Physics BSc (Hons)

Physics student using kit
UCAS Code
FF33
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Location
Main site

Overview

Do you like the idea of applying new technologies to solve complex problems? Are you interested in the how and why of creation?

Physics is the most fundamental of sciences. Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory challenge our imaginations as they reveal the amazing counterintuitive world that lies behind appearances. Advances in physics continue to lead to new technologies that change our world and forge a path to a brighter future.

You’ll graduate with strong mathematical, analytical, problem-solving and computational abilities that are in high demand in sectors like financial services, aerospace development and publishing. You can also go on to postgraduate study or further research.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Study topics including the fabrication of new bulk and nano-materials, and the application of fundamental quantum effects in the development of quantum information processes
  • Have the chance to do an industry-based major research project under supervision of a leading physicist
  • Make the most of our links to industry through the Portsmouth Physics Industry Advisory Board
  • Access our newly built laboratory facilities, the home of new advanced testing equipment
  • Get support from highly skilled academic, research and technical staff
  • Get to grips with exciting technologies including Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Vibrating Sample Magnetometry (VSM)
  • Use LabVIEW software – the same software CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) use to run the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator
  • Study at a university where physics research was ranked in the top 10 nationally for quality of research outputs in the latest Government-backed REF (Research Excellence Framework)
  • Contribute to the work of our research groups by taking part in a major final-year project

Work experience and career planning

Our Careers and Employability service can help you plan your career and find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and set you up for your future career.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Previous students have done placements in large organisations such as:

  • BAE Systems
  • Airbus
  • QinetiQ

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Careers and opportunities

After the course you could continue your studies by doing a PhD or other postgraduate qualification, join a graduate training scheme or go straight into employment.

Previous graduates of this course have gone on to roles in areas such as:

  • defence communications
  • medical physics
  • electronics
  • energy
  • aerospace
  • scientific journalism
  • teaching
  • finance

Whichever path you choose post-graduation, our careers and employability team will provide help and support for up to 5 years after you leave the University.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.
Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,100 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

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.

For compulsory fieldwork on this course, the cost of travel and accommodation is included in the course fee. You’ll need to pay for meals and other subsistence costs while completing fieldwork.

​What you'll study

Units currently studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Space Science and Applications of Physics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Introduction to Computational Physics
  • Introduction to Laboratory and Field Physics
  • Introduction to Mathematical Physics 1
  • Introduction to Mathematical Physics 2

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Introduction to Modern Physics and Astrophysics
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
  • Waves and Optics
  • Practical Laboratory and Field Physics

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Computational Physics
  • Universe: Planetary systems, stars and galaxies
  • Work Based Learning – Physics
  • Energy Resources

Core units in this year include:

  • Field or Laboratory Project

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Group Project
  • Project
  • Modern Astrophysics 1
  • Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information
  • Particle Physics
  • Health Physics
  • Physics Industrial Placement
  • Nanoscale surface physics
  • Introduction to Multiferroic Materials and their Application
  • Physical Cosmology

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

​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.

Learning support

​As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Teaching​

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • practical work
  • field work
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • projects

The focus of teaching on this course is on active learning, so you'll have the practical skills you need to succeed in your career.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 36% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 64% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 31% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 69% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 18% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 82% studying independently

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • coursework
  • practical work (both laboratory and field based)
  • presentations
  • production of posters and portfolios
  • a research based final-year project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

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:

  • Year 1 students: 28% by written exams and 72% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 55% by written exams and 45% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 45% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 43% by coursework

 

Apply

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.
How to apply

Want to start this course this year?

There are still a few places available. To discuss your options and secure your place, give us a call on (+44) 23-9284-8090 or ask us to call you back.

Want to start this course in 2019?

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – FF33
  • our institution code – P80

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Contact information
  • Admissions
  • +44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Get in touch

Programme specification
Subject Area
Mathematics and physics
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