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Unit information: Contextualisation in 2021/22

Unit name Contextualisation
Unit code PHYSM0005
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Seddon
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This is a mandatory 10 cp unit of the 180 cp MRes programme in Nanoscience and Functional Nanomaterials. It will cover the more generic, or “contextualising” skills required to function as an independent scientist. Topics include: the generation of novel ideas and how to nurture them; where to go to find information and how to assess its validity; interdisciplinary team building, and methods to manage your work. This unit will provide the basic knowledge base underpinning the practical and research elements of the MSc in Nanoscience and Functional Nanomaterials. It aims to equip the students with the necessary interdisciplinary vocabulary in nanoscience in general and in the core competencies of controlling composition, characterisation, and construction of functional nanomaterials.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to:

  • express themselves scientifically using the vocabulary of Nanoscience;
  • demonstrate an ability to contextualise information drawing it from several sources to develop a fuller understanding of nanoscale science;
  • demonstrate an awareness of the interconnectivity of the core disciplines of nanoscience;
  • demonstrate use of appropriate tools to source, collate and assess information.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials, including narrated presentations and worked examples
  • synchronous group problems classes, workshops, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative exercises and other exercises
  • guided, structured reading

Assessment Information

Summative assessment will be by a onehour interview with two academics, on questions drawn from the lectures. The students will be expected to maintain a log of activity on the unit, and discuss this during the interview. Formative assessment will take place during the individual sessions and will be provided by the lecturer.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PHYSM0005).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.