Graphical Methods for Physical Scientists - PHYS0022

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


Graphical methods are powerful, visual tools to illustrate relationships in theories, and in experimental quantities, pertaining to physical phenomena. They involve knowledge of, and visual representation of mathematical functions frequently encountered in the physical sciences. The topics covered are expected to include:

• Graphs of functions including straight lines, quadratics, 1/x and 1/x2.
• Parametric equations for curves, including use in modelling phenomena in physical sciences.
• Coordinate geometry of lines and circles, including calculations with angles in radians.
• Trigonometric functions (sine, cosine, tangent), and reciprocal and inverse trigonometric functions.
• Formulae involving small angles, sums of angles, and products of trigonometric functions.
• Solving trigonometric equations in the context of modelling phenomena in physical sciences.
• Vectors in one, two and three dimensions, and notations for representing them.
• Algebraic operations of vector addition and multiplication by scalars.
• Use of vectors in modelling phenomena in physical sciences.


Contact hours

Private Study: 125
Contact Hours: 25
Total: 150


Not available as an elective module.

Method of assessment

• Moodle Quiz 1 (1 hour) – 15%
• Moodle Quiz 2 (1 hour) – 15%
• Examination (2 hours) – 70%
Academic year 2022/23 examined: In-Person Exam (Standard Exam)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Represent and analyse lines, curves (including quadratics) and circles.
2. Know trigonometric and related functions and solve equations involving them.
3. Represent, manipulate, and analyse vectors and their properties.
4. Apply the above graphical methods in modelling phenomena in physical sciences.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.