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.

Problem Solving Workshop (December Exam) PHYS5053

  • 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

To provide students with an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of the key principles and applications of the Problem Solving Workshop, and their relevance to current developments in physics, at a level appropriate for a professional physicist.


3 afternoon sessions, each of 2 hours' duration, to be scheduled during the Semester 1 examination period

Requirements of Entry

This course is normally only open to students who meet the requirements for entry, or progression, for a degree programme which includes Problem Solving Workshop as an elective or compulsory course and will not be present for the April/May exam diet.


Problem Solving Workshop is a compulsory course for the following degree programmes:


MSci Physics, MSci Theoretical Physics, MSci Combined Physics, MSci Physics with Astrophysics, MSci Chemical Physics, MSci Chemical Physics with Work Placement


Problem Solving Workshop is a prohibited course for the following degree programmes:


BSc (Honours) Physics, BSc (Honours) Combined Physics, BSc (Honours) Chemical Physics, BSc (Honours) Physics with Astrophysics, BSc (Designated) Physics, BSc (Designated) Combined Physics, BSc (Designated) Physics with Astrophysics


The course is an elective option for all Physics & Astronomy MSc degrees.


Excluded Courses



Physics-M Project


Examination 75%

Class Test 25%

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessment of the main diet examination is normally available for students on PGT degree programmes if they do not achieve an overall course grade of C3 at their first attempt. Reassessment of the main diet examination is not normally available for students on Honours degree programmes.


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

Course Aims

To provide students with training in how to answer general physics questions and solve unseen problems which draw upon their broad knowledge and experience of the subject. To develop students' ability to study and revise effectively and to reinforce their individual responsibility for their own learning. To develop students' critical assessment and communication skills, in the context of working in a small group, to a level appropriate for a career of leadership in academia or industry.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students will be able to: carry out effective self-study and general revision of their Physics courses, in order to answer general physics questions and solve unseen physics problems based on their contents; carry out formative self-assessment of their performance when attempting previous examination questions; work effectively within a small group, sharing ideas, organising / prioritising results and delivering short oral presentations.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Not applicable.