Course details

A Levels AAA Other entry requirements
UCAS code F304
Duration 4 years
Fee Look up fee
Related subjects Physics

Any questions?

Undergraduate Admissions Officer
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 4362

Department of Physics and Astronomy

94% satisfied with course
National Student Survey 2016

98% found their course stimulating
National Student Survey 2016

Course description

This course emphasises the use of theoretical and mathematical approaches to understanding the laws of physics. You can choose further maths modules, and broaden your experience with project work too.

You'll spend your third year studying physics at a university abroad. We have links with 16 exchange partners in the USA, seven in Australia, five in Canada, three in Hong Kong and two in New Zealand.

This international element gives you experience of a different country and a wider range of learning environments.

Modules: what you study and when

Financial help from the University - bursaries

If you're a UK student, you could be entitled to a University bursary. A bursary is the same as a grant - you don't have to pay it back.

How our bursary scheme works

Entry requirements

Qualification Grades
A Levels AAA including Maths and Physics
A Levels + Extended Project Qualification AAB including AA in Maths and Physics + A. The Extended Project should be in a relevant subject
International Baccalaureate 36, 6 in Higher Level Maths and Physics
BTEC Not accepted
Cambridge Pre-U D3 D3 D3 including Maths and Physics
Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers AAAAB + AA in Maths and Physics
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels A+AA in Maths and Physics
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department

Modules - what you study and when

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department direct.

Course information on Department of Physics and Astronomy website

First year

Core modules:

Electromagnetism, Thermal and Quantum Physics
Mechanics, Waves, Optics and Special Relativity
Professional Skills in Physics I
Professional Skills in Physics II

Optional modules:

Mathematics for Physicists and Astronomers
Mathematics Core 1
Mathematics Core II
Supplementary Mathematics for Theoretical Physicists

Second year

Core modules:

From Electromagnetism to Quantum Physics
From Thermodynamics to Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Classical Physics
Programming in Python

Optional modules:

Advanced Calculus and Linear Algebra
Differential Equations
Aspects of Medical Imaging and Technology
Astronomical Spectroscopy
Computational Physics for Theoretical Physicists
Experimental Physics I
Extra-Solar Planets and Astrobiology
Mechanics and Fluids
Physics of Materials
Stellar Structure and Evolution
The Physics of Music

Fourth year

Core modules:

Research Project in Physics and Astronomy
Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Optional modules:

Analytical Dynamics and Classical Field Theory
Topics in Advanced Fluid Mechanics
Advanced Particle Physics
Advanced Programming in Python
An Introduction to General Relativity
Biological Physics
Dark Matter and the Universe
History of Astronomy
Introduction to Cosmology
Magnetic Resonance: Principles and Applications
Mathematical modelling of natural systems (Advanced)
Optical Properties of Solids
Optics and Symplectic Geometry
Particle Astrophysics
Physics Communication and Impact
Physics in an Enterprise Culture
Semiconductor Physics and Technology
The Development of Particle Physics
The Physics of Soft Condensed Matter

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.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Learning and assessment

These figures give an indication of how you'll learn and be assessed. They're a combined average of all the years of the course. The learning and assessment percentages could vary depending on the modules you choose.

Scheduled teaching 25%
Independent study 76%
Placement 0%

Exams/tests 71%
Coursework 24%
Practical 6%

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Is time travel possible?
Are there habitable planets in other star systems?
Can we make a quantum computer?

Our courses explore the laws of the universe from subatomic particles to stars and galaxies. You'll join a community of researchers and students looking for answers to some of the biggest questions in the universe.

All our undergraduates get hands-on experience working alongside staff on real research projects. We have a comprehensive range of modern facilities, including research laboratories, two telescopes on the roof of our building and remote access to a telescope in the Canary Islands. We host seminars by experts from the Institute of Physics and have an active student society.

Department of Physics and Astronomy website

What our graduates do

They are making an impact in many areas of society. Some are following careers in aerospace, telecommunications, teaching, defence and energy research. Others are achieving success in computing, accountancy and consultancy.

Organisations employing our graduates include Ernst & Young, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Toshiba, Museum of Science and Industry, Thales and the Home Office. Many of our graduates continue to PhD research and become research scientists in academia or industry.

Student profile


"I like that we are finding out about fundamental sciences and understanding about the world we live in. I've met so many amazing friends and had some great experiences. The department has helped me constantly with my work and made me confident and ready for the real world."

Lizzie Ratcliffe

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply:

How to apply >

When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website: >

Contact us

Undergraduate Admissions Officer
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 4362

Department website >

Visit us

University open days
There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Book your place >

Department open days
If we offer you a place on a course, you'll also be invited to a department open day. Physics and Astronomy open days are held between November and March.

Campus tours
Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Find out more and book a place online >