Physics and astronomy modules are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory work.
Physics 1A and Physics 1B typically consist of four or five lectures per week (around 120 to 150 students), along with one problem-solving workshop, one small group tutorial (around 8 students), and 2.5 hours in the teaching laboratory. Laboratory work is usually undertaken in pairs in first year.
The Gateway-specific modules typically have no more than 15 students working with an instructor. These sessions take a variety of forms, most of which are highly interactive workshops and laboratory sessions. There is a mix of direct instruction, individual and group-based problem solving with feedback, development of experimental investigation and reporting skills, and private study with tutor support.
When not attending lectures, tutorials and labs, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:
- working on individual and group projects
- undertaking research in the library
- preparing for laboratory work
- preparing coursework assignments and presentations
- preparing for examinations.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of physics and astronomy, and will have significant interaction with staff within the School. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of laboratory classes and tutorials under the supervision of the module leader.
Academic staff from the School who are teaching on the Gateway programme provide support and advise on a wide range of matters. Students on this Gateway programme benefit from significantly more contact hours per week than most other students in the School.
You can find contact information for staff on the School of Physics and Astronomy website.
In addition to your studies, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.
The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.
Most modules are assessed by a mix of coursework and written examinations. Most modules give a higher weighting to written examinations, but some are assessed solely through coursework.
- laboratory work
- classroom tests
- reviews of research papers
- tutorial participation.
Most examinations are held at the end of the semester during a dedicated exam diet, and revision time is provided beforehand.
The School aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within a time specified for the assignment – in some cases two days, in some cases two weeks. Feedback is given with a view to improving your performance in the future.
For further information on the University's grading procedure, see the common reporting scale.