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 76 Location Durham


  • Laboratory Skills and 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) and allows students to undergo an extended experiment-based project at an advanced level.


  • During the module, students will plan and execute an extended experiment-based project at an advanced level in either astrophysics, modern optics, high energy physics or condensed matter physics.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Having studied this module students will have the skills to plan and carry out an extended experiment-based project at an advanced level.
  • They will have demonstrated knowledge of scientific background and theoretical considerations.
  • They will have demonstrated the ability to describe experimental details and procedures and to apply appropriate data analysis techniques.
  • They will have demonstrated the ability to produce a clear, detailed scientific report with appropriate presentation and lay summary.
  • They will have shown an understanding of good experimental practice.
Key Skills:

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

    • Teaching will be by a mixture of independent project work and formal supervision.
    • The format is individual or small group extended experiment-based projects.
    • Students will be able to obtain help and guidance from the laboratory scripts and through discussions with laboratory demonstrators and leaders.
    • Students are expected to keep an electronic laboratory notebook, including a formal project plan.
    • Student performance is summatively assessed through technical performance during the project and through a formal report on the project.
    • The supervisory arrangements, formative assessment and electronic notebooks provide opportunity for feedback, 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 3 hours 3
    Practicals 24 3 per week 3 hours 72
    Preparation and Reading 125
    Total 200

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Project Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Final report and laboratory performance 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    Project plan.

    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