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PREP: Practical Research Experience Program

Module PH8123

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2019 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2019SS 2018

Basic Information

PH8123 is a semester module in German or English language at which is offered in summer semester.

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
300 h 240 h 10 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH8123 is the Dean of Studies at Physics Department.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The PREP module is designated for students of the PREP exchange program only. Other students cannot take this module.
The PREP module is a blocked course starting at the beginning of June and ending mid of August. It encompasses an individually planned
participation of a student in a scientific research group. During this time, the students will carry out a part of a scientific research project
individually and under the supervision of an experienced researcher. The researcher will plan the project in ahead and the students can
apply for it while they are still at their home universities. During the project, the students will be integrated in the respective research group.
They will be closely supervised by their project-manager, who will personally explain the project in detail and will define the specific part of
the work, that has to be done by the student. The project-manager will also determine the extent of the project. He has to ensure that the
task can be completed within the time frame of the PREP course and that a presentable result can be achieved. During their project, the
students will be working individually and they are responsible that their working effort will be sufficient to finish the project successfully.

Learning Outcome

After participation on the PREP project, the students will have the ability to apply their theoretical knowledge and their skills to master a
scientific research project.
They will have learned to use the acquired experiences in their specific field of study to solve subject related questions and to use the
results of their analysis to plan further examinations. They will have learned to organize the schedule of their work individually and in
accordance with the progress of the project. The will be able to validate and to interpret their results. They will compare their results to the
findings of other researchers and to discuss their conclusions accordingly. Finally, they will be able to summarize their results and to
present them to a group of experts and laypersons.
Besides the subject related competences, the students will have acquired a broad spectrum on methods for solving complex problems and
they will have improved their foreign language proficiency. They will have also improved their ability to work individually and well as in a
team and they will have improved their social competences.


In this module the students will carry out a research project under the supervision of an experienced researcher. This module requires
advanced basic knowledge in the specific subject. Therefore, only students can take this module that have successfully finished at least
two full academic years at a university in the subject of their project.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Learning and Teaching Methods

The PREP module will be given as a practical project course. During that course the students will address a scientific research effort for
example by carrying out experiments or performing computer based simulations. For each student there will be an experienced researcher
who will personally explain each step of the project. After the explanation phase, the student will work under the direct supervision of the
researcher until they are able to carry on the project independently. At any time, the researcher will be available to ensure that the student
will always have a competent person to discuss the upcoming problems. The researcher will also advise the student in the use of
expensive research equipment.


Depending on the project, the students will receive their operating instructions according to the methods and technologies used in the
respective research group. These operating instructions may be given in written form, orally or as a personal demonstration.


As the students will participate in a scientific research project, they will collect the relevant knowledge by reading primary articles in
scientific journals. The students will be advised in the use of literature databases as well as the usage of the services provided by the
university library.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The examination consists of the presentation of a scientific poster, which summarizes the findings and results gained during the internship. During the poster presentation time of 30 minutes, the students will have to explain their project in detail and answer questions concerning their individual findings. The project supervisor will be present during the poster presentation and will grade the students’ performance. Depending on the project, the grading process may also include a written summary of the results and/or a presentation during the internal seminar of the research group. Both, the written summary and the oral presentation may be graded in addition to the poster presentation. In any case, the grade for the poster presentation will count at least 70% of the total grade.

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