University of Portsmouth

Degree level: Undergraduate

Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

TEF Gold

University of Portsmouth has opted into the TEF and received a Gold award.

Find out more about the TEF.

Overview Despite advances in physics, astrophysics and cosmology, we still have a limited grasp of the universe. With 95% of it existing in a form we still don’t understand, there’s plenty left for you to discover. Join an international community looking for answers in this field on this MPhys (Hons) Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology integrated Master's degree course. You’ll develop your understanding of the fundamental laws of physics and apply what you learn to the structure and behaviour of some of the largest and smallest elements of existence. By the end of the course, you'll have a Master's level qualification. You'll be well placed to do further research or study in physics, astrophysics and cosmology or work in a variety of industries, from aerospace to finance. On this course you'll:

  • Study alongside researchers from the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG)
  • Use SCIAMA, the University’s supercomputer
  • Access to Hampshire Astronomical Group facilities at Clanfield Observatory, which are equipped with various telescopes including a 24-inch reflector
  • Go on visits to aerospace businesses like BAE Systems and Airbus Defence
  • Access large datasets produced by international-level sky surveys, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • Use advanced technical equipment with the help of expert technical staff, including x-ray diffraction, x-ray fluorescence, electron and atomic force microscopes, and various types of spectroscopy
  • Develop the professional skills and standards you need as a practicing physicist, through a major research project in your final year
  • Study at a university where physics research was ranked in the top 10 nationally for quality of research outputs in the latest Government-backed REF (Research Excellence Framework)
Work experience and career planning To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary opportunities that will complement your studies. Placement year After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. Previous students have completed placements at destinations including:
  • M-Solv UK
  • Culham Science Centre
  • Tesla Engineering Ltd
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year. Careers and opportunities When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service will help you find a job or identify further study and academic research opportunities. Previous students on this course have gone on to further study, research and employment in areas such as:
  • cosmology
  • astrophysics
  • astronomy and theoretical physics
  • space systems and aerospace industry
  • education
  • scientific journalism
  • medical physics
  • finance
  • data analysis
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career. This course has a subject classification which requires students whose nationality is outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland to have an ATAS certificate, irrespective of country of residence at the point of application.

Course details

Modules

Year 1 Core modules include:

  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Introduction to computational physics
  • Introduction to laboratory and field physics
  • Introduction to mathematical physics 1
  • Introduction to mathematical physics 2
  • Space science and applications of physics
Year 2 Core modules include:
  • Introduction to modern physics and astrophysics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Thermodynamics and statistical physics
Optional modules include:
  • Computational physics
  • Mechanics and Dynamics
  • Practical laboratory and field physics
  • Universe: Planetary systems, stars and galaxies
Placement year (optional) Year 3 Core modules include:
  • Modern astrophysics 1
  • Physical cosmology
  • Solid state physics and detectors
Optional modules include:
  • Group project
  • Health physics
  • Introduction to general relativity and cosmology
  • Introduction to multiferroic materials and their applications
  • Mathematical methods for physics
  • Nanoscale surface physics
  • Particle physics
  • Quantum mechanics and quantum information
  • Undergraduate ambassador
Year 4 Core modules include:
  • Advanced research project
Optional modules include:
  • Advanced research project
  • Contemporary theoretical physics
  • Microwave and high speed digital design
  • Modern astrophysics 2
  • Observational astronomy and cosmology
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module. Due to changing circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may need to make changes to courses to ensure your safety and to ensure compliance with Government guidelines. We'll provide you with as much notice as possible of any such changes. Your course leader will inform you of these. Changes may include things such as modules being taught in teaching block 2 instead of teaching block 1 and teaching activities occurring in smaller group sizes.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through:

  • open and closed-book examination
  • poster and oral presentations (individually and in groups)
  • portfolios
  • laboratory reports
  • laboratory and field notebooks
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future. The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
  • Year 1 students: 28% by written exams and 72% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 55% by written exams and 45% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 62% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 31% by coursework
- Year 4 students: 18% by written exams, 31% by practical exams and 51% by coursework


How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3
  • Year 4

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

We welcome applications for advanced entry. If you’d like to apply for advanced entry, you need to select the required year when you complete your UCAS application.


Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
UCAS Tariff 112 - 128 points 112-128 points to include 40 points from A Level Physics and 40 points from A Level Mathematics, or equivalent. For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application.
A level 112-128 Tariff points to include Physics at grade B and Mathematics at grade B. For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) DMM - DDM Must be in a Science based subject and contain substantial components of Physics.
Access to HE Diploma 112-128 Tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma (Science). Physics and Mathematics based units must all be passed at Merit or above.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.
Scottish Advanced Higher 112-128 Tariff points to include Physics at grade C and Mathematics at grade C.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 29 points 29 points from the IB Diploma, to include 3 Higher Level subjects, with 6 points from Higher Level Physics and 6 points from Higher level Mathematics. 4 points from Standard Level English and Mathematics (if not passed at GCSE grade C or above).
Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) H3, H3, H3, H3, H4 - H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 To include Higher Level Mathematics and Physics at H3.
Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Principal Cambridge Pre-U score of 48-52, to include Principal Subjects in Physics and Mathematics at M2.
GCSE/National 4/National 5 GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at grade C or above, or equivalent/GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at grade 4 or above, or equivalent.

CLEARING INFORMATION – Our entry requirements may be different during Clearing, so please contact us on 023 9284 8000 to discuss your options


English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
PTE Academic54An overall score of 54 with a minimum of 51 in each skill.
TOEFL (iBT)7979 with a minimum of 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Trinity ISEPassTrinity College Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III with a Pass in all 4 components

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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

Additional fee information

Home/EU/Islands Year in placement/industry £925 Year abroad of a language course £925. For further fee information please see https://www.port.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/undergraduate-fees-and-student-finance International (Non-EU) Year in placement/industry £1,600 Year abroad of a language course £1,600 For further fee information please see https://www.port.ac.uk/study/international-students/funding **Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation.**

Provider information

Visit our website

Our COVID-19 information

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth
PO1 2UP


Clearing contact details

University Admissions Centre - Clearing

023 9284 8000

Course Clearing information

Additional information

​​Clearing Hotline opening hours: Thursday 13th August - 08:00 - 20:00 Friday 14th August - 08:00 - 19:00 Saturday 15th August - 09:00 - 15:00 Sunday 16th August - Closed Monday 17th August onwards - 08:30 - 17:15


Course contact details

Visit our course page
University Admissions Centre

023 9284 5566

Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology at University of Portsmouth - UCAS