From nanoscience to the evolution of the universe, this degree encompasses core physical theories, the mathematical tools necessary to model real-world problems, and the lab skills that are essential for practical experimentation.
Through weekly small-group tutorials in the first year we’ll make sure you’re well supported as you make the transition to degree-level study. Hands-on practical work is integral to the programme; from year one you’ll undertake mini-projects in the lab, and you’ll also learn skills such as basic electronics and coding.
First-year core modules include an introduction to special relativity and the foundational theories of quantum physics and electromagnetism. You’ll build up more advanced knowledge as you progress through the degree, applying your learning in areas such as atomic physics and particle physics.
Optional modules in each year allow you to pursue your interests. For example, you could:
- explore photonics – the theory and practical application of light, optics and lasers – through experiments in our laser labs
- find out more about astronomy and learn how to measure the physical qualities of objects in space
- study coding and data analysis in more depth, benefiting from the expertise of the University’s Electronics and Computer Science department – one of the best in the country
In the third year you’ll demonstrate your research skills by working with another student on a major experimental, theoretical or computer-based project. Past projects have covered the spectrum of physics, from making nanoparticles, to public engagement in science, to the fundamental theory of the light-matter interaction.
View the 2019/20 programme specification document for this course
View the 2020/21 programme specification document for this course
State-of-the-art teaching laboratories
You’ll conduct experiments using the state-of-the-art equipment in our teaching laboratories, with expert technicians on hand to offer any extra support you need. Our specialist facilities include:
- two observatories on the roof of the Physics and Astronomy building, with high-spec telescopes
- a photonics lab with the latest laser equipment
- one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers
- a £120m clean room for fabrication at the atomic level – one of the best of its kind in Europe
You’ll also benefit from a specialist library and dedicated study spaces in our recently refurbished Physics and Astronomy foyer.
A top-five research department
Study with us and you’ll gain a degree from one of the top five Russell Group departments for physics and astronomy research (REF 2014). Our research reputation is built on a track record of discovery and real-world impact – for example, Southampton physicists were instrumental in the development of erbium-doped amplifiers that make today’s internet possible. We remain on the frontline of new developments – recently our scientists were involved in detecting gravitational waves and light from the collision of two neutron stars for the first time.
Because we’re a research-active department you’ll hear about the latest advances as soon as they happen – often before they are published and reported in the media – and we regularly update our modules to reflect new findings.
Our BSc Physics is accredited by the Institute of Physics.
On this physics degree you’ll have the freedom to select from a wide range of optional modules in every year of study, enabling you to explore specialist areas of physics that spark your interest or study core topics at a more advanced level.
You can also broaden your education by choosing from a range of innovative cross-disciplinary modules on topics outside physics. You could study a language or dip into subjects such as business, music, or earth sciences. If you’d like to pursue another discipline in more depth, taking a ‘Minor’ subject alongside physics is another option.
Because our BSc and MPhys Physics programmes share the same modules in years one and two, there’s also some flexibility to move between courses up until the end of the second year.
All undergraduate applications for Physics and Astronomy should be made online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
Find out how to apply and get further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details.
100 per cent of our Physics and Astronomy research has been rated world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on society (REF 2014)
Practical work is integral to the programme; you'll conduct your experiments in state-of-the-art laboratories
Our degrees open the door to a range of jobs – our graduates go into careers in areas as diverse as broadcasting, business, teaching, research and medical physics
Study general relativity – we're one of only a few UK universities to offer this as an undergraduate module