BSc

Physics with Planetary and Space Physics

Key Facts

Code F364
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBC with B in Physics and B in Mathematics

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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The Aberystwyth Physics with Planetary and Space Physics degree scheme provides you with a fundamental core of physics alongside a detailed exploration of the physics of the solar system and an overview of modern astronomical science. The nucleus of mainstream physics ensures flexibility in further study or employment after graduation and provides the necessary background for the specialist modules.

Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of Physics and Astronomy (NSS 2016)

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
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Views

Overview

Why study Physics with Planetary and Space Physics at Aberystwyth?

  • On completion of this degree you will leave with accreditation by the IOP (Institute of Physics)
  • 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
  • You will have access to specialist astronomical equipment
  • Our Researchers are involved in the current European Space Agency ExoMars 2020 Project.
  • The Department offers a number of modules through the medium of Welsh. Further details are available from the Department.
Our Staff

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

Modules

Employability

What can I do with a physics degree?

Our graduates from this course have been successful in obtaining employment within the space industry.

Other graduates from the Physics department have discovered the following pathways;

  • Medical physicist
  • Radiation protection practitioner
  • Research Scientist

Other graduates from our department have sought careers in;

  • Systems developer
  • Product development
  • Technical author
  • Meteorologists

Employability is embedded across all of our teaching and ethics. We instil 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

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In your first year you may discover;

  • The main branches of classical and modern physics
  • The core mathematical disciplines of algebra and calculus
  • The computational and experimental physics
  • Classical Dynamics
  • The basic principles of gravitational and electrostatic fields

In your second year you may explore;

  • Stars
  • Planets
  • Thermal Physics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Data handling and statistics
  • Optics
  • Experimental Physics

In your third year you may study and undertake;

  • Space plasmas
  • Planetary atmospheres
  • Ionospheres and magnetospheres
  • The solar atmosphere and heliosphere
  • Atoms, molecules and electromagnetism
  • You will also undertake a special project of your own choosing under the guidance of your personal project supervisor. 

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 Physics with Planetary and Space Physics. The structure of the years is perfectly designed to give you a feel for all branches of physics rather than a more in-depth view of one particular branch. The modules themselves are pretty awesome studying planetary atmospheres to the solar interior, from the structure of the atom all the way to the structure of the galaxies. James Parker

It is really fascinating as not only do you look at the cosmos, but you also get down to the real nitty-gritty of what makes a solar system tick - the planets. Doing PSP gives you a great range of information from how the Sun works, to the possibility of life on other worlds and how we might discover them! All in all it's a pretty fantastic course - comparing the science of this world to that of others is real front-line exploration! Timothy Edward Andrew Powell

Entry Requirements

A Levels BBC with B in Physics and B in Mathematics

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

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM 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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