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BSc (Honours) Physics

Learn how to apply physics to your chosen career.

Course length 3-4 Year(s)
Location City Campus
UCAS F300 Course code

Course description

This course is designed for students with a keen interest in physics who want to develop the analytical skills needed to maximise their career potential. It is delivered by a team of academic staff whose focus is on teaching excellence and innovation.

What you study
On this course you study the core elements of a physics degree as identified by the Institute of Physics, including • condensed matter • thermodynamics • statistical physics • electronics • physical modelling.

The course is highly applied and focuses on preparing you for employment. You learn by applying the new knowledge and skills you develop in practical and commercially relevant contexts.

You learn how to use physics to solve real world problems in environmental, medical, industrial and commercial contexts. Using technology you develop your analytic and interpretation skills to provide solutions to real life issues. These skills are very much sought after by employers.

You also develop a range of practical skills for your future career, including communication, teamwork and problem-solving.

In your second and final year you choose optional modules, enabling you to tailor your learning to your own interests and career goals.

We have a strong reputation for research in materials physics and physical modelling. This is reflected in the specialisms offered in final year and provides a platform for research at postgraduate level.

Placements and work experience
We anticipate that a high proportion of our students will choose to take a paid work placement in their third year. There are no tuition fees for the placement year and salaries in excess of £22,000 are possible.

We have a nationally leading reputation for industrial placements. Our strong links with commercial and public organisations in the UK and overseas mean you have access to a range of placement opportunities.

A placement is your chance to apply your academic knowledge in the work environment and, in the process, improve your career prospects. It can often lead to the offer of a permanent job with your placement employer.

As well as the placement, you have opportunities throughout the course to gain practical experience. For example, our teaching team have been central in developing the Venture Matrix™, an award-winning scheme that develops your employability and enterprise skills as part of your degree.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

Normally five GCSEs at grade C or Grade 4 or above, including English language, mathematics and science, plus one of the following

• 112 UCAS points from at least two A levels, or equivalent BTEC National qualifications, including at least 64 points from A level physics and mathematics. We accept AS levels. We accept General Studies.


• 96 UCAS points from three A levels, or equivalent BTEC National qualifications, including at least 64 points from A level physics and mathematics. We accept General Studies.

New UCAS tariff points system for courses starting from September 2017. This is significantly different to the current points system and uses an alternative method of calculation. You can find information about these changes on the UCAS website and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.

• Foundation – successful completion of our Extended Degree Programme Engineering and Mathematics or equivalent

• Access – an Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2. At least 15 level 3 credits must be at merit grade or above, from a QAA-recognised Access to HE course, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate.

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

Course structure

Four years full-time (including one year work placement) or three years full-time

Typical modules may include

Year one core modules

• vibrations, waves and optics • introduction to condensed matter physics • atomic and nuclear physics • laboratory and skills 1 • mathematics for physicists • electronics

Year two core modules

• thermodynamics and statistical physics • quantum and condensed matter physics • mechanics, relativity and electromagnetism • laboratory and skills 2 • physical modelling 1

Year two options

• analogue and digital electronics • interfaces and instrumentation • foreign language

Year three

• optional work placement

Final year core modules

• project/dissertation • professional practice/studies • physical modelling 2

Final year options

• modelling with partial differential equations • digital signal processing • tensors • fluid flow • advanced investigative techniques • optical fibre communications and optoelectronics • foreign language

  • case studies
  • group, self and peer assessment
  • presentations
  • examinations
  • project work
  • coursework


This course prepares you to take on a wide range of job opportunities. Typical employers include academic institutions, government research organisations and industry, including • aerospace • defence • education • energy • engineering • instrumentation • manufacturing • oil and gas • science • communication • space exploration • telecommunications.

You also graduate with the skills to develop a career outside physics in areas such as • consultancy • the financial sector • legal sectors • project management • company start ups.


Home / EU student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

For the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.

International student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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