Physics Laboratory - PHYS5200

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Timothy Kinnear checkmark-circle


In this module students develop their experience of the practical nature of physics, including developing their ability to execute an experiment, and to use programming scripts to process data. Students also develop their skill in analysis of uncertainties, and comparison with theory. The module strengthens students' communication skills and knowledge of, and ability to write, all components of laboratory reports.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 33
Private study hours: 117
Total study hours: 150


This is not available as an elective module.

Method of assessment

• Lab Report 1 (3000 words) – 20%
• Lab Report 2 (3000 words) – 20%
• Lab Report 3 (3000 words) – 20%
• Written Communication (2 sides A4) – 20%
• Media Communication (20 hours) – 20%

Indicative reading

Core Text:
Kirkup L., Experimental Methods (John Wiley and Sons, 1994, ISBN 0471335797, paperback)

Taylor J.R., An Introduction to Error Analysis (1997).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical quantities, their units, and typical values, for a range of areas of experimental physics.
2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical phenomena, the terminology used to describe them, and typical circumstances in which they are found to occur, for a range of areas of experimental physics.
3. Formulate and solve problems in laboratory physics.
4. Quantitatively describe and predict phenomena in the real-world using mathematics.
5. Demonstrate the skills necessary to plan, execute, analyse data, and report the result of an experiment. Including analysis of uncertainties and related results to relevant theory.
6. Understand the need for a safe working environment, and safe working practices.
7. Demonstrate experience of the practical nature of physics and a range of practical skills (including common physics apparatus).
8. Demonstrate skills in computer programming (i.e. skills to write a piece of code to solve a physics-based problem).


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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