PHYS 5P91/7P91: Graduate Seminar for MSc and PhD Physics Graduate Students
Course Outline 2023/24 (FW 2023/24 D1)
What these courses are about:

These courses will involve independent study and presentation of major research papers in the area of specialization.


Students must be enrolled in a Physics Graduate Program.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
To develop research and communication skills through attending and participating in departmental and course seminars. Write abstracts and outlines. Develop effective presentation skills.

Times and Locations:
  • As scheduled -- watch for announcements by email and on the Brightspace site for the course.
  • Note that students are expected to attend all (virtual and in-person) departmental seminars and seminars by the other students in the class.
  • Course Communications:
    For class communications monitor your Brock email and the course Brightspace site.

    The marking scheme:
    Component Weight
    Seminar Proposal 15% Due: October 20 2023. Brief 1-2 page (2-3 page for PHYS 7P91) introduction to the proposed topic. Topic can be RELATED to your thesis but SHOULD NOT be a presentation of your thesis research. Topic should appeal to a general physics audience. Must include at least three references, at least two of which must be journal articles (five for PHYS 7P91 four of which should be journal articles). Submit electronically to course Brightspace site under the 'Assignments' tab.
    Detailed Seminar Outline 25% Due: January 19 2024. Indicate what you will discuss in the Introduction, what sections you will include in the main body of the seminar, what are the conclusions. You may include figures, and graphs. Include citations as needed. Submit electronically to course Brightspace site under the 'Assignments' tab.
    Seminar Abstract 10% Due: February 16 2024. Submit electronically to course Brightspace site under the 'Assignments' tab. Instructor will circulate it (PHYS 5P91 within the PHYS 4F90/5P91/7P91 group, PHYS 7P91 will be circulated to all members of the physics department). Must be a paragraph using proper English and provide at least one citation.
    Seminar Presentation 30% To be scheduled. Presentation should be geared towards a GENERAL AUDIENCE, not specialists in the subject area of the topic. PHYS 5P91 seminar should be 30 minutes in length, PHYS 7P91 seminar should be 45 minutes in length. PHYS 7P91 seminars will be open to all members (students/staff/faculty) of the physics department.
    Seminar Slides 10% To be submitted electronically to course Brightspace site under the 'Assignments' tab immediately following your presentation.
    Attendance, Participation and Etiquette 10% Attend all scheduled seminars including those by students in the course. Participate in question period following seminars. Display proper seminar etiquette.

    Important Dates:
    The last date for withdrawal from this course without academic penalty is January 19, 2024. For other important dates see the Faculty of Graduate Studies' sessional or important dates.

    • No late work will be accepted.
    • All submissions should be a proper word-processed document. Unless specified, you must submit as a .pdf file.

    Academic Policies:

    Academic Integrity:

      All students must comply with Brock's academic misconduct policies . Academic misconduct is a serious offence. The principle of academic integrity, particularly of doing one’s own work, documenting properly (including use of quotation marks, appropriate paraphrasing and referencing/citation), collaborating appropriately, and avoiding misrepresentation, is a core principle in university study. Students should consult Section XVII, “Academic Misconduct”, in the “Academic Regulations and University Policies” entry in the Graduate Calendar, available at Information on what constitutes academic integrity is available at .

    Intellectual Property Notice:

      All slides, presentations, handouts, tests, exams, and other course materials created by the instructor in this course are the intellectual property of the instructor. A student who publicly posts or sells an instructor’s work, without the instructor’s express consent, may be charged with misconduct under Brock’s Academic Integrity Policy and/or Code of Conduct, and may also face adverse legal consequences for infringement of intellectual property rights.

    Special Accommodation:

      The University is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all students and will adhere to the Human Rights principles that ensure respect for dignity, individualized accommodation, inclusion and full participation. The University provides a wide range of resources to assist students, as follows: ​
    • a) If you require academic accommodation because of a disability or an ongoing health or mental health condition, please contact Student Accessibility Services.
    • b) If you require academic accommodation because of an incapacitating medical condition, you must, as soon as practicable, inform your instructor(s) of your inability to complete your academic work. You must also submit a Brock University Student Medical Certificate (found at forms and self service ). The University may, at its discretion, request more detailed documentation in certain cases. If you are unable to write a scheduled examination due to an incapacitating medical condition, you must follow the process set out in the Faculty Handbook III:9.4.1.
    • c) If you are experiencing mental health concerns, resources can be found here.
    • d) Information regarding the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre can be found here.
    • e) If you require academic accommodation on religious grounds, you should make a formal, written request to your instructor(s) for alternative dates and/or means of satisfying requirements. Such requests should be made during the first two weeks of any given academic term, or as soon as possible after a need for accommodation is known to exist.
    • f) Information regarding Human Rights and Equity can be found here.

    COVID 19:

      All students are expected to comply with Brock Covid-19 policies. Information can be found here.