PHY-30006 - Astrophysics Group Project and Science Communication - ISP
Coordinator: Pierre Maxted Room: LJ2.06 Tel: +44 1782 7 33457
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective





Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

The astrophysics group project gives students an opportunity to apply their skills developed during their degree to a real research project. The project for the group is selected by the module leader and has in recent years been based on the analysis of data from the WASP exoplanet survey. The projects often contribute to the research conducted within the Keele astrophysics group. Students work together to produce a group project report, and also individually to produce their own report that enables each student to explore some aspect of the topic in more depth. Guidance and support on writing reports at a professional level is provided during the module. The science communication aspect of the module enables the students to develop their skills in presenting results from the primary literature to different audiences and in different formats, e.g., as a talk to their peers or as an article for the general reader.

A: To give the students experience of project work in a realistic framework using research-quality astrophysical data. B: To give the students experience of organising and working in a team and to guide them in the development of the necessary skills. C: To develop further students' skills in communicating science to a range of audiences.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

plan, manage and execute a research project: 1,4
communicate scientific findings to a variety of audiences and in different formats: 1,2,3,4
use advanced software and statistical methods for the analysis of astrophysical data and interpret the results: 1,4

Study hours

60 hours laboratory time.
50 hours independent research and study.
34 hours report writing.
6 hours preparation for oral presentation.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Portfolio weighted 30%
Project execution portfolio
Students will respond to specific prompts based on workshops and skills sessions to complete a series of individual tasks including a project plan, a group report, and a project diary. The portfolio will be equivalent to 1000 words when completed.

2: Presentation weighted 10%
Presentation aimed at potential employer
Short presentation (10 minutes) aimed at a potential employer. The presentation should briefly summarise the context and results from the project work undertaking by the student for a non-expert audience, and describe the skills that the student has gained as a result of doing the project that are applicable to the role the student would be applying for with the employer.

3: Oral Exam weighted 10%
Assessment interview
An assessment interview (15 minuted) with supervisors carried out at the bench so that students may highlight or demonstrate relevant achievements and the principles underlying their work and conclusions.

4: Research Report weighted 50%
Project report
Report of about 4500 words on context, aims, methods, results and conclusions from the research conducted by the student aimed at final-year astrophysics student who has not participated in the project.