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Progress & Assessment

A record is kept of your attendance at example classes (and associated marks in the assessed problems), and of your attendance and marks in the laboratory. This information, together with comments from your Tutor on your contribution to tutorials, is examined at various points in the year to assess your progress. In the first instance your Tutor will be informed if you appear to be missing classes, or to be having problems, and he or she will discuss the matter with you. Students whose general performance does not then improve, or who do not do well in the January Mathematics examination, will be required to discuss the matter further with the Director of Studies.

In accordance with University requirements your engagement with your course will be judged by your satisfactory observation of a number of key monitoring points (6 in term 1, 5 in term 2, and 2 in term 3). According to University rules missing 3 of these will result in your being required to discuss the matter with your tutor, whilst missing 6 will probably lead to your being required to withdraw. At the departmental level we will normally intercede rather earlier. It is hoped that this approach to monitoring your progress will allow the Department to identify well before the Summer examinations students who are having major problems with the course or with adjusting to University study. We expect that any student who is having difficulties will seek help or advice for themselves at an early stage, rather than letting things slide until the problems become severe.


We operate a credit accumulation scheme whereby your performance in all years of your course counts towards your final degree classification. The actual scheme used depends on the course you are following as described elsewhere.

The marking system we use in all assessed and examined work is related to the honours degree classification system given below:

70% and over
A 1st class performance
60.0% - 69.9%
A 2(i) performance
50.0% - 59.9%
A 2(ii) performance
40.0% - 49.9%
A 3rd class performance
Less than 40%
A failure


In the first year, examinations are held at two points during the year. In January (usually in the first week of term 2), there is an examination on the first half of the Mathematics for Physicists module. The remainder of the examinations take place in the third term in weeks 34 to 37. The method of registering for the examinations and assessed work will be explained at the appropriate time.

Marks for the year are considered by the First Year Board of Examiners for Science according to conventions harmonised across the University. The overall pass mark for the year is 40%, but it is also necessary to achieve a pass performance (40%) in the required core modules and in modules worth 80 CATS credits or more in order to proceed to the second year of the honours course. The required core modules are:

PX110 Physics Laboratory/PX151 Astrophysics Laboratory I, PX120 Electricity and Magnetism, PX145 Physics Foundations, PX148 Classical Mechanics and Relativity, and PX149 Mathematics for Physicists.

If PX110/PX151 is failed you will be required to withdraw without being offered the opportunity of resitting.

For those, who do not meet the criteria for progression to the second year, there are re-sit examinations in September. You may wish to note that a fee is payable if re-sit examinations are taken, and travel and accommodation costs also have to be met out of your own funds. You should also note that, when the Examination Boards considers the reist marks, they consider only the marks obtained in the resit examinations. These marks are not recombined with assessed coursework modules. This affects only the examinations for PX149 Mathematics for Physicists.

Students who fail the resit tests will be required to withdraw.

All year 1 physics papers will consist of compulsory questions.

  • Week 15
    • Maths for Physicists I PX149
  • Weeks 34 to 37
    • PX101 Quantum Phenomena
    • PX120 Elec. & Magnetism
    • PX145 Physics Foundations
    • PX148 Classical Mechanics & Relativity
    • PX149 Maths for Physicists II
    • PX144 Introduction to Astronomy
    • PX147 Introduction to Particle Physics

Note that some examinations may be scheduled on Saturdays. Examination scheduling is dealt with for the whole University by the Registry and is largely outside the control of the Physics Department. The timetables are published on their website and personalised timetables should be available through MyWarwick.

Mitigating Circumstances

If your performance is likely to be (or has been) affected by personal circumstances, you can ask for these to be taken into account.

Assessed Work

Credit for the Laboratory module is based on work handed in for assessment during the module. It is a rule in the University, that where assessed work is submitted late, credit is reduced by 5% of the original total available credit for each day or part of a day by which it exceeds the deadline. For small pieces of work (less than 2 CATS) more stringent rules may apply. In the case of the weekly problems late work receives no credit unless there is a good reason for late submission. Allowance can be made when work is missed or submitted late because of illness, provided that a medical certificate has been submitted to the staff member responsible. Laboratory work attracts a significant proportion of the year's credit. Details of how it is assessed and the credit allocated will be given by those running the laboratories. Laboratory work is regarded as an essential part of the first year course. The First Year Board of Examiners at its meeting in June requires students whose marks are unsatisfactory in PX110 or PX151 (i.e. marks less than 40%) to withdraw from the University, regardless of their overall performance.


The University has Regulations defining and proscribing cheating in examinations and assessed work. You are expected to be aware of these Regulations and abide by them: they are available in the Calendar.

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