Physics

Physics BSc (Hons)

Are you inspired by the bizarre worlds of relativity and quantum mechanics? Do you have a passion to understand the fundamental principles that govern everything from atoms to galaxies? Then UCLan’s Physics degree courses provide thorough education in the subject, from nanophysics to lasers, and beyond. You will improve your mathematical skills, backed up by practical laboratory experience, and gain an in-depth knowledge of the laws of physics, and how they apply to real situations. You will become highly proficient at problem solving and solving challenges by thinking creatively. These, along with the practical skills gained through planning experiments, processing, analysing, and interpreting data, are skills highly sought after by employers.
 

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to travel to America. The Arizona trip was part of a STEMettes mentoring programme, in conjunction with Deutsche Bank, while my visit to NASA Goddard was amazing. I was there for a week and I interviewed astronaut Piers Sellers and Nobel physics laureate John Mather along with writing blog entries for NASA Blue Shift.

Jasmin Evans, BSc (Hons) Physics graduate

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: three years/four years with industrial placement; Part-time: Typically six years

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:

    F300

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September

  • Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) - graduates can use their course to contribute to Chartered Physicist status at Bachelors or Master’s level.
  • Our low student-to-staff ratio provides a supportive student environment enabling individual supervision of final year projects. These are typically carried out in active experimental research laboratories alongside our postgraduate research students.
  • Physics teaching laboratories have recently benefitted from refurbishment and increased space.

Course Overview

Year 1

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 2

Compulsory modules

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

Optional modules

  • Physics Industrial Placement Year
  • Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics
  • Measurement, Instrumentation, LabVIEW, and Interfacing

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Condensed Matter and Surface Physics
  • 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

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 120 UCAS Points including A-level B in Maths and 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.

BTEC: Considered with A-Level grade B Maths and Physics
Pass Access Course: 128 UCAS Points including 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction in Maths and Physics
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 128 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects including HL5 Maths and Physics
IELTS: 6.0
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Further Information

All the BSc (Hons)/MPhys Physics degree courses have a common first year with the opportunity to choose your specialisation at the end of that year: Physics, Applied Physics, Physics with Astrophysics, or Astrophysics. You can choose if you want to continue on to the MPhys route at the end of Year 2 (Year 3 if you started in the Foundation Entry). If you are planning a career in scientific research, we would strongly recommend the four-year MPhys qualification.

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. The BSc (Hons) Physics course takes three years, with the undergraduate Masters MPhys course which allows students to study to a greater depth than is possible on the Bachelors course, takes four years to complete. You enrol onto the MPhys course in the first instance and decide between BSc (Hons) and MPhys after Year 2 (Year 3 if you started in the Foundation Entry) , taking into account your achievements and career aspirations. You will study six modules per year, making a total of 18 modules for the BSc (Hons) and 24 modules for the MPhys.

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.

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

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. 

Amazing Opportunities

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. Many of our BSc (Hons) Physics degree graduates go on to further study, such as MSc degrees in a range of topics in physics and engineering. Some choose to train in teaching (PGCE), but most will find work in industry or government laboratories. Progression onto the BSc (Hons) programmes is possible from the Physics Foundation (Year 0) programme, or by direct entry from a suitable course.

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.

IOP logo

PROFESSIONAL PLACEMENTS

This course offers an optional 48-week sandwich placement in industry – this comes between the second and third years and is highly recommended. Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first two years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability.

The benefit of the experience gained during a placement is often evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs. We will support you in preparation for this with UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

VIBRANT RESEARCH CULTURE

You will become an active part of our vibrant research culture – through research-informed teaching, projects and funded internships. You will benefit from world-leading research-led content – astrophysics and physics, pioneering research in nanoscience, computational and experimental physics.

The Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy pursues research into analytical acoustics, non-associative algebras, model theory and its applications, theoretical and laboratory-based physics, and the astrophysics of planets, stars, galaxies and the Universe.

Physics

Facilities

The University has its own observatory, the Alston Observatory, one of the largest teaching observatories in the UK. It is used weekly by Year 1 students on all degrees, and throughout the Astrophysics degrees, and enables you to make real astronomical observations.

We have recently invested over £200,000 to install a new large telescope at Alston Observatory. The Moses Holden Telescope (MHT), a 70 cm diameter state-of-the-art robotic telescope is used for both undergraduate teaching and to encourage public engagement in science.


Specialist laboratory facilities include nuclear physics, mechanics, optics, quantum physics, laser physics, spectroscopy and astrophysics, and support different aspects of the course.

The Physics Teaching Laboratories have recently benefitted from an investment of over £40,000 for new equipment.Assessment is by written examinations, assessed problem sheets, logbooks, scientific reports, and seminar presentations.

The Alston Observatory 

Nanophysics Laboratory

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Physical Sciences and Computing

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course 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.