Why study Physics at Warwick?
- We provide flexible courses in a friendly and supportive environment. Our degree programmes cover all the material needed for a career in physics, while offering students who want a broader education the opportunity to combine physics with modules from other disciplines – something we actively encourage as it helps to develop new ways of thinking.
- The Department has an excellent reputation for research and is ranked in the top ten in the UK by The Complete University Guide 2016 and in the top five by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016. With strong groups in astrophysics, condensed matter, elementary particles, plasmas and theoretical physics, we can ensure that undergraduate modules reflect the latest thinking across the whole discipline.
- Our recently refurbished undergraduate teaching laboratories are among the best in the UK. In their final-year project work, students work directly with research staff and have access to the Department’s internationally competitive research facilities.
Dr Danny Steeghs
1st year undergraduate
Why study at Warwick?
A view from our academics
What will I learn?
This broad and flexible course is designed to bring out the beauty and universality of physics. It will prepare you for a variety of careers across business, engineering, finance and management.
In the core modules, you will study quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, relativity and thermal physics. These are all universal theories, which are the basis not just of physics, but of all science and engineering. This is illustrated in the ‘physics-in-action’ modules on Electrical Power Generation, Geophysics and Medical Physics. In the laboratory and computing modules, you will develop the practical and analytical skills of a physicist. For example, you will study how to devise experiments and how to take and analyse data.
Teaching is informed by the research in the department. For the final year project, you’ll work as a member of one of the research groups on a year-long project and explore some, as yet, not fully understood aspect of the area. There are also summer vacation studentships which you can apply for. If accepted, you’ll work in one of the research groups during the long vacation before you start your final year.
How will I learn?
You will learn through a combination of lectures, laboratory work, tutorials and informal interaction with other students. In your first two years, you will have weekly tutorials with an academic member of staff in groups of up to five students. In the final year, you will spend a substantial proportion of your time on a project.
On the Physics courses, you should expect to attend around 12 lectures a week and spend 6 hours on supervised practical (mainly laboratory and computing) work. On the Mathematics and Physics joint honours course, you will attend between 15 and 18 lectures a week, and spend around 2 hours per week on practical work (mainly computing plus a third-year skills laboratory). For each 1–hour lecture, you should expect to put in a further 1–2 hours of private study.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment is via end-of-year examinations, which make up about 70% of the year’s mark. Laboratory and project work, computing, and coursework associated with core modules, are assessed by final reports and oral presentations. The weighting for each year’s contribution to your final mark is 10:30:60 for the BSc courses
and 10:20:30:40 for the MPhys and MMathPhys courses.
What opportunities are there for work placements and for study abroad?
All students can apply for research vacation projects – small research projects supervised by a member of academic staff. BSc students can register for the Intercalated Year Scheme, which involves spending a year in scientific employment or UK industry between their second and final year.
We support student mobility through study abroad programmes. BSc students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities. The Study Abroad Team based in the Office for Global Engagement offers support for these activities. The Department’s Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.
A level A*AA, including Mathematics (or Further Mathematics) and Physics.
You must also achieve a pass in the science practical if your science A level includes a separate practical assessment.
International Baccalaureate 38 points, including at least grade 6 in Higher Level Mathematics and Physics.
Other Qualifications We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Access Courses Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units, and Mathematics and Physics A levels or equivalent.
General Studies/Critical Thinking Offers normally exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.
Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry are welcomed.
Interviews We do not typically interview applicants.Offers are made based on your predicted and actual grades, along with your personal statement. Occasionally, some applicants may be interviewed, for example candidates returning to study or those with non-standard qualifications.
Open Days Applicants who receive an offer will be invited to a Departmental Open Day, held between November and March. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.
What modules could I study?
First year core modules include:
Physics Foundations, Electricity and Magnetism, Quantum Phenomena, Classical Mechanics and Relativity, Mathematics for Physicists, Programming Workshop, Key Skills. The Key Skills module involves working in the First Year Laboratory as well as presentational work and is continuously assessed.
Students choose at least one further module from Introduction to Particle Physics; Introduction to Astronomy.
Second year core modules include:
Electromagnetic Theory and Optics; Quantum Mechanics and its Applications; Thermal Physics II; Mathematical Methods for Physicists; Key Skills (including Physics Laboratory). You may also choose further modules from the Physics and Outside options lists:
Physics Options: Stars; Geophysics; Physics of Fluids; Hamiltonian Mechanics; C Programming; Experimental Particle Physics; Climate Change; Physics of Electrical Power Generation.
Outside Options: a Modern Foreign Language (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish are currently offered); modules from WBS, Introduction to Secondary School Teaching. Modules given by Arts or Social Sciences departments may also be taken as options by mutual agreement.
Year three core modules include:
Quantum Physics of Atoms, Electrodynamics, Mathematical Methods, Physics Group Project, Physics Laboratory.
Options: Students choose at least 6 modules from:
Astrophysics: Astrophysics, Cosmology, Galaxies
Classical Physics: Plasma Electrodynamics, Non-linearity and Chaos, Statistical Physics, Fluid Dynamics
Quantum Phenomena: The Standard Model, Nuclear Physics, Condensed Matter Physics
Interdisciplinary: The Weather and the Environment, Scientific Programming, Physics in Medicine, Optoelectronics, Magnetic Resonance
Year four core modules include: A research project worth up to 25% of the year's credit.
You may also choose around 12 modules from the groups of modules listed below with at least eight being Physics modules.
Astrophysics: The Distant Universe, Exo-Planets, High-energy Astrophysics
Classical Physics: General Relativity, Solar Magnetohydrodynamics, Physics of Fusion Power
Computing: High-performance Computing in Physics
Condensed Matter: Functional Properties of Materials, Structure and Dynamics of Solids
Quantum Theory and Particles: Quantum Theory of Interacting Particles, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, Gauge Theories for Particle Physics, Neutrino Physics, Advanced Particle Physics
Outside Options: There is no formal list of outside options. However, you could follow almost any module from outside the Department provided that the timetable permit this.
* This is not an exhaustive list and the modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please visit the department website for more detailed information.
Recent graduate destinations include:
Clinical Scientist Trainee, Kings College London Hospital; Financial Analyst, HSBC; Research Scientist, BAE Systems; Radiotherapy Physicist, NHS Trust; Research Engineer, Rolls Royce.
A level: A*AA, including Mathematics (or Further Mathematics) and Physics, plus a pass in the science practical assessment (if applicable).
IB: 38 points, including at least grade 6 in Higher Level Mathematics and Physics
Degree of Master of Physics (MPhys)
4 years full time (30 weeks per academic year)
Department of Physics
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
£9,000 per year - find out more about fees and funding
Other course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. For further information on the typical additional costs you should contact the department administering the course.
This information is applicable for 2017 entry.