Physics and Astrophysics

BSc

UCAS code: FF35
Typical offer:
AAB
Length:
Three years




MPhys with Study Abroad

UCAS code: FF3M
Typical offer:
AAA
Length: 
Four years

MPhys

UCAS code: F3F5
Typical offer: AAA
Length: 
Four years




Don't meet our entry requirements?
International students: International Foundation Years
UK students: OpenPlus entry with the Open University

How to apply for this course









Other physics and astronomy degrees:

About the course

Few universities include as much astrophysics content in their Physics and Astrophysics course as the University of Sheffield. Our degree is split roughly 50/50 between the two subjects and students have access to:

  • a computer controlled 0.4m telescope and a robotic 0.25m telescope, both on the roof of our building
  • a 0.5m telescope on La Palma, Canary Islands, built in collaboration between the University of Sheffield and Durham University, and hosted by the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes

The astrophysics modules on your course will take you from learning how the universe evolved and how our solar system is structured, to advanced topics such as stellar atmospheres and nuclear astrophysics. Astrophysics students have the opportunity to visit the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma in third year, and previous students have spent a year working at the facility through our Degree with Employment Experience scheme.

As part of my course, I spent one year working as a support astronomer at the 2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma, in the Canary Islands.

I am very keen on observing, and being able to carry out observations of countless types of astronomical sources over a year was extremely enjoyable

David Modiano, MPhys Physics and Astrophysics with Employment Experience  READ MORE

Our degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics, which means that we cover all of the topics and training that you need to graduate into a professional physics career. You'll start by developing your essential physics knowledge, with subjects including mechanics, waves, optics, relativity, electromagnetism, thermodynamics and quantum physics, before studying these areas at a more advanced level in second year. You'll also have compulsory modules on topics such as the solar system, galaxies and stellar evolution, and a number of topics to choose from in third year. These are set out in the 'Course structure' tab.

You can learn computer programming using professional software such as LabVIEW and Python, and develop other practical skills during regular sessions in our teaching laboratories. Throughout your first and second year, you'll be trained in how to use essential scientific instrumentation in physics experiments, and how to use specialist computer software for collecting and analysing scientific data.

Teaching

You'll tie all of your skills and knowledge together in third year, when you'll complete an astronomy research project. You'll also have the option to do a physics research project or an extended project. This gives you the chance to work in one of our state-of-the-art research laboratories, work on solving a problem for one of our partners in industry, or gain experience of teaching physics in local schools. If you do one of our research-intensive MPhys degrees, you'll get to do an even bigger research project in and choose from even more optional modules in fourth year.

Research projects

Through our network of global partners, our students also have opportunities to visit leading institutions like the ATLAS project at CERN, the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma in the Canary Islands and the dark matter research facility at Boulby Underground Laboratory. This gives you the chance to experience the workings of a major research centre first-hand – talking to physicists at work or using state-of-the-art equipment.

Field trips

Course structure

Below are some examples of topics covered in this degree from the current academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course.




First year

Compulsory modules:

Second year

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Third year

Except for Study Abroad students

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Fourth year

MPhys students only

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers.

Physics and Astrophysics with Study Abroad

If you take a Study Abroad course, you'll spend your third year studying physics at another top university in the USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia. It's a great way to get an even bigger range of perspectives on the subject and experience life in another part of the world.

I chose to study at the University of Western Australia... The chance to study physics  in another country is not one to be missed and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering studying abroad.

Kirsty Taggart, MPhys Physics and Astrophysics with a Year Abroad  READ MORE

 Kirsty Taggart

Degree with Employment Experience

Students on all of our degrees, can join the University of Sheffield's Degree with Employment Experience programme and do a year-long work placement between their second and third year, or third and fourth year

Complete your placement successfully and we amend your degree title to reflect your experience, for instance: BSc Physics with Employment Experience.

David, pictured, worked as a support astronomer at the Isaac Newton Telescope on the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma, in the Canary Islands.

Degree with Employment Experience

Cropped version of David M's photo

I plan to pursue a career in research in astronomy, and this placement year has not only solidified this aspiration but also provided me with training and experience crucial to this field.

David Modiano MPhys Physics and Astrophysics with Employment Experience  READ MORE