Knowledge and understanding
On completion of this degree, you will have knowledge and understanding of
- the basic concepts of modern physics (for example Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and relativity)
- core mathematical methods appropriate for the physical sciences (e.g. linear algebra, calculus and mathematical modelling).
On completion of this degree, you will have acquired ability
- to apply judgment in selecting and applying a wide range of mathematical tools and techniques
- to apply qualitative and quantitative problem-solving skills
- to use and correctly apply knowledge and understanding of scientific facts, concepts, principles and theories in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
- to describe, critically analyse and interpret scientific information and data presented in a variety of ways, including texts, tables, graphs, diagrams and figures, numerical and mathematical descriptions and computer-based media
- to critically evaluate particular aspects of current scientific research.
Practical and/or professional skills
On completion of this degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:
- analyse and interpret data and report their significance in the light of underlying theory
- plan your own learning and be adept at time management and organisation so that you can work independently or with others in ways appropriate for continuing personal and professional development
- be an independent learner, able to acquire further knowledge with little guidance or support.
On completion of this degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following key skills:
- read and/or listen to documents and discussions having mathematical or scientific content, with an appropriate level of understanding
- communicate information having mathematical or scientific content accurately and effectively, using a format, structure and style that suits the purpose.
- prepare mathematical or scientific content for a range of purposes, which may include writing for both specialist and non-specialist audiences; writing reports on mathematical or scientific experiments or models; producing and/or delivering a presentation on a mathematical or scientific topic. Preparation of some content may require working collaboratively with others on projects
- exhibit a high level of numeracy, appropriate to a graduate of a numerate discipline
- prepare, process, interpret and present data using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques
- use information technology with confidence to acquire and present knowledge, to model and solve practical problems and to develop insight
- locate scientific information from a variety of sources (e.g. textual, numerical, graphical, computer-based), including review and primary sources, and use it to address scientific problems.
Teaching, learning and assessment methods
Knowledge, understanding and application skills, as well as cognitive (thinking) skills, are acquired through distance-learning materials that include specially written module texts, with practice exercises, guides to study and mathematical handbooks, comprehensive websites and a range of multimedia material (including computer software). Modules at higher levels build on the foundations developed in pre-requisite modules at lower levels. Some modules are more skills oriented than others and these offer the most opportunities to interact with fellow students.
You will work independently with the distance-learning materials, while being supported by a tutor. You will be offered the opportunity to attend face-to-face or online tutorials and day schools, which you are strongly advised to attend. You are also encouraged to interact with other students, for example via moderated online forums.
Written tutor feedback on assignments provides you with individual tuition and guidance. Your learning is further assessed through examinations and projects. Generally, you are permitted to bring the module handbook into examinations, thus reducing the need for memorisation, and concentrating on your ability to apply concepts and techniques and express them clearly and coherently. Your module results will be determined by your performance on both the assignments and the examination/project. For each module the final result will be based on a combination of the examination (or end-of-module assessment) score and the score obtained on (or engagement with) the continuous assessment. In some cases there is a threshold on individual components.