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Physics and Mathematical Methods

Module titlePhysics and Mathematical Methods
Module codeINT0061
Academic year2021/2
Module staff
Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module is specifically tailored for international students who want to pursue degrees in engineering or mathematical disciplines. You will learn the basics of techniques used in the construction of machines, buildings or satellites; develop the skills in calculus needed for basic weather forecasting and climate studies; study the mechanics used for planning the movements of objects, such as car engines, trains pulling uphill or rockets launching into space; and the trigonometry used to design communications networks, aerials and medical treatments for diseases such as cancer.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide an advanced foundation for students who intend to follow a degree programme in the areas of Engineering, Mathematics or related disciplines. It will provide a foundation for further study of materials, mechanics and electronics at a level necessary to commence an engineering degree programme.

Students will be expected to manage their time successfully in order to complete a series of coursework and other tasks.

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. Apply mathematical methods to solve problems requiring the use of trigonometric formulae
  • 4. Apply techniques in calculus
  • 5. Recognise when particular techniques are used in a variety of mathematical or engineering situations

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 6. Interpret results of laboratory experiments
  • 7. Demonstrate understanding of theoretical principles through application to problems
  • 8. Interpret answers to problems with appropriate accuracy

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 9. Apply appropriate methods to address a well-defined engineering problem
  • 10. Communicate effectively in the written format

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 properties and heat transport

Electrical properties

Mathematical methods, including two-dimensional trigonometry, differentiation and integration of trigonometric functions, vector mathematics.

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 & Teaching Activities90Small group lessons, including lectures, examples, practice and use of computing techniques. Focus on problem solving and practical skills through use of on-line materials, including demonstration videos
Guided Independent Study210Study of written notes, practise examples, using resources supplied on ELE and other on-line learning material. Preparation for lectures. Tutorial problem solving. Reading and research.


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial ExamplesIn class1-10Verbal 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 techniques302 reports, 1 (10%) of 500 words and 1 (20%) of 1000 words1, 2, 6-8, 10Written feedback on formal submission
Coursework204 CMAs (online), 5% each, 2 per semester3-5, 9Immediate feedback on closure of assessment
Final Examination502 hours (within a 24 hour window)1-10Written 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 ExaminationExamination1-10During the next assessment period
Laboratory reports based upon physical techniquesLaboratory Report (deferral only)1, 2, 6-8, 10During the next assessment period

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 (open book). 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.
  • Edexcel A level mathematics year 1 (2017) Goldie S., Whitehouse S., Hanrahan V., Moore C., Muscat JP., Pledger K.   978-1471853043  Hodder Education
  • Edexcel A level mathematics year 2 (2017) Goldie S., Whitehouse S., Hanrahan V., Moore C., Muscat JP., Pledger K.    978-1471853050    Hodder Education

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Physics, Engineering, Trigonometry, Mechanics 

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date