School of Physics and Astronomy

Welcome to the School of Physics and Astronomy. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about starting your studies. We’ve also included some helpful links at the bottom to direct you to anything else you might need.

If you’re a postgraduate researcher, find your faculty welcome and induction information to help you get started

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO BEFORE I ARRIVE? 

If you’re a new student, you’ll need to register and make sure you have IT access. Then you need to make your optional module choices. For more information on how to do this click here. You should also view your induction timetable ahead of induction week (this will be emailed to you) which takes place in week commencing Monday 18th of January. 

Make sure you’ve got all of your belongings with you – don’t forget your passport and acceptance letters!

WHAT DOES MY INDUCTION TIMETABLE LOOK LIKE? 

You will be emailed your induction timetable in January. During Induction week you’ll get the chance to learn more about your course, undertake a mini project and meet other students on your course, including students that both started in September and are starting in January.

HOW WILL I GET TO KNOW OTHER STUDENTS? 

You’ll meet others during induction week activities, Physics Society (Physoc) social events, group-based learning in modules, and our dedicated Microsoft Teams student space/virtual coffee bar which includes a channel especially for MSc students. 

WHAT WELCOME ACTIVITIES DO YOU HAVE PLANNED TO WELCOME ME TO PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY? 

We have a diverse range of activities planned. Our induction activities will help you understand your course, meet the academics and your personal tutor as well as other students on your course. You can also check out the Leeds University Union welcome schedule and get involved with the many events happening in January. Most of our activities will take place online so please make sure you familiarise yourself with the guidance on how to join online meetings. 

ARE THERE ANY SOCIETIES I CAN JOIN FOR THE SCHOOL/PROGRAMME? 

Yes. The Physics Society (Physoc) s our academic society run by students for students. Physoc organise regular events and socials as well as an annual trip to CERN. Whilst it may not be possible to have a trip to CERN in Spring 2021, we hope that you will still be able to enjoy Physoc events during your studies. The best way to keep up-to-date with Physoc events and news is by joining the society.

HOW WILL I MEET MY ACADEMIC PERSONAL TUTOR? HOW WILL ACADEMIC PERSONAL TUTORING WORK? 

Your personal tutor is an academic that will support your progress throughout your degree. You’ll meet your personal tutor one-to-one during induction week. You can approach your personal tutor if you have questions about the course, your module choices or would like to discuss your academic progress.

WILL I BE REQUIRED TO ATTEND FACE-TO-FACE SESSIONS? 

We are expecting all students to attend timetabled face-to-face sessions where possible and scheduled. If you’ve got concerns about being able to attend, either due to health reasons, or because you are still overseas, please contact our student support team.

HOW WILL I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY PROGRAMME? 

You’ll find plenty of information during induction week, including what the compulsory and optional modules are, and the overall programme structure for your degree. You can also find more information in the Taught Postgraduate Programme Catalogue. Your first lecture for each module will cover the content of that module. 

HOW WILL I HAVE MY SAY ON MY PROGRAMME AND SCHOOL? 

You can have your say on your programme in a variety of ways: 
•    Mid and end of module surveys (feedback on specific modules)  
•    Via your School and Student Representatives. We have Representatives for every programme and every year. You’ll have the opportunity to volunteer for these important roles. Our Representatives are members of the School Student Staff Partnership Forum where concerns and ideas can be shared and addressed.  
•    Postgraduate Survey at the end of your degree. 

HOW WILL I BE ABLE TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON THE DELIVERY OF MY MODULES? 

You’ll be able to provide feedback on every module that you study in the following ways: 
•    Speaking to your Student Representatives – feedback given will be discussed at Student Staff Forums. 
•    Contact module leaders directly.  
•    Mid-module surveys – a chance to give feedback on how you are finding a module halfway through, staff will act on feedback and where possible amend the module in response to your feedback e.g. add a revision session in at the end or go back over a topic. 
•    End of module surveys – a chance to give feedback at the ed of the module. 

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF COURSE REPRESENTATIVES AND HOW DO I VOLUNTEER? 

Each University course, including undergraduate and postgraduate courses, has Student Representatives. Student Reps are expected to collect feedback from students on their course and present this feedback to members of staff in the school at Student Staff Partnership Forum meetings throughout the academic year. 

To find out more about becoming a Student Rep please visit the Physics and Astronomy Minerva organisation. You can volunteer at any time during the year. A list of Student Reps for each course and year will also be kept up-to-date once teaching starts. 

The Physics and Astronomy undergraduate School Representative for 2020/21 is Zachary Gilbert-Murphy, we are currently looking for a postgraduate School Representative as well as more MSc Student Representatives. If you are interested in the volunteering for the role please email Jess Balme (J.M.Balme@leeds.ac.uk)

HOW DOES ASSESSMENT WORK ON MY PROGRAMME AND WHAT SUPPORT IS PROVIDED WITH ACADEMIC SKILLS? 

This year we have introduced mid-term assessment week for all students. During this week (expected to be week 6) you will have short assessments/tests on most of your modules to check on your progress. During this week, regular lectures for modules with assessments will not take place, to give you time to prepare for the tests. In most cases the tests will be electronic and you’ll get feedback on your progress.   

For most modules, there will be an end of module online, time-limited assessment (OTLA) that will be open book. Typically you will have 48 hours to complete the assessment (they are expected to take around 4 hours to do) and you’ll submit your work online. This will happen during the ‘examination period’ at the end of the semester (May/June and January). You can see the range of assessment types for each of your modules by looking in the module catalogue. Please note that we may revert back to on campus exams for the autumn/winter semester in 2021.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIALIST SOFTWARE OR SYSTEMS THAT I NEED FOR MY PROGRAMME AND WHERE DO I FIND OUT INFORMATION ABOUT IT?  

No, though we would advise you to install Office 365, which is available through your University account. You will need standard MS Office including Excel, Word and PowerPoint and a computer with reliable access to the internet. Once you have registered at the University you will need to access Minerva which is the University’s Portal and Virtual Learning Environment. You can find out how to navigate Minerva here

WHERE CAN I GO FOR SUPPORT?  

If you need any assistance contact the Taught Student Office (TSO). This is a shared inbox monitored by all staff in the TSO and they will either respond to your query or let you know who you can go to for help. Please note Taught Student Office will only reply during normal working hours. Staff in the Taught Student Office are; Jessica Balme, Benedict Doran and Isobel Fielder. 

Links to addional school resources

 Physics and Astronomy Minerva organisation

Other useful links