Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology BSc (Hons)

physics astrophysics and cosmology student examines kit
UCAS Code
F301
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019, September 2020

Overview

We’re learning more about our universe, but there’s still much more to discover. Join us in expanding our knowledge of astrophysics on this BSc (Hons) Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology degree course.

You’ll deepen your understanding of the fundamental laws of physics, and apply this knowledge to the structure and behaviour of some of the largest and smallest elements of existence.

As well as gaining knowledge and skills in physics, astrophysics and cosmology, you’ll develop a combination of mathematical and computational knowledge that's sought after by employers in many industries.

What you'll experience

On this course you’ll:

  • Be taught by leading scientists from the University's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG)
  • Explore stars, galaxies, black holes and gravitational waves
  • Use advanced equipment like SCIAMA, the University’s supercomputer
  • Access Hampshire Astronomical Group facilities at Clanfield Observatory, which are equipped with various telescopes including a 24-inch reflector
  • Go on visits to aerospace businesses like BAE Systems and Airbus Defence
  • 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)

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service will help you find a job or identify further study and academic research opportunities.

What can you do with a Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology degree?

Previous students on this course have gone on to further study, research and employment in areas such as:

  • PhD and Master's study in cosmology, astrophysics, astronomy and theoretical physics
  • the space systems and aerospace industry
  • education
  • medical physics
  • finance
  • data analysis

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

The opportunities granted to us at Portsmouth provide the backbone that inspires us to succeed. I am comforted to know that my career could go anywhere from here; there really are no limits to where a physicist can go.

Patrick Rennie, Physics Student

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology degree

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

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

Modules

Core modules in this year include:

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

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

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

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Computational Physics
  • Institution-wide Language Programme
  • Mechanics and Dymanics
  • Practical Laboratory and Field Physics
  • Universe, Planetary Systems, Stars and Galaxies

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

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

Core modules in this year include:

  • Modern Astrophysics 1
  • Physical Cosmology
  • Solid State Physics and Detectors

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Group Project
  • Health Physics
  • Introduction to General Relativity and Cosmology
  • Introduction to Multiferroic Materials and their Applications
  • Mathematical Methods for Physics
  • Nanoscale Surface Physics
  • Particle Physics
  • Project
  • Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information
  • Undergraduate Ambassador

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

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
  • tutorials
  • laboratory work
  • problem-based learning exercises
  • computational physics workshops
  • external site visits
  • project work

How you'll spend your time

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

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • laboratory reports
  • individual or group presentations and posters
  • coursework problem sheets
  • computer modelling reports
  • open and closed book examination

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 modules 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: 47% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 49% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 43% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 50% by coursework

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 104 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from A level Mathematics, Physics, or Electronics.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Qualifications or experience
  • 104 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from A level Mathematics, Physics, or Electronics.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,900 (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 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

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.

Apply

How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – F301
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

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.

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 4 September 2019.

In the meantime, sign up 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.

When you apply, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – F301
  • our institution code – P80

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also 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. 

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.

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