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Physics with Foundation Year

Entry requirements

Access to HE Diploma


Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2. At least 15 level 3 credits must be at merit grade or above from a QAA-recognised Access to HE course, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate.

GCSE/National 4/National 5

English Language at grade C or 4 Maths at grade C or 4 Science at grade C or 4

UCAS Tariff


This must include at least 32 points from one A level or equivalent BTEC qualifications. For example: CDD at A Level. MMP in BTEC Extended Diploma. A combination of qualifications, which may include a maximum of one AS level, EPQ and general studies

About this course

This course has alternative study modes. Contact the university to find out how the information below might vary.

Course option


Full-time including foundation year | 2022

Other options

5.0 years | Sandwich including foundation year | 2022



Please note that the information provided relates to the current academic year and is subject to change without notice by Sheffield Hallam University.
Please check the Sheffield Hallam University website for the latest information.

**Course summary**
- Study on a top-five ranked course for student satisfaction.

- Learn in small, close-knit and supportive groups.

- Work on real-world projects with industry partners throughout your course.

- Feel motivated by a course with one of the highest success rates for students acquiring placements.

On this course you’ll immerse yourself in how the universe works. You’ll study a range of classical and modern physics, developing the mathematical and analytical tools to solve the problems you encounter. The skills you develop studying physics are some of the most versatile of any degree subject.

**How you learn**
All our courses are designed around a set of key principles based on engaging you with the world, collaborating with others, challenging you to think in new ways, and providing you with a supportive environment in which you can thrive.

The course is suitable if you don’t meet the entry requirements for our BSc (Hons) Physics course, or you want extra preparation before starting degree-level study. You share the first year with other engineering, maths and physics foundation year students, then move on to the degree.

We’ve designed a balanced mix of activities to develop you as a professional physicist and enhance your career prospects. The physics course's focus at Sheffield Hallam is to teach in an applied way, highlighting the links between academic learning and its professional applications. As part of this, you’ll undertake projects with local industry partners to solve the real issues they’re encountering – developing professional skills and research techniques side by side.

You learn through

- lectures

- tutorials

- seminars

- practical laboratory sessions

- problem-based and practical activity-based sessions

- group and individual project work

- acting as mentors for other students

**Applied learning
Work placements**

You’ll have the opportunity to arrange a year-long work placement in between your second and third years. This gives you a real-world experience to prepare you for your future career. Although optional (and competitive), a placement is actively encouraged to improve your employability at the end of your degree significantly. We’ll help you find a placement, as well as offering mentoring from returning placement students. Our mix of training and support has meant the physics course has one of the highest rates of placement uptake.

**Live projects**

As part of the course you’ll work on projects with local businesses. By partnering with local industry, you’ll have the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge you’ve learned in a live setting. Our industry partners provide real projects for you to tender for and work on – using the research and analytical equipment in our research centre. You’ll then be able to present your findings to the industry partner for appraisal and feedback.

In the final year of your degree you can complete a year-long dissertation project in partnership with industry. Some students choose to continue work they started during their placement year r you can work on live projects developed in tandem with business, where you develop sector-specific skills and visit sites to see your research in action.


Module and assessment information for future years is displayed as currently validated and may be liable to change. When selecting electives, your choices will be subject to the core requirements of the course. As a result, selections may be limited to a choice between one of two or more specified electives in some instances.

You can take an optional placement in year three.
Year 1
Compulsory modules
Electrical And Electronic Principles 20
Foundation Mathematics 1 20
Foundation Mathematics 2 20
Fundamental Engineering Principles 20
Fundamentals Of Materials And Manufacturing 20
Mathematical Investigations 20
Year 2
Compulsory modules
Atomic And Nuclear Physics 20
Electronics 20
Introduction To Condensed Matter Physics 20
Mathematics For Physicists 20
The Professional And Practical Physicist 1 20
Vibrations, Waves And Optics 20
Year 3
Compulsory modules
Mechanics, Relativity And Electromagnetism 20
Physical Modelling 1 20
Quantum And Condensed Matter Physics 20
The Professional And Practical Physicist 2 20
Thermodynamics And Statistical Physics 20
Elective modules
Analogue And Digital Systems 20
Foreign Language 20
Interfaces And Instrumentation 20
Year 4
Optional modules
Placement Year
Final year
Compulsory modules
Physical Modelling 2 20
Professional Practice 20
Project For Physicists 20
Elective modules
Advanced Investigatory Techniques 20
Applied Business Intelligence 20
Fluid Flow 20
Foreign Language 20
Modelling With Partial Differential Equations 20
Tensors And Relativity 20
V.L.S.I. Design 20

Assessment methods


Tuition fees

Select where you currently live to see what you'll pay:

Channel Islands
per year
per year
per year
per year
Northern Ireland
per year
Republic of Ireland
per year
per year
per year

Extra funding

Scholarships, discounts and bursaries may be available to students who study this course.

The Uni

Course location:

Sheffield Hallam University


College of Business Technology and Engineering

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What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.


How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.


Teaching and learning

Staff make the subject interesting
Staff are good at explaining things
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

Library resources
IT resources
Course specific equipment and facilities
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

UK students
International students
Male students
Female students
2:1 or above
First year drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)


After graduation

The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Physical science

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

Average annual salary
Employed or in further education
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

Teaching and educational professionals
Customer service occupations
Sales assistants and retail cashiers

Although the subject has seen a bit of resurgence in recent years, the UK is still felt to be short of physics graduates, and in particular physicists training as teachers. If you want a career in physics research — in all sorts of areas, from atmospheric physics to lasers - you'll probably need to take a doctorate, and so have a think about where you would like to do that and how you might fund it (the government funds many physics doctorates, so you might not find it as hard as you think). With that in mind, it's not surprising that just over a fifth of physics graduates go on to take doctorates when they finish their degree, and well over a third of physicists take some kind of postgraduate study in total. Physics is highly regarded and surprisingly versatile, which is why physics graduates who decide not to stay in education are more likely to go into well-paid jobs in the finance industry than they are to go into science. The demand and versatility of physics degrees goes to explain why they're amongst the best-paid science graduates.

Explore these similar courses...

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Lower entry requirements
University of Central Lancashire | Preston
Physics (Foundation Entry)
BSc (Hons) 4.0 Years Full-time including foundation year 2022
UCAS Points: 64
Nearby University
University of York | York
Mathematics/Physics (Equal) with a year in Europe
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UCAS Points: 54-136
Same University
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BSc (Hons) 3.0 Years Full-time including foundation year 2022
UCAS Points: 112

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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