Your typical week - Lectures

Lectures are usually seen as the main part of a course unit, and range from large lectures on core subjects of 250+ students, to smaller optional unit lectures of 20-50 students.

Lecturing styles vary, and it is important to see lectures as just one component of your wider learning, supplemented by tutorials and self-study.

All our lecturers are friendly, and we encourage students to speak to them to clarify any points they did not quite understand the first time around.


Your typical week - Tutorials

Tutorials are a place where you are encouraged to think like a physicist, and possibly consider questions from a slightly different perspective.

In your first and second years you will be given an academic tutor and be assigned weekly problem sheets to reinforce your learning from the lectures. You will submit these sheets to your tutor for marking, and they will form the basis of your weekly tutorials.

Tutorial groups typically consist of five students and a tutor, and are a good opportunity to check your progress and get support if you need it.

Examples classes

Your typical week - Example classes

Some units are supported by examples classes; these involve more students than tutorials but have the similar goal of providing you with opportunities to tackle problems based on the lecture course to supplement your learning.

Personal tutor

Your typical week - Personal tutor

At the start of your degree, you will be assigned a personal tutor for pastoral support. This member of staff will also be your academic tutor during your first year. In addition, they will monitor your progress throughout your degree, and be a friendly face and a first point of contact within the School if you have any issues you wish to discuss.

They are also likely to be someone you will ask to be a referee when you apply for jobs or postgraduate courses.


Your typical week - Laboratories

Labs are the place where you will hone your experimental physics skills. You will usually work with a lab partner and will develop skills in manipulating experiments, recording and presenting your results.

There is a wide range of experiments available, and you might get to measure the speed of light, control a radio telescope, investigate a radioactive isotope, or even make your own hologram.

As you progress through your degree and develop your skills, the experiments become more sophisticated and more research-like. By the 3rd year, students will be typically spending two full days a week working on experiments that are more open-ended than those in the first year.

Our 4th year MPhys students work on one or two semester-long projects doing real research within one of our active research groups.

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