nano-tech

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Theoretical Physics

UndergraduateBSc (Hons) Available in Clearing

Year of entry:
UCAS code: F340

What you'll study

Take your theoretical knowledge and mathematical skills to a higher level. You'll be guided by tutors who are experts in areas such as nanophysics, theoretical astrophysics, string theory and cosmology.

You can combine undergraduate and postgraduate study on this course. Study for an extra year and you’ll graduate with a Masters degree.

First year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Core module

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Introduction to Experimental Skills and Mathematics for Physics

    This module will introduce you to the operation of scientific instruments and experimental skills that you will need in order to study practical physics. You'll also develop your mathematical abilities so that you can solve problems in physics.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • The Classical World

    This module delivers essential core physics covering two main themes: classical mechanics and optics. You will study Newton's Laws and extend them to simple fluid dynamics, and apply knowledge of optics in different regimes.

  • Calculus

    This module delivers essential core mathematics. You will study, for a function of a single real variable, the limit processes of differentiation and integration, using logic and the language of set theory.

  • Electricity and Magnetism with Computation

  • From the Quantum World to the Macro World – an Introduction to Quantum Physics and the Properties of Matter

    This module presents an integrated view of matter, going from the quantum scale to the macro scale. You will explore how quantum physics can explain the behaviour of atoms, and how the collective behaviour of atoms can in turn explain the macroscopic properties of matter that we see around us.

  • Vector and Linear Algebra

    This module delivers essential core mathematics. You’ll explore the following themes: vectors, matrices, vector spaces, linear equation systems, and dimension.

Second year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Thermodynamics, Statistical Physics and Special Relativity

    This module analyses the equilibrium behaviour of many-body systems from a macroscopic point of view (thermodynamics) and from a microscopic point of view (statistical physics). You'll study the behaviour of systems at significant fractions of the speed of light (special relativity).

  • Intermediate Quantum Mechanics with Advanced Computation

  • Differential Equations

    Explore various solution generating techniques including Wronskian procedures, Laplace transforms and the method of Frobenius, concluding with the more advanced application of Sturm-Liouville theory and a brief introduction to Fourier analysis.

  • Investigative Physics and Mathematics

  • The Physics of Waves and Solid State

  • Functions of a Complex Variable

    You will study differentiation and integration of a complex-valued function of a complex-valued variable. You'll investigate power series expansions about isolated singular points of otherwise analytic functions, with application to the evaluation of improper real integrals.

Final year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Advanced Quantum, Nuclear and Particle Physics

    Explore advanced concepts in quantum physics, nuclear and particle physics. What are the key theories and experiments of nuclear and particle physics? How can we apply quantum mechanics to solve problems in nuclear and particle physics? What is a Hilbert space? All of those topics will be covered using a mixture of lectures and workshops.

  • Numerical Modelling and Simulation

  • Matter at Extremes

  • Partial Differential Equations

    You will study methods for solving first- and second-order partial differential equations, mainly for scalar-valued functions of two (or more) variables. You will investigate existence and uniqueness and employ the methods of characteristics, separation of variables, Green's functions and integral theorems.

  • BSc Project

  • Classical and Quantum Mechanics

    Explore the strange quantum world where the behaviour of subatomic particles is described by integrals, complex numbers, and the rules of probability.

"We got to go to look around CERN - it was just a fantastic experience."

Leah Cox Watch Video

“I was reading up on the department and it just seemed perfect.”

Isobel Judson Watch Video

More about this course

Theoretical Physics at Hull can give you with the mathematical tools to gain a deep understanding of modern physics – from the sub-atomic level to a cosmological scale. You'll be guided by experts in the field who have an innovative approach to teaching.

  • Enjoy access to Viper – the most powerful supercomputer at any university in the North of England – and tackle new, as yet unanswered, questions.
  • Carry out research in areas such as quantum information and condensed matter theory, nanophysics, theoretical astrophysics, string theory and cosmology.
  • Sharpen your critical thinking skills and get the chance to publish research papers before you’ve even graduated.
  • This degree is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

At Hull, our hands-on approach to physics stands our graduates in good stead for the world of work. Many of them have progressed to careers in some of the most successful and best-known laboratories and research facilities, including Jodrell Bank and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

Teaching and learning

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions. The types of scheduled lessons you’ll have depend on the course you study.

Placement hours typically include time spent on a work placement, studying abroad, or field trips.

Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently. This typically involves coursework, assignments, reading, preparing presentations and exam revision.

Assessment
Written
Practical
Coursework

First year

67%

13%

20%

Second year

48%

4%

48%

Final year

51%

9%

40%


Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Our teaching staff

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

Hull Campus

Click to view directions on Google Maps

Joint 4th in the country for graduate employability in the 2018 Guardian University Guide.

Explore the universe from sub-atomic level to the cosmological under internationally-recognised experts.

Take on the big questions with Viper - the most powerful supercomputer in the north of England.

Our research expertise helps some of our students publish academic papers even before they graduate.

Entry requirements

During Clearing we look at all of your qualifications and experience, not just your academic grades – you're more than just letters on a page!

Some courses do still have requirements such as previous study in your subject area, or specific GCSE grades. Others have additional requirements such as an interview or a satisfactory DBS check.

Please call us now on 01482 462238 to find out if we have a course that’s suitable for you.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £9,250 per year*
  • International: £16,000 per year*

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

Future prospects

Physics graduates from the University of Hull have gone on to find employment in some of the largest companies nationally and internationally, such as Reckitt Benckiser and Atkins Engineering, as well as laboratories at Jodrell Bank, the National Physical Laboratory and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

There are opportunities in medical physics within the NHS, and some graduates enter NHS graduate schemes. There is also great demand for physics teachers, and there are generous scholarships available. Alternatively, some students prefer to continue their studies on MSc and PhD study courses.

Employability is at the heart of our curriculum. You learn valuable communication and presentation skills that have helped our graduates find careers in areas as diverse as oil prospecting, defence, risk management and the Stock Exchange.

You will have access to lifelong careers guidance. The University of Hull’s commitment to employability does not end when you graduate. If you need guidance on your career path, or get to the point when you would like a career change, help and support is always available.