Durham is one of the leading physics and astronomy departments in the UK, enrolling around 170 students each year. The dedication to our teaching and research consistently puts us high up in all the league tables. While studying here you will benefit from the buzz and creative environment of a large research department and join a dynamic and focused intellectual community. Our research ranges from fundamental elementary particle physics and cosmology to more applied topics in which we collaborate closely with industry. We offer degrees in Physics, Physics and Astronomy, and Theoretical Physics, all of which are accredited by the Institute of Physics. Our course structures have been designed to provide flexibility in your final choice of degree course. The three-year BSc degree is aimed at those mainly interested in a degree in Physics as a preparation for a career not necessarily in the Physics area. Our four-year MPhys degrees will suit those looking for professional training leading to research in physics or a physics-related career. The first year of the BSc and MPhys degree courses in Physics, Physics and Astronomy, and Theoretical Physics is identical, and it is possible to select modules in your second year such that you need not make a firm choice of course until the end of the second year. Year 1 Foundations of Physics 1 is the main lecture module in the first year and is complemented with a practical laboratory module, including an introduction to programming. Two mathematics modules are taken in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. There is a further module of choice, with Introduction to Astronomy proving to be very popular. Year 2 Core modules: Foundations of Physics 2A/2B / Mathematical Methods in Physics / Laboratory Skills and Electronics Additional topics also include Theoretical Physics 2 (the transition from classical to quantum mechanics), and Stars and Galaxies (an exploration of astrophysics), and Physics in Society. At the end of the year, you need to decide your degree title, choosing between: BSc Physics (F300) / MPhys Physics (F301) / MPhys Physics and Astronomy (FF3N) / MPhys Theoretical Physics (F344). Year 3 Besides core courses in Foundations of Physics 3A/3B and Physics Problem Solving, (which includes a computing project), there is a wide choice of topics, for example: Planets and Cosmology / Theoretical Physics / Maths Workshop / Physics into schools / Team Project / Laboratory Project / A module taken in another department (subject to approval). Your options will have an emphasis on astrophysics. Year 4 A research-based project is undertaken in one of the Department’s wide range of research groups. Optional lecture course topics have included in the past: advanced and theoretical astrophysics (including general relativity and galaxy formation), biological and nanophysics, laser physics, advanced quantum physics and particle physics. We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2020 entry from September 2019. Study Abroad The experience of having lived independently abroad can be very rewarding in terms of employability and of personal development. For this reason, you are encouraged to apply during your degree for a year-long placement with one of the Physics Department's or the University's international partners, either in replacement of the third year of study within an MPhys degree or as an additional year of study. You may study in English at some of the partner universities, whereas at others foreign language skills are essential. You are fully supported by the Department both during the application process and during the year abroad. For more information on this course, please see our website.
For more information on the content of this course, including module details, please see our website.
The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data. For further information, see the Discover Uni website.
How to apply
This course has limited vacancies, and is no longer accepting applications from some students. See the list below for where you normally live, to check if you’re eligible to apply.
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!
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
|UCAS Tariff||Not accepted|
|A level||A*A*A||Specific subjects/grades required for entry: Mathematics and Physics are both required, with an A* required in either. The A* may alternatively be in Further Mathematics if taken. Specific subjects excluded for entry: General Studies and Critical Thinking. Information: Applicants taking Science A-levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This refers only to English A Levels. We may request further information such as UMS marks.|
|Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016)||D*D*D||Subject specific A Levels may also be required.|
|Access to HE Diploma||Please contact the Physics department for advice.|
|Scottish Higher||Departments will normally make offers based on Advanced Highers. In the absence of 3 Advanced Highers, where these are not offered by the applicant’s school, offers comprising of Advanced Highers and Highers or a number of Highers may be made on a case by case basis.|
|Scottish Advanced Higher||AAA||To include Mathematics and Physics.|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme||38 points||General information on subjects/grades required for entry: Twenty points (7, 7, 6) at Higher Level to include Mathematics and Physics.|
|Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)||Not accepted|
|Extended Project||Not accepted|
|Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017)||H1, H1, H2, H2, H2|
|Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Principal||D2, D2, D3||To include Mathematics and Physics.|
English language requirements
Durham University welcomes applications from all students irrespective of background. We encourage the recruitment of academically well-qualified and highly motivated students, who are non-native speakers of English, whose full potential can be realised with a limited amount of English Language training either prior to entry or through pre-sessional and/or in-sessional courses. It is the normal expectation that candidates for admission should be able to demonstrate satisfactory English proficiency before the start of a programme of study, whether via the submission of an appropriate English language qualification or by attendance on an appropriate pre-sessional course. Acceptable evidence and levels required can be viewed by following the link provided.
English language requirements
Fees and funding
|Northern Ireland||£9250||Year 1|