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Department of Physics

Induction: module-specific tasks and events

Module-specific events and pre- or post-arrival tasks

PHYS1122 Foundations of Physics 1

  • Mathematics Workbook: We strongly encourage you to work through our Maths Workbook ( in advance of arriving at Durham or at least as soon as possible thereafter. Spare copies will be available from the reception desk of the Department on your arrival. Answers are provided in the workbook. As explained in the preamble, your performances in this exercise will inform your choice of taking or not taking Maths Toolkit for Scientists as your elective module (if this choice is open to you).
  • JumpStart Workbook: This is a supplementary maths workbook addressed to students who are coming to Durham after a gap year during which they have done little or no Mathematics. We will send a hard copy of this workbook to the relevant students, and spare copies will be available from the reception desk of the Department on your arrival. Please ask for a copy if you feel a bit rusty in calculus or trigonometry.
  • A-level Physics Revision Sheet: Please read through this document carefully prior to staring the course and refresh your knowledge of any topics which you have covered but feel unsure on.
  • MasteringPhysics: You will need to register online for the MasteringPhysics system, which we use for the homework associated with the module. All necessary instructions about how to do this will be included in the course pack which you will receive at your arrival in the Department on Monday. Also included in this course pack will be the details of a practice MasteringPhysics problem, with associated self-study of a few pages of the course textbook. Try your best to register and do the practice problem before your first Physics lecture.

PHYS1101 Discovery Skills in Physics

  • Excel tutorial: We strongly encourage you to work through a self-study tutorial on the use of Microsoft Excel in the context of the first year labs, in advance of your first session (and ideally before arriving in Durham) – see for this tutorial.
  • Introductory Lecture: Essential information about health and safety issues will be given in the first lecture, besides information about the homework, the structure of the module and the organisation of the labs. Attendance at this lecture is compulsory.
  • Python programming exercises: The Python programming language course notes and exercises will be made available in November, at the time of the first programming lecture, when an email with the required links will be sent. There is no expectation that students will have done any programming by that stage. However, we recommend that you try the following introductory python programming exercises using the link below. This is called Codeacaademy and requires only a WWW browser. You do not need to install anything else on a computer to use this system, and you do not need access to University systems (as you will once the course begins).
    We recommend that you work through the first 9 or so lessons on Codecademy, ideally before you arrive. This should only take a few hours in total, and would give you you an understanding of basic syntax and programming structures.
  • Library and Employability Session: An information session run by staff from the University Library and the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre outlining the services they offer and giving practical advice on the career opportunities open to students after graduation. This session will take place in the fourth teaching week of the Michaelmas Term.
  • Information Literacy Workshop: You will attend a workshop organised by the Library about finding and referencing information, in particular information on original research, which will take place in the sixth teaching week of the Michaelmas Term.

PHYS1081 Introduction to Astronomy

There are no induction events or pre- or post-arrival tasks specific to this module.

PHYS1141 Maths Toolkit for Scientists

There are no induction events or pre- or post-arrival tasks specific to this module (but please see the relevant information above regarding the Mathematics Workbook).