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MPhys Research Project & Skills - PHY00025M

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  • Department: Physics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Richard Evans
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module summary

The MPhys project is an individual open-ended scientific investigation where you can apply your technical skills and physics knowledge to conduct an original scientific investigation. You will have a specific academic supervisor who will give guidance and assistance as needed at regular supervisory meetings, as well as receiving training on research skills such as dissertation writing, and giving poster and oral presentations. At the end of this module you will write your masters project dissertation allowing you to communicate your results to a scientific audience with an extended piece of academic writing.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24 to Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

The MPhys project is an individual open-ended scientific investigation. Each project has a specific academic supervisor who will give guidance and assistance as needed at regular supervisory meetings. A list of the projects on offer for each academic year is made available towards the end of Term 3 of the preceding academic year. Projects will be offered in areas specific to your degree programme.

The project builds on the expertise that you have already acquired in previous years. The aim is to develop your ability to design, carry out and report on an extended scientific investigation. The project will provide an opportunity for creativity and original thought on your part.

In addition, the professional and transferable skills you develop will include the ability to:

(a) Assess ethics/data management of the proposed work, including ethical review (e.g. peer- or self-assessments)

(b) Manage their own learning and apply initiative.

(c) Convey complex scientific ideas both in professional and lay terms (could be assessed in the final dissertation).

Module learning outcomes

To plan, design, carry out and report on an extended research project investigation.

Whilst doing this you will develop the following skills:

  • the ability to investigate an area of physics relevant to your specialist area Physics, Astrophysics, Physics with Philosophy, Maths and Physics, or Theoretical Physics] in a systematic way using appropriate critical assessment of literature sources, experimental, observational, computational, theoretical, and/or mathematical techniques

  • the ability to work independently and plan and organise effectively to achieve the project goals

  • to collaborate with project partners (internal and external) and with other research group members

  • to acquire and critically assess original source references from databases and libraries [published scientific papers, books, etc.]

  • to systematically and contemporaneously record the project work carried out in a paper (hard-bound) or electronic notebook

  • to research and write background material

  • to use advanced research methods and techniques to conduct a scientific investigation

  • to assess the significance of your project outcomes against what is already known in the area of your project topic via a critical assessment of the literature

  • to communicate the project outcomes in a final written report

  • to communicate the project outcomes in oral form

Module content

For further details see the MPhys Project Student Handbook and assessment pro forma, which will be available on the VLE.


Task Length % of module mark
Lab book and progress
N/A 30
Project poster presentation
N/A 5
Project report / dissertation
N/A 40
Viva examination
N/A 25

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Project report / dissertation
N/A 40
Viva examination
N/A 25

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme. We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments.

A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback. This can be found at:

The School of Physics, Engineering & Technology aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. Students are provided with their examination results within 25 working days of the end of any given examination period. The School will also endeavour to return all coursework feedback within 25 working days of the submission deadline. The School would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The School will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each semester provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Our policy on how you receive feedback for formative and summative purposes is contained in our Physics at York Taught Student Handbook.

Indicative reading

Reading recommendations - will be advised by the project supervisor as appropriate

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.