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					                               BROWN UNIVERSITY


          These notes are addressed to all current and incoming graduate students in Physics--for
the first year as a guide to planning activities, for later as a checklist on progress. The University
Catalogue is the primary reference for degree requirements and options.

February 2011

                                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction                                                         3

Counseling & Communication                                          3-4

List of Departmental Committees                                      4

Digest of Program & Requirements                                    5-8

Academic Good Standing & Conditions for Continued Financial Aid     5-6

Qualifying Examination                                               6

Preliminary Examination                                              6

Final Oral Examination                                               7

Master's Degree Requirements                                         7

Core Courses-Advanced Courses                                       7-8

Course Waivers & Transfers                                          7-8

Research in Graduate Study                                         8-10

Interdepartmental Research Projects                                9-10

Teaching Experience                                                 10

Financial Support                                                 10-11

Facilities                                                          12

Miscellaneous Information                                           12

Appendix: Qualifying Exam Information                             13-17

                                       A. INTRODUCTION

         The aim of the Graduate Program in Physics is to train professional physicists of high
competence, a state interpreted as including both a mastery of the fundamental principles, facts
and methods of the discipline and the capability to plan and carry out original investigations
leading to new and useful knowledge. The program is research-oriented and biased toward the
Ph.D. It is not career-oriented or slanted toward specific fields of specialization. The temporary
specialization demanded by a student's research is conceived as a part of the academic
experience and in many cases will be abandoned upon graduation, entailing neither loss nor
waste. Similarly the advanced Degree in Physics imposes no career commitment. It certifies a
command of certain intellectual tools of broad validity, physics' modes of thought and of attacking
the unknown. The Physics Degree includes, but is not limited to, a license to practice research
and/or teaching in Physics.

         These aims underlie the two broad phases of the graduate program: courses and
research. The intent is to retain the maximum of individual freedom which is consistent with
attainment and demonstration of a professional level of competence in both phases. The system
of grades, examinations and associated requirements has three functions: to certify achievement
of the program objectives, to monitor progress toward them, and to identify students of highest
promise and accomplishment in a systematic way. They are meant to protect the University
against devaluation of its degrees, the student against an unprofitable investment of time and
effort, and both against the ineffective distribution of limited resources for financial support.

        Faculty members are willing and able to give information, advice and assistance at all
stages of graduate work. They feel a real interest in the individual student, a stake in his/her
present progress and future career, and respect for his/her privacy and dignity as a person. The
student/faculty ratio has remained low, contact is meant to be informal and unconstrained, and
each student should come to know and be known by a number of faculty members in a short
time. The number and effectiveness of these interpersonal contacts depends largely on the
student's own initiative. In general, faculty members will not seek a student out but will welcome

                           B. COUNSELING AND COMMUNICATION

        The Department has traditionally been distinguished by a relaxed and informal interaction
among its faculty members and graduate students. We count this tradition as one of our assets
and consciously seek to preserve it, but to do so we must now rely more heavily on mechanisms
of contact and on student initiative than when more people were involved. Course contacts,
seminars and colloquia are convenient occasions to become acquainted with faculty members.

        No less important than interaction with the faculty, and equally dependent upon a
voluntary effort to communicate, is the communication among graduate students at various levels
of advancement. The grapevine is a unique and important source of information which should not
be neglected. Do not hesitate to ask other students questions.

         Formal mechanisms for faculty counseling are currently limited to three. Each student's
first-year course program is discussed with him/her upon entrance in light of his/her background
and aims. Once an association with a research supervisor has been established (usually at the
end of the first year), this association forms the one-to-one relationship, which is the primary
counseling mechanism. Finally, one faculty member is designated Director of Graduate Studies,
who chairs a Graduate Advising Committee. The responsibilities of this committee include
providing an open line for communication with the faculty as a whole on matters of general or

individual concern, individual counseling services (available at all stages but of particular
importance in the period before a research affiliation is established), an awareness of each
student's progress within the graduate program, and a liaison with the Graduate School. A
department staff member serves as the Graduate Coordinator and is available to assist you with
all other graduate matters.

        There are several ad hoc committees and individual positions to deal with specific
matters. The complete list of Departmental Committee duties is available from Kathy Brobisky,
Room 406. Some of these that are of interest to students are:

         Graduate Advising Committee
         Committee on Graduate Curriculum
         Colloquium/Seminar Committee
         Library (Dept., Rm. 537) and Representative, Sciences Library
         Qualifying and Preliminary Exam Committee
         Committee on Graduate Student Admission
         Shop Committee
         T.A. Training Committee


        In brief, the Ph.D. candidate first completes six prescribed core courses and then
conducts an original investigation under the sponsorship of a particular faculty member (research
supervisor), at the same time taking at least four advanced courses to bring his/her knowledge of
the chosen specialty to research level.

        The first year is spent wholly on the prescribed courses, although it is highly desirable
that a research field be chosen and, if possible, an understanding reached with a research
supervisor before the end of that year. In the second year the core courses are concluded, one
or two advanced courses taken in the chosen specialty area, and active work is begun with a
research group, usually participation in ongoing projects for orientation and assimilation of the
ways and means of the selected research area. In the third year formal course work usually ends
with two more advanced courses. An independent research project gets underway, thereafter
absorbing the student's full effort until it is completed and embodied in the formal thesis.

       The Department has adopted the following Criteria Defining the Standing of Graduate

         The following criteria defining Good Standing also set out the normal progress of a
Physics graduate student's career at Brown. Every student admitted to the graduate Physics
program enters in Good Standing, and it is the expectation and desire of the Physics Faculty that
all Physics graduate students will remain in Good Standing, completing a Ph.D. degree.

        Students appointed as Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants are required to take
three full courses per semester. Students holding Brown University or U.S. Government
sponsored scholarships or Fellowships are required to take four full courses per semester.
Reading and research courses may only be taken by first year students either as a fourth course
or under special circumstances with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies. Note: You
cannot drop a course without consulting with the Director of Graduate Studies first!!

A student will be in Good Standing if he or she:
    A. Passes three approved courses each semester if a Teaching Assistant, or four courses if
       holding a Fellowship, after two semesters of graduate study at Brown; then passes or is
       excused from taking the remainder of the "core" courses by the end of four semesters of
       graduate study at Brown and achieves the following core course grade record: no N.C.'s
       and at least 50% B's or better by the end of two semesters and no remaining N.C.'s or I's
       and 50% B's or better by the end of four semesters.

    B. Passes the Qualifying Exam and receives faculty approval to continue a graduate career
       in Physics by the end of his or her fourth semester of graduate study at Brown.

    C. Establishes a plan for financial support with a research advisor who can guide his or her
       PhD research effort within two semesters of passing the qualifying exam or by the
       start of his or her fifth semester of graduate study, whichever comes first. The
       relationship with the research advisor is expected to remain through the student's PhD
       study. This relationship and the associated plan of support must be endorsed by the
       department chair.

    D. Passes the Preliminary Oral Exam by the end of the sixth semester of graduate study at

    E. Satisfactorily performs any teaching and/or research duties.

        A student failing to meet at least one of these criteria is not in Good Standing unless a
prior exception has been made by the Department Chair in consultation with the Director of
Graduate Studies.       Examples of exceptional circumstances include illness, inadequate
preparation for some graduate courses and/or postponement of the Qualifying Exam, or personal
problems. A record of any exception and the relevant reasons will be kept by the Chair and the
Director of Graduate Studies along with each student's course grades, Qualifying and Preliminary
Exam results and current standing.

        It is expected that all core courses will be taught and taken ABC/NC. For any Physics
graduate student who passes a core course with an S, the instructor will prepare an evaluation
form for the Chair, which evaluation will include an equivalent ABC letter grade for use in
establishing standing.

         It is anticipated that students in Good Standing will so continue. It is also anticipated that
in addition to the requirements in A. above, students will perform satisfactorily in all courses.
Records of course grades will be kept by the Director of Graduate Studies, whose responsibility it
is to inform the faculty if an advanced graduate student (third year or beyond) is not doing
satisfactorily in courses. The faculty may then act. At an appropriate meeting, the Physics
Faculty will discuss the performance of graduate students. Those fulfilling the above criteria are
assured automatic Good Standing. The standing of those students who do not meet these
criteria will then be discussed by the Faculty.

         In addition, if a student is not in Good Standing, then either: the Department Chair, after
consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the student's research supervisor (if there
is one), may discontinue the student's teaching assistantship if the student has not been taken on
as a research assistant, or the research supervisor after consultation with the Department Chair
and the Director of Graduate Studies may discontinue the student's research assistantship.
These decisions will be communicated to the student and the Physics Faculty in writing as soon
as possible.

        The Qualifying Examination normally taken at the start of the second year is the
Department's primary instrument for admitting students into the upper levels of the Ph.D.
program. Its purpose is to evaluate the achieved whether a student’s understanding of
fundamental general physics is adequate for success in independent physics research. It may be
taken in the spring of the first year by prepared students (permitting an earlier start on research),
or deferred in the case of a first-year program that did not include the normal complement of core
courses. See the appendix for more details.

        The Preliminary Examination, which should be taken during the third year, evaluates a
student's ability to understand and orally convey a physics research topic of current interest.


           At least two weeks prior to taking the Preliminary Exam, a student submits an
            abstract to a three person faculty committee, whom they have chosen in consultation
            with their research advisor by the end of the second year. This committee should
            include the research advisor.          The abstract provides a brief description
            (approximately one typed 8-1/2 x 11 page in length) of the topics that the student will
            present and in which they are willing to be tested during the exam. The topic may be
            in the area of the student's research or may represent a specific research paper,
            provided its subject is dealt with in sufficient generality, perhaps preceded by an
            appropriate introduction formulated by the student.

           The first forty minutes of the exam is devoted to a prepared presentation by the
            student. He/She should expect questions, based upon his/her graduate course work
            and relevant to the topic under discussion.

           A two-thirds favorable vote is necessary to pass. The exam may be retaken as

         After the Ph.D. thesis is completed and approved, there is a Final (Oral) Examination--
often called defense of the thesis. Rules of the Graduate School require that this Final
Examination take place within five years after the Preliminary Examination, unless special
circumstances justify an extension. The sense of Preliminary can now be seen: the two
examinations mark the formal beginning and completion of the independent research work. In
general the Thesis Defense Committee will consist of the same faculty who served on the
student’s Preliminary Exam, though changes can be made in consultation with the research
advisor. These faculty will function as research and career mentors to the student over the course
of his/her thesis work.

        An aggregate of three years of full-time study while in residence at Brown is required and
is automatically satisfied in the normal program of classroom and research courses. It may be
possible to meet part of this requirement by transfer of credit from another institution.

      It is the individual student's responsibility to make sure, before appearing for the Final
Examination, that all of his/her Departmental and University requirements have been met.

         The Master's Degree in this Department (Sc.M.) at present is not a simple recognition
of a year of graduate work. It stands for a genuine and honorable level of achievement, different
in kind as in level from undergraduate study. Its minimum requirements consist of eight courses.
These would normally be 2000-level Physics courses, e.g., the core courses Physics 2010, 2030,
2040, 2050, 2060, 2140. Other courses outside the Department or 1000-level courses could be
substituted by permission of the Physics Department. No more than two courses can be
research courses. At least half of the grades in the core courses and in the 1000-level courses
must be B's or better under the ABC/NC option, or must represent performance of equivalent
quality under the S/NC option (a written recommendation from the instructor will be required in
this case) or else the student must have passed the Qualifying Examination for the Ph.D. in

        Ordinarily a thesis is not required for the Sc.M., but the Department reserves the right to
require a thesis in special cases. Such a decision is made no later than one semester after the
student announces to the Department Chair his/her candidacy for a Master's Degree in Physics.

                                          D. COURSES

        The six prescribed core courses are:

Physics 2010            Laboratory Course
Physics 2030, 2040      Classical Theoretical Physics I & II
Physics 2050, 2060      Quantum Mechanics
Physics 2140            Statistical Mechanics

         No student should be asked to repeat work already done, and those who believe they
have substantially covered the content of any of the core courses should ask (at their first
registration conference, or of the Director of Graduate Studies at any time) to be excused from

taking the corresponding course(s) in the list above.              Conversely, significant gaps in
undergraduate preparation are sometimes filled by taking one or more 1000-level courses in the
first year. Such courses carry full graduate credit if the grade is B or better.

        After the first semester, a student who has done graduate work before coming to Brown
may request transfer credit for courses so taken, provided their content does not duplicate course
work he/she has done or will do at Brown, subject to a limit of eight courses (Ph.D.) or one course
(Sc.M.). Such a transfer of credit in effect incorporates the courses into the Brown program.
Although a given course taken elsewhere may qualify both for a credit transfer and a waiver of
one of this Department's core courses, this is not necessarily so:

        --- A waiver excuses the student from one of the Department's required courses but does
             not contribute to either residence or tuition requirements.

        --- A credit transfer reduces both of the latter, but may have no effect on the Department's
             specific course requirement.

        Beyond the core courses, Ph.D. candidates are expected to pass four advanced courses,
in addition to research courses, to strengthen and update their knowledge of their chosen
research fields. The student's own taste and the supervisor's recommendations are both vital
guides at this point, and it should be possible to accommodate both. At least two of these
advanced courses have to be chosen from the 2000 level courses offered by the Physics
department. The rest can be from offerings of other departments subject to the approval of the
Director of Graduate Studies. The Department's offerings at this level vary from year to year. The
student should consult the Department's annual listing of course announcements. Special
courses can sometimes be arranged in response to student requests, given sufficient numbers
and sufficient warning. Reading courses can only be counted towards the advanced course
requirement upon approval by the Director of Graduate Studies, who will consult with the reading
course supervisor.

          The sequence of advanced courses in the various fields of specialization shades almost
imperceptibly into the various weekly series of topical seminars and departmental colloquia.
These are a major constituent of the graduate program, and regular attendance and occasional
participation are expected of each student. They provide not only contact with the current
literature but also a first-hand experience in professional Physics research. (It is possible to learn
also from less exciting visiting speakers as well as the most stimulating ones.)

         The normal full-time course load for Teaching or Research Assistants is three courses at
a time, and four for others. After the first year fewer classroom courses are taken and a full-time
registration is maintained by the assignment of course credits for research activity (designated
PHYS2980). If all core and advanced courses have been taken, registration should be for
Research (PHYS2980) Triple credit each semester until 24 tuition credits have accrued. After 24
tuition credits have been accumulated, Thesis Preparation (PHYS2990) is usually the appropriate
course to take. A similar adjustment is occasionally made in the first year, e.g., in the cases of
foreign students for whom special work in English is recommended. The concept of full-time load
is federally defined prerequisite for the tenure of federal fellowships.

         Individual course registrations are submitted online via the University’s Banner
registration system.


          Most students enter graduate school without a clear preconception of which specific
research field attracts them most strongly. It is an important function of the first year to evoke
such a preference, through courses, colloquia and seminars, and informal discussions with
faculty and other graduate students. The primary aim should be to establish a choice of field
before the end of the first year, so that active association with a research group can begin during
the first summer at Brown. It is not intended to force a premature choice; changes of direction
are possible, but the sooner a reasoned choice can be made and acted upon, the smoother will
be the transition from course work to research. It should be clearly understood that a Teaching
Assistantship in the second year is in no way guaranteed (See also: FINANCIAL SUPPORT).

        Establishment of a research connection obviously requires not only concentrated thought
but substantial initiative on the part of the individual concerned. Three steps are involved:

        --- learning what kinds of work are going on and hence what is available

        --- estimating what your opportunities, duties and daily life might be in those groups that
            interest you

        --- establishing a personal connection

          Colloquia and seminars (especially those specifically reviewing current Departmental
activities), the Department's brochure and discussions with the Director of Graduate Studies or
any faculty member with whom you have become acquainted will help in the first stage. You
should talk at length with graduate students and supervisors in the groups that interest you. The
last, of course, is accomplished by a direct approach to the Faculty member with whom you
would like to work, an expression of your interest and a request that you be accepted as a
research student. You should begin this process well before the end of Semester II.

        The Department aims at giving all possible freedom to every student in the choice of
doctoral research, including the right to change fields for good reason. However, practical
obstacles may arise--notably, that the preferred research group or groups cannot at that time
handle any more students. It is very important that students explore a variety of research
opportunities across several fields of physics.

         Subject to the annual availability of funds, the Department considers itself obligated to
continue financial support of students admitted with support--under some provisos. These are
that, reciprocally, such students:

        --- are expected to remain in good academic standing,

        --- to perform well whatever duties are connected with support (e.g., teaching for
            teaching assistants),

        --- to pass, in turn, the Qualifying and Preliminary Examinations, and

        --- to evidence both ability and effort in Ph.D. research.

         Interdepartmental research projects carried out entirely in a related department are
possible in connection with a Ph.D. in Physics. Specific proposals should be discussed, in
advance of any commitment, with the Advisor as well as with the outside Faculty Members who
may be involved. In such cases a Physics Faculty Member is associated with the program as
liaison, the student is subject to the normal Physics Department requirements, and the thesis
must be approved by both departments involved.

         The Department assumes proper Ph.D. research to be of publishable quality, and thesis
results are expected to be published in the professional literature. In all stages of the work the
supervisor has the primary role in evaluating the quality of the research. The research proposal
may be considered by other faculty members in the student's Preliminary Examination, and the
completed project should be approved by thesis readers representing the Department. A
member of another department may also act in this role if his familiarity with the project is
adequate. In general, the thesis readers will be the same faculty who served on the student’s
Prelim Exam committee, though changes can be made in consultation with the research advisor.
The members of the Prelim Exam can thus be drawn upon for informal counseling while the
research is in progress. As to the technicalities of preparing a thesis (for both degrees) and the
procedures and deadline of the final semester of the Ph.D. program, condensed guides are
available from the Graduate School and from the Office of the Chair.

                                   F. TEACHING EXPERIENCE

         In addition to being the duty for teaching assistants, teaching experience is an integral
part of graduate study in Physics at Brown. Certainly such experience would be valuable to those
who aim toward careers involving teaching. Now, as in the past, some academic people believe
that teaching experience has relevance in graduate education comparable to that of research.

        It is still true that more than half of our Physics graduate students hold teaching
assistantships for at least a year (usually the first). The Department will do its best to
accommodate students who want to do some or some more teaching, perhaps later in their
program. Also the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning sponsors many events, seminars
and forums open to the entire Brown Community.

         For all those interested in the philosophy, strategy and techniques of teaching, close
attention to those aspects of the weekly colloquia will provide both good and not so good case

          At the start of each year, discussion sections are conducted by Faculty, Staff and
Administrators to introduce new Teaching Assistants to their duties and privileges. It is expected
that all Teaching Assistants will attend these sessions when notified.

                                     G. FINANCIAL SUPPORT

         Because they are not yet fully prepared for research, most first-year students who are not
supported by fellowships are teaching assistants (TA’s). Support as a TA for a second year is not
guaranteed. As soon as possible thereafter, students should try for research assistantships
(RA's), which (Section E above) requires a combination of acceptance and current availability of
funds in a research project. TA's are supported from the University's instructional budget or,
rather, the part of it specifically allocated to Physics each year for this purpose. Stipends for RA's
come out of those specific contracts or grants--mainly from the Federal Government--that support
research projects. A TA's duties are normally in the laboratory component of either an
undergraduate or a graduate course. An RA initially goes through the equivalent of on-the-job
training and as soon as possible progresses to an individual topic expected to culminate in a
Ph.D. thesis. In either case, there is a specific faculty supervisor.

          Holders of fellowships or the equivalent have no assigned duties other than continuation
as full-time student taking four courses each semester. TA’s and RA’s are limited by the rules of
the Graduate School to taking three courses each semester. External fellowships awarded in
national competition require that the individual student apply. They are publicized by notices
posted in the Department. Fellowships and the like within the University's jurisdiction are
awarded by the Graduate School on the joint basis of Departmental nomination, decision by
merit, and availability of funds. All assistantships cover the academic year only (September
through May) or in some instances one semester only.

         Fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships provide for tuition
sufficient to maintain standing as a full-time student (after all tuition requirements have been met,
to cover the annual registration fee). In the first two categories, tuition is remitted. In addition to
provisions for handling tuition, there is a nine-month stipend, which by present Departmental
policy is the same for all categories of support.

        There are differences as to academic progress that results from the differing categories
of support. Obviously holders of fellowships or self-supported students can get through required
course work faster than can assistants and so are earlier free to devote full time to research. On
the other hand, TA's tend to orient themselves sooner with the Department, becoming acquainted
with more students and faculty members. Consequently, they may begin earlier an acquaintance
with research prospects.       Holders of fellowships should strive to gain a similar early
acquaintance. Research Assistants usually have the advantage of being paid for doing their own
research, once it is started. There is no convincing evidence, however, that the total time to
reach the Ph.D. depends appreciably upon the pattern of financial support. Ability, drive,
previous preparation and sometimes a degree of luck are more important factors.

        In keeping with a general aim for the fastest possible progress toward the Ph.D.,
consistent with good health and good work, graduate students are usually expected to work at
Brown during the summer, if possible. The first summer can be a profitable period of
assimilation, with some combination of preparation for qualifying examinations, teaching
experience and research apprenticeship. In later summers the uncommitted time is invaluable for
research. Students who go into research groups in the summer between their first and second
year almost always receive summer support. Brown does not charge tuition in the summer.

                                         H. FACILITIES

        Many facilities and amenities are available, ranging from necessities of graduate work to
things which simply make life agreeable. Those outside of Barus & Holley include the libraries,
Graduate Center and recreational facilities, and extend to the life of the campus at large. They
are most quickly discovered by a combination of exploration, conversation, attention to circulated
notices and the weekly bulletin. A few of those closest to home are cited below. (Suggestions for
additions to this listing are solicited, in the hope that it will become more useful as it grows.)

         Extensive computer facilities are available, most associated with individual research
groups. New students automatically receive an account on the Department’s Windows server.
Additionally, use of remote supercomputers can be arranged and extensive computer networks
exist on campus with connections worldwide.

        The Student (Machine) Shop is on the main floor of Prince Laboratory. It is under the
supervision of Mr. Charles Vickers. (Previously, the shop staff offered an informal course for
graduate students--not for academic credit and no tuition required--in the elements of machine
shop skills. About a dozen physics graduate students enrolled, and several from other
departments. This program is being continued on an ad hoc basis).

          A small Departmental Research Library (Rm. 537) is available to all graduate students. A
full collection of journals and books is available in the Science Library, and most collections are
now online, accessible both to on and off campus computers.

         A Reading Room (Rm. 202) is open to both undergraduate and graduate students during
part of each day and in the evening. For access to Rms. 537 or 202, please see Barbara Dailey,
Rm. 408.

        Expert advice on a broad spectrum of research techniques is, of course, available for the
asking in the various laboratories and offices in the building.

                              I. MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

        Information about the research activities of specific groups or faculty members can be
gained from many sources. The most obvious way is to ask an appropriate faculty member. It is
equally desirable and useful to talk with students already engaged in research.

        As additional background material, the authors and titles of Ph.D. theses for the past
several years, with the faculty supervisors, are available from the Graduate Coordinator. Finally,
the topical outlines of Physics core courses and other additional material can be found on the
Physics Department web page:

       Fluency in English is an important skill for physicists. We urge (and may require) you to
take advantage of the courses and assistance offered by the University and the International

APPENDIX: the Qualifying Examination

I. Composition and Duties of the Qualifying Committee

         1. This Committee (Qualifying Prelim Committee, QPC hereinafter) shall comprise four
faculty members appointed by the Departmental Chair to staggered two-year terms.

         2. The QPC shall be chaired by a second-year member appointed by the Departmental

        3. The QPC is empowered to solicit questions for the Qualifying Examination from
faculty members (who are also expected to grade them) and, at their discretion, to formulate
questions and delegate their grading to faculty members who are not on the QPC.

        4. The QPC shall carry out such other duties connected with the Qualifying Examination
as are specified in Departmental rules.

II. Rules Concerning the Qualifying Examination

        A copy of the following rules shall be sent to each graduate student of Physics upon
entering Brown University.

         1. The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to test whether a student has mastered
            core physics areas sufficiently well to carry out a successful Ph.D. program in
            Physics at Brown University.

         2. Timing of the Qualifying Examination

         (a) The Qualifying Examination will be scheduled near the first week of classes each
autumn and spring semester.

            (b) Students are ordinarily expected to take the exam at the beginning of their third
semester. However, a student may request a postponement or ask to take the Examination
earlier. The decision on such requests will be made by the Department Chair after consultation
with the Advisor of Graduate Studies, and the student's research supervisor if there is one.

           (c) A student who fails the exam must take it again at the next sitting or withdraw from
the PhD program. In unusual circumstances, the Departmental Chair may allow postponement of
this second sitting beyond the fourth semester. A student who has decided to leave after
completing work for a Master’s degree may take the Examination at the usual time, but upon
request can be excused by the Departmental Chair.

             (d) Normally, the graduate career in Physics at Brown University of any student failing
the Examination twice will be terminated by the September following the second failure.
However, in the event of two failures of the Examination a student may petition, in writing to the
Departmental Chair, for a third chance at the next sitting of the Examination. The decision on this
petition will be made by vote of the Departmental faculty, acting upon a recommendation made by
an ad hoc committee consisting of the Departmental Chair, and the Advisor of Graduate Studies.
Factors to be considered in reaching this decision are (i) the student's overall performance in
courses, research and the previous Qualifying Examinations, (ii) timing of those Examinations,
and (iii) comments of the research supervisor if there is one. A third failure will cause the

student's graduate career in Physics at Brown University to be terminated, not later than the next
September following that failure.

        3. Format of the Qualifying Examination

         The qualifying examination is a written exam given on a single day. The exam will be
based on material from the advanced undergraduate courses through material covered in the first
year graduate core courses PHYS 2030, 2040, 2050, 2060, and 2140. Specifically, it will consist
of pairs of problems in Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Statistical Mechanics
and Thermodynamics, and two pairs of problems in Quantum Mechanics. A student may answer
one of each pair of the problems, and thus may submit answers to a total of 5 problems. Each
problem is graded out of 10, with 6 considered a passing grade. A student who obtains a grade
of 6 or greater on every problem passes outright. Otherwise, each student’s case will be
considered individually by the full faculty.

Suggested texts:

Classical Mechanics and the Special Theory of Relativity

        Becker; Fetter and Walecka; Fowles and Cassiday; Marion and Thornton; Symon

Electricity and Magnetism
Griffiths; Jackson; Lorrain, Corson and Lorrain; Reitz, Milford and Christy

Statistical Physics
Huang; Kittel and Kroemer; Reif

Quantum Mechanics
   Baym; Gasiorowicz; Griffiths; Liboff; Merzbacher; Park; Sakurai; Shankar

        4. Faculty Evaluation of the Examination Results

         Decisions on whether individual students have passed the Qualifying Exam and will or
will not be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree will be rendered by the Faculty soon after
completion of the exams.

        The Faculty may also, if it deems appropriate, instruct the Departmental Chair to take
steps concerning the future graduate career in Physics at Brown of any student whose status is
under review. Such steps may include the requirements that additional courses be taken, or that
an M.Sc. thesis be written, or that financial aid be discontinued.

        5. Availability of Examination Results

       As soon as possible after tabulation of the results, students shall be notified of their
grades on the individual written Examination questions.

        Students shall be afforded the opportunity to inspect their graded booklets.

        Students may submit comments on the exam or its grading to the QPC for their review.

        6. Notification of Examination Details

         The QPC will set, prior to each exam, the specific timetable for the exams, their grading,
the availability of booklets and the Department Faculty Meeting. Students taking the exam will be
notified well in advance of this timetable as well as of all other relevant details such as where and
when the graded booklets will be available, and the specific details as to their inspection.

        7. Eligibility for Examination

         Ordinarily only graduate students registered in the Department of Physics may take the
Qualifying Examination. Other students who wish to take the Examination may do so at the
discretion of the Chair of the Department of Physics.

        8. Review of Procedures II-1 through II-7

       Annual reviews and revisions of all these procedures may be undertaken in succeeding
years when the need appears, provided that prompt written notice of any changes is given to all
graduate students affected.


BROWN UNIVERSITY MEMORANDUM                                                   March 2003

To:               Physics Faculty and Graduate Students

From:             The Qualifying/Prelim Exam Committee

Subject:          Texts Relevant to the Qualifying Exam

         In Jan.2003, the Physics Faculty adopted a new format for the Qualifying Exam. The
questions in the examination will be bases on the prescribed core courses for the Ph.D.
requirement (except for the laboratory course). The intent of this exam is to test for understanding
and knowledge over a broad range of topics. Consequently, the best preparation is a
comprehensive review including reading and problem solving. Every effort is made to make this
exam fair and at the appropriate level of difficulty. However, the questions will not necessarily be
related to those given in previous exams or to questions or problems in textbooks.

As a guide to a wide range of the material that should be mastered, we provide the following list
of books. An effort will be made to make these books available by having them placed on reserve
in the Sciences Library.

Recommended Texts

           Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei and Particles
                    by Eisberg and Resnick
           The Structure of Matter by Gasiorowicz
           Thermal Physics by Kittel and Kroemer
           Statistical and Thermal Physics by Reif
           Modern Physics, 3 Edition by Sproull and Phillips
           Theoretical mechanics of Particles and Continua by Fetter and Walecka
           Classical Mechanics, 2 Edition by Goldstein
           Classical Electrodynamics by Jackson
           Lectures on Quantum Mechanics by Baym
           Quantum Mechanics by Merzbacher
           Quantum Mechanics by Schiff
           Modern Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai

Other material (at the same levels) should also be consulted. A sample of texts that we use or
have used over the last several years and could be relevant follows:

           Analytical Mechanics by Fowles and Cassiday
           An Introduction to Thermal Physics by D. Schroeder
           Classical Dynamics of Particle & Systems by Marion
           Classical Electrodynamics by J.D. Jackson
           Div. Grad, Curl & All That, 3rd Edition by M. Schey

Electricity of Magnetism, 2nd by E. Purcell
Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory by Reitz, Milford Christy
Fundamentals of Physics 5th Edition by Halliday/Resnick & Walker
Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics by Reif
Intro. To Concepts & Theory in Physical Science 2nd 85 by G. Holton & S. Brush
Introduction to Electrodynamics by David Griffiths
Lectures on Quantum Mechanics by G. Baym
Modern Physics 2nd Edition by O'hanian
Modern Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition by J. Sakurai
Quantum Mechanics by Merzbacher
Quantum Physics by S. Gasiorowicz
Special Relativity by A.P. French
Statistical and Thermal Physics by F.Reif
Statistical Mechanics 2nd Edition by K Huang
The Feynman Lecture on Physics, Vol. III by R. P. Feynman
The Mechanical Universe- Mechanics and Heat-Advanced Edition
Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua (1980) by Fetter & Walecka
University Physics extended version by Young & Freedman
Vibrations and Waves by A.P. French

 formats and their timing is the responsibility of the class teacher who is the best judge of
their pupils‟ competence. If failed on an early first attempt it is department policy to resit when the
pupil feels ready and this can be after the prelim when the topic should have been revised
thoroughly. It is school policy that all NABs should be completed by the end of April. Only NABs
completed on topics taught after the prelim exam are used for appeal purposes.

Prelim Exam

From session 2007 – 08 all NQ prelim exams will be the current P&N published papers. The exam
takes place in late January / early February and while the format is as close as possible to the final
exam, amendments are necessary. NABs sat after the prelim are used to supplement topics not
covered before the prelim. This exam provides the estimate grade submitted to SQA.
After the prelim, Higher pupil‟s results are evaluated. 30% is the cut off to advise pupils to change
to a more appropriate level and those between 30 – 40% advised of the risks. All are interviewed
by the principal teacher or Depute Head teacher responsible for S5/6. Recommendations are made
to the year head who contacts parents. Cause for concern and commendation letters are sent. In
History only, pupils are moved to Intermediate 1.



The department is committed to providing the appropriate methodology, teaching materials,
support and assessments which meet the needs of all pupils. Support for Learning is an important
resource available for all pupils. Liaison is a responsibility split between Ms Christie and Mr


Bids for both learning and behaviour support are submitted to the Learning Support department at
the beginning of each session matched to pupil‟s needs. The criteria are the number of pupils and
degree of support anticipated when class lists are compiled. While all classes cannot expect
support, this gives support to the classes with greatest need. The main requests relate to

      Specific support within the class for individuals where appropriate [both learning and
       behaviour needs]

      Cooperative teaching with a group within the class.

      Assessment of individual / group needs for extraction and support [both learning and
       behaviour needs]

      Amending materials and homework for pupils at level A/B

When a member of the Learning Support Department is allocated to support pupils in an S1 or S2
class, the support teacher follows the class rotation to ensure continuity of support in each Social


All class teachers
All class teachers have a responsibility to identify and appropriately support additional support
needs pupils in their classes. They should be aware of LAAC pupils, individual pupil needs
specified in IEP, IAP and PEPs and incorporate appropriate arrangements, methodology and
resources in their lessons. Where a Learning Support teacher is available it is the responsibility of
both teachers to agree outcomes, roles and methodologies to be employed for appropriate support.
Timetables must provide time for this liaison. Class teachers operating the S1 and S2 rotation are
responsible for ensuring information on Additional Support needs pupils is passed on to the next
teacher. It is the class teacher‟s responsibility to give adequate notice to the principal teacher when
reader/scribe support is required for class tests including NABs. If a classroom assistant is
allocated to the department at a relevant time they can be used for reader/scribe arrangements. The
class teacher should provide the necessary test papers to the principal teacher. It is the
responsibility of the Principal Teacher to arrange this for school examinations in S3, S4 and S5/6.

Mr Rennie
Mr Rennie is the department‟s voluntary representative on the ASN Committee and has the
responsibility of reporting relevant information back to the department through department
meetings. He also volunteered to be responsible for
     Information relating to pupils being added to the department‟s Support for Learning folder,
       including information on LAACs and ISPs.
     Information being kept up to date throughout the session and records removed as
     One copy of information being centrally stored, all staff having access and being aware of
       its location and content.
     All department staff having a copy of LAAC and ISP and information relevant to pupils in
       their classes to be stored discreetly with their class registers.

Ms Christie
Ms Christie is responsible for
    Department bids for learning support and behaviour support at the beginning of the
    Identifying any changing requirements for learning and behaviour support throughout the
    Updating and ensuring access to the department folder relating to the Education [ASL]
      [Scotland]Act 2004.
    Liaison with Learning Support Department for reader/scribe arrangements.
    Liaison with Mr Rennie on his Learning Support remit.


This information is provided by the Learning Support Department and is contained in the next two

                     SUPPORT FOR LEARNING

Target Setting

Fundamental to the learning and teaching within the Support for Learning Department is target

I.     Individualised Educational Plans

       Individualised Educational Plans will be opened for pupils who have acute Additional
       Support needs which cannot be met via normal ASN practices with the classroom – eg
       differentiation etc. These pupils will have an I.E.P which seeks to address these Additional
       Support needs via target setting (see attached sheet).

       Targets are organised as follows:-

       √       targets are set and reviewed in conjunction with both English and Maths
               departments where necessary eg. for an S1 pupil at Level A in Reading and Maths

       √       where the pupil‟s additional support needs relate to language (eg. Dyslexic pupil
               who needs reader/scribe for most written activities in order for their written work
               to be understood) it might only be English targets which are set

       √       on the rare occasion where a pupil has an acute educational need specific only to a
               subject outwith English and Maths, then the target setting would take place within
               that subject with departmental and SFL staff

       √       the long term target(s) are set at the start of the academic year, or when the I.E.P is
               opened, whichever comes first

       √       the short term targets are designed to assist the pupil in achieving the long term
               target(s) and are set three times a year- August, December and March. They are
               reviewed in December, March and May

       √       all I.E.P long and short term targets are set and discussed with pupils and

II.    Tutorial Target/Setting

       Pupils who attend SFL departmental tutorials come from RE or PSE classes once a week.

       Arrangements are as follows:-

              in their tutorial, they will have support with curricular work, homework as well as
               working on programmes eg. LEXIA ICT which develops languages skills
             they have a SFL teacher who (ideally) teaches their tutorial in S1, S2, S3 and
              beyond (if necessary) to establish a strong working relationship and a deep
              understanding of the additional support needs of that pupil

             targets are set/………….

              targets are set with the pupil and the SFL teacher in August, December and March.
              They are reviewed in December, March and May. These targets are to help pupils
              with Additional Support Needs overcome their difficulties, become successful
              learners and confident individuals. These targets are very often a mixture of
              academic targets eg.

                     to reach level 2 of LEXIA
                     to practise using punctuation in writing pieces and PSL targets
                     to work on organisational skills
                     to discuss worries or fears with a certain member of staff
                     to avoid latecoming

             pupils who achieve their targets are rewarded with stickers on their sheets, a note to
              parents/carers in the Homework Diary and a Letter of Commendation sent home

III.   Rewards

       It is the intention in year 2006-2007 to set up rewards charts in the SFL department so
       tutorial groups can see the achievements of their peers in other groups and some form of
       prizegiving will be taking place in May 2007 to reward pupils‟ efforts.


All teachers are teachers of literacy. As such the department is committed to developing
literacy skills in all our pupils in the belief that it will help them develop as successful
learners and confident individuals. Below are some of the ways the department addresses
the literacy development of pupils.

      Reading and writing are key elements of all courses from S1 upwards.

      Literacy is integral to all course work and open ended tasks encouraging literacy are
       included for all year groups. Examples of progression in literacy include S1 investigation,
       S2 formal homework with increasing encouragement to write detailed paragraphs to the
       allocated number of marks in the middle school to full essay writing in the upper school.

      The department included a priority on literacy in the Department Improvement Plan linked
       to the School Improvement Plan in session 2006 – 2007. The emphasis of this was on
       spelling / word wall, the inclusion of glossaries in pupil jotters and encouragement to write
       as detailed answers as possible especially in open ended tasks.

      The department refers to „Literacy across the Curriculum ,Writing‟ document provided by
       the whole school Literacy Committee and uses the Common Correction code and Spelling
       checklist. These are displayed on all classroom walls in the department, to allow
       consistency of approach to literacy within the James Hamilton Academy Learning
       Partnership. This will enable pupils to become successful learners.

      The department continues to progress literacy in the Department Improvement Plan for
       2007 - 2008. These improvement targets are based on a department audit of literacy
              carried out
       on in service day 2 in session 2006 – 2007 and includes extension of the word wall.
       will be reviewed regularly at department meetings throughout the session.

      Good practice in literacy is celebrated in teacher feedback, both oral and jotter comment,
       marked work, formal homework and comments in aspect reports to parents. This
       encourages pupils to become confident individuals.

      Commendation letters for excellence and/or progress in literacy are sent home to inform
       parents of young people‟s achievements.

Whole School Literacy Task Group

There is a vacancy on the whole school literacy group for a representative from the Social
Subjects Department


Ms Christie has engaged in primary /secondary liaison by visiting each primary school in the
James Hamilton Learning Partnership to agree 5 – 14 topics to be taught in Social Subjects to
prevent revisiting by the secondary school. This agreement dates from 2001 and should still be in
place in the primary schools.

Staff have access to information from the primary schools including
     level attained by primary 7 pupils in English reading and writing and in Maths.
     comments on incoming pupils from the primary 7 teacher through the S1/2 year head.
     information pertinent to additional support needs for pupils from visits and liaison by
        Support for Learning staff.

The department use this information for
    seating plans
    provision of materials for each pupil at a suitable level
    bids for learning / behaviour support
    special requirements for level A/B pupils e.g. differentiated investigation materials and

As there are no levels in Environmental Studies provided by the primary schools, the department
finds the reading and writing levels in English the most useful guide when initially deciding
attainment targets and level of materials for each pupil.



The department is in two separate locations throughout the school and it is therefore inconvenient
to store all resources centrally. The main storage areas are;
Social Subjects staff base
lockable cupboard in A block corridor
teacher‟s classroom

In general resources are stored in the most convenient location for the teacher[s] of each subject.

S1 and S2    Geography        - course booklets and additional worksheets are stored in the staff
             History          - course booklets are stored in A17
             Modern Studies - course booklets, worksheets are stored in the staff base for
                                S1 and in OP2/3 for S2. Books are stored in OP2/3 and collected by
                                teachers as required.
The department works on a rota system where two sets of class booklets and additional
worksheets are photocopied and provided to the teachers for the two classes in the rota being
taught the same subject at the same period of time. Pupils are responsible for their own booklet
with any spare copies kept in the teacher‟s classroom.

S3 and S4 Geography         - course booklets are stored in a filing cabinet in room A18 and
                              books in A corridor store cupboard.
             History        - course books and booklets are stored in A17& A19 and distributed
                              between teachers as required.
             Modern Studies - All materials are stored in OP2/3 and distributed between teachers
Modern Studies topics are taught on a rota within S3 and within S4 to facilitate sharing of book

S5 and S6 Geography        - course booklets are stored in A18 and books in A corridor store
            History        - all materials for Higher History are stored in A17 and for
                             Intermediate 2 History in A19
            Modern Studies - all materials are stored in OP2/3.

The main textbook resources used for coursework are listed under Courses.
Details of other class work materials are included in course syllabi.


Geography – all maps are stored in the Social Subjects staff base, SQA extracts in a filing cabinet
in date and level order, project maps, larger scale OS and specialist maps in the map chest.

CDs are stored in the CD stack above the filing cabinets, slides in the filing cabinet and videos in
the top shelves of the wooden cupboard. Boardworks is stored in the lockable cupboard in A
block corridor.
History – supplementary materials relevant to the classes taught by each teacher are largely stored
in the teacher‟s classroom.
Modern Studies – supplementary materials relevant to the classes taught are largely stored in the
teacher‟s classroom. CDs relevant to S1 and S2 are in the Social Subjects staff base.


The Principal Teacher is responsible for allocating funds from the requisition to cover
photocopying costs. This is done at the beginning of the session on a pro rata basis.
A pro forma must be completed by teachers for any photocopying required and such materials are
left in the Staff Base. The pro forma must be signed by the PT prior to materials being
photocopied. The principal teacher is responsible for ensuring photocopied materials are collected
from the photocopying room and individual teachers are responsible for uplifting their
photocopied materials from the staff base.


Assessment materials and marking schemes for S1 and S2 Geography and Modern Studies are
stored in separate filing cabinets in the Social Subjects staff base. There are two class sets.
Assessment materials and marking schemes for S1 and S2 History are stored in a filing cabinet in
A17. There are two class sets.
S3 and S4 end of unit class assessments are stored in filing cabinets in each subject specialist
teacher‟s classroom for ease of access.
S5/6 NABs for Geography are stored in the Social Subjects staff base while those for History and
Modern Studies are stored securely in the subject teacher‟s classroom.

Exam practice papers and S3 exam papers for Geography and Modern Studies are stored in filing
cabinets in the staff base while History papers are stored securely in a filing cabinet in the
teacher‟s classroom.
Prelim papers are bought for each current year. Both masters and photocopied papers are kept in
the lockable store cupboard in A block corridor until used for the prelim exam and appeals after
which they become exam practice papers. The Principal Teacher has responsibility for the storage,
photocopying and security of all current prelim exams.


The Principal Teacher is responsible for the purchase of all stationery resources in consultation
with class teachers to their preferred medium. This includes paper, jotters and all sundries required
for effective classroom management and pupil activities. Jotters are purchased on pupil numbers
and charged pro rata to each subject while sundries used regularly are charged and distributed
evenly to teachers at the beginning of the session. Materials used less regularly are stored in the
Social Subjects staff base for use as required.

General rules regarding distribution of materials to classes are as follows;

In S1 and S2 all pupils are issued with a jotter, booklet and plastic wallet for their safekeeping at
the beginning of their rota in each subject. They are responsible for the care and bringing of
materials to each lesson. Books are used in class and are not taken home. Booklets are returned to
the teacher at the end of each rota. Jotters and wallet are retained by the class teacher for reissue at
the second rotation block.
S3 – S6
All new books are covered with clear film and numbered. Teachers record the number of the book
issued against each pupil‟s name on the register and are responsible for scoring it off when the
book is returned. There is a department standard letter to parents for any pupil who does not return
a book to recover the cost. Pupils are responsible for all class materials issued and ensuring they
have necessary materials for homework and class work.

Pupils contribute to the replacement of lost or damaged materials as follows

S1/2 jotter 30p
S3/6 jotter 50p
Booklet      2p x number of pages
Textbook As per published price

In S1 jotters are issued to each pupil at the beginning of each rota for each subject. Class work and
homework is completed at the front, two pages left for a glossary of new words at the back and
investigation notes gathered from the third back page.
In S2 one larger jotter is issued for all Social Subjects. Class work and homework is completed at
the front and two pages left at the back for a glossary. Pupils continue to use the same jotter for
each subject. A new jotter will be issued if required.

In S3 Geography A4 lined jotters will be issued due to the large number of worksheets to be added
in. In S4 Geography pupils will continue to use A4 ring binders and lined paper. Additional
Special Needs pupils will be issued with A4 jotters.
In S3 History and Modern Studies pupils are issued with substantial jotters at the beginning of
their standard grade work. Both coursework and homework will be completed in one jotter. New
jotters will be issued as required through S3 and S4.

In S5/6 Geography and Modern Studies pupils are expected to provide their own ring binder and
A4 paper is provided by the department. History pupils are issued with new jotters at the
commencement of Higher / Int 2 work with a separate A4 lined jotter provided by the department
for Higher essay practice.


There are five computers in the department. Pupils use these for small group ICT activities
and gathering information for individual investigations. They are essential to staff to produce new
materials, PowerPoint presentations, department administration and must be used for registration
and aspect reporting purposes. All have Internet access and email. All computers are linked to the
whole school server. The staff base computer is used for S1 and S2 pupil tracking and computer
storage of assessment information. All classrooms are networked to one printer in the staff base.
The department adheres to the Whole School Policy on ICT with regard to the usage and security
of computers within the department.

ICT is used throughout the department to enhance teaching and learning, to develop pupil skills in
using ICT and for department management.


Each classroom has one desktop computer and printer, one Internet point and one TV linked to the
computer for display purposes. In A17 the computer is not linked to the TV.
There is one laptop computer.
There are five digital projectors, four are ceiling mounted, in A17, A18, A19 and OP2/3, and one
free standing.
There is one portable Smartboard
There is a video recorder in each classroom. A DVD player has to be borrowed from whole school
The Smartboard and portable digital projector can be booked through the Principal Teacher.


Copies of commercially produced educational software are stored in the Social Subjects staff base,
except Boardworks which is kept in the lockable store cupboard in A corridor. [see software
inventory for details]
Internally generated educational programmes e.g. power point presentations, worksheets are
stored on individual classroom computers. Copies of all relevant programmes are also installed on
desktop computers of other teachers of that subject for ease of access.
A department improvement plan target for 2007 – 08 is to centralise internally generated
programmes onto the desktop computer in the Social Subjects staff base.


Department syllabi are being updated to include ICT additions. [improvement plan target 2008 -

Pupils in S1 and S2 have power point presentations for development of their knowledge base and
are provided with information technology searching skills. Website addresses are available for all
S1 investigations.

In Geography in S3 and S4, Boardworks, is used to enhance teaching and learning of most topics
and provide short formative assessments with Birchfield interactive used for physical landscapes
and weather. Power points have been developed internally for specific topics. In S5 and S6 SAGT
CDs are extensively used for power point presentations.

In History in S3 and S4, Boardworks is used to reinforce key points. “Schools history” websites
used regularly to involve pupils in interactive quizzes.
Pennyprint CD has delivered homework materials for Intermediate 2

In Modern Studies information from several CD ROMs enhances lessons while in S5/6, a series of
power points are available for Political Issues in the UK; Decision making in Scotland and there is
an annual subscription to Modernity Scotland.

Tracking pupil performance
In S1 and S2 every pupil‟s formal homework and assessment marks are stored electronically on
the Social Subjects staff base computer linked to the Social Subjects site on the whole school
server, allowing secure confidential access by staff. Comments are included on homework,
behaviour and effort.
In session 2007 – 08 this is being extended to record S3 assessment information, in S4-S6 prelim,
unit passes, homework, behaviour and effort is recorded on „Click & Go‟

All parental reports are produced using SEEMIS „Click and Go‟

Communication and Information
From session 2007 – 08, the department handbook, improvement plans, results analysis, class
lists, cause for concern / commendation letters will be available centrally on the Social Subjects
staff base computer for ease of reference and download by staff if required.

Mr Rennie is the department‟s representative and liaison on the ICT committee and is responsible
for reporting back on developments through Social Subject department meetings. Ms McClung
has participated in an intensive Smartboard course. The department has participated in basic
Smartboard in service as part of the department improvement plan. Staff have been observed in
use of ICT as part of the department‟s monitoring and quality assurance procedures. ICT
developments will continue to be regular agenda items at department meetings allowing
opportunities to discuss hardware and software developments relevant to teaching and learning
and ICT progress in the department improvement plan.



It is the aim of the department to implement the whole school homework policy. It is the policy of
the department to encourage pupils to attempt homework to their best standard to achieve success
in the subject and become accustomed to a regular programme of study.
Pupils are encouraged to note all homework in their homework diary and teachers offer assistance
in prioritising set work and pace. Consideration is given to the demands of other subjects. In all
year groups there is set homework, the length and complexity of the task linked to age, ability and
level of study. In general from S1 to S4 homework is set to consolidate class work and maintain
pace, with amendments for less able pupils and extension / additions for the more able. For
National Qualifications S4 – S6 there is regular homework with expectations of additional daily
class work consolidation.


S1 and S2
    Homework can be integrated into department coursework booklets and can also include
    completing class work tasks and extension work to maintain the pace of learning.

     Most tasks consolidate class work and contain literacy and / or numeracy skills. It is policy
     that written tasks are completed in sentences unless otherwise instructed.

     In S1 all pupils are expected to gather information from a variety of sources to complete an
     investigation in each Social Subject. Teachers are instrumental in helping pupils to pace this
     work. Class time is provided though as it is an open ended task pupils are expected to include
     homework time on this task to achieve the standard of their target level.

    There are two formal homework pieces identified in S1 and S2 in each Social Subject which
    are marked and recorded by the teacher for pupil progress and tracking.

    In S1 pupils are expected to spend approximately 30 minutes per week on homework. They
    are expected to revise at home before a knowledge assessment.

    In S2 pupils are expected to spend approximately 40 minutes per week on homework. They
    are expected to revise at home before both knowledge and enquiry skills assessments.

S3 and S4
    Written homework is still integral to coursework for consolidation and consists of both short
    answer and more detailed paragraphs. Learning, preparation and reading of knowledge
    information for discussion in class is also required.

   In S4 homework contains much more exam practice including using past paper questions
   where pupils are encouraged to write to the allocated marks.

   Pupils are expected to revise regularly and especially before end of unit assessments and
   formal exams

   Pupils are expected to spend 1 hour per week in S3 and 1hour 30 minutes in S4 on homework
   with more before assessments

S5 and S6
   Homework consists mainly of reading and preparation, written tasks to consolidate class work
   learning from textbook and notes and revision for internal and formal exams.

   Literacy skills are extended to short or extended essays dependent on the demands of the
   course followed.

   At Higher level pupils are expected to spend at least 3 hours per week on homework with
   more before assessments and formal exams. At Intermediate 2 level 1 hour 30 minutes is
   expected with 1 hour for Intermediate 1.

   It is expected that pupils, especially at Higher, will be able to gauge the time they require for
   revision and consolidation above that required for set homework.

   The department is complying with the amount of homework set out in section 5 of the
   whole school homework policy.

   A comprehensive list of the types of homework pupils may be asked to do is set out in
   section 6 of the whole school homework policy.


Parents / carers have an important supporting role in encouraging pupils to develop good
homework practice and submit it on time. The department requests the support of parents / carers
through the advice given in the Whole School Homework Policy Parental Homework Support
Guide. This is especially important in the initial stages of the session and courses so that good
homework practice can be established. In addition, through the Parental Support Guide the
department requests that parents / carers

      check pupil‟s homework diary and ensure homework is completed for the correct day
      check that writing work has a date and heading and all parts of the task are completed /
       have been attempted, neatly and legibly. Parent / carer may sign the homework if they
      monitor that sufficient effort, concentration and persistence has been employed to learning
      provide a suitable quiet location for homework to be completed without distraction
      on return from absence ensure the pupil collects missed homework from the teacher
       concerned and records it in their homework diary
      refer any area of concern regarding department homework to the principal teacher.

A copy of the James Hamilton Parental Homework Support Guide in included as an
appendix to the Whole School Homework Policy.


The class teacher is required to take action where pupils do not attempt or complete homework.
The following may indicate there is a problem
    written homework not attempted
    written homework not completed
    written homework below an acceptable standard of effort / presentation for that pupil
    learning homework below standard of attainment expected of that pupil

Initially, teachers should take some or all of the following actions
      check the pupil was present on day of issue or has returned from absence before
         homework due. It is the pupil‟s responsibility to catch up on homework.
      check homework written in homework diary in enough detail e.g. page and question
      if necessary, discreetly check on home circumstances if homework deadline was short e.g.
         for the next day. [accuracy can be checked with pupil support teacher]
      offer support at lunchtime or interval or, dependent on pupil and circumstances, allow
         homework to be completed for next day/lesson

Teacher should remediate the problem and expect homework completed for next day / lesson. [or
a reasonable timescale for a longer absence] If there is no good reason for homework not being
completed, reinforce to pupil their responsibilities and implement the Homework Support outlined
in the flow chart in Appendix A of the Whole School Policy Document to ensure homework is
caught up and completed.

Where pupils are repeatedly disinclined to attempt homework even after homework support
has been implemented the following course of action should be followed

      S1/S2 - Refer pupil to the Principal Teacher of Pupil Support [Homework] who will
       support the pupil in completing homework at the homework club after school or at
       lunchtime / interval
      S3-S6 - The class teacher will issue a punishment exercise and complete a yellow referral
      The class teacher will complete a Cause for Concern letter to parents and pass to the
       Principal Teacher for signing
      Cause for Concern letter sent to parents and pupil‟s name recorded in Social Subjects
       department minutes so year head is informed
      the Principal Teacher will file the letters of concern as a record of pupil‟s homework issues
      S3/6 - For persistent refusal to complete homework a red referral is completed to Year
       Head detailing homework issues.


Where pupils require assistance in understanding / organizing homework the teacher should
take the following actions

      reinforce importance of homework diary and check homework is recorded in enough detail
       to be completed properly
      check the homework is the appropriate standard for that pupil
      discuss the difficulty with the pupil and revise/reset homework for next day / lesson [with
       extra reinforcement exercise if required]
      organize individual help e.g. at interval or lunchtime if required
      check work is completed to the required standard of effort, understanding and presentation

Where pupils fail to make an improvement the following course of action should be followed

      S1/2 Refer to the Principal Teacher of Pupil Support [Homework] to provide individual
       help over a longer period to establish a study routine
      note in homework diary to alert parents [ask for parental signature]
      if no homework diary, inform PT Pupil Support and write note of homework in jotter
      inform PT Pupil Support regarding homework difficulties
      for ASN pupils inform PT Support for Learning

Where pupils are repeatedly disinclined to attempt homework even after help has been
offered the following course of action should be followed

      the class teacher will complete a Cause for Concern letter to parents and pass to the
       Principal Teacher for signing
      Cause for Concern letter sent to parents and pupil‟s name recorded in Social Subjects
       department minutes
      the Principal Teacher will file the letter of concern as a record of pupil‟s homework issues
      Red referral completed to Year Head detailing homework issues.

The department rewards pupils who consistently show a high standard of quality and presentation
in homework.
     The department follows school policy in awarding a merit in each designated time slot
     The department awards departmental Certificates of Achievement at the end of a unit of
       work or for an outstanding piece of homework
     The department continues to praise individual pupils or whole class groups for good effort
       in homework

The department is committed to encouraging all pupils to work to the best of their ability at all
times and seeks to make all pupils aware that only their best efforts will do. In pursuing these
aims, the following strategies should be observed to recognize and address underachievement.

 Pupils are considered to be underachieving where the following apply

       Homework not attempted / completed
       Homework / learning below the standard the pupil could achieve
       Work poorly presented
       Poor attitude to class work, e.g. seeks to do as little as possible
       Assessment results below the standard the pupil should achieve
       Reluctance to ask for / catch up work missed through absence

 Teachers should act on any aspect of underachievement as soon as it becomes apparent. This
  is especially important in S1. Pupils who are challenged and guided towards correct study
  and work habits in S1 will be less likely to underachieve as they progress through the school.

 Pupils who are absent must be followed up. Class teachers should leave aside work for them
  and pupils asked to complete it on return. A reasonable timescale should be agreed with the
  pupil. Where the pupil is disinclined to catch up work missed, the support procedures as per
  homework should be followed as outlined in Assistance with Homework. Informal missed
  tests should also be arranged unless the absence has been prolonged.

 Pupils who miss formal assessment through absence must be followed up. As far as possible
  these should be arranged in class time but where this is not possible, parental permission
  should be sought for the pupil to sit the assessment in school time. [Year head support in this]

 Pupils who fall below the standard they could achieve in an assessment because they have not
  revised or learned the work they were told to prepare should be followed up as
      follows ; -
      parents contacted via PT Pupil Support to inform them of the situation
      parents informed of the work which should have been revised / learned. Targets set for
      improvement in future assessments through cause for concern letters
      pupil counselled to the influence underachievement will have on future levels and grades
      targets set for improvement in attainment

 Pupils who underachieve in formal S3 and prelim exams are identified and placed on
    Department Tracking. This is a formal department procedure where;-
    Pupils are identified and interviewed
    Specific targets are set between teacher and pupil
    Pupil signs an agreement to put in extra effort and time to achieve the targets set
    A copy is sent to parents for their information / cooperation [e.g. if extra study time required
to be done at home] and a copy stored in the department file
A summary of tracked pupils is sent to the Year Head
Class teacher monitors effort and progress in class and of targets attained in future unit

 Pupils who are disinclined to work in class time should be invited to attempt the class work
  again in their own time at interval or lunchtime when they can benefit from teacher support on
  a one to one basis to restore confidence and thereafter manage class work during lesson times.

 Letters of Concern are sent to parents whenever a pattern of underachievement has developed
  and has continued despite teacher intervention. Such letters are passed to the Principal
  Teacher and noted by Principal Teacher Pupil Support and the Year Head.
  These letters are to enlist parental support where teachers are already taking action to
  address underachievement. They are not a substitute for the teacher taking action.

 Supported Study is recommended for pupils in S3 - 6 who are repeatedly requiring department
  assistance with homework or who are falling behind with long term tasks despite teacher
  support. In such cases Principal Teachers of Pupil Support / Year Head should be informed
  with a view to informing parents and inviting pupils to attend.



Pupils have a reminder of the department classroom rules in the front of their jotter. These are also
displayed on each classroom wall and should be enforced by the classroom teacher. In particular
the following actions should result in disciplinary action :

late coming to class without the appropriate form from a member of staff
eating in class
forgetting books and / or jotters
submitting messy and untidy work
shouting out
not turning up for appointments with staff
impertinence / disruptive behaviour

Homework is a separate issue and is dealt with in the Homework section of this handbook.


Teachers are responsible for ensuring a hard working ethos within the classroom to allow effective
teaching and learning to take place. This can be done by minimizing opportunities for indiscipline
both inside and outside the classroom by:

being prompt for class
being vigilant of the whole class
being firm but fair
being well prepared
providing suitable teaching materials and approaches
maintaining an approachable but professional manner

Teachers should ensure pupils in all year groups are aware of acceptable and unacceptable actions
by providing a copy of the department discipline rules to each pupil at the beginning of their
coursework. [see unacceptable behaviour above and a copy of classroom rules]

Classes should not be allowed to stop working early but should be working / revising with the
teacher or own materials until told to pack up on the bell.

Teachers are responsible for the issue and return of punishment exercises and the initial follow up
when pupils fail to return them by the due date.


The following guidelines should apply depending on the severity of the breach of discipline

Dealing with indiscipline issues - Minor
STEP 1 – first incidence – verbal warning
STEP 2 – second incidence – verbal warning of punishment exercise
STEP 3 – third incidence – punishment exercise issued. *
PUPIL ACTION – punishment exercise to be completed for next school day and returned signed
               by parent / carer
STAFF ACTION – complete yellow referral for information to Principal Teacher for signing.
               For non return of the punishment exercise the class teacher is responsible for
               follow up and should increase the punishment exercise for the next day /
               lesson. If non return persists beyond this the teacher should arrange for the
               exercise to be completed at interval or lunchtime detention.
                If pupil fails to complete the exercise in detention refer the matter to the
               Principal Teacher.

Dealing with indiscipline issues – Persistent Minor

To be used when a pupil has already been issued with a punishment exercise in that lesson or
refuses a punishment exercise.

STEP 1 – Increase punishment exercise and follow through as outlined above.
STEP 2 - Refer pupil to Principal Teacher who will ensure that a punishment exercise is issued.
STEP 3 – Principal Teacher will offer an alternative sanction e.g. time out in Principal Teacher‟s
         room with the addition of interval or lunchtime detention to complete exercise.
STEP 4 – Failure to follow the instruction of the principal teacher will result in a red referral to
         Year Head.

Dealing with indiscipline issues – Major

e.g. Verbal or physical abuse of staff, verbal or physical bullying of another pupil, severely
disrupting the safety of others in the class, spontaneous incidents out with the teacher‟s control

STEP 1 – Summon Principal Teacher immediately
STEP 2 – Removal of pupil to the Year Head / Senior Management Team
STEP 3 – Immediately complete a red referral and pass to the Principal Teacher for information,
         and signing.

Please note the following regarding issue and return of punishment exercises.

For S1 and S2 the standard department punishment exercise should be issued.
Issue the differentiated version for ASN pupils.
From S3 – S6 the standard punishment exercise can be issued but the class teacher has the option
to issue a piece of relevant coursework of a similar length.
Parental signature is at the teacher‟s discretion.
Pupils should be made aware that non return by the due date will result in an increased exercise.
Exercises should be increased to no more that four times an A4 page.

Arranging detention

Detention can be arranged at intervals and lunchtimes by arrangement with the pupil.
Detention at 3.15pm can be arranged with parental / carer permission via the Principal
Teacher through the Year Head. Persistent non return of punishment exercises should be
referred to the Principal Teacher of Pupil Support. This, however, is not a substitute for the
teacher taking action to ensure punishment exercises are completed.

When a discipline incident occurs a yellow referral should be opened for that pupil. These should
be passed to the Principal Teacher for signing even if all punishments have been completed and
where a discipline problem persists when the teacher has followed the procedures outlined.
Red referrals should be written and passed to the Principal Teacher immediately if possible.
No referrals should be passed directly to SMT staff. These should be passed on only via the
Principal Teacher.
All Pupil Support referrals must be passed to the Principal Teacher for comment and signature.


Contact with parents / carers regarding discipline matters is via the Principal Teacher, Pupil
Support staff and Senior management Team. Class teachers should not contact parents / carers


Any pupil excluded from the class is automatically issued with a punishment exercise unless the
matter is taken further at PT / SMT level.
No pupils are to be removed from class on an ongoing regular basis.
No pupils are to be left standing in a corridor for a whole period.
Exclusion from class is an extreme sanction and should be used rarely and only when other
discipline sanctions have had no effect.
The PT should be informed after the event of any pupil excluded from a lesson.


Class teachers will note issue of punishment exercises on Social Subjects Department Punishment
Exercise Record Log.
The Principal Teacher will monitor yellow and red referrals and ensure persistent offenders are
brought to the attention of Principal Teacher of Pupil Support and Year Head.
All pupils receiving a red referral are noted weekly in the Social Subject department meeting


Staff review instances where difficulties arose and if necessary plan future prevention through
Reviewing teaching approaches
Discussion with principal teacher
Discussion at department meetings
Discussion with school behaviour co-ordinator [BECO]



As part of the Quality Assurance system of monitoring teaching and learning within the school it
is the responsibility of the Principal Teacher to operate the following procedures within the

Observation of classes in all year groups
The Principal Teacher observes classes with each teacher in the department twice per session.
These visits are focused on key parts of the department and school improvement plan for the
session e.g. AifL, ICT, Enterprise, use of Smartboard, essay planning skills
Within this focus the Principal Teacher also has opportunities to observe
lesson learning outcomes
pace of work
appropriateness and challenge of the class work
appropriate teacher intervention and assistance
implementation of department procedures e.g. entry to class, materials, discipline

There is formal recording, discussion of feedback, signing and filing of each report
A timetable for monitoring lesson observations is issued to department staff at the beginning of
the session as part of the overall department monitoring schedule.

Sampling of pupil class work and homework in relation to presentation and achievement
The Principal Teacher takes in a sample of five jotters from each class in each year group on a
rotation basis. This is usually weekly unless other departmental monitoring procedures are in
place for that week. The jotters are returned promptly to ensure little disruption to continuity of
class work. The Principal Teacher will put a pupil on jotter monitoring for a period of time if, in
consultation with the class teacher, the Principal Teacher regards the presentation or achievement
is below an acceptable standard for that pupil. This is done by a comment in the jotter to indicate
the reason for monitoring and the timescale for improvement [usually two to four weeks]. It is the
responsibility of the class teacher to check the jotter and report back any problems to the principal
A timetable for monitoring jotters is issued to department staff at the beginning of the session as
part of the overall department monitoring schedule

Monitoring progress of class work
After consultation with department staff the Principal Teacher issues a course work plan at the
beginning of the session indicating approximate deadlines for the completion of units of work
with each year group. It is the class teacher‟s responsibility to adhere to this. It is the class
teacher‟s responsibility to bring any difficulties to the attention of the principal teacher as agenda
items for the weekly department meeting. The Principal Teacher takes in teachers’ records of
work on the last week of each month. It is requested that in the record of work each teacher
includes reference to textbook, worksheets and page numbers of class work exercises. It is
important that teachers highlight particular activities related to the four capacities for A
Curriculum for Excellence e.g. Enterprise and Citizenship activities, AifL and ICT in the record of
work as a detailed record of teaching and learning within the four capacities. The ACfE
department audit of courses is already completed.

Sampling of course work
In addition to jotter monitoring, pupil evaluation sheets for each year group for each Social
Subject, are available for all courses in S1 and S2. A sample of 30 pupils will complete these.
Pupil evaluation and target setting sheets are available for all Geography pupils at the end of
each Standard Grade, Intermediate 2 and Higher unit of work where pupils are invited to comment
on the coursework, evaluate their attainment and set their target for the next unit. There is space
for teacher advice.

Monitoring assessment
Results from S1 and S2 assessments are discussed regularly at department meetings. The
Principal Teacher provides an S2 Evaluation of Attainment every two years. This is
benchmarked against national assessment results within James Hamilton Academy in English and
used to inform the next session‟s department improvement plan.
There is a department evaluation of all formal school examinations, S3 exam, S4 and S5/6
prelims. This, and scrutiny of individual examination scripts, also allows identification of
underachievement and pupils for target setting and department tracking. There is discussion of
these evaluations at department meetings. SQA results are evaluated against prelim results and
national statistical data. Copies of all are included with department meeting minutes and used to
set targets in the next session‟s department improvement plan as part of course work review.

Monitoring department improvement plan progress
The Principal Teacher monitors progress by setting realistic targets, providing deadlines and
regular discussion of progress at department meetings. Any difficulties are discussed with the
department‟s link SMT member. The department improvement plan is available to department
staff at the beginning of the session.

Monitoring department progress in implementing A Curriculum for Excellence
The department has carried out a full audit of Geography, History, Modern Studies and Travel
and Tourism courses related to the four capacities of A Curriculum for Excellence. [see
Appendix 1] and will use this to identify areas of improvement for the department improvement
plan. These will be monitored according to the department procedures outlined above in the
sections relating to
improvement plan progress and monitoring progress of class work.


The Senior Management Team is kept informed of departmental Quality Assurance procedures
and implementation by regular attendance by the department‟s SMT link at the weekly department
meetings, department meeting minutes and regular appendices to these. Regular agenda items
planning and pace of coursework
homework through sampling of jotters
learning and teaching strategies
consistency of department procedures as outlined in handbook in line with school policies

The principal teacher regularly liaises with the department SMT link on procedural matters
involving pupils and seeks advice and clarification on departmental and whole school issues.

Department Review
There is a department review twice per year where the agenda is set by the Head Teacher. The
Head Teacher is also informed of department progress and any issues requiring attention or
assistance. e.g. pupil underachievement in prelims, staffing and progress of department
contributions to the whole school improvement plan. It is the Principal Teacher‟s responsibility to
ensure the department addresses any whole school quality assurance procedures as required by the
Head Teacher.