International Physics Summer School for physical sciences and engineering 1 PHYS1018

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

To explore the basic ideas of physics in the areas of "mechanics, waves and optics" as a foundation for more advanced study of physics and for application in other sciences. It covers the topics of motion, Newton laws, work, energy, linear and angular momentum, rotation, equilibrium, gravitation, damped and driven oscillators, mechanical and acoustic waves, geometric and wave optics.  


There are seven 3-hours interactive learning sessions, seven 2-hours tutorial sessions and seven laboratory sessions over a 4 weeks period during the summer. There are also weekly online assignments.

Requirements of Entry

Pass in university level calculus course and normally pass in Physics (SQA Higher or international qualification equivalent to SQA Higher Physics).

Excluded Courses





Description of Summative Assessment: 


Assessment: Unseen examination (60%) 90 minutes exam paper consisting of 20 multiple choice questions and 3 short written questions.  Course work consists of laboratory work (20%) and online assignments and class tests (20%).


Reassessment: Due to the short and intense nature of this course. It will not be possible for the students to be offered reassessment opportunities.

Main Assessment In: August

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


Because of the timing of the summer school, there is no opportunity for reassessment to be timetabled within the same academic session.

Course Aims

To ensure students understand the basic ideas of physics in the areas of mechanics, waves and optics as a foundation for more advanced study of physics and for application in other sciences;

To develop and then extend student's experience of experimental physics, by performing and analysing data from a number of straightforward experiments;

To develop practice in problem solving, requiring the application of mathematics to explain physical phenomena;

To develop the student's ability to keep laboratory records and write reports, including use of a word-processor package, and to introduce and then extend the use of a spreadsheet package for the presentation of results and the analysis of experimental results;

To introduce students to group working, and to joint discussion of problem solving strategies within small-group sessions.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completion of the course the student should be able to:

Apply Newton's Laws of Motion to a particle motion in a single straight line, uniform circular motion, simple harmonic motion as well as damped and driven oscillations;

State and apply the Conservation Laws of Energy and Momentum in linear, rotational and 2D cases;

Apply the laws of geometrical optics to mirror and lenses;

Describe waves mathematically, and apply this to treat optical interference;

Perform laboratory experiments and present the results in a word-processed report;

Use a spreadsheet package to analyse laboratory results, and incorporate table and graphs in a word- 

  processed report.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.