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BSc/MChem Chemistry with an Integrated Foundation Year / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Matter and Energy Phys 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code FOUN10061
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


An introduction to fundamental physical ideas with special reference to the relationship between matter and energy  



The aim is to introduce fundamental physical ideas with special reference to the relationship between matter and energy. 

Learning outcomes

Foundational skills will be reviewed in Section 1, such as the correct application of SI units, scientific notation, and mathematical problem-solving techniques. In Section 2, students learn about energy conservation and its application to various physical processes, along with calculations involving power, energy, and time. Section 3 focuses on thermal physics, including temperature scales, heat capacity, and phase changes. Section 4 introduces the kinetic theory of gases, covering properties like pressure, temperature, and the ideal gas law. Section 5 delves into thermodynamics, including the laws of thermodynamics and different types of thermodynamic processes. Finally, Section 6 explores the mechanical properties of materials, such as elastic deformation and Hooke's Law. Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to apply learned concepts to solve problems and analyze relationships graphically.


Topics covered:

Physical quantities

Dimensional analysis

Problem solving skills

Transfer and conservation of energy

Temperature and heat

Pressure in fluids

Ideal gas

Kinetic theory


Deformation of matter 

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, tutorials, drop-in sessions, private study.


Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles with regard to topics covered.

Intellectual skills

Interpret data in diagrammatic, graphical, numerical, symbolic and verbal form.

Adapt knowledge to novel and unfamiliar situations.

Perform relevant calculations.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Import mathematical knowledge and skills into the study of physics.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written exam 80%

Feedback methods

  • Exercise and Practice Questions to complete during lectures and tutorials

  • Drop In sessions

  • Marked coursework tests returned (usually the following week).

  • Examination scripts can be viewed by arrangement at a specified date

Recommended reading

Extensive study material (core text, exercises) is provided on Blackboard. There are no specific extra set books but suggestions for possible optional extra reading have been provided 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 24
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 64

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Ruiz Unit coordinator

Additional notes



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