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					European Physics Benchmarks



         Comparison of Benchmarks for Physics
         Bachelor degrees in Europe

        Working Group 1
        Eamonn Cunningham (IE) et al.




2009-9-10                  EGF2009 Vilnius      1
Background to proposal

   EUPEN & TUNING studies of curricula
       Reference points for the design & delivery of Degree
        programmes in Physics
   Major changes to the structure of Physics
    degrees associated with
       Bologna agreement
       Introduction of the bachelor/master system
       External Quality assurance mechanism on a national or
        regional level
       National Degree benchmarks for subject areas


2009-9-10                   EGF2009 Vilnius                     2
Proposal

   Create a Europe wide Benchmark for a
    Physics Bachelor degree
        Similar to the Chemistry EuroBachelor
        Contains agreed common core physics
        Based on the common content identified
         by EUPEN & Tuning
        Should cover most physics degrees



2009-9-10              EGF2009 Vilnius            3
Rationale 1

   Provide a Europe wide reference set of
    benchmarks for a Physics Bachelor degree
   Not overly prescriptive, allows variations in
    teaching methods & approach
   Concentrates on the physics content not the
    general competences for Bachelor degrees
   Specify the physics knowledge required for
    a typical masters level course in physics


2009-9-10            EGF2009 Vilnius            4
Rationale 2

   Provide a “quality mark” for Physics degrees
   Help mobility both within Bachelor degrees
    (Socrates type mobility) and between
    Bachelor and Master degrees (Bologna type
    mobility).
   Provide a useful reference point for smaller
    countries and less well known universities.



2009-9-10            EGF2009 Vilnius           5
Suggested structure 1

   At least 140/180 credits in physics & maths
   Classical Physics        (20-40 credits)
    Classical mechanics, Solid state, Oscillations &
    waves, Basic optics
   Modern Physics (20-40 credits)
    Special relativity, Background to quantum
    mechanics, Atomic, nuclear and particle physics
   Experimental/laboratory (20-40 credits)
    Laboratory work, Project work
2009-9-10               EGF2009 Vilnius                6
Suggested structure 2
   Maths & computing (20-40 credits)
    Maths, IT skills & Modelling
   Theoretical Physics         (20-40 credits)
    Quantum mechanics, Thermodynamics,
    Statistical mechanics, Electromagnetism,
    Advanced Optics
   Optional subjects (0-40 credits)
    A minor subject (or subjects) either related
    to Physics or totally unrelated.
2009-9-10             EGF2009 Vilnius              7
Remaining problems

   Does this structure adequately cover the
    range of physics degrees in Europe?
   Do we need to include more “theoretical
    topics”
   Do we need to specify what is compulsory
    and optional in each stream?
   Next steps?



2009-9-10            EGF2009 Vilnius           8

				
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