fac

Undergraduate

BSc Theoretical Physics

Take your theoretical knowledge and mathematical skills to a higher level on this accredited BSc degree programme.

Key information

Study mode

Full-time

Course length

3 years

Entry requirements

112 points

A Level grades: BBC

UCAS code

F340

Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

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 with an innovative approach to teaching.

Many of our graduates progress to careers in some of the best-known laboratories and research facilities, including Jodrell Bank and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

Our expertise was recognised as far back as 1969 when we were one of the centres chosen to carry out tests on samples gathered from the Moon by Neil Armstrong’s historic Apollo 11 mission.

Six reasons to study Theoretical Physics at Hull

  1. Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IoP)
  2. Access the North's No 1 university supercomputer
  3. Study under internationally-recognised experts
  4. Tackle unanswered questions in your own research
  5. Develop transferable data science skills
  6. Masters year leads to Chartered Physicist status

What you'll study

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.

First year modules

  • Core

    Introduction to Experimental Skills and Mathematics for Physics

    This module introduces the scientific instruments and experimental skills that you'll need to study physics. You'll develop your maths abilities so that you can solve physics problems.

  • Compulsory

    The Classical World

    This module delivers essential physics covering two main themes: classical mechanics and optics. You'll study Newton's Laws and extend them to simple fluid dynamics.

    Calculus

    You'll 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

    Discover electrostatics and magnetostatics and how to apply your knowledge of them. You'll also learn the essentials of Python, which is one of the most popular programming languages.

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

    Explore how quantum physics can explain the behaviour of atoms -  and how that behaviour can in turn explain the macroscopic properties of the matter around us.

    Vector and Linear Algebra

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

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    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). 

    Intermediate Quantum Mechanics with Advanced Computation

    This course continues your exploration of quantum-based concepts. You'll use Schrödinger’s equation and its solutions in different situations and examine angular momentum and spin. 

    Differential Equations

    Explore solution-generating techniques including Wronskian procedures, Laplace transforms and the method of Frobenius, concluding with the more advanced application of Sturm-Liouville theory.

    Investigative Physics and Mathematics

    Develop your own scientific investigations and design studies to answer a question that you set. You’ll also learn about vector calculus.

    The Physics of Waves and Solid State

    Study the essentials of wave phenomena leading up to electromagnetic waves and Maxwell's equations. You'll also learn about the electronic properties of solids.

    Functions of a Complex Variable

    On this module, you'll study differentiation and integration of a complex-valued function of a complex-valued variable. 

Final year modules

  • Compulsory

    Advanced Quantum, 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?

    Numerical Modelling and Simulation with Research Project Planning

    ​This module introduces you to a high-level of Python programming language. You'll learn about numerical techniques to solve a range of complex problems in physics or astrophysics.

    Matter at Extremes

    Discover basic concepts of magnetism and superconductivity and outline their role in key applications. You’ll also learn to describe and define the main characteristics of a plasma.

     

    Partial Differential Equations

    Study methods for solving first- and second-order partial differential equations, mainly for scalar-valued functions of two or more variables.

    BSc Project

    Plan, research, conduct and report a scientific investigation, either individually or in a group. This might include programming, data acquisition and analysis, and a study of related literature. 

    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.

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

How you'll study

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.

Overall workload

420 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

780 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

67%
13%
20%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Overall workload

420 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

780 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

48%
4%
48%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Overall workload

228 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

972 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

51%
9%
40%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Isobel-Judson
Isobel Judson Physics

Why I chose Physics at Hull

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Entry requirements

Points can be from any qualifications on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications
     
  • Applicants should have A Level Maths and Physics at Grade B or above. Applicants taking the reformed A-level must also Pass the practical element

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 28 points (including 6 in Higher Level Maths and Physics)
  • BTEC L3 Extended Diploma: suitable for Foundation Year only
  • Access to HE Diploma: Suitable for foundation year entry only

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

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. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

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.

Our teaching staff

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Take a tour of the facilities

We’ve invested £300-million in new facilities right across our campus, like the £28-million upgrade to the Brynmor Jones Library with its panoramic views of the region.

Fees and funding

Home / EU

£9,250 per year*

International

£17,200 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.

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. 

Scholarships

If you achieve

112 UCAS tariff points or above

from 3 A levels or equivalent, you could receive

£1,200 to £2,000

Find out more

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Data scientist
  • Laser systems engineering
  • Telecommunications
  • IT and computing
  • Medical physics
  • Nuclear engineer

Recent Hull graduates have gained professional roles at companies such as Rolls-Royce, Thales, QinetiQ, NPL, RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser), Atkins and Clyde Bergemann.

Others have secured places on graduate training schemes with the National Grid and the NHS, among others.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

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