Astrophysics Foundation Entry Route, MPhys MPhys

Astrophysics Foundation Entry Route, MPhys MPhys

School of Physical Sciences and Computing

UCAS Code

F279

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:

    5 Years

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • UCAS Code:

    F279; Short form:

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September

  • Award Type:

    MPhys

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 MPhys 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 Maths or Physics, (AS Maths or Physics at C to meet subject requirements only). 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
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 72 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4

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.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

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

Yera 2 and 3

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

 


 

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 and 5

Compulsory modules

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

Optional modules

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

 


 

Compulsory modules

  • Galaxies 2
  • Planet Formation
  • Project

Optional modules

  • Plasma and Solar Physics 2
  • General Relativity

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.

The staff who teach on these courses are all members of the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy. They all have doctoral research degrees and come from diverse and international backgrounds. Research interests include: solar physics; stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astrophysics; cosmology and large-scale structure; computational astrophysics; acoustics; optics and photonics; magnetic materials; condensed matter; and computational molecular modelling.

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

In the years leading up to final year, six modules must be studied. In final year, half the time is spent on three lecture/lab modules, and the other half on the MPhys Project, which is a substantial research project.

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.

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.

Specialist laboratory facilities include nuclear physics, mechanics, optics, quantum physics, laser physics, spectroscopy and astrophysics, support different aspects of the course. The Physics Teaching Laboratories have recently benefitted from an investment of over £40,000 for new equipment.

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.

Opportunities

Progression onto the MPhys programmes is possible from any of the BSc (Hons) programmes in Physics and Astrophysics, subject to suitable academic performance.

Each summer, UCLan offers a programme of Undergraduate Research Internships, and our MPhys students have been very successful in gaining these. Also, each year there are opportunities for students to apply for travel bursaries. Recent trips include South Africa, China, and Hawaii. There is also the possibility to study a year abroad at one of UCLan’s international partner institutions.

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 MPhys graduates go on to further study, such as a PhD, or MSc degrees in a range of topics in physics and engineering. Some choose to train in teaching (PGCE), or find work in industry or government laboratories. An MPhys degree is a highly employable qualification.

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.

Most of our distance-learning Astronomy students have a passionate interest in the subject, and those completing the degree course can go on to further study, teaching, or work in an observatory. Other possible careers include science communication and public outreach.

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