Physics Group Project - PH603

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR PJ Wozniakiewicz

Pre-requisites

None.

Restrictions

School of Physical Sciences
Procedures for Projects Involving Human Participation

It is a University requirement that any final year project undergraduate, postgraduate or staff research project involving human participants should be subject to a procedure to determine whether ethics approval is needed. The procedure employed by SPS and the Faculty of Science are described here: http://www.kent.ac.uk/stms/faculty/adminprocedures/research-ethics/index.html

Undergraduate projects PH600, PH603, PS620, CH620, PS720, PS740 and PH700
Each project proposal collected from academics will include an ethics approval checklist designed to determine if ethical approval is required from the faculty i.e. does the project involve human participants. It is the responsibility of convenors to ask supervisors to fill in these checklists with students. If the answer to any of the questions on the checklist is yes please see below;

The following text will be introduced into the information pack or the handbooks of the module:

“Before you commence any work, it is important that the ethics of that work be considered; for example, taking fingerprints or collecting images of faces of your colleagues etc. Your supervisor will discuss any ethics issues with you and you should keep a copy of the documentation”

For projects involving human participants other than those conducting the project itself, students and their supervisors are required to read, note and act upon the guidelines available at http://www.kent.ac.uk/stms/faculty/adminprocedures/research-ethics/index.html to obtain approval from the Sciences Research Ethics (Human Participation) Advisory Group.

Further information on Ethics can be obtained from Dr Donna Arnold, SPS representative on the Sciences Research Ethics Advisory Group.

2017-18

Overview

The introductory workshops cover the general objectives of the module and a presentation of the specific topics available in the current year (students are explicitly encouraged to offer alternate topics provided they are able to secure the agreement of the module convenor). Additional workshops provide opportunities to discuss and share ideas, and to introduce what is needed within a successful presentation (the presentations are filmed, and the resulting DVD used for detailed feedback and for other purposes provided that the informed written consent of all group members is forthcoming). There is a distinct ‘role play’ element to the conduct of the module. Students may be given the opportunity to define their own groupings provided that there is overall agreement within the peer group, but the convenor will retain the right to define both the overall parameters (e.g. the number of students to be in each group) and the final assignment of students into groups if that proves to be necessary. Students then make a choice of topic and elect their group project manager. The groups arrange their own regular meetings, which will be minuted; the supervisor may be present at these sessions. The group will produce a word-processed report on the work undertaken; it will also present the work in appropriate ‘public’ forms (a poster and a talk). The report will include a statement on the group’s project methodology, presented in the context of their initial draft work plan and tasks assignment, as well as a statement describing the individual contributions to the group’s aims and objectives.
The project themes vary widely depending on student preferences/interests, but for example could fall in one of the following general categories:
o linked specifically to the goals of a suitable industrial partner;
o off-campus interactions, such as working with a school physics group or small business in the local area;
o the production of an instruction booklet, teaching aid or video aimed at a pre-define audience;
o a design project for a piece of instrumentation or a computational code;
o a survey or analysis of a physics-centred contemporary issue of scientific, social, political or ethical interest or concern;
o the input of physics to interdisciplinary issues such as those associated with environmental or conservation science.

Details

This module appears in:


Contact hours

Workshops (6h) – provide the opportunity to discuss and understand the nature and the requirements of a group project;
Lecture (1h) – to agree an outline of what is expected and required in the context of the project presentation;
Presentation and feedback (~8h);
Personal and ICT-based support for project managers.

Total study hours including Intra-group project planning and implementation meetings and private study: 150 hours.

Availability

This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Coursework 100%
The assessment will be based on:

  • the final report (50%, including prescribed appendices)
  • the presentation (30%)
  • the supplementary poster (10%)
  • and an element of intra-group peer review (10%)
    The majority of the marks are awarded on a group basis (i.e. all members of the group receive the same mark) but some adjustments on a 'zero sum' principle may be made to individual marks on the basis of student group and supervisor/convenor feedback regarding relative contributions. The exception to this is the 10% set aside for intra-group peer assessment; this is moderated by the supervisor/convenor. Each group is also given the opportunity to assess the talks presented by the other groups; this exposure to peer assessment is regarded as an integral element of the overall module training.

  • Preliminary reading

    None - as this will depend entirely on the research needed to conduct the individual projects.

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

    Learning outcomes

  • An ability to identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
  • An ability to present and interpret information graphically.
  • An ability to communicate scientific information, in particular to produce clear and accurate scientific reports.
  • An ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning.
  • Problem-solving skills, in the context of both problems with well-defined solutions and open-ended problems; an ability to formulate problems in precise terms and to identify key issues, and the confidence to try different approaches in order to make progress on challenging problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area.
  • Investigative skills in the context of independent investigation including the use of textbooks and other available literature, databases, and the interaction with colleagues to extract important information.
  • Communication skills in the area of dealing with surprising ideas and difficult concepts, including listening carefully, reading demanding texts and presenting complex information in a clear and concise manner. C&IT skills are an important element to this.
  • Analytical skills – associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly.
  • Personal skills – the ability to work independently, to use initiative, to organise oneself to meet deadlines and to interact constructively with other people.

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