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Master of Physics - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This qualification aims to give you:

  • a life-long interest in physics through modules that are accessible to people of all educational backgrounds
  • an understanding of core physics concepts and processes that underpin a wide range of phenomena in the natural and manufactured worlds
  • the ability to use mathematics as a language for analysing and explaining physical-science phenomena and as a tool for solving problems in physics and the wider physical sciences
  • an understanding of how scientific knowledge develops, and an appreciation of the limits of knowledge in physics
  • an in-depth introduction to the methods of conducting scientific investigations in the space environment and the technologies needed for space missions (Astrophysics and Space Science specialism)
  • an introduction to advanced topics in physics (Physics specialism)
  • the opportunity to engage in an open-ended project at the forefront of your specialism
  • support and guidance to develop as an independent learner.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you’ll have knowledge and understanding of:

  • the fundamental concepts, principles, theories and language used in the scientific discipline of physics, and the role of physics in the world around us
  • accuracy, precision and an ability to recognise the potential uncertainty and ambiguity in the concept of physics and the limits of scientific knowledge
  • physics, informed by research and literature at the forefront of the discipline.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you’ll be able to:

  • use and apply conceptual understanding of physics to plan and implement strategies, devise and sustain arguments and solve problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • identify information needs and gather, interpret, critically analyse and synthesise scientific information and data from a range of different sources, media and scientific literature presented in a variety of ways, including texts, tables, graphs, diagrams, equations and mathematical derivations
  • apply the methods and techniques you’ve learned – to review, consolidate, and extend your knowledge and understanding; critically evaluate relevant aspects of current physics research and complex technical situations; and initiate and carry out projects, including at the forefront of the discipline.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you’ll be able to:

  • conduct scientific investigations in a responsible, safe and ethical manner taking proper account of risk assessment and health and safety regulations
  • obtain, record, collate and analyse data derived from scientific investigations and interpret and report their significance in light of underlying theory, practical issues and relevant information from other sources
  • initiate, design, conduct and report on scientific investigations that involve the acquisition of primary or secondary data
  • take personal responsibility to identify goals and organise your tasks effectively, recognising the necessity for continuing development personally, professionally and in your studies.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification, you’ll be able to:

  • prepare, process, interpret and present data to communicate scientific information, arguments and ideas in the area of physics accurately and effectively using written, visual and numerical forms in a style that suits the purpose and audience
  • select and apply quantitative skills appropriate to level and context
  • select, access and exploit a wide range of digital practices, including a coding language and tools and resources to retrieve, use, create, analyse and share data, information and knowledge as appropriate
  • work effectively with others to explore aspects of physics, enhance your learning and achieve joint outcomes.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You’ll learn independently, using the following types of material provided by us:

  • printed teaching texts
  • online teaching texts
  • multimedia packages
  • directed readings from textbooks and papers
  • specialised software tools.

We’ll support your learning with:

  • self-assessment questions and exercises included in the teaching texts
  • programming tasks and open-ended project work
  • practical experience in physics, observational astronomy and science related to the space environment through the use of remote experiments and robotic telescopes
  • feedback and guidance from a tutor; tutorials, revision and day-schools
  • email and online moderated forums
  • study and project guides.

We’ll assess your learning with:

  • tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
  • multiple-choice interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
  • formal examinations
  • end-of-module assessments (EMAs).