Degree finder

Physics

F300

4 years

Full-time

BSc

Entry requirements

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA.
  • A Levels: AAA.
  • IB: 37 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, to include Mathematics at Grade A and Physics. Sixth-year work in Mathematics is strongly recommended.
  • A Levels: ABB in one sitting, to include Mathematics at Grade A and Physics.
  • IB: 32 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 655 HL to include Mathematics at Grade 6 and Physics.

Alternative qualifications

English language requirements

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • About English language requirements

SQA and GCSE

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:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 4

Entry to second year

For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AAA to include Mathematics and Physics.
  • A Levels: A*AA in one sitting, to include Mathematics at A* and Physics.
  • IB: 38 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 665 HL to include Mathematics and Physics at Grade 6.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

More information

Entry requirements

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA.
  • A Levels: AAA.
  • IB: 37 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, to include Mathematics at Grade A and Physics. Sixth-year work in Mathematics is strongly recommended.
  • A Levels: ABB in one sitting, to include Mathematics at Grade A and Physics.
  • IB: 32 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 655 HL to include Mathematics at Grade 6 and Physics.

Alternative qualifications

English language requirements

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • About English language requirements

SQA and GCSE

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:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 4

Entry to second year

For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AAA to include Mathematics and Physics.
  • A Levels: A*AA in one sitting, to include Mathematics at A* and Physics.
  • IB: 38 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 665 HL to include Mathematics and Physics at Grade 6.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

More information

Overview

This programme covers all aspects of physics, from its foundations to current research.

Whichever field of physics interests you the most, you will find a specialist among our staff, which boasts world experts in particle physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter, fluids, optics, cosmology and astronomy. Our broad expertise is reflected in the range of options we offer.

Accreditation

Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

What you will study

Year 1

You will study two compulsory courses: Physics 1A: Foundations and Physics 1B: Stuff of the Universe.

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 also be able to choose two courses from other academic areas and will complete a selection of mathematics courses.

Year 2

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 taking direct entry to second year 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.

Year 3

You will study thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, electromagnetism, optics and quantum mechanics.

Students will have access to an experimental laboratory and research methods course, as well as the opportunity to take a computational modelling or numerical computation course.

Year 4

In this year there are compulsory courses covering relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and condensed matter physics. Students also take project work and a course in experimental techniques, as well as selecting a number of further courses from a range available.

How will I be taught?

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.

How will I be assessed?

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.

Study abroad

You will have the opportunity to study abroad through the Erasmus programme or the University's international exchange programme.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Details

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.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Key Information Set

Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.

Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.

Why choose Edinburgh?

Choose to study with us and you will be investing in an education that will help you build a successful future.

You'll be taught by world-leading experts who will give you a lifelong thirst for knowledge and understanding.

Our research-led teaching encourages a pioneering, innovative and independent attitude to learning, while our focus on professional skills ensures success within and beyond University.

Our undergraduate Open Days are a great opportunity to come and see the University for yourself. You can learn more about the range of degree programmes available and ask questions about admissions, accommodation and job prospects.

About this programme

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

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