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:
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:
Our Physics degree courses are accredited by the Institute of Physics (iop.org), guaranteeing the standard of our teaching and learning. Completing a physics degree will put you on track to becoming a Chartered Physicist.
for academic support in Physics according to the 2022 National Student Survey
for our departmental research environment – the support we give to our researchers – according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).
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.
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.
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.
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.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
You will also study two option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:
The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.
BSc Research Project & Skills
You will also study four option modules. The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.
Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.
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.
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
|UK (home)||International and EU|
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.
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.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2023/24 throughout the year.
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:
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.
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.
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.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||15 hours per week|
|Workshops||2 hours per week|
|Practicals||2-8 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 term time. 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.
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.
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 campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
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:
You'll get prompt, regular feedback to help you develop your 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 White Rose Industrial Physics Academy; 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.
Our graduates are working as:
|T levels||We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.|
|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|
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|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.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS (Academic and Indicator)||6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, with a minimum of 169 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 International ESOL||B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component|
|PTE Academic/PTE Academic Online||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.
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.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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