Course details

A Levels AAB Other entry requirements
UCAS code FV35
Duration 3 years
Fees and additional costs Home students Overseas students Fee status help
Related subjects Physics Philosophy

Any questions?

Undergraduate Admissions Officer
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Telephone +44 114 222 4362
Email physics.ucas@sheffield.ac.uk
Website sheffield.ac.uk/physics/undergraduate-admissions

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Top ten in the UK for research output
Research Excellence Framework 2014

Russell Group top five for overall satisfaction
National Student Survey 2019

Course description

This combination of subjects produces well-rounded graduates: scientists who understand the philosophical problems raised by scientific concepts.

The science half of the course covers the whole spectrum of modern physics. It will also help you develop the skills and the personal qualities physicists rely on. The philosophy part of the course is unusually flexible. There are no compulsory modules.

You can develop your understanding of key areas of philosophy such as ethics, philosophy of mind, theory of knowledge, political philosophy, metaphysics and logic. We also teach courses on major figures in the history of philosophy, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Hegel.

Accreditation
Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

Modules: what you study and when

About dual honours and major/minor degrees

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 AAB, including Maths and Physics
A Levels + additional qualifications ABB, including Maths and Physics + B in a relevant EPQ
International Baccalaureate 34, 6, 5 in Higher Level Maths and Physics
BTEC Not accepted
Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers AAAAB + AB in Maths and Physics
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AA in Maths and Physics
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
  • Students must have passed the practical element of any science A Level taken
  • You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
  • Equivalent English language qualifications
  • Access Sheffield - find out if you're eligible for additional consideration or an alternative offer
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

Course information on Department of Philosophy website

First year

Core modules:

Mathematics for Physicists and Astronomers
Fields and Quanta
Motion and Heat

Optional modules:

Matters of Life and Death
Mind, Brain and Personal Identity
Self and Society
Writing Philosophy
Death
Elementary Logic
History of Ethics
Knowledge, Justification and Doubt
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Sex
Reason and Argument

Second year

Core modules:

Classical and Quantum Physics

Optional modules:

Ethics: Theoretical and Practical
Ethics: Theoretical and Practical
Feminism
Formal Logic
Metaphysics
Philosophy of Education
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of the Arts
Political Philosophy
Reference and Truth
Religion and the Good Life
The Rationalists
Theory of Knowledge
Physics of Materials
Programming in Python
Special Relativity & Subatomic Physics
The Physics of Music

Third year

Core modules:

Problem Solving and Advanced Skills in Physics

Optional modules:

Ancient Chinese Philosophy
Feminism
Free Will & Religion
Global Justice
Industrial Group Project in Physics
Language, Speakers and the World
Metaphysics
Microscopy and Spectroscopy Laboratory
Moral Theory and Moral Psychology
Pain, Pleasure, and Emotions
Phenomenology
Philosophical Project 1
Philosophical Project 2
Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of Psychology
Physics Education and Outreach
Plato's Symposium
Sources of Normativity
The Political Philosophy of Climate Change
Utopia, Reform and Democracy
Advanced Programming in Python
Atomic and Laser Physics
Dark Matter and the Universe
Further Quantum Mechanics
History of Astronomy
Introduction to Cosmology
Mathematical Physics
Nuclear Astrophysics
Nuclear Physics
Particle Physics
Physical Computing
Physics Level 3 Project 1
Physics Level 3 Project 2
Physics in an Enterprise Culture
Semiconductor Physics and Technology
Solid State Physics
Statistical 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.

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 numerous general and specialist seminars by Physicists from around the world.

Department of Physics and Astronomy website

Department of Philosophy

We pride ourselves on the diversity of our modules and the high quality of our teaching. Our staff are among the best in the world at what they do. They're active researchers so your lectures and seminars are informed, relevant and exciting. We'll teach you how to think carefully, analytically and creatively.

Our staff and students use philosophy to engage with real world issues. You will be able to use what you learn to make a difference in the community, through projects like Philosophy in the City, an innovative and award-winning programme that enables students to teach philosophy in schools, homeless shelters and centres for the elderly. Out students run a thriving Philosophy Society and the only UK undergraduate philosophy journal. Our Centre for Engaged Philosophy pursues research into questions of fundamental political and social importance, from criminal justice and social inclusion to climate ethics, all topics that are covered in our teaching. Philosophy changes our perspective on the world, and equips and motivates us to make a difference.

Department of Philosophy 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


"Sheffield's fantastic because the lecturers are really friendly and they're all really approachable, and there are loads of different ways to get involved apart from your lectures."

Emma Shephard
Philosophy

MPhys or BSc?
Our BSc courses focus on core knowledge and skills. The MPhys courses have an additional element of research work experience and more opportunity to study topics in greater depth. If you plan to follow a career as a research scientist, an MPhys degree would be most appropriate.

A built-in insurance offer
If you firmly accept as your first choice an offer for our MPhys courses, but your A Level grades are AAB, you're guaranteed a place on the BSc.

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:

ucas.com >

Contact us

Undergraduate Admissions Officer
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Telephone +44 114 222 4362
Email physics.ucas@sheffield.ac.uk

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 >

Applicant days
If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

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

Find out more and book a place online >