«SCHOOL OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY HONOURS HANDBOOK – 2016-17 CONTENTS Page Introduction 3 Aims of our Teaching Programmes 4 Honours Entry ...»
SCHOOL OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
HONOURS HANDBOOK – 2016-17
Aims of our Teaching Programmes 4
Honours Entry Requirements 5
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees 6
QAA and SCQF Requirements 6 Coordinators/Advisers 6 Selection of Modules 7 Preparation 8 Tutorials 8 Transferable Skills 9 Practical Work 9 Projects 10 Student Work 12 Monitoring and Assessment 13 Academic Alerts 14 Penalties for late submission and Word/Space Limit Issues 15 Absence from Classes, Tests, or Examinations 16 Special Circumstances Affecting Assessment 16 Good Academic Practice, and Academic Misconduct 17 Use of Calculators in Examinations 18 The 0-20 Grading Scale 18 Progression 21 Deans’ List 22 Medals and Prizes 22 Feedback on Assessed Work, & Access to Examination Scripts 23 Appeals and Complaints 23 Ethics (UTREC) 24 Diversity, Respect, Community 24 Information for students 24 English Language Support 25 Disabilities Coordinator 25 Work Spaces 26 J F Allen Library 26 Computing Facilities 27 Student-Staff Council and School President 27 Research Colloquia 28 Advanced Topics in Modern Physics 28 SUPA Lectures 28 CAPOD Resources
Introduction This handbook provides information about honours degree programmes offered by the School of Physics and Astronomy. These programmes are for students in years 3 (Junior Honours), 4 (Senior Honours) and 5 (MPhys final year) of an honours degree
and comprise the following:
(b) the joint honours BSc degrees in Physics and one of Computer Science Philosophy (formerly Logic & Philosophy of Science) Mathematics (d) the honours MPhys degrees in Astrophysics Physics Theoretical Physics (e) the joint honours MPhys degree in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (f) the joint honours MSci degree in Physics and Chemistry A separate handbook entitled "First and Second Level Modules" provides full information about the modules in Physics and Astronomy for pre-honours students.
Both handbooks are available online and in paper versions.
We hope that the information in this handbook will be useful to our students. Honours students are expected to have read and understood what is in this document. If there are any discrepancies between this document and those published by the Centre of the University, the latter takes precedence. Please ask staff if you have any queries. I am happy to meet with our students to discuss any aspects of their study here.
Bruce Sinclair, Director of Teaching for the School of Physics and Astronomy email@example.com, ext 3118, room 221 Aims of our Teaching Programmes To provide a systematic functional knowledge and understanding of core physical concepts, principles and theories, and some of their applications.
To provide specialist functional knowledge and understanding relevant to the particular degree programme, for example in astrophysics, theoretical physics, or photonics.
To provide access to physics at the frontiers, capitalising on the strengths of the research undertaken in the School.
To develop proficiency in the analysis of complex physical problems and the use of mathematical and other appropriate techniques to solve them.
To develop the ability of students to organise their knowledge in a way that they can articulate the big ideas from the various modules, and can see the interrelationship of material from different modules. Students should develop the ability to filter their knowledge in such a way that they can access the information that they need to apply to a particular problem or learning situation.
To provide the ability to plan, execute under supervision, analyse and report upon the results of an experiment or investigation.
To provide experience and expertise in experimental investigations for all students at the earlier stages of the programme. At least for students on the Physics degree programme to develop these skills further in the honours years.
At least for students on the Astrophysics degree programmes to develop competence in observational and computational techniques in astronomy. At least for Physics students to develop skills in the use of computers for control, data acquisition, and data analysis in experimental investigations.
To develop the professional skills of teamwork, independent learning, information retrieval, critical analysis, and the communication of scientific concepts in writing and orally.
To develop the ability to be a self-directed learner, including fostering a healthy intellectual curiosity in this and other disciplines, and the ability to determine one’s own learning needs and to organise one’s own learning.
To enthuse students about the discipline and its applications, and to develop their confidence in their work using the discipline.
To provide students in the School with an educational and social environment which encourages them to become informed, responsible, and respected members of society.
To provide opportunities and support for all students to reach their full potential during their studies.
Honours Entry Requirements Students entering honours are expected to have 240 pre-honours credits (for accelerated-entry students 120 of these may be “advanced standing” credits”).
Honours entry based on first assessment in modules - For entry based on first sitting of module exams the requirements are as follows:BSc Honours Programmes Passes at mean grade 11 or better in PH2011 and PH2012;
Passes at mean grade 11 or better in MT2501 and MT2503 For the BSc in Astrophysics, also grade 11or better in AS2001 or AS2101 For the joint degree programmes, the requirements of the other School.
MPhys and MSci Programmes Passes at mean grade 15 or better in PH2011 and PH201;
Passes at mean grade 15 or better in MT2501 and MT2503 For the MPhys in Astrophysics, the first requirement above is changed to passes with mean grade 15 or better in PH2011, PH2012 and [AS2001 or AS2101].
For the joint degree programmes, the requirements of the other School.
Qualified honours entry (based on resit or honours entry exams late summer) For qualified entry those who are eligible for reassessment with a grade in the required module(s) between 4.0 and 10.9 may take the module exam(s) in the late summer diet.
If they then satisfy the University requirements (broadly - achieve a grade of 13.5 or more in each) then they may have qualified entry to BSc honours. Subsequent progression thresholds are the same as for automatic entry to honours.
There is no qualified entry to the MPhys honours programme, but those in the BSc honours cohort who achieve particularly well in JH may be permitted to move to the MPhys cohort (see later in this handbook).
Please see the University regulations at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/media/teaching-and-learning/policies/honsentry.pdf
In all cases, our Master’s degrees are distinguished from Bachelor’s degrees by the
• Master’s degree programmes involve a greater number of credits, amounting in the MPhys and MSci to one year’s extra study for the same entry points.
• The final year project for a Master’s degree is more ambitious and/or research orientated than that for a Bachelor’s degree.
• Master’s degree programmes involve modules at 5000 level which are more specialised and advanced.
Since Master’s degree programmes are more demanding than those leading to a Bachelor’s degree, a particularly good performance at second level is required.
QAA and SCQF Requirements Honours modules classified as 3000, 4000 or 5000 level correspond with SCQF levels of 9, 10, and 11 respectively. Modules are allocated credits, where each credit point should correspond to 10 hours of work for the average student at that level. Level five modules are regarded as being appropriate for both postgraduate MSc students and students in the final year of an integrated masters programme.
Coordinators/Advisers The members of staff (listed in Appendix 1) who have responsibilities for co-ordinating the organisation of the Honours Programme for Junior Honours, Senior Honours and year 5 students are also the Advisers of Study for those year groups.
They are available to be consulted on any academic queries which may arise during the year, and they provide advice at the start of each session on selection of modules † One year less for students who choose Direct Entry to second level physics.
etc. Any subsequent changes in module registration can only be done in consultation with your advisor and need to be completed within the first week from the start of term.
Any changes thereafter would also need the permission of the pro-Dean.
Should you wish to see your adviser and they are not available, the School’s Director of Teaching may be able to assist with some queries.
Selection of Modules All honours teaching is expressed in terms of modules, and the differences between degree programmes are expressed in terms of the different combinations of modules which are to be taken, or from which a certain selection must be made.
Appendices later in this handbook list the modules which will be available and show the selection of those that provides the recognised programme for each of the degrees.
In addition to the compulsory modules listed, students normally have a free choice from the remaining modules, subject to satisfying the prerequisites which are given for each module and also to timetable restrictions. Some modules from the School of Mathematics may also be of interest. It should be noted that 5000 level modules are normally available only to MPhys and MSci students in their final year of study.
Detailed synopses of the honours modules to be given, together with teaching aims and prerequisites for each module, are available on the School’s website, via the “Modules” link on the Students and Staff page. The prerequisites listed are intended to be a helpful guide to the previous knowledge which is normally required by a student starting a module. They are not meant to be interpreted in a completely rigid manner however and there may well be students who are able to tackle a module successfully without actually possessing the qualifications listed. The co-ordinators will be able to advise on such matters.
We publish advice on module choices in the “Pre-Advising and Advising” section of the School’s Students and Staff web page. Students are asked to note that if they choose modules that do not have exams, they may need to work more hours per week on those modules during the non-exam part of the semester than on modules where work is also expected in the revision and exam weeks. This should be a consideration if choosing multiple such modules in the first semester of year five.
The University permits students on an honours programme to take a small number of credits from pre-honours modules during their honours years. This is known as “dipping down”. The School recommends that our honours students “dip down” only where necessary for interest or need. The School does not normally permit honours students to “dip down” in their final semester of study.
Students are normally expected to take most of their “choice” honours modules from AS and PH modules (and that of their joint degree other subject where appropriate).
For a single honours BSc degree student we normally expect at least 210 honours credits during the honours programme from AS and PH and programme-specified MT modules. Relevant MT honours modules are also likely to be approved by a student’s adviser of studies. The same is the case for a student in the first two years of an MPhys programme.
The University’s Module Catalogue, Student Handbook, and other publications state the rules associated with an academic programme. However, we anticipate that this honours handbook, our associated module synopses, and the pre-advising advice documents on the School’s staff and students webpage will be at least as useful an information source for our students.
Preparation Students are encouraged to use part of the summer to revise and practice their work from the previous year. The University now regards Orientation week as a time for returning students to prepare for their new studies, and the Thursday and Friday as normal teaching days. The School has a number of resources to help students in this work. All students entering JH are asked to work on mathematics revision sheets, and all those planning to take Special Relativity and Fields or General Relativity modules are asked to study some teaching videos (vodcasts) on tensor notation.
Tutorials Students in the JH year benefit from small group tutorials, which are compulsory. In semester one there is a weekly tutorial in a group of around eight students covering Maths for Physicists and Quantum Mechanics 1 (the topic alternates week to week).
In semester two tutorial groups of about eight students cover Quantum Mechanics 2 and Thermal and Statistical Physics, and smaller groups of about 5 students cover Electromagnetism. Solid State Physics is taken by most students in Senior Honours, and has associated with it small group tutorials. A list showing the groups and tutors will be published shortly after the start of semester.
For other honours lecture modules, the tutorial arrangements are different. The lecture timetable for each module will include slots intended to be used for whole-class tutorial purposes, at the rate of at least one every three weeks. These tutorials will be taken by the lecturers concerned.
Transferable/Professional Skills It is increasingly acknowledged that the acquisition of transferable or "professional" skills should be an important goal for students in higher education. Such skills include the ability to apply existing knowledge to solve new problems; expertise in finding information and evaluating it; the ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing; the ability to work in a team and demonstrate leadership; organization of one’s own work, resilience, creativity, recognising skill needs and achievements, making and taking opportunities, and the assumption of responsibility for one's own learning.