Physics BSc (Hons)

4 years including placement year, starting in September 2018

Master the mysteries of physics from first principles to advanced problem-solving. You’ll be prepared for a career in industry or academia.

Physics is ‘the science of everything’. Study matter, energy and how they interact, from subatomic to cosmological scales.

Learn about the structure of physical laws and take part in their discovery. Along the way, you will learn to think like a physicist. You’ll also develop powerful problem-solving skills, preparing you not only for a career in physics, but many other fields as well.

You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills of an independent scientist, with sound mathematical and experimental expertise, and the ability to solve complex problems on your own.

There are lots of reasons to study physics at Bath. Read our top 5.


You’ll learn from academics with expertise across different research areas, from fundamental physics to technological applications. Their international collaborations and research activities feed into undergraduate teaching and contribute to your learning experience. 97% of physics students agreed their course was intellectually stimulating (National Student Survey 2017).


You’ll learn in well-equipped undergraduate teaching laboratories as well as our specialist research laboratories, depending on the specialisation you choose, to carry out projects with research equipment and high-performance computers. Some projects also involve links with research facilities and observatories in the UK and around the world.

Staff in the Department are really approachable and you’ll have regular contact with an Academic and Personal Tutor on a one-to-one basis, as well as through small group tutorials.


We are one of the ten universities most often targeted by Britain’s top graduate employers in 2016 to 2017 ( Our graduates go on to a diverse and interesting range of careers, such as scientific research and development, engineering, telecommunications, banking, finance, meteorology, oil, gas and space exploration. Many of our graduates also choose to go on to postgraduate study in preparation for academic or industry-based research careers.

Find out more about what our graduates go on to do.

Course structure

This course lasts 4 years. It starts in September 2018 and ends in 2022. Induction week starts on 24 September 2018.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Placement
  • Year 4


As part of your course you will take compulsory units covering key concepts. You may also be able to take optional units which assist you in developing your own interests.

You need to take 60 credits in each year of your course (usually split equally into 30 credits for each semester), so the number of optional units you can take depends on the number of compulsory units in each year of the course.

Six credits are the equivalent of at least 120 hours of study, including contact time with staff and independent study.

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.


Apply your skills and knowledge to a year working full-time in a scientific or other professional organisation, anywhere around the world. It is an excellent opportunity to evaluate future career paths and broaden your experience and transferable skills, giving a competitive edge when applying for graduate jobs. 95% of physics students agreed their placement was valuable in helping their learning (National Student Survey 2017).

You can choose from a wide range of roles to match your interests, from working in marketing to a lab-based role at a research institute. We have links with some of the industry’s leading companies and recent employers include BAE Systems, CERN, Dyson, Morgan Stanley, Rolls-Royce and Samsung.

Placement opportunities can not be guaranteed but you will receive tailored support from our specialist team to help you secure a placement.

Read more about placements.

Learning and assessment


  • Laboratory sessions
  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops


  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Multiple choice examination
  • Oral assessment
  • Practical work
  • Written examination

Typical assessment breakdown

This average assessment breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Your specific unit choices will determine the actual breakdown of assessment methods that you will experience.

% written exam % practical exam % coursework
Year Written Exam Practical Exam Coursework
Year 1 72% 20% 8%
Year 2 79% 20% 1%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 60% 18% 22%

Typical contact time breakdown

This average contact time breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Scheduled learning and teaching may include: lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Your optional unit choices will determine your actual personal contact hours.

% time in scheduled learning and teaching % time in independent study % time in placement/year abroad
Year Scheduled Independent Placement
Year 1 30% 70% 0%
Year 2 31% 69% 0%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 30% 70% 0%

Professional accreditations

By studying a course with a professional accreditation, you could have the chance to get workplace experience, learn about new developments in the industry and apply for membership with the accrediting body. You may also be able to apply for jobs in the industry without having to do any more exams.

“My mind just gets blown every time I go to a subject, so my interest just continues to grow.”
Tomas Northam De La Fuente

MPhys Physics including research placement (2019)

Entry requirements

Your application, especially your personal statement, should demonstrate your enthusiasm for studying physics. This might include relevant reading, voluntary or work experience, areas of interest from your current studies or other relevant extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. When describing your experiences you should reflect on what you have learnt from them, how they have influenced your development or how they are relevant to your future studies.

You will need a strong performance in both Mathematics and Physics as part of your entry qualifications.

If you are taking A levels, we may be unable to consider an A level in your own language (unless it is English or Welsh). We do not accept A levels in General Studies. If you are taking a GCE A level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.


Select the country where your qualification comes from.

United Kingdom qualifications

Typical offer A level


A*AA including Mathematics and Physics with A* in Mathematics or Physics (or Further Mathematics if applicable).

A level subjects that will not be considered in your application

A level General Studies will not be considered. We may be unable to consider an A level in your own language (unless it is English or Welsh).

Alternative offer A level


AAA including Mathematics and Physics plus one of the following:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives

Students presenting with one of the above project qualifications should receive both the typical offer and the alternative.

Typical offers for other qualifications

International Baccalaureate

36 points overall with 7, 6, 6 in three Higher Level subjects including Mathematics and Physics.

We have a strong preference for applicants who offer Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level. We may be able to consider you if you are studying one of these subjects at Standard Level (but not both). Our offer in this instance would be 7 in the relevant Standard Level in addition to our typical offer.

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer:
Pass the Access to HE Diploma (in Science or Science and Engineering), with at least 39 credits achieved at Distinction. This must include 12 credits achieved at Distinction from Mathematics units and 12 credits achieved at Distinction from Physics units.


Unfortunately, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diplomas (QCF)/ BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF) are not a suitable route for this course.

See the ‘Combinations of qualifications’ section for information about combinations of A level and BTEC qualifications that we can consider.

Cambridge Pre-U

Typical offer:
D2, D3, D3 including Mathematics and Physics with D2 in Mathematics or Physics

Alternative offer:
D3, D3, D3 including Mathematics and Physics plus one of the following:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives

Students presenting with one of the above project qualifications should receive both the typical offer and the alternative.

Open University Credits

Typically, we would be looking for you to have studied units worth at least 120 credits, including at least 30 credits at Level 2. We would ideally be looking for you to be taking units including:

  • S104: Exploring Science
  • MST124: Essential Mathematics 1 and MST224: Mathematical Methods

This information is a guide and all students applying with Open University Credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We will consider your application carefully and take note of any previous qualifications or relevant work experience. We may be able to consider alternative units to those listed. Please contact us to discuss your profile.

Typical offer:
Pass units worth 120 credits, including a minimum of Pass Grade 2 with 80% in both S104 Exploring Science and a Level 2 Mathematics unit worth 30 credits.

Please note that taking OU credits may be counted as degree-level study by the Student Loans Company and therefore may be counted as previous study and have an impact on your ability to access student loans/grants for the entirety of your chosen degree. We recommend that you discuss this in detail with the SLC before following this progression route to the University of Bath.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer:
AA in Advanced Highers including Mathematics and Physics plus AAAAA in Scottish Highers.

Combinations of qualifications

Your application will be considered individually based on the particular combination of qualifications and subjects you are taking.

We can consider combinations of accepted qualifications, such as A levels and a BTEC:

  • A*A in A level Mathematics and Physics plus grade D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)/National Extended Certificate (RQF) OR the Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma (QCF)/Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (RQF)
  • A*A in A level Mathematics and Physics plus D3 in a Pre-U Principal Subject
  • A*A in A level Mathematics and Physics plus 6 in an IB HL Certificate. While we do not consider the IB Careers Programme for entry, we are able to consider the combinations of components that are typically offered by this route, such as BTEC and IB HL Certificate combinations
  • A*A in A level Mathematics and Physics plus A in the IFS Diploma in Financial Studies

We can also consider combinations that are not listed and that do not include A levels. You should read the information about essential and preferred subjects and subject combinations. We cannot consider different qualifications in the same subject area.

Ireland qualifications

Irish Leaving Certificate

H1, H1, H1, H2, H2, H3  in 6 Irish Leaving Certificates with H1, H2 in Mathematics and Physics.

Hong Kong qualifications

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

5*55 in Physics and 2 other elective subjects plus 5* in core Mathematics and 5 in the Algebra and Calculus extended paper.

France qualifications

French Baccalaureate

16 overall with 16, 15 in Mathematics and Physics/Chemistry.

Option Internationale Baccalaureate (OIB)

15 overall with 16, 15 in Mathematics and Physics/Chemistry.

European Baccalaureate qualifications

European Baccalaureate

85% overall with 8.5 in both Mathematics (5 periods) and Physics (4 periods) with 9.0 in either Mathematics or Physics.

India qualifications

Higher Secondary School Certificate (12th Standard)

Average of 85% across 4 subjects with 85% in Mathematics and Physics.

We do not accept Physical Education as one of these 4 subjects.

These requirements are for the CBSE, HSSC and ISC boards. Please contact us if you are taking this qualification with a different board.

United States of America qualifications

Advanced Placement Tests

5 in AP Calculus BC plus 5 in both AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2.

You will also need to pass your High School Diploma and achieve an ACT score of 30 or SATR scores of 740 in both Mathematics and Evidence based Reading and Writing.

SAT Subject Tests

We do not accept SAT Subject Tests for direct entry to our degrees.

Singapore qualifications

Singapore A levels

AAA in 3 H2 level subjects including A in Mathematics and Physics.

Polytechnic Diploma (3 years)

We are unable to consider a Polytechnic Diploma for our Physics degrees.

Spain qualifications

Titulo de Bachiller

A score of 9 overall with 9 in Mathematics and Physics.

Germany qualifications


1.3 overall with 14, 13 in Mathematics and Physics.

The required grades in Mathematics and Physics must be achieved in your final examinations if you take them. If you do not take one of these subjects in your final examinations, you will need an average grade across 4 semesters in it.

Turkey qualifications

Lise Bitirme Diplomasi

CGPA of 85% with 85% in Physics and either Calculus or Mathematics in the final year.

Greece qualifications


19 in the Apolytirion plus A*A in A level Mathematics and Physics.

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels. We do not accept Pan Hellenic examinations in place of an A level.

Cyprus qualifications


19 in the Apolytirion plus A*A in A level Mathematics and Physics.

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels.

Fees and funding

Payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.

Read more about your payment options


Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, EU, Island or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees

See the most recent fees for undergraduate courses.

Placement fees

Placement fees vary

You will normally pay a reduced tuition fee while on a placement period or studying abroad. Find out more about placement fees and study abroad fees.


You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of text books.

Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation and food and drink.

If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.

Application information

  • Course title
  • Final award
    BSc (Hons)
  • Mode of study
  • Course code
  • Institution code
  • UK/EU application deadline
    30 June 2018
  • Overseas deadline
    30 June 2018
  • Application eligibility
    UK and Overseas students are eligible to apply
  • Regulator

Course enquiries

Undergraduate Selection

Apply for this course through UCAS.

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