Feedback for Students

Here you will find departmental and college policies on feedback that you will receive.

There are a number of places to get academic feedback during your time here as a physics student.

  • Office Hours: all lecture courses will have associated office hours. Here you can speak to the lecturer running the course to get one-on-one feedback. These are a great place to improve your understanding of course content.
  • Personal Tutorials: these should happen at least once per term, but we strongly encourage students to build a good relationship with their personal tutors. Your personal tutors will be able to provide feedback and will be willing to talk about your progress at any time. Students may contact their personal tutors to arrange a meeting.
  • Exam Feedback: lecturers are asked to provide feedback on the exams for their course. This will happen for all examinations. Expect these to be released in July or early August. See the section further down this page for more information.

The college has a policy on academic feedback. The Physics Department supports this policy and will actively work to meet its aims.

Key feedback points

Year 1

In Year 1 students will be given feedback at various points and by various people during the year. These will include:

  • Academic Tutorials - students can ask the lead tutor or the teaching assistant for feedback on their work (e.g. Assessed Problem Sheets) or ask wider questions about the subject.
  • Laboratory and Computing - students can expect feedback on their submitted work and will also have the opportunity to receive feedback whilst in the lab or computer suite.
  • Professional Skills - students can get feedback on CV writing, their Topical Review and problem solving skills during tutorials specifically run for professional skills exercises.
  • Christmas Test - mark each other’s work and provide learn to feedback yourself.
  • Projects - work closely with other students and a projector supervisor to produce a project and display presentation. Asking for and listening to feedback from both the supervisor and your peers is essential to getting a good mark.

If students are not happy with their academic feedback during their first year, they are encouraged to let the Head of Year 1 or Student Liaison Officer know about it.


Year 2

In Year 2 students will be given feedback at various points and by various people during the year. These will include:

  • Academic Tutorials - students can ask the lead tutor or the teaching assistant for feedback on their work (e.g. Assessed Problem Sheets) or ask wider questions about the subject.
  • Laboratory and Computing - students can expect feedback on their submitted work and will also have the opportunity to receive feedback whilst in the lab or computer suite.
  • Professional Skills - after two lectures early in term 2, students can get feedback on future career plans by speaking to a member of the careers team or their personal tutor
  • Scientific Article -

If students are not happy with their academic feedback during their second year, they are encouraged to let the Head of Year 2 or Student Liaison Officer know about it.


Year 3

In Year 3 students will be given feedback at various points and by various people during the year. These will include:

  • Academic Tutorials - these focus on preparing for the Comprehensive Examinations. All students will have weekly tutorials. Feedback will be provided as students work through problems during the tutorial, but this is also a good time to raise questions about core material that might still be unclear.
  • Laboratory - students can expect feedback on their submitted lab work. Each experiment will have a lead academic and a number of demonstrators on hand to provide feedback as students work in the lab.
  • Projects and Essays - students can expect feedback from their project or essay supervisor.
  • Professional Skills - students can expect feedback on their work and presenatations from a number staff working on the Year 3 Professional Skills course.
  • Computational Physics, Complexity & Networks and Instrumentation are FHEQ Level 6 courses and normally taken in year 3. All have a continuously assessed component that will be marked and have feedback associated with it.

If students are not happy with their academic feedback during their third year, they are encouraged to let the Head of Year 3/4 or Student Liaison Officer know about it.


Year 4

In Year 4 students will be given feedback at various points and by various people during the year. These will include:

  • MSci Projects - students should have regular meetings with their supervisors to get feedback on the progress.
  • Research Interfaces - this is a core course and 100% coursework. There are a number places to get feedback from staff members working on this course.
  • Rapid Feedback - this one hour sessions are linked to a number of theory options. A demonstrator will work though problems on the board, but students are encouraged to actively engage by asking questions.

If students are not happy with their academic feedback during their fourth year, they are encouraged to let the Head of Year 3/4 or Student Liaison Officer know about it.


Exam Feedback

In any education system assessment serves two distinct purposes. Formative assessment gives the student guidance on how well he/she is doing on the course and how he/she could improve.  Summative assessment determines the final degree classification. Often these two purposes are confused; sometimes for good reason.   Many students don’t do any work unless it counts towards their degree.

Here in Physics we consider examinations to be a type of summative assessment and we have highlited the many types of formative assessment above. We do ask all lecturers to provide general examination feedback for their course. This general feedback will highlight common themes in the paper that students either did well or did poorly. Students are strongly encourgaed to read these documents. A good example of this type of general examination feedback is provided by Jonathan Eastwood for the 2017 Space Physics exam.

The Physics Department does not currently provide access to exam scripts.