Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Research Skills PHYS5015

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides students with an opportunity to develop generic scientific writing and presentation skills by preparing a 20 minute oral presentation and detailed scientific literature review (approx. 2000 words) on a current research topic in physics or astronomy.



Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





1) Assessment of oral presentation (50%)

2) Assessment of written report (50%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessment is not normally allowed, for practical reasons, for any assessed components of coursework.

Course Aims

(1) To develop critical assessment and communication skills, to a level appropriate for a career of leadership in academia or industry

(2) To employ these skills in preparing and delivering a written report and oral presentation on a chosen research topic.

(3) To encourage students to work effectively, to develop a professional attitude to what they do and to take full responsibility for their own learning.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

At the end of the course students should be able to:


(1) Recover, evaluate and summarise the professional literature and material from other sources concerned with a chosen research topic in physics or astronomy.

(2) Prepare an oral presentation summarising the current position in the chosen research topic.

(3) Prepare a written literature review on the current position in the chosen research topic, which should include a critical comparison of material from the sources he/she has identified and a summary of likely future developments.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits