Astrophysics (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

Astrophysics (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

School of Physical Sciences and Computing

UCAS Code

F471

Level

Under- graduate

Campus

Preston

Contact UCLan

University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

  • Duration:

    4 Years

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • UCAS Code:

    F471; Short form: APhys/Fe

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

Foundation Entry degree courses are designed for students who have the ability to study for a degree, but don’t have the necessary formal qualifications to enter directly onto their chosen Honours degree programme. Do you ever wonder how our universe came to be? Our Astrophysics degree course provides you with essential training to help find the answer, in understanding the application of physics to the stars and galaxies which make up the universe, whilst developing your skills in scientific methods. You will also develop your mathematical skills, and benefit from a state-of-the art learning environment for practical analysis, interpretation and modelling of astronomical data. This will provide you with excellent observational, mathematical and logical skills and these problem-solving abilities will make you particularly attractive to employers, not just in astrophysics, but in a wide range of fields including oil and gas, and medical physics.

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 72 UCAS Points including A-Level or AS-Level Maths or Physics. We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Pass (BTEC Physical Sciences/BTEC with AS Maths)
BTEC Diploma: Distinction, Merit (BTEC Physical Sciences/BTEC with AS Maths)
Pass Access Course: 72 UCAS Points with 15 Level 3 credits in Maths/Physics
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 72 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects including Higher Level or Standard Level Maths/Physics
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths and English. GCSE Maths grade A/7 accepted in place of Maths/Physics study outlined above.

We offer the opportunity to attend a maths diagnostic assessment for applicants who have not demonstrated clear enough evidence of mathematical ability within their application.

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.

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Course at a Glance

Year 1

  • Foundations of Applied Physics
  • Motion, Forces, and Force Fields
  • The Road to Quantum Mechanics

Continued

  • Foundation Mathematics 1
  • Foundation Mathematics 2
  • Foundation Mathematics 3
  • Foundation Mathematics 4

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Astrophysics 1: Structure of the Universe
  • Electromagnetic Radiation and Quantum Theory
  • Mechanics
  • Applied Physics and Linear systems
  • Practical physics 1 -  Programming and Experiment
  • Functions, Vectors and Calculus

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Astrophysics 2
  • Electromagnetism and Waves
  • Thermal and Quantum Physics
  • Special Relativity OR Solid State Physics
  • Practical Physics 2 - Computing and Experiment
  • Ordinary Differential Equations and Fourier Series

Optional modules

  • Physics Industrial Placement Year

Year 4

Compulsory modules

  • Formation, Structure, and Evolution of Stars
  • Cosmology and Galaxies
  • Practical Physics 3 - Experiment and Problem Solving
  • Project

Optional modules

  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Atomic Physics and Advanced Quantum Mechanics
  • Electodynamics and Plasma and Solar Physics
  • Partial Differential Equations and Integral Transforms

Further Information

All the BSc (Hons)/MPhys courses have common induction modules with the opportunity to choose your specialisation on completion: Physics, Applied Physics, Physics with Astrophysics, or Astrophysics. You can choose if you want to continue on to the MPhys route. If you are planning a career in scientific research, we would strongly recommend the four-year MPhys qualification.

The MPhys individual project provides an introduction to research and lasts a whole semester in the final year. This takes the place of the normal BSc project and may be undertaken abroad within a collaborating research group (such as Florence, Italy, South Africa or NASA).

The Masters MPhys course allows students to study to a greater depth than is possible on the Bachelors course, and takes and extra year to complete. You enrol onto the MPhys course in the first instance and can decide between BSc (Hons) and MPhys after the initial years of the course, taking into account your achievements and career aspirations. You will study six modules per year, making a total of 18 modules for the BSc and 24 modules for the MPhys. 

Established in 1993, the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy exists to pursue research into the physics of stars, galaxies and the Universe.

The Institute currently has 38 members, including 13 research students and 6 PDRAs. We are involved in a number of international collaborations, including being the leading member of the United Kingdom Southern African Large Telescope Consortium. This provides access to a world-class 10m telescope along with preferential access to other observing facilities at the superbly located South African Astronomical Observatory. In 2007 we became partners in the National Cosmology Supercomputer (COSMOS). We host the UK hub for data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Staff are also involved in our world-leading Astronomy by Distance Learning programme, delivered under our Study Astronomy brand.

You will have the opportunity to study abroad, either a whole year of study with an approved international partner university, or a project within a collaborating research group, such as in Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, or with NASA in the USA.

Graduates of Physics, Astronomy, and Astrophysics are amongst the most employable in the world and are in particularly high demand for technical and business sectors, where analytical and mathematical skills are at a premium. Graduates have found employment in industry, government research institutes, overseas laboratories and observatories, financial institutions, teaching and scientific journalism.

Meet our students

Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: The fee for the first year of the course will be £5,500 (UK/EU). Fees for years 2 to 4 will be £9,250* (UK/EU) per year

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

Case Studies

Professional Accreditation

All of our on-campus courses in Physics and Astrophysics are accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and completion leads towards Chartered Physicist (CPhys) status. Graduate IOP members can use the letters MInstP after their name.  Our distance-learning courses in Astronomy are recognised by the IOP, and courses in Astrophysics are also recognised by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), and students are welcome to join and become Fellows of the RAS (FRAS)

Learning Environment and Assessment

You will learn by a variety of methods including lectures, tutorials, seminars, problem classes, laboratory work, observatory experiments, individual project work and group work. Small class sizes ensure individual attention.

The course is assessed by a combination of written examinations, assignments, laboratory logbooks and reports, project report and presentations.

Facilities

Alston Telescope

We have recently invested over £200, 000 to install a new large telescope at Alston Observatory.

Specialist laboratory facilities for nuclear physics, optics, spectroscopy and electron microscopy support different aspects of the course.

The University has its own observatory, the Alston Observatory, one of the largest teaching observatories in the UK. It is used regularly by students on all degrees, and throughout the Astrophysics degrees, and enables you to make real astronomical observations.

UCLan’s Astrophysics course benefits from an excellent learning environment due to a number of state-of-the-art facilities. Our Astrophysics laboratories can be used for practical analysis, interpretation and modelling of astronomical data and using specialised software employed by research staff within the Centre for Astrophysics. This prepares graduates for the challenges of Earth-bound applications.

Opportunities

Through our well-resourced observatory and laboratory facilities, you will develop a sophisticated practical and theoretical knowledge base. Further opportunities are available for students to gain international experiences, as well as the potential to conduct research in specialist areas of study over the summer period (internships) under the supervision of renowned academics.

Staff expertise

The staff who deliver the courses are members of the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute within the School of Physical Sciences and Computing. The vast majority hold PhDs and are active researchers in a number of areas of physics and astrophysics. Many of our staff have a national or international research reputation, as assessed by the UK Research Assessment Exercise.

Read our Staff Q&A’S

Dr. Karen Syres  /  Dr. Mark Norris