PHYC10120 Physics in Medicine

Academic Year 2023/2024

This is the first of two physics modules that forms the core material for Stage 1 Medical and BHLS students. It addresses the fundamentals of mechanics, energy, fluids, heat, sound and light. This is the foundation in physics that is required for a continued learning in physics and technology, both in further courses and self-directed through a medical career.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module you will have a grounding in the principles of mechanics, energy, fluids, heat, sound and light. This will equip you with the fundamental physics required for a continued learning in physics and technology, both in more advanced courses and in independent learning throughout your medical career.

Indicative Module Content:

Content is presented in four themes: 1) Mechanics; 2) Energy, Momentum and Torque; 3) Fluids and Heat; 4) Waves, Sound and Light.

Maths underpins science. We pull upon basic calculus, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, vectors and graphing. For those that haven’t done hons-maths or physics before, or those that are a bit rusty, go through the 'Prestart Maths' material linked from our Overview on Brightspace before the module starts.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours






Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Discussion and independent thought are the most powerful tools in science. In a hybrid structure, you work/discuss in class and you also study independently using online materials to learn and solve problems.

Material is delivered in four similarly structured themes. Each Tuesday I overview the week's new materials in class. Each Thursday we solve numerical problems (part assessed) and you ask questions. Each Thursday you also have a tutorial focused to your weekly assigned homework.

PDF materials are provided ahead of each week in which you are linked to lectured video by clicking on emojis at the top of pages. You annotate these materials in advance by watching this video and by reading chapters recommended weekly from our course text and finally, during each Tuesday overview in class.

Labs are rooted in independent observation, something core to science. You write up a report during each session and hand this in at the end of that session.

I encourage you to form your own informal small group to discuss non-assessed work. However, assessments are based on independent work. Assessments are continuous throughout the semester in the form of quizzes on brightspace and in class. An upside to continuous assessment is that there is no final examination during your December exam period.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Honours Mathematics Leaving Cert (Ireland) or equivalent
Leaving Certificate Physics or equivalent

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PHYC10010 - Physics I, PHYC10020 - Physics of the Cell for lifesc, PHYC10030 - Physics of Macro-organisms, PHYC10060 - Fields, Waves & Light, PHYC10070 - Foundations of Physics, PHYC10080 - Frontiers of Physics, PHYC10090 - Physics II, PHYC10150 - Physics for Engineers I, PHYC10160 - Physics for Engineers II, PHYC10180 - Physics for Ag. Science, PHYC10190 - Aspects of Physics for Ag. Sci, PHYC20080 - Fields, Waves and Light

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: MCQ Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Lab Report: Laboratory practicals Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Results are posted on Brightspace. We then address concerns and work through solutions to questions in a post-discussion session held after each assessment that is driven by your questions.

Chapters are recommened weekly from the following text, for reading in sync with the module delivery. This is also the text for your second semester module, Phys in Med II.

Recommended text: ‘Physics, Principles with Applications’, by Douglas C. Giancoli (7th Edition, Pearson)

Approach me if any questions about books.