Numerical and Computational Methods - PHYS6110

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module provides a foundation in numerical approximations to analytical methods – these techniques are essential for solving problems by computer. An indicative list of methods is: Linear equations, zeros and roots, least squares & linear regression, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, errors and finite differences, linear programming, interpolation and plotting functions, numerical integration, numerical differentiation, solutions to ordinary differential equations using numerical methods.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 32
Total Private Study Hours: 118
Total Study Hours: 150


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Problem Sheet 1 (3 hours) – 20%
Problem Sheet 2 (3 hours) – 20%
Problem Sheet 3 (3 hours) – 20%
Problem Sheet 4 (3 hours) – 20%
Problem Sheet 5 (3 hours) – 20%

Indicative reading

Chapra, S. (2008). Applied Numerical Methods with MATLAB for Engineers and Scientists. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Moler, C. (2004). Numerical Computing with MATLAB, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia: SIAM.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate the ability to identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
Demonstrate a systematic ability to solve problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
Demonstrate a confident ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour.
Demonstrate an assured ability to solve advanced problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools, to translate problems into mathematical statements and apply their knowledge to obtain order of magnitude or more precise solutions as appropriate.
Demonstrate the ability to accurately interpret mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena.
Display a working knowledge of a variety of mathematical and/or computational techniques applicable to current research within physics.
Demonstrate complete competence in the use of appropriate C&IT packages/systems for the analysis of data and the retrieval of appropriate information.
Present and interpret information graphically accurately and confidently.
Demonstrate the ability to make use of appropriate texts, or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate extensive 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.
Demonstrate professional 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.


  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.
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