The University of Southampton

F369 MPhys Physics with Photonics (4 Years)

Discover the world-changing field of photonics – the science of light – and apply your physics knowledge to the next generation of technologies. From the optical fibres that underpin today’s global internet to new medical treatments, photonics has transformed our lives, and the potential for new applications is vast. With a rigorous training in core areas of physics and specialist photonics skills and knowledge, you’ll graduate with a skill set that is in great demand in the fast-growing photonics industry. Your finely tuned analytical skills will also be sought after in any number of other professions. 

Find out moreThis course has places available in Clearing.

Introducing your degree

You’ll join a university with a vibrant photonics research scene and a history of revolutionary discoveries – for example the optical fibres and amplifiers that make the internet possible were developed here at Southampton. In fact, we're the only UK university to offer an undergraduate degree in physics with photonics.

This degree has close links with the University’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), a global hub for photonics research and the largest and longest-established centre of its kind in the UK. This means we can offer you an unrivalled depth and breadth of photonics study through optional modules, which reflect the varied interests of our physics researchers and those in the ORC.

Sam Birtwell, MPhys Physics with Photonics
I chose to study at Southampton because the Physics and Astronomy department was one of very few in the country offering the optics and photonics specialism I was interested in. This, backed up by the cutting-edge research in the department and in the Optoelectronics Research Centre, made Southampton the obvious choice.
Sam Birtwell, MPhys Physics with Photonics

Overview

What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. It is also subject to theUniversity's disclaimer notice.

Alongside core physics modules, you’ll be introduced to photonics from semester one, learning about the interaction of light and matter and gaining an understanding of lasers and optical fibres. You’ll build on this knowledge throughout the course, spending plenty of time in the lab as well as in lectures. In year two, for example, you’ll explore photonics theory through advanced experiments, developing practical skills while exploring key underpinning concepts.

Through a wide choice of photonics-focused optional modules, including MSc-level modules delivered by the ORC, you can gain a deep understanding of areas of photonics that interest you. 

In year four you’ll have the chance to generate new photonics knowledge by undertaking an extended research project in a field that interests you. The breadth of photonics research that takes place here means you’ll have a wide choice of projects, in areas such as:

  • the use of photonics in quantum computing
  • holography
  • high-resolution x-ray for imaging at the nanoscale  
  • the control of matter with light, for example optical tweezers or the use of lasers in cold-atom physics
  • photosensitive materials, liquid crystals and polymers
  • optical fibres
  • silicon photonics
  • fundamental research into light-matter interactions

 View the 2019/20 programme specification document for this course

 View the 2020/21 programme specification document for this course

Research-grade facilities

You’ll use state-of-the-art equipment in our teaching laboratories, which include a dedicated photonics lab with the latest laser equipment. Expert technicians are on hand to support your experimental work.

You’ll also have the chance to access the ORC’s photonics facilities, which comprise over 100 laboratories including a £120m cleanroom complex and four fibre towers, with capabilities better than any other UK university. As well as seeing fibres being made, you’ll visit high-power laser labs and telecoms labs, giving you a deeper insight into the topics you’re studying.

A top-five research department

Study with us and you’ll join 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 we remain on the frontline of new developments

You’ll be studying in an environment that is rich in photonics research, with an active Quantum, Light and Matter research group within the department and close collaboration with the ORC. You’ll be taught by researchers from both, which means you’ll learn about the latest developments in this fast-developing field.

Accreditation

Our MPhys Physics programmes are accredited by the Institute of Physics

Programme Structure

Throughout the degree you’ll study core physics subjects alongside specialist photonics modules. Optional modules in years three and four give you the freedom to:

  • deepen your knowledge in specific areas of photonics
  • learn more about closely related topics, such as nanoscience or advanced quantum physics
  • strengthen your computing and mathematical skills
  • study a physics topic in another field that you’ve always wanted to know more about

You could also broaden your intellectual horizons by learning a language or choosing from a range of innovative cross-disciplinary modules, on topics including law, business and bioengineering.

If you change your mind about your field of study after you arrive, our programme structure makes it possible to switch to the MPhys Physics or BSc Physics degree up until the end of year two. It may also be possible to change to one of the other specialist programmes, provided you’ve taken the required modules.

To Apply

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.

Key Facts

Southampton has a history of revolutionary discoveries in photonics, including developing the optical fibres and amplifiers which make the internet possible

We're the only UK university to offer an undergraduate physics with photonics degree

This degree has close connections with the University's Optoelectronics Research Centre, a global hub for photonics research

You'll graduate with a skill set which will be sought after in the fast-growing photonics industry

Welcome to Physics and Astronomy at Southampton

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

For 2020 entry

View 2019 entry requirements

Qualification Grade
GCSE  

Applicants must hold GCSE English language (or GCSE English) (minimum grade 4/C) and mathematics (minimum grade 4/C)

GCE A-Level

AAA-AAB including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical

or 

AABC including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical 

GCE A-Level with Extended Project Qualificiation (EPQ)

If you are taking an EPQ in addition to 3 A levels, you will receive the following offer in addition to the standard A-level offer:

AAB including mathematics/further mathematics (minimum grade A) and  physics (minimum grade A), with a pass in the physics Practical and grade A in the EPQ 

GCE A-Level with Contextual offer

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data allows us to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. 

Students who are highlighted in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme, as follows:

AAB including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical 

A- level additional information

Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.  ‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer. 

Welsh Baccalaureate offer

AAA-AAB including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical

or

AA from two A-levels including mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical and A-B from the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate 

AABC including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical

or

AA from two A-levels including mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical, and grades BC from a third A-level and the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate 

Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.  ‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. A pass in the physics Practical is required where applicable. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer. 

International Baccalaureate Diploma
offer

Pass, with 36-34 points overall, with 18-17 points required at Higher Level, including 6 at Higher Level in mathematics/further mathematics and 6 at Higher Level in physics

Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Applications where Higher Level subjects have been studied without the full Diploma, will also be considered on a case by case basis.

International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP)
offer

Offers will be made on the individual Diploma Course subject(s) and the career-related study qualification. The CP core will not form part of the offer.  Where there is a subject pre-requisite(s), applicants will be required to study the subject(s) at Higher Level in the Diploma course subject and/or take a specified unit in the career-related study qualification. Applicants may also be asked to achieve a specific grade in those elements. 

Please see the University of Southampton International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) Statement for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma offer

Applicants with an Access to HE Diploma should apply for the Engineering/Physics/Mathematics/Geophysics Foundation Year

Irish Leaving Certificate offer (first awarded 2017)

 H1,H1,H2,H2,H2,H2, including H1 in mathematics and physics

Irish Leaving Certificate offer (last awarded 2016)

 A1,A1,A2,A2,A2,A2, including A1 in mathematics and physics

Irish Leaving Certificate additional information

 Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Scottish Qualification offers

Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U offer

 D3,D3,D3, in three Principal subjects including mathematics/further mathematics and physics

Cambridge Pre-U's can be used in combination with other qualifications such as A Levels to achieve the equivalent of the typical offer, where D3 can be used in lieu of A Level grade A or grade M2 can be used in lieu of A Level grade B.

Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Level 3 BTEC (QCF) offer (unreformed)

D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma plus grades AA in A-level mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical 

We do not accept the BTEC Extended Diploma

We do not accept the BTEC Diploma

Applicants with a BTEC Extended Diploma or the BTEC Diploma should apply for the Engineering/Physics/Mathematics/Geophysics Foundation Year

Level 3 BTEC (RQF) offer (reformed)

D in the BTEC National Extended Certificate plus grades AA in A-level mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical 

We do not accept the BTEC National Extended Diploma

We do not accept the BTEC National Diploma

Applicants with a BTEC National Extended Diploma or the BTEC National Diploma should apply for the Engineering/Physics/Mathematics/Geophysics Foundation Year

Level 3 BTEC additional information

‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer. 

European Baccalaureate offer

80% overall including 8.5 in mathematics and physics, with at at least 5 in Maths as an elective subject. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer. 

International qualifications

Find a list of accepted international qualifications listed by country  

This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.

Non-academic entry requirements

There are no additional requirements

English language requirements

All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK who do not offer GCSE English language (or GCSE English) at the required level will need to meet the following English language proficiency requirement. Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements.

Band B IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in all components

For 2019 entry

Qualification Grade
GCSE  GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C or above
 GCE A-level  AAA, including AA in Mathematics and Physics
International Baccalaureate requirements

 If you are taking an IB, we require 34 points with 18 at Higher Level including 6 in Maths and Physics.

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant.

International applicants

We welcome applications from international students. Visit our international site for more information about our international student community, support and how to apply

English language requirements

All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK who do not offer GCSE English language (or GCSE English) at the required level will need to meet the following English language proficiency requirement. Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements

Band B IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in all components

Other qualifications:

Foundation Year:

If you want to study for a degree in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or Geophysics but you did not choose mathematics and physics at A level, our Foundation Year may be of interest to you. The Engineering/Physics/Maths/Geophysics Foundation Year is a one-year full-time course integrated with a further three or four-year degree course. Find out more about the Foundation Year.

Mature applicants:

We welcome applications from mature students. If you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent study (eg Access, Return to Study, Open University foundation courses) and of your capacity to pursue the course.

Selection process:

We select students on the basis of a UCAS application and an invitation to visit the department. UCAS code: F369 Course title: MPhys Physics with Photonics Course duration: 4 years

Modules

Career Opportunities

The UK has a thriving photonics sector; worth over £12bn, it is growing at twice the speed of the rest of the economy. A shortage of trained photonics experts means you’ll be sought after for industry R&D roles, where your knowledge of lasers, optical components and nanofabrication techniques will be in great demand. Or you’ll be well equipped for further research at PhD level. Many of our Physics with Photonics students continue their studies within Southampton’s prestigious Optoelectronics Research Centre before going on to successful industry careers.

If you decide on a career outside physics, your computing, statistical analysis, communication and problem solving skills will impress recruiters in almost any profession. Employers will recognise your degree as a sign that you are an independent thinker who is intellectually curious, insightful and ready for a challenge.

Tailored career support

If you’re not sure which career path is right for you, we’ll offer the support you need to help you decide. We run a programme of career-focused sessions in year two, designed specially for physics students and timetabled to fit in with your studies. They include application and interview workshops, as well as talks from visiting professionals. We can also help you to find a paid summer placement on which you could gain industry experience of photonics research, through the South East Physics Network scheme.

Career destinations

Our graduates work in the private and public sectors, in government, defence, finance, business, and industry. Here are just some of the roles they have secured:

  • astrophysicist
  • acoustician
  • air traffic controller
  • bioinformatics specialist
  • data analyst
  • government science policy officer
  • medical physicist 
  • satellite engineer
  • science communicator
  • software engineer
  • statistician
  • systems analyst
  • weather forecaster
  • web developer

 

 

Learning & Assessment

Professionalism in teaching

You’ll learn from academics who pay as much care and attention to their teaching as they do to their research. We’re keen to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for physics with you, and inspire the next generation of physicists.

Find out more

We combine traditional teaching and learning methods with tried-and-tested innovations to improve your learning experience. Academics use interactive technology to encourage group discussions in lectures, or to enable you to submit a question that they will answer during the session. Or you could get a bit of extra help by reviewing a lecture online or watching a tutor explain a tricky physics problem via video tutorials.

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Scheduled learning & teaching study39%35%26%17%
Independent study61%65%74%83%
Placement study0%0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Written exam assessment53%60%70%57%
Practical exam assessment23%16%14%0%
Coursework assessment24%24%16%43%

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Communicating and Teaching and The Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (PHYS3019)
Please note that students are required to pay for their travel costs to and from the schools they work with during the module.  However, travel costs will be reimbursed on production of travel receipts.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
Approved CalculatorsCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
TextbooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.

Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and Photocopying CostsIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing-for-students.page.

In some cases you’ll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Location

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