University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Physics Project

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The candidate will work on an extended project assigned by the department during the summer preceding the final year and will be supervised by one of more members of the academic staff. A list of topics is prepared for the purpose every year, and these depend on the research interests of the academic staff. The candidate will be required to prepare and deliver a presentation and then to submit a dissertation on the work done. Part of the assessment includes a short viva-voce examination.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit will:
- train the candidate to carry out a critical and thorough literature review pertinent to the assigned project;
- train the candidate on the effective use of appropriate reference sources;
- acquaint the candidate with research methods and procedures through working on an extended project, the end result of which might not be clearly known at the outset;
- extend the scientific knowledge of the candidate in breadth and depth on the topic of the project;
- encourage the candidate to work independently.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- appreciate the importance of critical reviews in scientific research;
- assimilate and understand the background science pertinent to the assigned project;
- apply the scientific method, appreciate and discuss its importance;
- understand the importance of scientific investigation and its role in the generation of new knowledge.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- carry out a critical literature review;
- identify appropriate reference sources;
- use the available search facilities to find and retrieve documents on a specific subject;
- provide a written summary of a literature review, making use of standard referencing techniques;
- use a literature review to place into context the relevance of a research question or problem;
- use appropriate methods to investigate a research question or problem and interpret the results;
- identify the limitations of the methods used when investigating a research questions or problem;
- use appropriate statistics to quantify the significance of the results obtained;
- write a well-structured and well presented dissertation, including the application of proper referencing rigour and avoidance of plagiarism;
- present the work done and the results obtained to an audience using an appropriate medium;
- defend the work carried out during an oral interview.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Guidelines are provided on the departmental website.

ADDITIONAL NOTES **Resit Availability: Students who fail to obtain an overall pass mark will be re-examined in the Dissertation. However, the resit availability for the Oral Examination is at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

Pre-Requisite qualifications: Good knowledge of the various areas of physics covered in the first three years of an undergraduate degree physics joint degree and a good standard of English are expected.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Dissertation

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Dissertation & Oral Examination (See Additional Notes) ** 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
MSc (Research) and PhD application deadlines
Application Deadlines for Academic Year 2017/18 
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