BSc Physics

Image for BSc PhysicsIn choosing to study a Physics Degree at Aberystwyth University you will be taught by talented members of staff in a leading academic department. You will explore the breadth of Physics through a range of exciting and specialist modules such as relativity, quantum mechanics, atomic, nuclear and particle physics, lasers and instrumentation and many more. The Physics Degree (F300) links to many spheres of interest, and students studying this diverse subject are very much in demand, with employment opportunities for Physics graduates expanding all the time. Expand the sections below and find out more...


Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines, but one which makes significant contributions to modern society, with theoretical breakthroughs feeding into new sciences and fostering modern technologies. The concepts of physics form the basis of most scientific language and the subject finds its way into most modern scienctific and technological avenues, enhancing the scope for your future employment prospects.

Why study Physics at Aberystwyth?

Our Physics courses are accredited by the Institute of Physics (IoP), a leading scientific society which engages with policymakers and the general public to advance physics education, research and application, giving you a head start when you enter the competitive jobs market.

Physics has been taught at Aberystwyth since the foundation of the university in 1872, making the university the first in Wales to teach the subject. Despite our heritage we have continued to innovate ensuring that the degree schemes we offer will provide you with the best Physics degree you can possibly obtain.

Our lecturers are also researchers working at the cutting edge of their respective fields, so you can be confident that your learning experience will be informed by the latest specialist knowledge along with advanced instrumentation, modelling and techniques. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (2008) 70% of research submitted in Physics was rated as being internationally recognised.

The Department offers a number of modules through the medium of Welsh. Further details are available from the Department.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Year 1 Core (100 Credits) Students must take the following modules: You may choose a Welsh medium (FG or MT) alternative module (see below) instead of an English (PH, MA, MP) module

Semester 1

Algebra And Calculus MA10020

Classical Dynamics MP14010

Classical Physics PH11010

Introduction To Computational And Experimental Physics PH15700

Semester 2

Further Algebra And Calculus MA11010

Forces Of Nature PH11120

Modern Physics PH14310

Introduction To Computational And Experimental Physics PH15720

Year 1 Options Students should take a further 20 credits at least 10 of which should be from the following

Semester 1

Astronomy PH18010

Chaos, Communications And Consciousness PH19510

Semester 2

Career Planning And Skills Development MP12910

Energy And The Environment PH19010

Year 1 Options Welsh medium alternative modules:

Semester 1

Ffiseg Glasurol FG11010

Cyflwyniad I Ffiseg Arbrofol A Chyfrifiadurol FG15700

Algebra A Chalcwlws MT10020

Dynameg Glasurol MT14010

Semester 2

Grymoedd Natur FG11120

Cyflwyniad I Ffiseg Arbrofol A Chyfrifiadurol FG15720

Algebra A Chalcwlws Pellach MT11010

Cynllunio Gyrfa A Datblygu Sgiliau MT12910

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

Instrumentation Systems PH24520

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

Final Year Core (100 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

Quantum Information Theory 1 MP35610

Condensed Matter 1 PH32410

Semiconductor Physics PH33610

Optronics PH34510

Numerical Methods PH36010

Project (40 Credits) PH37500

Semester 2

Probing Atoms And Molecules PH32710

Project (40 Credits) PH37540

Final Year Options Students must take a further 20 credits from the following modules:

Semester 2

Quantum Information Theory 2 MP35710

Science Of Semiconductor Applications PH33710

Condensed Matter 2 PH33810

Final Year Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Prosiect (40 Credyd) FG37500

Semester 2

Prosiect (40 Credyd) FG37540


Career prospects

A degree in Physics will prepare you for such career destinations as medical physicist, scientific laboratory technician, radiation protection practitioner, and research scientist. Other career paths may include systems developer, product development scientist, technical author, or meteorologist. Further study at postgraduate level will open doors into research, lecturing and teaching.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Physics will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• research and data analysis skills
• enhanced mathematical and computational skills
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• the facility to deal with abstract concepts
• a thorough grounding in information technology 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

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 study classical and modern physics, underpinned by the core mathematical disciplines of algebra and calculus. You will be introduced to computational and experimental physics, dynamics, and the basic principles of gravitational and electrostatic fields. You will be able to choose from a range of optional modules, including such subjects as astronomy or energy sources and their environmental impacts.

In the second year you will study thermal physics, quantum mechanics, experimental analogue electronics, data handling and statistics, and instrumentation systems.

In the third year you will investigate semiconductor physics, optronics, electromagnetism, atoms and molecules, and condensed matter. You will be introduced to the basic techniques of numerical analysis used in computational physics. You will also undertake a special project under the guidance of your personal project supervisor, which will include a review of the scientific literature in your chosen field, experimental and laboratory work, and the presentation of your findings in written and oral form.

You may also undertake a career planning module as part of your course, which will enhance your employability prospects and enable you to develop valuable transferable skills.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a complementary set of teaching and learning methods and approaches, ranging from formal lectures, seminars and tutorials to workshops, practicals and individual and group-based project work. A strong emphasis is placed on project work which is linked to active research interests.

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework, projects, presentations, lab reports, lab diaries, portfolios and examinations.

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

Everyday Physics enhances your understanding of the universe and everything we experience. Passionate scientists inform you of their contributions to science at the forefront of physics. Your time is split between gaining hands-on laboratory experience using exciting equipment including lasers, oscilloscopes and spectrometers, and lectures that will inspire and interest you. Each module challenges your intelligence and allows you to gain knowledge that most people benefit from but do not know exists. Students achieve excellence, and stretch their minds. It requires time and effort, but the skills and understanding you gain are second to none. Sarah Chandler

Key Information Set

Key Facts

UCAS Code: F300

Tariff Required: 280

Entry Requirements: Grade B in A level Mathematics and grade B in A level Physics. GCSE: Grade C in English or Welsh. Grade C in Mathematics.

Course Length: 3 Years

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