Physics - Natural Science
Students who would like to take this option must have 'A' level Mathematics and Physics and further Mathematics with three year units of Mechanics. Students are expected that they take the NST part first 'A' Mathematics paper in parallel with Physics. The Physics paper focuses upon theoretical problems such as time when traveling close to the speed of light and the nature of space, everyday technical problems like the damping of oscillating systems. It focuses on two aspects.
First, it aims at bridging the gap between the more mathematically demanding university physics and the more qualitative physics taught at school. It employs the ideas of electricity and mechanics that students shall have met at school. It makes them exact, and shows them in action, for example, while studying rotating systems and the resonance, theories of oscillating systems, optics and waves.
It gives students a preview of some of the main themes in physics that will be developed in succeeding years as well. It focuses upon the ideas of special relativity, the concept of a field, wave-particle duality and quantum theory.
Students are encouraged to think out problems in physics for themselves and apply mathematical analysis to them. The practical classes lay emphasis upon physics in action and are associated with developing professional attitudes in assessing, performing and reporting experiments.
If students have interest in mathematics but wish to specialize in physics, then they may consider taking the mathematics with physics option in part first 'A' of mathematics. This paper offers students a good foundation for physics in later years within the NST. Students who have taken part first 'A' Engineering or part first 'A' computer science are accepted into second year physics.
Physiology of Organism
Students who have AS or A level Biology or Physics are useful for admission to this course. The work of physiologists is to study how living organism work. This option provides students the different functional solutions developed by plants, animals and microbes to the problems of survival. Students begin with the fundamental properties of a cell and the factors that deal with the stability of the internal environment that all cells need to perform their specialized functions.
In the first term with some lectures in second and third relate to animal physiology beginning with the function of muscles, nerves, respiratory system, cardiovascular and osmoregulatory systems followed by a broad consideration of homeostatic mechanism comprising topics of latest interest like the regulation of body weight.
In the second term, students are taught plant and microbial physiology comprising a look at the ecophysiology of interactions between plants and other organisms and plant pathology. The third term focuses upon animal physiology from a more comparative perspective. Students are encouraged to consider the similarities and differences in how plants, animals and microbes go about their business and to think why these differences and similarities might exist.
These lectures are complemented by a spectrum of exciting and challenging practical classes arranged by the Departments of Physiology, Plant Sciences, Development and Neuroscience and Zoology. The Physiology of Organism takes a significant position amongst the three first year biology subjects. It provides a broad functional context for the material covered in Biology of Cells and strengthen the wide material included in Evolution and Behaviour.
It is an important introduction to a broad range of second-year biological options and of general interest to students who are curious about how the machinery underlying plant and animal life actually works. Physiology is a wide and intellectually demanding subject.
Students are taught to think about problems on a broad scale considering the latest advances in cell and molecular biology devoid of losing sight of the whole organism. This exercise helps students to think about complex systems in general, for example, in business management.