Foundation Mechanics (F3207)

15 credits, Level 3 (sub-degree)

Autumn teaching

Topics covered in this module include:

  • Units and dimensions: mass, length, time and derived units.
  • Kinematics in one dimension: displacement, speed, velocity and acceleration.
  • Linear motion with uniform acceleration, the equations of motion and gravitational acceleration.
  • Vectors and scalars: the components of a vector and the addition and subtraction of vectors.
  • Motion in more than one dimension: projectiles.
  • Forces and Newton's laws of motion: force and mass, Newton's 3 laws, gravitational force, normal forces, tension, frictional forces and coefficients of friction.
  • Work and energy: work done by a constant force, the work-energy theorem, kinetic energy, potential energy, conservative and non-conservative forces and the conservation of mechanical energy.
  • Linear momentum: linear momentum, impulse, conservation of linear momentum and elastic and inelastic collisions in one and two dimensions.
  • Uniform circular motion: centripetal forces, centripetal acceleration and satellites.
  • Rotational kinematics: angular displacement, angular velocity, angular acceleration, the equations of rotational kinematics with constant angular acceleration and rolling motion.
  • Statics of rigid bodies: torque, action of forces, torques on rigid bodies, rigid bodies in equilibrium, centre of mass, centre of gravity and stability.
  • Rotational dynamics of rigid bodies: Newton's second law for rotation about a fixed axis, the moment of inertia, work and kinetic energy associated with rotational motion, angular momentum of a rigid body and conservation of angular momentum.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 44 hours of contact time and about 106 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: