You will be taught through a combination of lectures, small group tutorials, lab sessions, seminars, workshop classes and project work. Training in scientific computation and programming is built into each degree.
A typical week for a first year physics student might consist of five hours of lectures, about two afternoons in the lab or computing workshops (six hours), about two hours of problem classes, four hours of workshops and one hour in a small group tutorial session. This is a total of about 20 hours of contact time. You will also spend several hours a week on private study.
Assessment includes exams and course work (such as workshop and seminar problem classes). Lab work is primarily assessed in real time and project work is assessed through written reports and oral presentations.
You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they be academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.
When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.
Typical workload hours for Physics and Astronomy courses in 2016/17:
Year 1: 27% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, learning and assessment: 324 hours
Independent learning: 876 hours
Year 2: 23% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, learning and assessment: 276 hours
Independent learning: 924 hours
Optional year abroad: If you're spending a year abroad, your contact hours will vary depending on the institution you're studying at.
Final year: 18% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, learning and assessment: 984 hours
Independent learning: 1080 hours
While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.
Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:
- study and exam skills
- academic writing
- numerical data skills
- referencing sources
Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.