One of the main branches of science, physics deals with matter and energy. Much like the other areas of science, physics is crucial to our understanding of the world around us, exploring the motion of matter through space and time, as well as mechanics, heat, light, sound, electricity, magnetism and atomic structure.
Highlighted courses and degrees in Physics
An undergraduate degree in physics will give you a foundation of knowledge in the area, before covering the more complex concepts in physics. You will study modules on mechanics, fluids, waves and modern physics, among others.
Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical and laboratory sessions.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence the area in which you work post-graduation. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation, this will give you the opportunity to further research a favoured area of physics.
The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have different accreditation systems. Generally, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc), an integrated Master of Physics (MPhys), or an integrated Master of Science (MSci).
Some degree courses are accredited by a professional body of physics, for example the Institute of Physics (IOP). This is not currently a necessity for employment, and your institution will be able to provide more information about accreditation.
Typically, you can expect an undergraduate degree in physics to take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.
Once you have successfully completed your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of you studies might be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or a PhD, or a graduate certificate or diploma.
The entry requirement for a physics degree will depend on your institution. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their physics programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
Physics graduates will have many career opportunities available to them, both related and unrelated to the subject area. Within physics, you could work in roles such as research and development, technical consultancy, manufacturing, and science education. Outside of physics, you could work in roles such as aerothermal engineer, applications engineer, and wind analyst.
You will have gained a wide range of skills throughout your degree, such as problem solving, logic and reasoning, data analysis and advanced numeracy skills. This skill set will make you an asset to a variety of field.
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