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Information for 2nd Year Physics and Business Studies Students

This document provides information for second year students taking the BSc Physics and Business Studies course. It should be read in conjunction with the general teaching documents here.

We hope that you will find this document useful, and it will help you to complete successfully your first year at University. If you consider that there is information which could usefully be added, or if you discover an error, please inform either Nicholas d'Ambrumenil, who is in overall charge of the teaching, or Michael Pounds who is the Director of Student Experience.

Although we endeavour to ensure that this document is accurate, you should be aware that the official definition of every degree course is that given in the University of Warwick Course Regulations.


As was stated in the first year handbook, Physics is an essentially linear subject with each new piece of knowledge building on what has been learnt before. Thus the second year work in Physics builds on what you learnt in the first year in fundamental areas, such as quantum mechanics, and electricity and magnetism, whilst at the same time introducing a number of topics, where the physics you have already learnt is applied to new areas such as geophysics. A significant feature of the second year course is that since you choose more than 25% of it from option lists, you can concentrate on those areas of physics that particularly interest you.

In addition to your physics you will start the Business Studies component of your degree in preparation for the final year.

In brief, this year's course has been designed with the following aims and objectives.


  • To build on, and extend, topics already introduced in year 1 and to largely complete the Physics component of the degree.
  • To introduce new topics - particularly those pertaining to Business Studies - some of which will be developed next year.
  • To provide some experience in scientific writing by means of the Physics Skills module, which provides valuable experience in retrieving information from the scientific literature (both printed and electronic), cultivates skill in transferring information into a clearly written report, and which provides an opportunity for students to study topics which might not be covered in formal lectures.
  • To develop and refine students' expertise in experimentation.


At the end of the second year you should

  1. Have acquired a good working fluency with mathematics - including vector calculus, the solution of differential equations (both ordinary and partial) and Fourier methods.
  2. Have acquired a good knowledge of basic physics, including Electromagnetic Theory and Optics, Thermal Physics and Quantum Mechanics.
  3. Be able to prepare a report on a scientific topic, and to present an oral presentation of it to an audience constituted of your peers and tutors.
  4. Be able to carry out experimental investigations using standard and more novel pieces of equipment, and to assess the significance of their results (including consideration of any associated uncertainties).
  5. Have acquired sufficient knowledge on certain aspects of Business Studies to enable you to proceed to the 3rd year which is entirely Business Studies.

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