UCAS code: F510
Duration: 4 years
School: Physics and Astronomy
College: Science and Engineering
Astrophysics introduces you to the basics of physics and demonstrates how this knowledge can be applied to the physics of astronomy. Recent astronomical discoveries have made it an increasingly popular area of study.
The School of Physics & Astronomy has close links with the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, one of the UK's major centres of astronomical research.
Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.
You will study compulsory physics courses and maths courses.
Physics 1A presents the pillars of physics upon which subsequent material is based and will develop your problem solving and study skills. It is innovative in its use of technology and offers an interactive learning experience.
Physics 1B introduces you to a wide range of physics topics, including waves, introductory quantum mechanics, nuclear and particle physics and how these impact our understanding of the universe. It also includes an introduction to university laboratory work.
You will study Mathematics for Physics 1 and 2 which include mathematical and problem solving skills in the context of algebra and calculus, with increasing emphasis on physical applications.
You will also have the option of studying Discovering Astronomy, Astrobiology or Introductory Astrophysics, or may decide to select courses from other academic areas.
You will study modern physics and physics of fields and matter. Supporting mathematics courses will cover algebra, calculus, dynamics and vector calculus and you will be introduced to practical physics, including programming, data analysis and experimental techniques.
Students entering the programme in Year 2 will take additional introductory courses in classical physics and mathematics.
Students will have the freedom to choose one or two courses from other academic areas.
You will study thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, electromagnetism, optics and quantum mechanics.
We offer a supporting mathematics course covering Fourier analysis, probability and statistics, a computing course on numerical algorithms, and an introductory course to research methods.
Students will be introduced to practical astronomy through the course Observational Astronomy.
In this year there are compulsory courses covering astrophysics, cosmology and relativity, nuclear and particle physics.
There is a choice of option courses including High Energy Astrophysics, Radiation and Matter, Computational Astrophysics, Galaxies, Stellar Evolution, Advanced Cosmology and General Relativity. You will also take part in project work.
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.
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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