PHYC10200 Conceptual Physics

Academic Year 2023/2024

An understanding of physics is critical to address fundamental questions about our world and to innovate next generation technologies. This module presents an overview of the core physics concepts underlying many modern technologies. No prior physics knowledge is required. You do not need calculus or advanced maths for this module, but you should be comfortable, for example, adding fractions, using scientific notation, and with algebraic manipulation. This module is not a pre-requisite for any programme and designed as an elective module.

Topics covered include: Energy and thermodynamics, gravity and relativity, waves, light, and optics, and quantum mechanics.

Strongly recommended texts:
Physics and Technology for Future Presidents: An Introduction to the Essential Physics Every World Leader Needs to Know’ by Richard A. Muller

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module students should have a conceptual understanding of the physics behind many topical issues as well as an understanding of the large-scale structure of the world and universe around them. This should equip them with the ability to critically read articles in news papers and journals and come to their own informed decision as to the merits or otherwise of the arguments presented.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module is delivered in a blended manner. Scheduled classes will be a mix of traditional lectures, worked examples, and key topic revision.

There will be ample opportunity for self-directed learning via additional online resources and through the assignments throughout the semester. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PHYC10080 - Frontiers of Physics

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Assignments related to the various sections of the course Varies over the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Class Test: In class tests and/or quizzes Varies over the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: End of trimester exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn 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?

Feedback will be delivered during lectures to the class as a whole after assignments have been graded. Individual grades will be available on the student's Brightspace page.

‘Physics and technology for Future Presidents’, by Richard A Muller(Published by Princeton University Press)
Name Role
Dr Steve Campbell Tutor
Arnaldo Donoso Tutor
Professor Padraig Dunne Tutor
Ms Angela Dunne O'Toole Tutor