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Organisation and Other Information

Your Course Organiser

Nicholas d'Ambrumenil is in charge of all the teaching. Michael Pounds (PS102), the Director of Student Experience, is available to help with any issue which affects you.


When you first joined the department you were registered for either the 3-year BSc degree or the 4-year MPhys degree, and you have probably retained that registration since then. This registration will not affect the actual modules you take this year as the BSc and MPhys programmes are identical.

The MPhys Degree Programme

This 4 year degree emerged a number of years ago in response to modifications which had been introduced into the traditional BSc degree in Physics offered by most British universities, which entailed a significant reduction in their content - to the extent that the BSc degree could no longer be considered a completely satisfactory training for a professional physicist. Accordingly, if you wish to pursue a career as a practising physicist - either in industry or in research leading to higher degrees - you are recommended to follow the 4 year MPhys degree course. The University will permit you to transfer to the MPhys degree up until the end of the 2nd year.

All students registered for the MPhys programme are reminded that continuation to the 3rd and 4th years of the programme is not automatic. To be eligible to automatically continue on the MPhys degree programme an upper 2nd Class Honours performance must be attained in your 2nd Year, with CATs weighted average mark in the examined second year physics modules also above 60%. (Please note that in determining the CATs weighted average mark the mark for all PX coded modules that you are registered for will count irrespective of whether you have taken more than the normal load of 120 CATs.) Students not achieving these requirements will transfer to the 3rd year of the BSc degree programme.

The 3rd Year of the MPhys degree differs from that of the BSc degree in that there are more Core Modules (and hence a smaller range of Options), no project (in the sense of the current BSc final year project) and more advanced laboratory work. Only in the 4th year does the structure of the MPhys degree begin to resemble that of the final year of the BSc with its project etc.


After a year at Warwick, you will be familiar with our teaching methods and the use of questionnaires to obtain feedback on the individual modules. You are reminded that if you feel that there are serious problems with a module that should be addressed immediately, you should discuss the matter with the person giving the module, with your Personal Tutor, Dr d'Ambrumenil, or raise it with one of your Staff Student Liaison Committee representatives.

Academic Tutorials

During the second year, your Tutor is in most cases the same person who served in that capacity during your first year. Again he/she acts both as Academic and Personal Tutor. You are required to meet your Tutor - preferably with the other members of your tutorial group - during the first week of the Autumn Term to arrange a mutually convenient time for weekly tutorials. As in your first year, the subject of the tutorials is largely a matter for your Tutor, based on your needs, but there will be some worksheets to do that contribute to the assessed work component of PX260 Mathematical Methods for Physicists I. Your tutor will probably spend much of the time providing back-up for the core modules.

Assessed Components of Core Modules

In the first year you were required to do weekly problems for credit in all lectured physics modules. This year all the lectured core modules have an assessed component that contributes 15% to the mark for that module (except for PX275 Mathematical Methods for Physicists). The lecturer will describe the particular form this assessment takes for their module.

Examples Sheets and Problems Classes

Example sheets are normally distributed as a complete set (typically 1 or 2 problems per lecture) at the beginning of a particular Module. The purpose of these examples is three-fold:

  1. To facilitate the development of skill in problem solving in areas related to the modules
  2. To assist in proper assimilation of the module material.
  3. To provide valuable experience which will be of considerable help in the April and May/June Examinations.

For core modules there regular classes at which the lecturer will discuss the problems, and their solutions. The lecturer will indicate which timetabled slot will be used for this. For modules not dealt with in these classes (i.e. Options), you should contact the lecturer directly if you have any queries concerning the Weekly Problems.

The Past Examination Questions will not, as a general rule, be discussed at the problems classes, since it is intended that they should be attempted only once the associated modules have finished and the subject matter has been appropriately digested. Your Personal Tutor will deal with these during your tutorials.

Complete sets of solutions to all the examples set for each module are available and will be distributed to pigeon holes by the Undergraduate Secretary, approximately two weeks after a module has finished.


Last year you were informed of the department's policy towards the late submission of assessed work and the University's regulations on cheating. These, of course apply equally this year, so remember that the University wide penalty for late submission of assessed work is the deduction of 5% of the original total available credit per day (or part day) late. You are also reminded that the marks you obtain this year count towards your final degree classification, (20% for MPhys and 30% for BSc).

The Intercalated Year

Students who wish to spend some time gaining experience abroad, or in UK industry/research, can register for the Intercalated Year Scheme in which you spend your third year away from Warwick and take a total of four years to complete your degree programme. The University's good practice guide outlines what support you can expect when away on a year out.

The year will be spent in supervised research placement, either in Industry, Commerce, a Research Institute, a Higher Education Research Laboratory, or in the case of a year abroad could alternatively involve attending modules at an overseas university. This will give you valuable experience before continuing with the third year of the BSc Physics degree, and the words 'with intercalated year' will appear on your degree certificate. You must submit a satisfactory report of the intercalated year on your return to the Department, failing which you will revert to the Physics BSc degree course. The report will not, however, contribute to final degree credit.

In general, if you are interested in following this scheme, it will be necessary for you to make your own arrangements and submit an outline proposal to the Physics Department for approval. If we consider that the proposed programme abroad meets our requirements, then permission for an intercalated year will be granted. If you are thinking about this possibility, please discuss this with your tutor in the first instance. The Intercalated Year is NOT a possibility for MPhys students.

Option Choices

You will see from the course regulations that your course consists of a "core", of lectures and laboratory work, all of which you have to take, together with further modules, selected (according to the rules prescribed) from option lists.

It is recommended that you at least 'sample' more options than you are required to take before committing yourself and you may, if you wish, attend a complete module and not register for the examination. You may also take Unusual Options.

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