What Grades Do I Need to Apply for Physics?

At the heart of Physics is the desire to find out how the world works. This is done by carrying out experiments and attempting to describe the results using mathematics with the aim of producing physical models that can be used to test theories.

The ultimate goal of Physics is to then use the model and the experimental data to make predictions about the world and discover how our world works in greater detail.

Put simply, Physics is the study of the entire universe and everything in it. Without Physics modern technology and engineering wouldn’t exist and the world would be a very different place.

This means that physicists play a huge role in society and have helped to develop many new technologies that have greatly impacted our daily lives.

Here’s more about studying Physics and the where this could take you.

What does a Physics degree involve?

As a Physics student you’ll have a high number of contact hours spent in the classroom with a tutor or lecturer. This is because of amount of research and lab work involved in the course.

As well as time in lectures you’ll also be expected to carry out many hours of independent study, roughly two hours per lecture, and read up on specific areas before attending taught sessions.

Popular modules on Physics courses include:

  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Space and Time
  • Quantum Physics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Relativity
  • Geophysics

During your first year you’ll focus on the mathematics you’ll use as a physicist, classic physics, and some basic modern physics.

In the later years of your course you’ll learn further maths and move on to more complex modern physics.

What are my options when choosing a Physics degree?

You have two options when choosing an undergraduate Physics degree:

  • A three year bachelor’s degree (BSc)
  • A four year undergraduate master’s (MPhys or MSci)

If you’re considering an academic career, which is a popular career option for many Physics students, then you’d be advised to take the four year master’s degree option.

There are also a number of joint honours degrees that you can take. This enables you to combine two areas of interest. This may be a better option for you if you’d like a broader range of career options open to you after graduation.

Popular joint honours include:

  • Physics and Mathematics
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Physics and Computer Science
  • Physics and Medical Physics
  • Physics and Theoretical Physics

What grades do I need to apply for Physics?

If you want to study Physics at university then you need to choose the right A Levels.

Almost all universities that offer Physics undergraduate degrees ask that candidates have A Level Maths and Physics.

A small number of universities will accept just one of these subjects but you’ll have incredibly limited study options.

Other desirable A Level subjects include:

  • Further Maths
  • Chemistry
  • Geography

The exact entry requirements vary between universities so it’s important to check the specific requirements of each university that you’re interested in before applying.

Typical offers range from A*AA to ABB or 240 UCAS points or lower. Some universities, such as Swansea and Southampton, offer foundation courses for students that either didn’t get the grades they needed or didn’t take the right combination of A Levels to study Physics at undergraduate level.

Where can I study Physics?

Physics is a popular course and the majority of universities offer it as a course and combined course option.

Some of the best universities to study Physics at include:

  • Aberystwyth
  • Aberdeen
  • Plymouth
  • Anglia Ruskin
  • Chester
  • Kent
  • De Montfort
  • Greenwich

What are my job prospects with a Physics degree?

A degree in Physics opens up a diverse range of career options – you aren’t limited to working in academia or a research-based role!

As a Physics graduate you’ll be computer literate, have strong numeracy and research skills, be used to working on problems independently, and know how to think logically and critically.

Of course, the majority of graduates go on to further study and gain their Master’s or PhD.

Other Physics graduates move into teaching, journalism, banking, patent law, and engineering. It’s also possible to move into a more creative career such as media broadcasting like well-known television science personality Dr Brian Cox.