Laboratory skills such as:
- Assembling and operating apparatus.
- Following and recording experimental procedures.
- Taking and interpreting data.
- Determination of experimental uncertainties.
- Presenting the results of an experiment in a written report.
This is achieved by providing laboratory scripts and apparatus at a level appropriate for each year of study. In the first and second years the instructions are detailed but in the third year students are expected to take more initiative by deciding for themselves exactly how to organise their experiments. Demonstrators are available in all the laboratories but by the time they enter the third year students are expected to begin to work more independently. This is intended to smooth the transition to later project work.
All students carry out a Project, usually in their final year. This is intended to draw together many of the skills acquired during the course, including :
- Practical skills such as laboratory work and computing
- Organisational skills and time management
- Group working
- Data collection and analysis
- Presentation of results in a talk and a full written report.