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Introduction to Physical Science

Module titleIntroduction to Physical Science
Module codeINT0043
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

James Beard (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module is specifically tailored for international students who want to pursue degrees in all engineering disciplines. It is designed to meet your specific needs, as an international student, both from the view of subject-specific English language and study skills development and also from the delivery of academic subject teaching. The module includes an introduction to experimentation and analysis, which develop your knowledge and skills relating to laboratory work. Small class sizes allow you to have individual help with tutorial problems or with any difficulties in understanding a topic.

Module aims - intentions of the module

To introduce the fundamental concepts of physics which provide a foundation for further study of materials, structures, mechanics and electronics at a level necessary to commence an engineering degree programme.

To consolidate a common knowledge base and begin the development of a learning methodology appropriate to an engineering degree programme.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate understanding of the fundamentals of physics
  • 2. Apply basic concepts in the analysis of mechanical, electrical and thermal problems
  • 3. Interpret results of laboratory experiments

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Demonstrate understanding of theoretical principles through application to problems
  • 5. Construct models and solve problems which represent situations in science and engineering
  • 6. Provide answers to problems with appropriate accuracy

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Collect and interpret appropriate data and information
  • 8. Communicate effectively in written and spoken form

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Introduction – physical parameters; dimensions and units; scalar and vector quantities; measurements; conservation of energy

Statics – (including forces and moments)

Kinematics and Dynamics (including – Newton’s laws; and conservation of momentum)

Structure of matter

Mechanical properties of solids and introduction to mechanical testing

Thermal propertiesand heat transport

Electrical properties

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities (synchronous)40Lectures (including solving tutorial problems)
Scheduled learning and Teaching activities (asynchronous)20Focus on problem solving and practical skills through use of online materials including demonstration videos
Guided independent learning 140Preparation for lectures. Tutorial problem solving. Reading and research


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class tests5 per semester1, 2, 4-6, 8Written and verbal feedback
Tutorial examplesIn class1, 2, 4-6, 8Verbal feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Laboratory reports based upon physical experiments302 x 800 word lab reports (15% each)1-3, 5-8Written feedback on formal submission
Mid-term Assessment201 hour CMA (1 hour fixed window) + 1 hour exam paper1, 2, 4-6, 8Written feedback on formal submission
Final Examination502 hour exam paper (taken within a 24 hour window)1, 2, 4-6, 8Written feedback on formal submission


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Final ExaminationExamination1-8As soon as possible, before APAC
Laboratory reports based upon physical experimentsLaboratory report1-3, 5-8As soon as possible, before APAC
Mid-term AssessmentMid-term Assessment1, 2, 4-6, 8As soon as possible, before APAC

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for reasons judged legitimate by the Mitigation Committee, the applicable assessment will normally be deferred. See ‘Details of reassessment’ for the form that assessment usually takes. When deferral occurs there is ordinarily no change to the overall weighting of that assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to take a re-sit exam. Only your performance in this exam will count towards your final module grade. A grade of 40% will be awarded if the examination is passed.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Johnson, K., Hewett, S., Holt, S. & Miller, J. (2015). Advanced Physics for You. Cheltenham: Nelson Thorne.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Physical Science

Credit value20
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date