Presentation  20%
Semester Assessment Course Work: 'Mock Report'  20%
Semester Assessment Course Work: Full Report  30%

Learning outcomes

After taking this module students will:

Brief description

The ever increasing power of computers and mathematical techniques can help scientists describe and understand how our world works. Computers are therefore amongst the most common tools used by experimentalists and theoreticians alike.

A number of scientific programming languages exist. Although each has a slightly different vocabulary, the basic techniques of analysing a scientific problem and representing it as a mathematic model are common to all scientific languages.

In the present course you will receive instruction on scientific programming using Visual Basic. Visual Basic has been chosen as it allows the basic elements of programming language to be learnt in a windows environment. Visual Basic is also a language used widely in other disciplines and will be a valuable additional skill you can include in your CV. You should also find that the logical analysis skills you develop when learning the to program computers are also extremely useful in other areas of your studies and later on in many jobs.


Each week you will be given work that will guide you as you explore how to write programs and control input and output and do scientific calculations. Each sheet will be accompanied by example programmes that will allow you to explore and develop materia introduced. You will further develop your programming skills through assignments and an individual programming project.

In addition to programming skills, students on the module will be able to register for a joint course on business awareness with students from Swansea and Cardiff at the University of Wales residential centre at Gregynog in mid-Wales. This will be supplemented by further group work on analysis of scientific problems at UWA.

Transferable skills

Scientific programming
Scientific approach to the analysis of problems
Group work

Reading Lists

A range of suitable textbooks is available in the laboratory.


This module is at CQFW Level 6