Module code: PHYM058

Module Overview

The course provides an introduction to nuclear metrology. The module is provided in collaboration with the Nuclear Metrology Group at NPL and includes a full, one day laboratory session, on site at NPL.

Module provider

Mathematics & Physics

Module Leader

REGAN Patrick (Physics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 75

Tutorial Hours: 5

Guided Learning: 37

Captured Content: 33

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content



Lecture Hours

 Mr S Jerome


  Introduction to radiation metrology

  Calibration standards


  Quality assurance


Dr. P Ivanov

Dr. Ben Russell



A Pearce

  Primary standards

  Reference materials


Dr G Lorusso /

S Collins

 Nuclear data. Why is important? How to measure? Where to get data from?

Nuclear forensics


At NPL/subject to H&S arrangements

Dr. Peter Ivanov ;

Dr. Ben Russell ;

Mr. Andrew Pearce


              Radiochemical separation (3h)

              Liquid scintillation counter (3h)

              Source preparation (3h)



Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test ONLINE (OPEN BOOK) TEST WITHIN 24HR WINDOW 50
Coursework ESSAY 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate both knowledge across the whole breadth of the module and a deeper cognitive/analytical ability alongside deeper knowledge in specified areas.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Class Test (1 hour): 10 short questions of the assessment package are able to test knowledge and understanding of a broad range of topics covered in the module.

  • formal laboratory report (5-10 pages): lab report on an experiment performed at NPL

  • Essay (1500 words): Essay questions aimed at assessing the knowledge of specific chosen topics and depth of understanding expected at this level on nuclear metrology.

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative verbal feedback is given in lectures and during laboratory works.


Written feedback is given on coursework 1 (class test), which is submitted and returned to the students in advance of coursework 2 and 3 (lab report and essay).


Module aims

  • To provide an understanding of nuclear metrology for applications in the nuclear industry, environmental monitoring and nuclear medicine.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Gain an understanding of the basic concepts of nuclear metrology
2 Be able to discuss and assess the importance of calibrations standards, quality assurance and uncertainties
3  Be able to discuss problems inherent to nuclear forensic and nuclear dating
4 Be able to discuss how to demonstrate that measurements of radioactivity are accurate and follow national standards.
5 Ability to discuss the problems inherent in nuclear metrology.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching methods include:

•Lectures [21 hours]

•Laboratory work [6 hours]

•Coursework [120 hours]


The teaching is delivered as a one-week intensive course, including one day laboratory work at NPL.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PHYM058

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Physics MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Radiation and Environmental Protection MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Nuclear Science and Applications MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.