Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Physics


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 70 Location Durham


  • Laboratory Skills Electronics (PHYS2641).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module is designed primarily for students studying Department of Physics or Natural Sciences degree programmes.
  • It builds on the Level 2 module Laboratory Skills and Electronics (PHYS2641).
  • It allows students to experience the application of physical principles to the solution of a scientific question placed in an industrial/research context.


  • Team projects involve a group of up to six students working on a physics-related problem set by either members of staff from the Department or by local industry.
  • The problem will be 'real' in that there is no 'correct' solution and no script.
  • It might, for example, involve building a piece of equipment, testing a product, designing a control system, etc.
  • A presentation is made by the team at the end of the project.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Having studied this module students will be able to solve an advanced scientific problem using physical principles.
Key Skills:
  • Students will be able to respond to a briefing on a problem by a client.
  • They will be able to work successfully as part of a team to address the problem.
  • They will be able to make a final presentation on the outcome of the work.
  • They will be able to produce a clear and well-structured report, including lay summary.

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

  • Team projects involve a group of up to six students on a physics related problem in either the Michaelmas or Epiphany terms.
  • Experimental work will be based in the department and the problem to be tackled will be set either by members of staff from the Department or by local industry.
  • Students will be expected to evolve their own approach to the problem, organise themselves and work effectively as a team.
  • Student performance is summatively assessed through a short written report on the project and an oral presentation.
  • The practical classes provide opportunity to obtain advice from staff members, for students to gauge their progress and for staff to monitor progress throughout the duration of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Briefing 1 2.5 hours 2.5
Site Visit 1 3 hours 3
Practicals 24 3 per week 3 hours 72
Preparation and Reading 122.5
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Team project Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral presentation, Self assessment form, Minute book and Formal report on the proj 100%

Formative Assessment:


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