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PHYS131 - Intro Physics for Life Sciences and Agriculture

General Information

The PHYS131 module forms part of a two semester course in Physics for the first year Life Sciences and Agriculture students. The module comprises of 48 lectures (as detailed below), 12 tutorials and 12 practicals.

Lecture Schedule

  • 24 lectures in Mechanics
  • 6 lectures in Waves
  • 6 lectures in Gemoetrical Optics
  • 12 lectures in Thermal Physics
    • The full course guidelines and lecture schedule may be accessed here


Please click on the day below to see the practical allocations.




N.B: For queries regarding your practical allocation please see Mrs Warren at the CTO office.

Supplemental Instruction (Extra-tutorials)

The timetable for mid-week extra-Tuts can be found

The timetable for Saturday Tuts can be found here

MCQ Information

  • An example of how to fill out an MCQ answer sheet can be found here.


A total of 3 tests will be scheduled throughout the semester. The lecturer(s) will provide details of these at a later stage. The class record (continuous assessment) will count towards the final semester mark and will include marks obtained for the tests, tutorials and practicals. The final mark will be calculated based on the theory exam, and the class record.

DP requirements

To be allowed to write the end-of-semester examinations in physics, you must have ‘duly performed’ the work of the class. This means:

  • 80% attendance at lectures and tutorials (morning session).
  • 100% attendance at all afternoon practical classes (unless excused‡ after presentation of a valid medical certificate to a minimum attendance of 80%).
  • Submitting written practical reports for all practicals attended.
  • 100% attendance at all class tests (unless excused‡ upon presentation of a valid medical certificate).
  • Obtaining a minimum of 40% for the class record.


‡ Students who wish to be excused on medical grounds from a practical or a class test are required to fill in a condoned absence form. This is available from the School secretary Mrs Sheila Warren in at CTO office. All supporting documentation must be attached to the application. Students may be asked to catch up the practical on a different afternoon, or write a make-up test after they return to University. This will be at the discretion of the course coordinator.

Information sheet

A copy of the information sheet provided in tests and examinations can be obtained by clicking on the link below.

Specific course information

Mechanics and Properties of matter

Resources for the Mechanics and Properties of Matter component of the course can be obtained by clicking on the link below.

  • For a revision on the cosine and sine rules click here.
  • For a list of recommended books click here.
  • Timetable for Extra Tutorials and SI is here.

Mechanics and Properties of matter Tutorials

  • Lab Tutorial # 1 is here.
  • Lab Tutorial # 2 is here.
  • Examples 1.1-2.8 done in class are here.
  • Examples 3.1-4.4 done in class are here.

Mechanics and Properties of matter Lecture Slides

  • Lecture 1 slides click here.
  • Lecture 2 slides click here.
  • Lecture 3 slides click here.
  • Lecture 4 slides click here.
  • Lecture 5 slides click here.
  • Lecture 6 slides click here.
  • Lecture 7 slides click here.
  • Lecture 8 slides click here.
  • Lecture 9 slides click here.
  • Lecture 10 slides click here.
  • Lecture 11 slides click here.
  • Lecture 12 slides click here.
  • Lecture 13 slides click here.
  • Lecture 14 slides click here.
  • Lecture 15 slides click here.
  • Lecture 16 slides click here.
  • Lecture 17 slides click here.
  • Lecture 18 slides click here.
  • Lecture 19 slides click here.
  • Lecture 20 slides click here.

Geometrical Optics

Resources for the Optics component of the course can be obtained by clicking on the link below.

Past Exam Papers

  • 2013 Exam paper click here.
  • 2014 Exam paper click here.

Lecture Notes

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