Key Facts

Code F511
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB with B in Physics and B in Mathematics

  • Course Length

    4 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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This Astrophysics Degree (F511) at Aberystwyth University incorporates the broad disciplines of astronomy that include cosmology and galactic astronomy, the solar system, gas giants and terrestrial worlds, red giants, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and quasars amongst others, allowing you to cover a broad area of learning and enabling you to specialise later in your career. With foundations in the key areas of physics and astronomy you will develop the essential core and transferable skills required by employers in this discipline that include education, business, and industry.

Department of Physics: 95% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates who graduated from the Department of Physics in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Employability
  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Student Views


Why study Astrophysics at Aberystwyth?

  • On completion of this degree you will leave with accreditation by the IOP (Institute of Physics) and a Masters qualification
  • Physics has been taught at Aberystwyth since its foundation and it continues to be an innovative learning experience for all
  • You will be taught by experts in their field
  • Our Researchers are involved in the current European Space Agency ExoMars 2020 Project and engineering low dimensional materials (i.e. graphene).
Our Staff

Department of Physics Lecturers are all qualified to PhD level and have a track record of research in their fields of specialisation.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (120 Credits) Students take the following modules: You may choose a Welsh medium (FG or MT) alternative module (see below) instead of an English (PA, MA, MP) module

Semester 1

Calculus MA10610
Classical Dynamics MP14010
Classical Physics PH11010
Introduction To Computational And Experimental Physics PH15700
Algebra And Differential Equations PH16210
Astronomy PH18010

Semester 2

Further Algebra And Calculus MA11010
Forces Of Nature PH11120
Physics Career Planning And Skills Development PH12910
Modern Physics PH14310
Introduction To Computational And Experimental Physics PH15720

Year 1 Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Ffiseg Glasurol FG11010

Cyflwyniad I Ffiseg Arbrofol A Chyfrifiadurol FG15700

Algebra A Hafaliadau Differol FG16210

Calcwlws MT10610

Dynameg Glasurol MT14010

Semester 2

Grymoedd Natur FG11120

Cynllunio Gyrfa A Datblygu Sgiliau Ffiseg FG12910

Cyflwyniad I Ffiseg Arbrofol A Chyfrifiadurol FG15720

Algebra A Chalcwlws Pellach MT11010

Year 2 Core (120 Credits) Students take the following core modules: You may choose a Welsh medium (FG) alternative module (see below) instead of an English (PH, MP) module

Semester 1

Mathematical Physics MP26020
Thermal Physics PH21510
Data Handling And Statistics PH24010
Stars PH24610
The Planets PH28510

Semester 2

Optics PH22010
Electricity And Magnetism PH22510
Quantum Mechanics 1 PH23720
Experimental Physics PH25520

Year 2 Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Ffiseg Mathemategol FG26020

Semester 2

Ffiseg Arbrofol FG25520

Year 3 Core (120 Credits) Students take the following core modules: You may choose a Welsh medium (FG) alternative module(see bleow) instead of an English (PH) module, and take FG34410 instead of a specialist Astrophysics module subject to approval by the Degree Scheme co-ordinator

Semester 1

Concepts In Condensed Matter Physics PH32410
Galaxies PH34610
Numerical Methods PH36010
Project (40 Credits) PH37500
Interior Of The Sun PH38310
The Solar Atmosphere & Heliosphere PH38410

Semester 2

Probing Atoms And Molecules PH32710
General Relativity And Cosmology PH34710
Project (40 Credits) PH37540
Space Plasmas PH39710

Year 3 Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Prosiect (40 Credyd) FG37500

Semester 2

Prosiect (40 Credyd) FG37540

Year 4 Core (120 Credits) Students take the following core modules: You may choose a Welsh medium (FG) alternative module (see below) instead of an English (PH) module

Semester 1

Electromagnetic Theory PHM2510
Quantum Technology PHM3010
Communicating Topics In Physics PHM4410
Major Project PHM5800
Advanced Numerical Methods PHM6610

Semester 2

Major Project PHM5860
Advanced Research Topics PHM7020

Year 4 Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Cyfathrebu Pynciau Mewn Ffiseg FGM4410

Prif Brosiect FGM5800

Semester 2

Prif Brosiect FGM5860


What can I do with a physics degree?

Our graduates have discovered career paths in;

  • Medical physicist
  • Radiation protection practitioner
  • Research Scientist

Other graduates from our department have sought careers in;

  • Systems developer
  • Product development
  • Technical author
  • Meteorologist

Employability is embedded across all of our teaching and ethics. We instill these skills to our students;

  research and data analysis skills
• enhanced mathematical and computational skills
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement

Further Information:

Year in Employment scheme (YES)
The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

GO Wales
GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

What will I learn?

In the first year you will discover;

  • The main branches of classical and modern physics underpinned by the core mathematical disciplines of algebra and calculus
  • Computational and experimental physics
  • Quantum theory
  • Dynamics
  • The principles of gravitational and electrostatic fields

In your second year you will explore;

  • Solar interior
  • Stars
  • Planets and planetary atmospheres
  • Thermal physics
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Mathematical physics
  • Data handling
  • Statistics

In your third year you will investigate;

  • Cosmology
  • Galaxies
  • Space plasmas
  • The solar atmosphere
  • The heliosphere alongside condensed matter
  • Atoms and molecules
  • Electromagnetism

In your fourth year you will study;

  • Electromagnetic theory
  • Quantum technology
  • Modern Physics
  • Advanced numerical methods
  • Your extended project

You will also get to take part in an intensive residential course, which includes sessions on planning a project, communication, and self-management skills and structured group work on presenting and assessing projects.

How will I be taught?

We teach our students through lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, practicals, individual and group-based project work.

We assess our students through coursework, presentations, lab reports, lab diaries and examinations.

Further information:

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

I love Astrophysics because the universe is a wondrous feat of reality, arising from the physical law of nature. A complex mixture of energy, mass, gravity, electric and magnetic fields gives rise to life and to the beautiful galaxies that we see in the night sky. Who wouldn't want to study that? Learning about the big picture of the universe instead of being confined to trivial problems in everyday life is character-building and a worthwhile venture. Geoffrey Knott

Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB with B in Physics and B in Mathematics

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh, Mathematics

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM with specified subject and B in A level Mathematics

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
28 points overall with 5 points in Physics and 5 points in Mathematics at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
Pass overall with 60% in Physics and 60% in Mathematics

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