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BSc (Hons) Physics (with a foundation year)

Find your way into Physics with an intensive foundation year course

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code

F304

Institution code

Y50

Length

4 years full-time

Typical offer

n/a (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

拢9,250 per year

International and EU fees

拢28,800 per year

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Discover York

If you have potential but you're missing the appropriate qualifications then our foundation year course offers a route onto our physics degrees.

 The course is aimed at:

  • A level students who have not recently studied both Physics and Maths
  • Mature students looking to change career

After completing the foundation year, you'll transfer into the Year 1 of a physics degree of your choice. All our degree programmes are offered as three-year Bachelors (BSc) courses or four-year Integrated Masters (MPhys/MMath) courses. Many have the option to spend an additional year abroad or in industry:

  • Physics
  • Physics with Astrophysics
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Mathematics and Physics
  • Physics with Philosophy

Accreditation

Our Physics degree courses are accredited by the  (iop.org), guaranteeing the standard of our teaching and learning. Completing a physics degree will put you on track to becoming a Chartered Physicist.

IOP Institute of Physics

5th in the UK

for our departmental research environment 鈥 the support we give to our researchers 鈥 according to the Times Higher Education鈥檚 ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

Course content

Our Foundation Year course is based on A level mathematics and physics material. You don't need any prior knowledge, but you will need to be prepared for a busy and demanding schedule.

We closely limit course numbers to ensure you have the best possible chance of successfully completing the foundation year. As a result we can offer small-group teaching with considerable personal support.

四虎影院 abroad

All of our physics degree courses have an optional, integrated year abroad, where you will study for a year at one of our partner institutions.

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

We also offer our courses with a year abroad.

Placements

There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Foundation year

The foundation year includes modules which aim to provide the student with the relevant knowledge and skills to embark upon the first year of any of our physics courses. The taught modules broadly follow the mathematics and physics A-level syllabus, while the practical sessions provide useful experience of university laboratory work.

Core modules

  • Mathematics 1
  • Physics 1
  • Skills for Engineering and the Physical Sciences 1
  • Mathematics 2
  • Physics 2
  • Skills for Engineering and the Physical Sciences 2

Year 1

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study one option module:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Apply the techniques and results of physics and mathematics to independently solve complex problems, using core physics, mathematics and/or computational knowledge.
  • Construct and execute a scientific investigation using the principles of physics in investigating a hypothesis, and interpret outcomes.   
  • Communicate the integration and inter-relation of core physics, present sophisticated concepts and defend outcomes of physical studies succinctly in both written and oral formats to audiences in a logical way.
  • Interact and collaborate effectively within groups applying core physics themes and concepts to open-ended problems.        
  • Use appropriate digital technologies in data handling and understand the wider applications of these techniques in quantitative science.
  • Discriminate between modern experimental and measurement methods and the limitations imposed by assessment of systematic and random errors in the experimental design and execution.
Physics is a wonderful place to study. The academics are very friendly and approachable. The student intake is small compared to other universities so lecturers can get to know you on a first-name basis rather than you just being another nameless face in the crowd.
Paul, Foundation Year student

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
拢9,250 拢28,800

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

Masterclass Research Placements

Any student who enters stage 1 of any of our physics degrees having achieved an A* at A level (or equivalent) in Mathematics or Physics and achieves an overall Year Mark of 70 per cent or higher in stage 1 in their first attempt is guaranteed a Masterclass Research Placement.

In addition, a number of Masterclass places will be made available to students who did not qualify based on entry qualification, but who achieve an overall Year Mark of 70 per cent or higher in stage 1 in their first attempt and have demonstrated significant improvement in their abilities during their first year of study.

Foundation Year Bursary

UK and EU students on this course will receive a fee waiver which will reduce the cost of studying during the Foundation Year:

Foundation year scholarships

The School of Physics, Engineering and Technology offers a number of scholarships for the best performing foundation year students, after the first semester of the course.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

90% of students

on this course were in work or further study 15 months after graduation. Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19 (full-time UK students)

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we鈥檙e gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

We teach using a combination of lectures, example classes, laboratory work, workshops and private study.

You'll meet regularly with an academic supervisor who will offer guidance and support throughout your degree and help develop your problem-solving skills. This fosters excellent staff-student rapport and ensures an extremely friendly and supportive atmosphere for you.

Regular supervision meetings, small group seminars and our open door policy allow you to share your insights and develop a deeper understanding.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures15 hours per week
Workshops2 hours per week
Practicals2-8 hours per week

These figures are representative of a typical week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Teaching location

You'll be based in the School of Physics, Engineering & Technology on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in the School, with some classes elsewhere on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

Most of your assessment will be by formal examination. You'll also be marked on regular problem exercises and laboratory work, coursework and formal report writing. We balance various types of assessment to develop and test your different strengths:

  • Examinations
  • Extended assignments
  • Weekly problems
  • Formal reports
  • Practical laboratory work
  • Presentations

You'll get prompt, regular feedback to help you develop your skills.

Careers and skills

Our graduates are sought by employers in a huge range of disciplines. The skills you will learn - analysis, mathematics, problem-solving - are relevant in industries from finance to software development. All of this is supported by the York-led ; a dedicated resource to facilitate collaboration between students and industry. Alternatively, many of our graduates progress to postgraduate degrees at York and other leading universities. 

We're committed to supporting our students' career development and employability - it's embedded in our core teaching. We organise activities from careers fairs to leadership building exercises to ensure you're prepared to enter the jobs market with a competitive edge.

Companies that York physics graduates have gone on to work for include: BAE Systems, E.ON, De Vere, The Home Office, Jaguar Land Rover, John Lewis, the Science and Technology Council, and Virgin Money.

Career opportunities

Our graduates are working as:

  • accelerator physicist
  • engineer
  • scientist
  • financial coordinator
  • IT analyst and consultant
  • teacher
  • electrical engineer
  • environmental modeller
  • accountant

Transferable skills

  • Self-management
  • Communication skills
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity and innovation
  • IT literacy
  • Mathematics

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Other qualifications We are eager to encourage applications from a wide range of backgrounds, so we consider every application individually. In order to help ensure that you have the potential to complete the degree course, we will look for evidence that you are capable of dealing with the foundation year workload. For example, you could have successfully completed three A levels, or have been in full-time employment for an extended period.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ We recognise the value of this qualification although it will not be included as a condition of entry. It may be taken into consideration when you receive your results.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Applicants will be required to attend an interview prior to any offer being made.

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

School of Physics, Engineering and Technology

Discover York

Accommodation

We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.

Student life

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The city

Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.

Meet us

Find out more about York. Chat to staff and students and take the tour, on campus or online.

1st in the Russell Group

for 'Academic support' in Physics according to the National Student Survey 2023

5th in the UK

for our departmental research environment 鈥 the support we give to our researchers 鈥 according to the Times Higher Education鈥檚 ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

Fantastic facilities

Access to our Astrocampus, Atomic and Nuclear Lab, and computational laboratories. Our undergraduate labs are filled with experiments covering the full breadth of taught topics.