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BSc (Hons) Physics (with a foundation year)

Find your way into Physics with an intensive foundation year course

Year of entry: 2020

UCAS code

F304

Institution code

Y50

Length

4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

n/a (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fees

£22,080 per year (2020/21)

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Join us on campus or online and find out what studying at York is really like.

Find out more

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:

  • A level students who have not recently studied both Physics and Maths
  • Mature students looking to change career

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:

  • Physics
  • Physics with Astrophysics
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Mathematics and Physics
  • Physics with Philosophy

Accreditation

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.

IOP Institute of Physics

Get into physics

Successfully complete your foundation year and get a place on a degree course

Intensive course

Bring your maths and physics knowledge up to A level standard in just one year

Small-group teaching

We limit course numbers to make sure we can give you close personal support

Course content

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.

Study abroad

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.

Foundation year

The foundation year runs over three terms and 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.

Core modules you will undertake are:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

The Department 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

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £22,080

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

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.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.

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:

Living costs

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.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

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.

Teaching format

We teach using a combination of lectures, example classes and tutorials, 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 tutorials and our open door policy allow you to share your insights and develop a deeper understanding.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures15 hours per week
Workshops2 hours per week
Practicals2-8 hours per week

These figures are based on an average student in an average 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.

Teaching location

You'll be based in the Department of Physics on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in the Department, with some classes elsewhere on Campus West.

About our campus

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.

Assessment and feedback

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:

  • Examinations
  • Extended assignments
  • Weekly problems
  • Formal reports
  • Practical laboratory work
  • Presentations

You'll get prompt, regular feedback to help you develop your skills.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Written exams68%64%64%56%
Coursework32%34%31%40%
Practical exams0%2%5%4%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and 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.

Career opportunities

Our graduates are working as:

  • Accelerator Physicist, Science and Technology Council
  • Engineer, BAE Systems
  • Scientist, The Home Office
  • Financial Coordinator, De Vere
  • IT Analyst and Consultant, Virgin money
  • Teacher
  • Electrical Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Environmental Modeller, E.ON
  • Accountant, John Lewis

Transferable skills

  • Self-management
  • Communication skills
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity and innovation
  • IT literacy
  • Mathematics

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
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.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 55, with a minimum of 55 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 169, with a minimum of 169 each component
TOEFL 79 overall, with a minimum of 19 in Listening, 20 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 19 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Pass in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our 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 IELTS 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.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

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Department of Physics

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