University of Kent

Degree level: Undergraduate

Physics with a foundation year (4 years)

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Course summary

Physics gives you the tools to understand the Universe at a fundamental level, from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the behaviour of stars and galaxies. If you do not meet the entry requirements for our degree courses, our dedicated Foundation Year will give you the knowledge and skills needed for entry to any of our Physics or Astronomy degrees. Discover the world of quantum mechanics, relativity, electromagnetism and condensed matter, and learn how physics is enabling breakthroughs in areas such as materials science, medical imaging and computing. Develop the transferable skills to open up a world of job opportunities, leading to careers in research, engineering, medical physics, defence, teaching, finance and data analytics. This course is designed for science students who do not meet the requirements for direct entry to Stage 1 of our degree courses. It is also an excellent conversion course for applicants who have shown academic ability in non-science subjects. We consider applicants without traditional academic qualifications who have relevant professional experience. This course is fully accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP). Reasons to study a Physics Foundation Year at Kent

  • Excellent teaching and research facilities including state-of-the-art laboratories, photonics centre and Beacon Observatory.
  • Our expert lecturers are both innovative teachers and active researchers working at the cutting-edge of research across a range of fields, from quantum materials to medical imaging.
  • Students meet regularly with their academic adviser to support their academic and career development.
  • Learn in a variety of settings, from lectures and interactive workshops to laboratory classes, computing sessions and team projects.
  • Flexible curriculum allows you to move between our courses in the earlier years, ensuring you are studying the best course for you.
  • Join our student-led Physics Society (PhySoc), Space Soc and Amateur Rocketry Society, who organise talks, practical demonstrations and social events.
  • Build the connections that matter thanks to our links with optical laboratories, local health authorities, aerospace/defence industries and software and engineering companies.
  • As a foundation year student, you are a full member of the University and can take part in all student activities.
What you'll learn
  • In your Foundation Year, you study mathematics, physics, electronics and computing, and take part in practical classes. Successful completion of the foundation year guarantees entry onto any of the School’s Physics or Astronomy degree courses.
  • The first year of your degree will focus on the foundations of physics, including classical mechanics, special relativity, waves, fields, thermodynamics and astronomy. You will also begin to develop your mathematical, experimental and programming skills.
  • In the second year you will deepen your understanding of modern physics, covering topics such as quantum mechanics, electromagnetism and atomic physics, as well as studying more advanced mathematics and numerical methods. You will carry out in-depth laboratory experiments and group projects, with the opportunity to work on problems suggested by our industrial, scientific and medical partners.
  • The third year completes your study of the core of physics with more advanced modules including nuclear and particle physics, thermodynamics, and condensed matter physics. You will also conduct open-ended laboratory investigations and have the option to take specialised modules such as medical physics.

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

English language requirements

Applicants should have grade C or 4 in English Language GCSE or a suitable equivalent level qualification.

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Unistats information

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £21900 Year 1
EU £16400 Year 1

Additional fee information

Please see the programme page at for further information on fees and funding options. Please be aware that if the Government permits, the UK fee quoted may increase in line with inflation. Full-time fees for 2023/24 for international students are £21,900 for laboratory programmes and £18,000 for non-laboratory programmes
Physics with a foundation year (4 years) at University of Kent - UCAS