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Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Entry requirements


A level

A,A,B-A,B,B

We also accept other combinations equivalent to 128-136 points to include 40 points from A Level Physics and 40 points from A Level Mathematics, or equivalent.

128-138 Tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma (Science). Physics and Mathematics based units must all be passed at Merit or above.

Cambridge Pre-U score of 52-54, 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.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

30

30 points from the IB Diploma. 665 at Higher Level - 31 points from the IB Diploma. 774 at Higher Level. To include 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,H3-H2,H2,H2,H3,H3


To include Higher Level Mathematics and Physics at H3.

Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

DDD-DDM

Must be in a Science based subject and contain substantial components of Physics.

Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.

Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)

DDD-DDM

Must be in a Science based subject and contain substantial components of Physics.

Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.

Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016)

DDD-DDM

Must be in a Science based subject and contain substantial components of Physics.

128-136 Tariff points to include Physics at grade C and Mathematics at grade C.

Acceptable when combined with other qualifications

UCAS Tariff

128-136

128-136 points to include 40 points from A Level Physics and 40 points from A Level Mathematics, or equivalent.

About this course


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

Course option

4.0years

Full-time | 2022

Other options

5.0 years | Sandwich | 2022

Subjects

Astrophysics

Physics

**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 to aerospace companies such as BAE Systems, Airbus Defence 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.

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.

Assessment methods

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.

Tuition fees

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

Channel Islands
£9,250
per year
England
£9,250
per year
EU
£9,250
per year
International
£18,300
per year
Northern Ireland
£9,250
per year
Republic of Ireland
£9,250
per year
Scotland
£9,250
per year
Wales
£9,250
per year

The Uni


Course location:

University of Portsmouth

Department:

Faculty of Technology

Read full university profile

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.

73%
low
Astrophysics
83%
med
Physics

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.

Astronomy

Teaching and learning

64%
Staff make the subject interesting
73%
Staff are good at explaining things
82%
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
73%
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

82%
Library resources
91%
IT resources
73%
Course specific equipment and facilities
36%
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?

91%
UK students
9%
International students
74%
Male students
26%
Female students
75%
2:1 or above
12%
First year drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)

C
D
C

Physics

Teaching and learning

72%
Staff make the subject interesting
90%
Staff are good at explaining things
79%
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
62%
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

72%
Library resources
62%
IT resources
69%
Course specific equipment and facilities
55%
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?

92%
UK students
8%
International students
80%
Male students
20%
Female students
81%
2:1 or above
11%
First year drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)

C
C
C

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.

Physics and astronomy

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.

£22,000
med
Average annual salary
94%
med
Employed or in further education
62%
med
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

23%
Engineering professionals
10%
Business, research and administrative professionals
10%
Science, engineering and production technicians

Not a lot of people study astronomy as a first degree, and if you want to be one of the small number of people who start work as an astronomer - often overseas - every year, you will need a doctorate — so at least a third of graduates go into further study. Astronomy graduates, however, are versatile, going into all parts of the jobs market - their good technical, data and maths skills taking them into IT and business especially. However, if you want to find out more specifically about the prospects for your chosen subject, it might be a good idea to go on open days and talk to tutors about what previous graduates from your chosen subject went on to do.

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.

£21,164
med
Average annual salary
94%
med
Employed or in further education
61%
med
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

23%
Engineering professionals
10%
Business, research and administrative professionals
10%
Science, engineering and production technicians

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...

Higher entry requirements
University of Leicester | Leicester
Physics with Astrophysics
MPhys (Hons) 4.0 Years Full-time 2022
UCAS Points: 128-174
Lower entry requirements
University of York | York
Physics with Astrophysics (with a year in Industry)
MPhys (Hons) 5.0 Years Full-time 2022
UCAS Points: 60-144
Same University
University of Portsmouth | Portsmouth
Physics
MPhys (Hons) 4.0 Years Full-time 2022
UCAS Points: 128-136
Nearby University
University of Surrey | Guildford
Physics with Nuclear Astrophysics
MPhys (Hons) 4.0 Years Full-time 2022
UCAS Points: 120-144

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This is what the university has told Ucas about the course. Use it to get a quick idea about what makes it unique compared to similar courses, elsewhere.

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Course location and department:

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Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF):

We've received this information from the Department for Education, via Ucas. This is how the university as a whole has been rated for its quality of teaching: gold silver or bronze. Note, not all universities have taken part in the TEF.

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This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

This is the percentage of final-year students at this university who were "definitely" or "mostly" satisfied with their course. We've analysed this figure against other universities so you can see whether this is high, medium or low.

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This information is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), for undergraduate students only.

You can use this to get an idea of who you might share a lecture with and how they progressed in this subject, here. It's also worth comparing typical A-level subjects and grades students achieved with the current course entry requirements; similarities or differences here could indicate how flexible (or not) a university might be.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

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Graduate field commentary:

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit have provided some further context for all graduates in this subject area, including details that numbers alone might not show

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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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