Analytical Mechanics - PHYS6210

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 6 15 (7.5) Sam Carr checkmark-circle


This module is an introduction to the developments in classical mechanics since the time of Newton. In it, students will learn a variety of methods to formulate complex problems in classical systems and classify different types of dynamics that may occur.


Contact hours

36 Contact hours
114 Private study hours
Total study time 150 hours


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Coursework Assignments (20%), (30 hrs), consisting of:
1. Homework 1: (15%)
2. Homework 2: (15%)
Examination (70%)

Indicative reading

Hand and Finch, Analytical Mechanics (Cambridge University Press, 1998, ISBN 9780511801662)
Landau and Lifshitz, Mechanics: Volume 1 of course of Theoretical Physics (Butterworth-Heinemann, 3Rd Revised edition, 1976, ISBN 9780750628969)
Strogatz: Nonlinear dynamics and Chaos (Westview Press, 2nd edition, 2014, ISBN 9780813349107)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical laws and principles of mechanics, and their application to diverse areas of physics.
Demonstrate an ability to identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
Demonstrate an ability to solve problems involving mechanics using appropriate mathematical tools
Demonstrate an ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour involving mechanics.
Demonstrate an ability to present and interpret information relating to mechanics graphically.
Demonstrate an ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources about mechanics as part of managing their own learning.
Demonstrate an ability to communicate scientific information, in particular to produce clear and accurate scientific reports.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of 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 a knowledge and understanding of 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.
Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of 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.
Demonstrate 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.
Demonstrate personal skills – the ability to work independently, to use initiative, to organise oneself to meet deadlines and to interact constructively with other people.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 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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