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Durham University

Postgraduate Modules 2019/2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run in each academic year. Each module description relates to the year indicated in the module availability box. Please be aware that modules may change from year to year, and may be amended to take account of, for example: changing staff expertise, disciplinary developments, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Department: Physics

PHYS51360: Elementary Particle Theory Dissertation

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2019/20
Tied to F3K209 Particles, Strings and Cosmology


  • Elementary Particle Theory I (PHYS51160); Elementary Particle Theory II (MATH51260)


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • MATH51360 Elementary Particle Theory Dissertation


  • to assist students to develop creative and critical thinking, the ability to assemble material from several sources and to write an extended report;
  • to produce a dissertation that gives a coherent account of the topic, presented in an original, weel organised and appropriate manner.


  • A list of topics which members of staff are willing to supervise will be circulated no later than revision week (week 14) in the middle of Epiphany Term. With each member of staff providing one or two choices, the list provides a wide choice. Students wishing to investigate a topic not on the list may be allowed to do so provided a member of staff is willing to supervise them.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • specialist knowledge of the chosen dissertation topic, including an appreciation of the development of that topic, its situation with respect to related topics and the directions in which that topic could lead.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • presentation of a body of physics knowledge in an interesting, innovative and comprehensible manner;
  • construction of illustrative examples and, possible, production of original investigations.
Key Skills:
  • the ability to read and digest several sources;
  • the ability to tackle material critically and communicate your thoughts on it effectively;
  • the ability to make a report with appropriate chapters, sections, numbering and references with reference lists, contents pages and acknowledgements of others' work in appropriate format.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The student will research and write a dissertation on an advanced topic, under the guidance of his/her supervisor and the guidance notes provided.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Supervisions 15 1 per week 1 hour 15
Preparation and Reading 585
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation approximately 20000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Regular sessions with supervisors to review students' progress. The student will produce work (for example, plans, lists of sources, drafts, reference lists, sample calculations, etc.) for the comments of the supervisor.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

    If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our User Guide. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the User Guide, or a query about the Postgraduate Module Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.