BSc (Hons) Physics at Heriot-Watt University is a four-year undergraduate degree, accredited by the Institute of Physics. Heriot-Watt University was ranked 1st in the UK for physics in the National Student Survey 2020 (Overall Student Satisfaction). The study of physics allows us to accurately measure the universe around us. We can develop models to explain what is going on and then use those models to predict what is otherwise unknown. From studying particles so small their existence can only be inferred, to researching the largest and most massive black holes we have found in the universe, this subject trains you to rapidly adapt your skills to tackle the next emerging challenge, whatever that may be. Physics degree overview This four-year Physics degree covers subjects including dynamics, electromagnetic fields and optics. These areas lead onto the quantum world of subatomic particles, the unique nature of laser light, and the philosophically challenging ideas of quantum physics and astrophysics. Mathematics also plays an important part to help us understand physical concepts in more depth. In later years, dedicated courses for Biophysics, Nanophotonics, Fibre-Optic Communications and Quantum Mechanics allow students to delve deep into current research areas and discuss their questions with leading experts. Physics Rankings The National Student Survey 2021 ranked Heriot-Watt University 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK for the “Average % Agree” to all questions, and 2nd in Scotland and 5th in the UK for Overall Satisfaction in Physics. Physics at Heriot-Watt University is ranked 2nd in Scotland and 5th in the UK by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, in the subject of Physics and Astronomy. Accreditation BSc (Hons) Physics is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist. Practical learning We have invested heavily in developing practical labs which students use throughout their degree. Our lab facilities are supported by friendly and helpful staff to ensure everyone can benefit of practical lab work. First year lab activities develop fundamental skills that will allow you to carry out individual experiments throughout later stages of your degree. Typically, there will be 3 hours of timetabled laboratory work each week, exploring topics like optics, electronics, and mechanics. From Year 2 onwards, teaching laboratories include more advanced experiments in radioactivity, dynamics, solar-cell efficiency, aerodynamics, interferometry, optical fibres, and electronics. Computer modelling and computer interfaced experiments also form part of many activities. Grounded in the research This degree is taught by passionate and engaging experts who relate taught material to their own research and explore the context and applications of the physics discussed. Particular focus is given to the work of Heriot-Watt’s Research Institute for Photonic and Quantum Science and the Research Institute for Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering. In 2021 Heriot-Watt University won the Queens Anniversary Prize for research in photonics – the highest honour in UK education. Student experience and Physics Society We take great pride in our ability to provide support to all students though tutoring, pastoral support and informal activities. Our staff to student ratio is consistently high, which allows us to offer a personalised and relaxed approach to teaching, which helps students achieve high academic standards. Our student-run Physics Society offers students the chance to interact with others through activities ranging from formal speakers to social events and trips.
How to apply
This is the deadline for applications to be completed and sent for this course. If the university or college still has places available you can apply after this date, but your application is not guaranteed to be considered.
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- Edinburgh Campus
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Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
- Year 2
Standard Qualification Requirements
We operate contextual admissions defined by our Fair Access Policy which may mean entry requirements are flexible. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK, Europe and International countries. Please contact the Admissions Officer for the programme for further information on the entry requirements for these.
Minimum Qualification Requirements
As part of the Fair Access Process, the minimum entry requirements enable students who are within one or more of the categories below to be guaranteed an offer: Living in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20) Care Experienced, as identified on the UCAS Application form by ticking the relevant box.
English language requirements
Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not been educated previously in the English language must provide evidence of their English language ability to ensure they can cope with the demands of a Heriot-Watt programme taught and assessed in English. Further information about the English Language tests that we currently accept as proof of English Language ability including our own English Language programmes, can be viewed on our website.
HWU English Language Requirements
The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. 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
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