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Course Overview


Physics is vital to understanding the world around us and the Universe beyond. It is the most fundamental science.

Physics challenges our imaginations with concepts like relativity and string theory and it leads to great discoveries about how the world works.

Discoveries in Physics make possible technological innovations like transistors and the microchip, computers and lasers which in turn change our lives. Physics encompasses the study of the Universe from the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles.

Physics is the basis of many other sciences, including chemistry, oceanography, seismology, and astronomy. With a Physics degree you are qualified to enter a vast variety of careers. Graduates become involved in meteorology, medical physics, environmental monitoring, astronomy, particle physics, geophysics, materials science, invention, design, teaching and even financial modelling.

This is a chance to get a qualification with a strong science base and a broad appreciation of the ideas and history behind the science.

Our BSc Physics degree is accredited by the Institute of Physics.

LEARNING MODE On Campus Learning
DURATION 48 months

Compulsory Courses

Professional Skills Part 1 (NT1001)
The Physical Universe A (NT1015) – 15 Credit Points
Calculus i (NT1005) – 15 Credit Points
Algebra (NT1006) – 15 Credit Points
The Physical Universe B (NT1513) – 15 Credit Points
Calculus II (NT1508) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select a further 45 credit points from courses of choice.

Our main programme concentrates on: Dynamical Phenomena, including oscillations and waves, Light Science, Practical Optics and Digital Electronics and an introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Relativity. You should take one advanced Mathematics course and have three courses on subjects of your own choice. Honours Physical Science students have a wider choice, with no Mathematics.

Compulsory Courses

Light Science (NT2013) – 15 Credit Points
Dynamical Phenomena (NT2015) – 15 Credit Points
Practical Optics and Electronics (NT2505) – 15 Credit Points
Relativity and Quantum Mechanics (NT2510) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select one 15 credit Level 2 Mathematics (MA) course, plus a further 45 credit points from courses of choice.

You will cover a mixture of fundamental topics, applied subjects and general interest areas such as Astrophysics and Particle Physics. We place particular emphasis on learning skills that professional scientists need to apply their knowledge.

Compulsory Courses

Energy and Matter (NT3014) – 15 Credit Points
Introduction to the Solid State (NT3016) – 15 Credit Points
Research and Computing Skills (NT3017) – 15 Credit Points
Advanced Practical Physics (NT3510) – 15 Credit Points
Quantum Mechanics (NT3511) – 15 Credit Points
Electricity and Magnetism (NT3512) – 15 Credit Points
Structure of Matter and the Universe (NT4510) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice.

Compulsory Courses

Project (NT4013) – 45 Credit Points
Case Studies in the Physical Sciences (NT4007) – 15 Credit Points
Statistical Physics and Stochastic Systems (NT4012) – 15 Credit Points
Modelling Theory (NT4514) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select 30 credit points, including 15 from Level 4 courses within your discipline and a further 15 from courses of choice.

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Physics?

Why Physics

  • The Department of Physics at the Northampton University  has a long and illustrious history, and former staff include great physicists such as James Clerk Maxwell and G.P. Thomson.
  • We offer a modern, modular degree structure with a broad syllabus and a wide range of degree choices.
  • Long tradition of teaching physical sciences combined with modern facilities.
  • Emphasis placed on teaching employability and development of generic skills, useful in a wide range of careers.
  • We also offer a broad-based, less mathematical degree in Physical Science that allows the combination of Physics courses with a wide choice of other subjects.
  • Learn from research active, academic staff.
  • We are engaged in a wide range of research areas ranging from the fundamental nature of the universe through to understanding the atomic structure of complex materials and semiconductor device physics.
  • Our graduates go in to a huge range of jobs including; Meteorology, Medical physics, Environmental monitoring, Astronomy, Particle physics, Geophysics, Materials science, Invention Design, Teaching,
    Financial Modelling.


With a good numerate and technical degree such as Physics, employment prospects are excellent.

Many graduates become professional scientists in industry, research institutes and universities. Physics graduates also use their quantitative and data analysis skills in a variety of different ways in industry and commerce. Many Physics graduates command high salaries in the computing and financial sectors. In addition, there is a shortage of Physics teachers in schools throughout the UK. In some specialist areas such as meteorology, biomedical physics, space science, remote sensing, geophysics and other physics related subjects, it is usual to study for an MSc degree to obtain further knowledge.

Many Physics graduates may wish to obtain a PhD degree, either in Physics or a related area, to provide additional skills that are valued by academic, industrial and commercial organisations.



  • Geophysicist
  • IT Technician
  • Mechanical Design Engineer
  • SAS Consultant
  • Support Geoscientist

Entry requirements


SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.


Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL*.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB*, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Northampton University it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:


IELTS Academic:

OVERALL – 6.0 with: Listening – 5.5; Reading – 5.5; Speaking – 5.5; Writing – 6.0


OVERALL – 78 with: Listening – 17; Reading – 18; Speaking – 20; Writing – 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL – 54 with: Listening – 51; Reading – 51; Speaking – 51; Writing – 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL – 169 with: Listening – 162; Reading – 162; Speaking – 162; Writing – 169

How to apply


This programm by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test

Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions