Physics and Astrophysics


UCAS code: FF35
Typical offer:
Three years

MPhys with Study Abroad

UCAS code: FF3M
Typical offer:
Four years


UCAS code: F3F5
Typical offer: AAA
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 robotic 0.5m telescope and a computer controlled 0.4m telescope, both on the roof of our building
  • a 0.5m telescope in La Palma, Canary Islands, part of 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 – previous undergraduates have been based there for their third or fourth year research projects.

I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to carry out my research project while working as a student support astronomer at the Isaac Newton Telescope in La Palma. This position gave me my first opportunity to experience life as an astronomer at an observatory, and while the job was hard, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Evelyn Johnson, MPhys Physics and Astrophysics  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.


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 ATLAS project at CERN, the Newton Group of Telescopes 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.

Isabelle, pictured, worked with the Science and Technology Facilities Council at Daresbury Laboratory, a government scientific research company where a new particle accelerator is being built.

Degree with Employment Experience

Isabelle Gessey

I really feel like I am contributing to the scientific community.

Isabelle Gessey, MPhys Physics and AStrophysics with Employment Experience  READ MORE