UCAS code: F325
Duration: 5 years
School: Physics and Astronomy
College: Science and Engineering
This programme is for students interested in understanding the fundamental principles of physics, as expressed through the language of mathematics.
It encompasses the work of Newton, Maxwell and Einstein through to Feynman, Hawking and Higgs and will equip you for any career that requires analytical thinking to solve the challenging problems facing the modern world.
Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.
You will study four compulsory courses: Physics 1A, Introduction to Linear Algebra, Calculus and its Applications and Mathematics for Physics 2. You will also have the opportunity to take a further course in pure mathematics or physics.
You will study modern physics, dynamics, fields and waves, and physics of matter. Mathematics courses will cover several variable calculus and the foundations of pure mathematics. You will be introduced to practical physics, including programming, data analysis and (optionally) experimental techniques. You will also have the freedom to choose a further specialist maths course or a course from other academic areas.
You will study core courses in quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, electromagnetism and relativity, and lagrangian dynamics. You will also undertake further specialist mathematics and physics courses from a range available.
In this year there are a number of compulsory courses covering quantum theory, symmetries of quantum mechanics, classical electrodynamics, Hamiltonian dynamics and statistical physics. Students also take a number of other courses from a range available.
Your final year is largely devoted to a research project chosen from a wide range of topics. You will also complete a number of advanced-level courses including relativistic quantum field theory.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
In Year 1, teaching is based in the Central Area and thereafter at the University's King's Buildings campus. During your first three years you will use the undergraduate laboratories and the University's libraries and computer facilities. From Year 2 you will also have access to the Computational Physics Laboratory.
In Year 4 (and 5) you will typically complete a placement within a research group, where you will be able to access the University's world-class research equipment and facilities.
You will have the opportunity to study abroad through the Erasmus programme or the University's international exchange programme.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and practicals, which fully exploit the latest teaching technology and help to develop your problem-solving skills.
From third year you will also complete group projects and undertake research projects under the supervision of one of the School’s academic or research staff members.
Assessment is by a combination of continuous assessment and examinations. Practical and computing courses have laboratory write-ups and checkpoint assessment.
Other courses are assessed by presentations, assessing each other’s work and writing critical reviews of scientific literature.
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
A wide range of employers recognise that physics graduates have advanced problem-solving skills and the ability to think logically and critically about complex situations. Add this to a high level of mathematical ability, computing and IT proficiency and communication skills in written, oral and online media, and graduates have opportunities in a diverse range of careers.
Our recent graduates have gone on into employment with a wide variety of organisations, including Google, the European Space Agency, the BBC and IBM. Physicists are sought after by a range of sectors, including engineering, manufacturing, energy, finance, medicine and space industries.
A number of our graduates undertake further study, including undertaking PhD research, completing a masters in a science or engineering subject, or undertaking a postgraduate diploma in education.
The typical offer is likely to be:
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.
For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:
Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).
You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.
If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:
For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
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