Enhance your enthusiasm for physics with this full time undergraduate course. You will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of how fundamental physical theories can be harnessed to predict the behaviour of physical systems at the quantum level, in both the solid state and in the universe.
You’ll also have the opportunity to develop strong mathematical, computational and instrumentation skills that will enhance your prospects in research or employment.
On this course you can:
Designed to progressively encourage you towards independent life-long learning and to develop your research skills and interests, this degree could lead to further study or research.
Alternatively, physics graduates are highly regarded in many areas of industry, the civil service and other institutions.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
Graduate training schemes in various industrial sectors
There are opportunities to do paid summer internships, as well as work on a project over the summer and gain valuable work experience.
Charlotte Turner, BSc (Hons) Applied Physics student 2015
Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:
Key subjects covered in the first year include mathematical physics and dynamics, computational physics, electricity and magnetism, space science and modern laboratory techniques and skills. Alongside this you’ll learn the relevant practical and problem-solving skills, such as computational techniques that will be an important tool throughout your course.
Core units you will study in this year include:
The second year establishes much of the core curriculum but also allows a choice of energy or astrophysics units.
Year two core units
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
Part of the third year consists of a field or laboratory project that enables you to investigate and find a solution to a well-defined and often environmental problem. In addition, there are a variety of optional units to choose from.
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
Physics Industrial Placement is optional year in employment which is not included in the classification credits. Students must take either Group Projects or Project.
*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement).
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
You will be taught in a variety of ways, but our emphasis is always on active learning. We use a combination of lectures, practicals and fieldwork, seminars, workshops and projects, with comprehensive learning support from the academic staff.
The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
There is a variety ways in which you are assessed. Here’s how:
The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
Dr Chris Dewdney
This course will provide you with a deep understanding of the fundamental laws of physics and their application in explaining the nature of the material world on all scales and in the ongoing development of modern innovative technologies.
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LabVIEW is used for digital data acquisition, instrument control, virtual instrument design and automation. Matlab is used to develop programmes for computational physics simulations and calculations. There is a range of advanced testing equipment with expert technical staff always available to assist you. These include:
Our well-stocked student labs house a wide range of analytical equipment for testing of all possible physical properties including magnetic, electric, thermal, dielectric, structural, mechanical, optical and quantum properties under a wide range of environmental conditions.
Such equipment allows for the study and discovery of novel properties and physical effects in condensed matter, including the ability to fabricate new bulk and nano-materials with novel functional properties of technological interest. There is also a Quantum Optics Laboratory.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
The cost of travel or accommodation associated with compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee. You will be expected to pay for meals and other subsistence costs associated with compulsory fieldwork.
Many graduates go on to further study for MSc degrees or PhDs in a wide range of topics from photonics to astrophysics and cosmology. Recent graduates have also been employed in roles ranging from medical physics, scientific journalism, teaching and medical research. Many highly numerate physics graduates with modelling experience also go into a range of financial services.
Taking a placement year in industry could be one of the best decisions you make as more often than not, it leads to further opportunities after graduation. SPEC, our Student Placement and Employability Centre, not only helps you to arrange your placement but acts as a source of information and guidance throughout the recruitment process and beyond. We help on everything related to employability skills as well as assisting you in gaining other types of work experience.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
Once I finish my course I would like to carry on doing a Master’s in science, especially with the idea to carry on doing medical physics.
Roxana Waughman, BSc (Hons) Applied Physics student 2013
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To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.
After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates. You’ll also be able to explore course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
If you'd like to tour the campus or meet teaching staff before you apply, find out about our other visiting opportunities.
Booking for Open Days for 2019 entry opens soon. Register here for priority booking.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.