BSc Physics (NQF level 6)
This physics programme will give you an excellent understanding of mainstream physics and develop your scientific intuition and prepare you for a wide range of careers. Our physics programmes are designed around a core curriculum, which can lead naturally on to PhD-level research or towards a more specialised qualification such as an MSc, and all are accredited by the Institute of Physics.
In Stage 1 you will develop your understanding of physics and become familiar with a variety of basic mathematical tools. The concepts and phenomena you will meet are many and varied, but are united by the underlying principles of physics. In a typical week you will spend 15 hours in a formal teaching environment, and be expected to spend a further 20 hours in independent study. You will have four hours of lectures in physics, two in mathematics, one tutorial, six hours in the teaching laboratories and two hours in problem-solving classes.
Stage 2 provides a firm foundation of physics, and the principles that constitute the framework of the subject. The use of mathematics gives these principles a precise form and provides physicists with the ability to make detailed quantitative predictions. This year focuses on four main cornerstones of physics: condensed matter, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics. These provide the core of most of physics and of our understanding of the evolution of our universe. The other modules in your second and subsequent years draw in part on your knowledge of this core.
Stage 3 develops your problem-solving and knowledge of core physics in key areas, such as nuclear and high-energy particle physics and electrodynamics. You will also apply this knowledge to more specialised areas covered by optional modules.
This final year of the programme also involves substantial project work. BSc students undertake two one-term extended projects, which may be experimental or theoretical in nature. Experimental projects utilise a suite of equipment that includes an atomic force microscope, an infra-red spectrometer, and our own observatory and radio telescope. You also have the opportunity to undertake team-based work tackling a real-world problem proposed by, for example, a commercial company or public service.
This programme is intended to:
Physics and Astronomy intends to provide students taking this programme with:
The programme is divided into units of study called modules. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload. One credit is nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work. The level of a module indicates its position in the progressive development of academic cognitive abilities, and/or practical skills. An elective is an unspecified module that allows the student to broaden their education, e.g. by learning a foreign language. More details are given in the published module descriptors.
The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site:
You may take option modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site:
You may take elective modules as indicated in the tables below as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.
The fourth character of any module code signifies its NQF level, according to the following scheme:
|Module Code||NQF Level|
This is the programme planned for delivery to students commencing Stage 1 in the academic year 2018/19. Some modules will be updated or replaced in future years as a consequence of normal programme development activity, and staff rotation.
|Stage One (2018-2019)|
|PHY1022||Introduction to Astrophysics||T1:01-05,07-12||15||4||Non-condonable.|
|PHY1027||Practical Physics I||T1:01-12, T2:01-05||15||4||Non-condonable.|
|PHY1028||IT and Electronics Skills||T1:01-05,07-12, T2:06-11||15||4||Non-condonable.|
|PHY1023||Waves and Optics||T2:01-11||15||4||Non-condonable.|
|PHY1024||Properties of Matter||T2:01-11||15||4||Non-condonable.|
|PHY1026||Mathematics for Physicists||T2:01-11||15||4||Non-condonable.|
|Stage Two (2019-2020)|
|PHY2022||Quantum Mechanics I||T1:01-11||15||5||Non-condonable.|
|List 2a||Option(s) from List 2a||15|
|PHY2025||Mathematics with Physical Applications||T1:01-11, T2:01-11||15||5||Non-condonable.|
|PHY2026||Practical Physics II||T1:03-11, T2:01-11||15||5||Non-condonable.|
|PHY2024||Condensed Matter I||T2:01-11||15||5||Non-condonable.|
|List 2b||Option(s) from List 2b||15|
|List 2a Options|
|PHY2027||Scientific Programming in C||T1:01-11||15||5||Non-condonable.|
|PHY2035||Scientific Programming in Python||T1:01-11||15||5||Non-condonable.|
|List 2b Options|
|PHY2029||The Physics of Living Systems||T2:01-11||15||5|
|PHY2030||Observing the Universe||T2:01-11||15||5|
|PHY2032||Analytical and Chaotic Dynamics||T2:01-11||15||5|
|PHY2034||Lasers, Materials and Nanoscale Probes for Quantum Applications||T2:01-11||15||5|
|Elective||Elective (Term 2)||15|
|Stage Three (2020-2021)|
|List 3a||Option(s) from List 3a||30|
|PHY3053||General Problems||T1:01-11, T2:01-11||15||6|
|PHY3052||Nuclear and High Energy Physics||T2:01-11||15||6|
|List 3b||Option(s) from List 3b||15|
|List 3p||Option(s) from List 3p||30|
|List 3a Options|
|PHY3061||The Biophysics of Cells and Tissues||T1:01-11||15||6|
|PHY3062||Methods of Theoretical Physics||T1:01-11||15||6|
|PHY3064||Nanostructures and Graphene Science||T1:01-11||15||6|
|PHY3067||Energy and the Environment||T1:01-11||15||6|
|PHY3070||Stars from Birth to Death||T1:01-11||15||6|
|List 3b||Option(s) from List 3b||15|
|List 3b Options|
|PHY3066||Galaxies and High Energy Astrophysics||T2:01-11||15||6|
|PHY3068||Principles of Theoretical Physics||T2:01-11||15||6|
|List 3p Options|
|PHY3138||Projects and Dissertations||T1:01-11, T2:01-11||30||6||Non-condonable.|
|PHY3147||One-Semester Physics Project and Report||T1:01-11 or T2:01-11||15||6||If PHY3150 also taken. Non-condonable.|
|PHY3150||Applying Physics (Group Project)||T2:01-11||15||6||If PHY3147 also taken.|
|On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:|
A. Specialised Subject Skills & Knowledge
Learning & Teaching Activities (in/out of class)
B. Academic Discipline Core Skills & Knowledge
Learning & Teaching Activities (in/out of class)
C. Personal / Transferable / Employment Skills & Knowledge
Learning & Teaching Activities (in/out of class)
This BSc programme consists of 360 credits with 120 credits taken at each stage. Normally not more than 75 credits would be allowed in any one term. In total, participants normally take no more than 120 credits at NQF level 4, and must take at least 120 credits at NQF level 6. The pass mark for award of credit in UG modules (NQF levels 4-6) is 40%.
Up to 30 credits of failure can be condoned in a stage of this BSc Programme on the following conditions:
Assessment at stage 1 does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. The award will normally be based on the degree mark formed from the credit-weighted average marks for stages 2 and 3 combined in the ratio 1:2 respectively.
The marking of modules and the classification of awards broadly corresponds to the following marks:
|Class II Division I||60–69%|
|Class II Division II||50–59%|
Full details of assessment regulations for UG programmes and PGT programmes can be found on the University of Exeter website:
Generic marking criteria are also published here:
Please see the Teaching and Quality Assurance Manual for further guidance.
Comprehensive details of this programme, support for its students and the learning environment are published in the Physics Handbook:
Physical facilities include: well-equipped teaching and research laboratories, a mechanical student-workshop supervised by technicians, computer workstations and classrooms, social and quiet-working space for students.
It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.
Students on this programme are assigned a physics tutor, who combines the academic and personal roles and holds small-group (typically five students) tutorial meetings lasting an hour each week during the teaching periods. Further details of this system are published in the Physics Handbook:
Each programme stage is supported and overseen by a stage coordinator (senior tutor) responsible for monitoring all aspects of the student experience:
In addition to a large number of journals and academic works, the nearby University stocks reference and/or for-loan copies of all recommended texts for Physics modules. Where possible e-Books and e-Journal subscriptions are purchased to allow internet access.
Each module has its own page on ELE, the Exeter virtual learning environment. Resources available for each module normally include sets of lecture slides/notes, video capture recordings of lectures, problems sets and examples, resources for self-study, etc.
There are approximately 100 computer workstations reserved for undergraduate use within the Physics Building. Facilities include two computer classrooms, printers and further provision within practical laboratories. Further details are published in the Physics Handbook:
The Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) enables students and staff to participate jointly in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.
The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, together with a number of specialist collections in certain Colleges. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions
IT Services provide a wide range of services throughout the Exeter campuses including open access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.
Other services currently provided by the University include:
All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.
Candidates must satisfy the:
The equivalent of at least:
are required for all Physics programmes. Applicants with other qualifications (for example the Access to Higher Education Diploma or Open University credits) may need to pass an AL-style mathematics test to demonstrate ability. This test will be undertaken as part of an interview.
Applicants who meet our entry criteria will be invited to visit the Department between November and March. Places are not normally offered to applicants who do not participate in an interview.
Further details, including typical offers and English language requirements for International students are published on the University's Admissions webpages:
Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.
The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. For details see:
Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).
This programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics.
For more information, refer to the Physics Handbook:
The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of educational provision. The College documents the performance in each of its taught programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER):
Subject areas are reviewed every five years through a College Academic Audit scheme that includes external contributions.
These reference points have been used to construct/update this programme:
|14. Awarding Institution:||University of Exeter|
|15. Lead College / Teaching Institution:||CEMPS / Physics and Astronomy|
|16. Partner College / Teaching Institution:||N/A|
|17. Programme Accredited/Validated By:||Institute of Physics (status: accredited)|
|18. Final Award(s):||BSc (Hons)|
|19. UCAS Code (UG Programmes):||F300 (UCAS)|
|20. NQF Level of Final Award:||6|
|21. Credit:||360 CATS / 180 ECTS|
|22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group:||Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics|
|23. Origin Date / Latest Revision:||01-Oct-2009 / 01-Sep-2017|