Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology at University of Portsmouth - UCAS

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Course summary

This is a Connected Degree Portsmouth is the only University in the UK with the flexibility to choose when to do an optional paid placement or self-employed year. Either take a placement in your third year, or finish your studies first and complete a placement in your fourth year. You can decide if and when to take a placement after you've started your course. Overview 95% of the universe exists in a form we still don't understand. Explore stars, galaxies, black holes and gravitational waves – joining an international community looking for answers. On this Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology degree course, you’ll deepen your understanding of the fundamental laws of physics, and apply this knowledge to the structure and behaviour of some of the largest and smallest elements of existence. You'll be taught by and study alongside researchers from the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) who play leading roles in major international projects, such as the European Space Agency Euclid satellite. You’ll graduate with mathematical and computational knowledge sought after by employers in many industries, from aerospace to finance. BSc or MPhys? You can study this course as a 3-year Bachelor's degree (BSc) or a 4-year integrated Master's degree (MPhys). The MPhys allows you to achieve a Master’s level degree with just one extra year of undergraduate study, further enhancing your career prospects. Course highlights

  • See physics theory in practice through visits and final year projects with aerospace companies such as BAE Systems, Airbus Defence, QinetiQ and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • Access Hampshire Astronomical Group facilities at Clanfield Observatory, including various telescopes such as a 24-inch reflector, to observe the stars and galaxies and collect project data
  • Study alongside researchers from the University's physics research teams (and contribute to their work in your final project), whose research was ranked in the top 10 nationally for quality of research outputs
  • Use advanced technical equipment with the help of expert technical staff, including x-ray diffraction, x-ray fluorescence, electron and atomic force microscopes, various types of spectroscopy and the SCIAMA supercomputer
  • Develop the professional skills and standards you need as a practicing physicist, through a major research project in your final year
  • Access large datasets produced by international-level sky surveys, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, when you take the MPhys degree course
Accreditation This course is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IoP). As a supporter of the Institute of Physics Project Juno, we're committed to addressing the under-representation of women in physics and gender equality in higher education and research. Careers and opportunities The UK government has an ambitious plan to double investment in the space economy by 2030 which means there's now high demand for skilled people to meet this growth. In fact, the sector is currently recruiting more graduates that before, and giving further training internally. Physics and astronomy graduates are earning an average of £33,500 5 years after graduation, and you've got the potential to reach a salary in the range of £40,000 to £75,000 as a senior professional, professor or researcher. What jobs can you do with a physics, astrophysics and cosmology degree? You could apply your skills and knowledge in areas such as:
  • cosmology
  • astrophysics
  • astronomy and theoretical physics
  • space systems and aerospace industry
  • education
  • scientific journalism
  • medical physics
  • finance
  • data analysis
After the course you could also continue your studies to a PhD or other postgraduate qualification. 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.


Year 1 Core modules include:

  • Classical Physics 1 (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Computational Physics (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Laboratory and Field Physics (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Mathematical Physics 1 (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Mathematical Physics 2 (20 credits)
  • Space Science and Applications of Physics (20 credits)
There are no optional modules in this year. Year 2 Core modules include:
  • Introduction to Modern Physics (20 credits)
  • Mathematical Physics (20 credits)
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (20 credits)
  • Waves and Optics (20 credits)
Optional modules include:
  • Computational Physics (20 credits)
  • Mechanics and Dynamics (20 credits)
  • Practical Laboratory and Field Physics (20 credits)
  • Universe: Planetary Systems, Stars and Galaxies (20 credits)
Year 3 Core modules include:
  • Modern Astrophysics 1 (20 credits)
  • Physical Cosmology (20 credits)
  • Solid State Physics and Detectors (20 credits)
Optional modules include:
  • Group Project (20 credits)
  • Health Physics (20 credits)
  • Introduction to General Relativity and Cosmology (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Multiferroic Materials and Their Applications (20 credits)
  • Mathematical Methods for Physics (20 credits)
  • Nanoscale Surface Physics (20 credits)
  • Particle Physics (20 credits)
  • Project (20 credits)
  • Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information (20 credits)
  • Statistical Learning (20 credits)
  • Undergraduate Ambassador (20 credits)
Year 4 Core modules include:
  • Advanced Research Project (60 credits)
Optional modules include:
  • Advanced Computational Techniques (20 credits)
  • Advanced Instrumentation (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Theoretical Physics (20 credits)
  • Modern Astrophysics 2 (20 credits)
  • Observational Astronomy & Cosmology (20 credits)
Placement year After your second or third 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, and Tesla Engineering Ltd. We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year. 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.

Assessment method

There is a very wide range of assessment methods, including open and closed-book examination, poster and oral presentations (individually and in groups), portfolios, laboratory reports and laboratory and field notebooks.

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • Physics, Institute of

How to apply

Application codes

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

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

Student Outcomes

Operated by the Office for Students
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

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
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
International £19200 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship Placement Year and Year abroad: UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 EU – £1,385 (including Transition Scholarship)| International (Non-EU) – £2,875. 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. For more information about fees, go to
Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology at University of Portsmouth - UCAS