Mechanics and Properties of Matter Laboratory (H7117)

15 credits, Level 3 (sub-degree)

Autumn teaching

The Mechanics and Properties of Matter Laboratory module offers you a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of experimental physical science, focusing on simple mechanics and properties of matter experiments.
Throughout the module, you will prepare, conduct and interpret experiments while developing essential skills related to accurate measurements, record-keeping and data analysis. Additionally, you will develop effective communication skills, enabling you to convey laboratory findings and concepts clearly. You will be encouraged to be an independent learner.
The module is designed to foster intra- and inter-module synchronicity, supporting you with various learning styles through Kolb learning cycles and integrating effectively with the other modules of the Foundation Year course.

Laboratory investigation topics include:

  • simple pendulum and SHM
  • constrained compound pendulum
  • Spring and Hooke’s law
  • Spring and SHM
  • moment of inertia of cylinders.

Lecture and workshop topics:

  • error analysis
  • using Excel for calculations and graphs.
  • using MS Word to create lab reports.
  • using LaTeX to create graphs and lab reports.
  • writing and assessing lab reports.


18%: Lecture (Lecture, Pre-lab)
82%: Practical (Laboratory, Practical)


100%: Coursework (Group presentation, Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 117 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: