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Progress & Assessment

A record is kept of your attendance in the laboratory and at tutorials. Any student whose attendance is unsatisfactory will be required to discuss the matter with the Director of Education.

To pass the year you are required to get an overall mark of at least 40%, and to have passed whole modules worth at least 60 CATS. In addition there is a condition on passing the IoP core modules (see below). To be eligible to remain on the MPhys programme in year 3 you must obtain an overall 2i classification and a CATS weighted average mark of 60% over the examined physics modules taken.


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 programme you are following.

Assessed Modules

The Physics core lectured modules, PX262 Quantum Mechanics and its Applications, PX263 EM Theory and Optics and PX265 Thermal Physics II are assessed by the combination of an examination (85%) and assessed coursework (15%). For PX275 Mathematical Methods for Physicists, the assessment is examination (80%) coursework (20%). The form of the coursework may vary from module to module.

Most other modules have formal examinations but a number are assessed by coursework. PX271 Physics Skills and PX277 Computational Physics are both 100% assessed by coursework as is the teaching module. Language modules typically have both assessed coursework (40%) and examined (60%) components.


All year 2 physics examination papers will consist of compulsory questions only, i.e. there will be no choice. The organisation - timing, duration, format of the examinations has not been finalised.

Resits and the IoP Core
The modules PX262 Quantum Mechanics and its Applications, PX263 Electromagnetic Theory and Optics and PX265 Thermal Physics II cover the core material required by the Institute of Physics (IoP core). Students must pass the IoP core to proceed onto the third year of the Physics course.

  1. Students, who have a CATS-weighted average over the IoP core of 40% or more and who have 40% or more for the year overall, will be allowed to proceed;
  2. Students, who have a CATS-weighted average over the IoP core modules of less than 40%, and who have 40% or more overall for the year, will be required to retake in September the IOP core exams for which their marks are less than 40%;
  3. Students, who have less than 40% overall for the year, will be required to retake exams specified by the examination board the following summer and will not normally be offered September resits.

When deciding what a student may have to resit in September, the combined mark on EM Theory and Thermal Physics will be considered. If a resit is required on this combined module, students will be asked to resit the section(s) examining the module(s) that they have failed.

When considering the results of resit examinations, the Examination Board will consider the marks obtained on the resit examinations only. These marks will NOT be combined with assessed coursework marks.

The configuration of the Physics examinations that would be used in a normal year are as below. The format of the examinations may differ from this and will be decided by the University later in the year.

Week 30

  • PX275 Mathematical Methods for Physicists
  • PX280 Environmental Physics

Weeks 35 to 38

  • PX262 Quantum Mechanics and its Applications
  • PX263 Electromagnetic Theory and Optics
  • PX265 Thermal Physics II
  • PX264 Physics of Fluids
  • PX267 Hamiltonian Mechanics
  • PX279 The Solar System
  • PX268 Stars

The examination results will be released by the University at a time and date to be announced.