Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module PHYS51715: Software Development Project

Department: Physics

PHYS51715: Software Development Project

Type Tied Level 5 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.
Tied to G5K609



  • COMP52130 and MATH51930

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • PHYS51545 and PHYS51645


  • Critical understanding of the paradigms, fundamental ideas, the calculational methods and the computer experimental underpinnings of modern theoretical particle physics through on characteristic use case.
  • Ability in applying the theory and practice of computational and data analysis methods to selected computational challenges.
  • Overview over computational and data research challenges in modern, computer-driven particle theory.


  • Introductory lectures/workshops tied to project scope
  • Program development and analysis for one chosen challenge
  • Virtual experimentation and data analysis
  • Reporting on research insight

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge in the area of the chosen project.
  • Understanding of the interplay of project topic with methodological challenges.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Specialised and highly advanced calculational, computational and data analysis skills in the areas studied
  • Solving complex, novel and specialised problems, draw conclusions and deploy physical intuition, with minimal guidance
Key Skills:
  • Problem solving, written presentation of an argument
  • Software/tool development
  • Ability to learn actively and reflectively, to develop intuition, and the ability to tackle unfamiliar and complex new material
  • Self-organisation, self-discipline and self-knowledge
  • Responsible research

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Project topics will be chosen from all MISCADA subject specialisations.
  • Students will attend a kick off workshop where they are presented potential projects.
  • Students will indicate their project preferences. Students will be assigned a team project. The organisers will try to take the student's preferences into account.
  • Students will attend lectures from the specialisation areas in agreement with their supervisor if these lectures support their project. These lectures are not assessed.
  • Student teams will independently realise the project.
  • Student teams will report on their project and give a project presentation.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Introduction Workshop 1 60 minutes 1
Weekly project meetings 8 1 per week 60 minutes 8
Submodules from specialisation (in agreement with supervisor; not assessed)
Presentation of project outcomes 1 120 minutes 2
Self-study 139

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Presentation 15 min 34%
Report 66%

Formative Assessment:

Through regular meetings with project supervisors

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University