PHY-30006 - Astrophysics Group Project and Science Communication - ISP
Coordinator: Pierre Fl 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 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective





To have successfully passed second year Astrophysics modules. Students progressing from the second year into the third year of the courses listed will have completed the Astrophysical Skills and techniques in level 1, and
PHY-20002 Stellar Astrophysics as well as the 2nd year programme of practical work in Astrophysics, on which this module will build.

Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

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; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2,3
use advanced software and statistical methods for the analysis of astrophysical data and interpret the results; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2,3
communicate scientific findings to a variety of audiences and in different formats. will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Study hours

Computer laboratory sessions: 65
Project meetings: 12
Attending presentations: 3
Project work, research, preparation: 40
Writing reports, talks and posters: 30

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Report weighted 60%
Individual Project Report
Report of about 5000 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.

2: Report weighted 10%
Group project report
Report of about 1000 words on the results of the research conducted by the research group in the format of a research note, technical note, or similar. One report to be submitted on behalf of the group with each student submitting a summary of their contribution to the group project and report. There will be about 6 students in each group.

3: Report weighted 10%
Project progress report
Progress report of about 500 words submitted approximately half-way through the research project.

4: Presentation weighted 10%
Oral presentation based on an article from the primary literature
Talk based on a suitable article from the primary literature aimed at a peers.

5: Poster Presentation weighted 10%
Poster based on an article from the primary literature
Poster based on a suitable article from the primary literature aimed at a general readership. (No oral presentation aspect to this assessment).