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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences, and if we wish to better understand the nature and behaviour of the Universe, it is perhaps the best place to start. This course introduces the basic topics of Physics, from the sub-microscopic scale of electrons and atoms, to the orbits of the planets and stars, to the grand wheeling of galaxies. It encompasses the work of Physicists like Isaac Newton,   Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Tony Stark. If you’ve ever been curious about how the world works, you will hopefully find this course, typically well-regarded by students, interesting.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Ross Macpherson

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?


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What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course lays emphasis on how a relatively few fundamental laws enable us to understand a very wide range of phenomena that occur both naturally and as a result of mankind's activities. In particular, you will see how Newton's laws of motion lets us understand a variety of linear and circular motion; how the properties of matter can be characterised and how physics can be usefully applied in the fields of planetary motion, sport, the environment and medicine. The course will also describe how some of the most important ideas in modern physics grew from unexpected observations.

Further Information & Notes

Two of the practicals are optical and as such they may be difficult to complete if the student is blind/partially sighted. However the practicals are carried out in groups of two (or occasionally three). Hence, in this instance the work would be carried out in a group of three so that the tasks can be shared appropriately.

The course will be delivered independently through MyAberdeen however, students will be given the option of attending the 2 one-hour lectures per week. There will be a compulsory on campus practical weekend.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed


Contact Teaching Time

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Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt: Final two-hour multiple choice exam (50%), completion of practical class notebook and laboratory reports (25%), tutorial sheets (12.5%), multiple choice tests during term (12.5%).

Resit: Final two-hour multiple choice exam (50%), completion of practical class notebook and laboratory reports (25%), tutorial sheets (12.5%), multiple choice tests during term (12.5%).

Formative Assessment

On-line software for solving Physics problems (eg Mastering Physics software or equivalent).


Tutorial sheets, term multiple choice exams and lab notebooks will be marked and returned within two weeks of submission. Mastering Physics software gives an immediate on-line feedback.

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