1.  Overview

Each week, you will work through a worksheet that introduces new programming techniques.  Please read through the worksheet before coming to class and try to work through the examples it contains.  At the end of the worksheet there are a number of exercises. You will be expected to complete the exercises during the lab session and hand in the answers either at the end of class.

The exercises from the worksheets are available on Learning Central.  Copy the worksheet to your home space (on the H: drive) and complete it.  If you get stuck on a problem, try looking back through the worksheet or looking for the answer on the internet before asking the demonstrators for help.

The topics covered each week are shown in the menu on the left.

2. Class Times

All lab classes last 3 hours.  They are scheduled as follows:

  • Group A: 14:00 -17:00 Thursday
  • Group B: 14:00 -17:00 Friday

There is also a class office hour from 10am-11pm  at the Year1 PC-Lab (N/1.30) on Mondays, where at least one of the instructors will be available to answer questions.

3. Demonstrators

3.1. In charge of classes

Tuesday: Dr Andreas Papageorgiou

Friday: Dr Andreas Papageorgiou

3.2. Your demonstrators

In each class there will also be 6 demonstrators providing help and marking. 

Zeeshan Ahmad
Ryan Beckerleg
Arjen van der Berg
Eleanor Hamilton
Gerwyn Jones
Thomas Williams
Harry Bounds
Tilly Evans
Tom Hutchins
Daniel Martin

4. Assessment

Exercises - These are done during lab and marked at the end of the lab session. They are marked out of 5, and each counts 5% towards your final grade.  In order to complete the exercises during the lab session, you are strongly encouraged to read through the worksheet and try the examples before coming to lab.

Assignments - There will be two assignments during the class.  They will be handed out at the start of weeks 6 and 10 and due in two weeks later.  The first  assignment is worth 20% of the course mark.  The final assignment is worth 30% of the mark.  Assignments will be announced on Learning Central.  They will also handed in through Learning Central, and will be due by 14:00 on Monday.


5. OFFICIAL INFORMATION - for further details please see Dr Annabel Cartwright


5.1. PX1224 is a Required Module

This is a Required Module. As with all required modules you will not be allowed to progress to the next year of study unless you pass this module.

5.2. Attendance at Laboratories

The acquisition of good computational and IT skills are an important part of all degree programmes offered by the School of Physics and Astronomy. Attendance at all scheduled computing classes is compulsory. Unscheduled absence from computing sessions will lead to loss of marks and possibly failure of the module. It is not always possible to offer summer resits in computing modules (see UG Student Handbook Appendix 1). Certain laboratory modules are required modules and you will not be allowed to progress to the next year of study unless you pass these units of study.

5.3. Submission of Coursework

Computing modules are assessed 100% through continual assessment. You will be informed at the start of the module when coursework will be distributed and what are the submission dates (and times); these deadlines are final and late submission will be awarded zero marks without exception. Coursework is submitted in a variety of ways, but usually either through the “post boxes” near the General Office or electronically through Learning Central. Major pieces of writing (e.g. formal laboratory reports, project reports and dissertations) are usually submitted electronically to Turnitin, an electronic system which helps identify plagiarism. When you submit(“Submission” is defined as presenting work for assessment in any form, including paper-based written work, electronic documents or words/images used in oral presentations) coursework there is an implicit agreement between you and the University that, unless stated to the contrary, any work you submit is exclusively your own work and that no part of the work has previously been submitted for assessment. When submitting work electronically, you are advised to submit the work in good time just in case of last-minute Internet or computing failures. You will not be able to submit work beyond the deadline set by the Module Organiser.

5.4. Requests for Extensions to Deadlines

If circumstances are such that you will not be able to meet deadlines for submission of coursework or attend a scheduled computing class, you should submit documented extenuating circumstances requesting an extension. You should always try to make this application prior to the deadline (even if it means submitting documentary proof after the event). You are advised to read carefully the guidance notes on extenuating circumstances to ensure that your requests and documentary proof are likely to be accepted. Note that requests for extensions resulting from poor time-management, computing problems or requests to attend sporting or cultural events or for holidays or travel etc. will not be accepted. We are normally able to offer extensions of one week beyond the published deadline but only rarely will longer extensions be granted. If you miss a scheduled computing session through legitimate extenuating circumstances, we can usually arrange for you to attend another session or additional sessions at the end of the semester. If requests for extensions are submitted more than one week after the published deadline for coursework submission these will normally be rejected and you will be awarded zero marks for that piece of work.

5.5. Avoidance of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of passing off the words or ideas of others as if your own. Advice on the avoidance of plagiarism is given in the UG Student Handbook (Appendix 2). There is also considerable help and advice on Learning Central and the University web site. You should be especially careful of plagiarism in computing tasks and you are advised not to share code through electronic means.

5.6. Resit opportunities in laboratory-based modules

The following is extracted from Appendix 1 – Examining Board Rules and Conventions from the UG
Student Handbook, which should be read in full.

1. Students are expected to attend all scheduled laboratory classes.

2. Subject to the attendance requirements stated in Clause 3 and 4 below, students must have acquired a minimum module mark of 30 if they are to be offered summer resits. (Note that there are minimum requirements for credit accumulation across the year to be eligible for summer resits. See the UG Student Handbook.) Failure to reach this threshold will require re-assessment of the whole module in the coming academic year. The resit module mark will be capped at 40%.

3. Students who fail to attend at least 80% of their scheduled laboratory classes will be deemed to have failed that module. In such cases, if a student has acquired a mark of 40% or greater, the Module Organiser will return a mark of 39% Fail. If the student has acquired a mark of less than 40% the actual mark will be returned. Subject to the restriction of Clause 4 below, students who have failed laboratory-based modules will be offered a summer resit involving further practical or written work 4 . In order to pass
the module, any additional work undertaken must in itself be of a sufficient standard to be awarded a pass mark and the accumulated mark must raise the module mark to the pass threshold. The resit module mark will be capped at 40%.

4. If a student has failed to attend at least 60% of the scheduled laboratory classes, a summer resit will not be offered and the student will instead be required to be re-assessed in the whole module in the following academic year; this will require the normal expectations of attendance and the module mark will be capped at 40%.

5. Students who miss a laboratory session but who provide valid extenuating circumstances (i.e. requests for extensions) will be given an opportunity to repeat the session either in another scheduled class or at the end of the teaching period.

6. Some of the School’s laboratory-based modules are required modules and students will not progress under any circumstances with fails in these modules.

5.7. Decile Level descriptors

Decile range


Level Descriptions



The assessed work is as good as could reasonably be expected from a student at this level. It is uniformly-excellent in meeting the task specifications. It contains no major lapses and very few (if any) minor lapses.



Work of very high quality, but not quite as good as could reasonably be expected from a student at this level. It is uniformly very good and sometimes excellent in meeting the task specifications. It contains no major lapses and few minor lapses.


Very good

Taken as a whole the work is very good in meeting the task specification. It contains no major lapses but does contain a number of minor lapses.



Taken as a whole the work is good in meeting the task specifications It may contain a small number of major and minor lapses, or no major lapses but significant minor lapses.



Satisfactory work taken as a whole. It is likely to show significant variability in meeting the task specifications. It is likely to contain a number of major and minor lapses.



Adequate work taken as a whole. It is likely to have significant deficiencies in meeting the task specifications. It is likely that the work will reveal substantial gaps in understanding and have significant major and minor lapses.



Insufficient relevant content, serious errors/omissions/lapses.



Little relevant content, extensive errors/omissions/lapses.



Very Little relevant content, extensive errors/omissions/lapses.



Essentially no relevant content, extensive errors/omissions/lapses.