Develop your understanding of physics as a core science
The BSc Physics degree will develop your understanding of the fundamentals of physics as a core science, and will build your knowledge and professional skills to prepare you for a career in any area of physics, including industrial applications and academic research.
You will be taught by research-active academics who are specialists in their field. UWS is part of a group of Scottish universities which have formed a research alliance with the aim of placing Scotland at the forefront of physics research.
There is high demand for physics graduates in Scotland and around the world, from industries including microelectronic telecommunications, optics and energy.
Physicists are also in demand in the public services, including in schools and hospitals, the civil service and research laboratories. UWS graduates now work with major companies including BAe Systems, Fujitsu, Motorola, and Nikon.
This course is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP).
In addition to work-based learning, the Honours sandwich degree also offers you the opportunity to complete a year’s paid work experience with an industrial or scientific employer in the UK or abroad. In recent years students have undertaken placements with Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and CERN Accelerator in Switzerland.
Broaden your horizons, learn a new language and prepare for the best international opportunities available with study abroad at UWS.
Science at UWS
Science courses at UWS have been developed in collaboration with industrial, professional and educational partners. Underpinned by research that is judged as “internationally excellent” and “world-class”, our degrees enable students to make a real world impact.
Our modern labs and workshops are fitted with industry-standard equipment, allowing for research in microbiology, physics, forensic science, analytical chemistry and biotechnology. Students also have access to work-based learning opportunities with industry partners including GlaxoSmithKline.
Our students graduate ready for a successful career or further study in their chosen scientific field.
student satisfaction in Physics - National Student Survey 2019
of all UWS students in work and/or study 6 months after graduating - HESA performance indicator 2016/17
What qualifications do you need?
We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points including Maths at HL (Physics also recommended)
Scottish Widening Access Programme: Access to STEM (BBB)
Scottish Advanced Highers: CCD (112 UCAS Tariff points) including Maths and Physics
A levels:BCC (104 UCAS Tariff points) including Maths and Physics
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 28 points including Maths and Physics at HL
Scottish Baccalaureate: Science*
SQA HNC / BTEC Level 4 HNC:Physics or Applied Sciences or other relevant discipline (for SQA HNCs, with a Grade A in the Graded Unit)
BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM*
* Applicants considered on an individual basis
SQA HND (Grade B) / BTEC Level 5 HND / Foundation Degree:Physicsor Applied Sciencesor other relevant discipline (for SQA HNDs, with Grade B in the Graded Unit)
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for most courses
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.
General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
overall score 6.0
no sub-test less than 5.5
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)
IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)
For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 6.5
no sub-test less than 6.0
For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 7.0
no sub-test less than 7.0
For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 5.0
no sub-test less than 4.5
TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students. For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*
C6 or above in English
*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:
10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).
The BSc Physics is designed to develop your knowledge and understanding of physics to an advanced level. You will study core topics in physics, along with option subjects.
As part of your degree, you will take part in practical classes which will enhance your familiarity with the principles and techniques of experimental physics, as well as general scientific research. You will have flexibility in your choice of final degree title.
Guest speakers from industry also form part of the course to further deepen your understanding of the subject and to explore potential career options.
Five core modules include physics and mathematics. One optional module can be chosen from a range of science, engineering or computing-related modules. The physics modules cover the Scottish Advanced Higher syllabus. Aspects of atomic physics and thermodynamics are also taught.
Learning and teaching:
Scheduled learning: 27%
Independent study: 73%
You will branch out to other areas including electronics, vibrations and waves, and mathematical modelling. Practical and professional skills are also developed.
Learning and teaching:
Scheduled learning: 28%
Independent study: 71%
Written Exams: 48%
Core modules include electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, and statistical physics. Two optional modules can be chosen from advanced calculus, advanced optics, imaging and nuclear medicine, and applied nuclear technology.
Learning and teaching:
Scheduled learning: 24%
Independent study: 76%
Written Exams: 62%
(Optional) industrial placement
This is an optional year spent in industry or a relevant scientific research laboratory.
Subjects are more advanced developments of those undertaken in Year 3, with additional topics including nuclear and particle physics, solid state physics, ultrasonics and nanotechnology, surface analysis and detectors. You will undertake a research dissertation where your knowledge can be applied to an original research problem.
Learning and teaching:
Scheduled learning: 18%
Independent study: 82%
Written Exams: 53%
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and workshops.
You will also have the opportunity to take part in group work and independent learning to develop your transferable skills such as research, presentation, communication and working as part of a team.
This degree is assessed using a variety of assessment methods including:
Learn a Language (optional)
This course also gives you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover multiple languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level. The cost of your language module is included in the tuition fees. Find out more
Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.
There is high demand for physics graduates in Scotland and elsewhere, from industries including microelectronic telecommunications, optics and energy.
Physicists are also in demand in the public services, including in schools and hospitals, the civil service and research laboratories. Our graduates work with major companies including BAe Systems, Fujitsu, Motorola and Nikon.
Some graduates choose furtherstudy at MSc,MResand PhD level. Others go onto complete a ProfessionalGraduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) to become a physics teacher at secondary school level.
Undergraduate Tuition Fees
Scottish campuses lab-based 2019/20
Scottish & EU
£1,820 cost per year of study (paid by the Scottish Government via SAAS*)
English, Northern Irish & Welsh
£9,250 Cost per year of study for four years but not more than £27,750
Channel Islands & Isle of Man
£9,250 Cost per year of study for four years but not more than £27,750
Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.
For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.
Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.
Tuition Fees* & Living Cost Support
Tuition Fees & Additional Costs
Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.
There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at undergraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.
If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.
Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.
All UK and EU applicants for undergraduate study, not applying through an agent or partner, should apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service)
The on-time application deadline for 2020/21 entry is 15 January 2020, 18:00 (UK time). For some courses it may still be possible to apply beyond this period, subject to suitable vacancies remaining. The final deadline for late applications via UCAS is 30 June 2020, 18:00 (UK time). Beyond this deadline, you may be able to apply via ‘UCAS Clearing’ if the course you are interested in has remaining places.
Students from non-EU/non-EEA countries can apply directly to UWS via our dedicated online application system. The latest we can process your application is 6 weeks before the course start date to allow for visa processing times. For more information on when and how to apply to study at UWS please refer to our International Undergraduate Application Guide.
For part-time & online study, you should apply directly to the University through our online application system, not through UCAS. Please select the part-time mode of study when submitting your application. Before you begin your application, it is important to read the part-time application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.
To come to UWS as a visiting student on a study abroad or exchange programme, you must apply entirely through our online system.
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.
Get in touch
Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!
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Life at UWS
Going to university is about much more than getting a qualification, it’s also the chance to enjoy an exciting social life, gain some independence and make the most of the new opportunities available.
We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.