5 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
AAA (full entry requirements)
September 2019 (term dates)
£9,250 per year (2018/19)
£21,330 per year (2019/20)
Astrophysicists look to the skies to discover more about the nature of our Universe.
From the nuclear reactions that power our sun to the mysteries of dark matter, you'll study the great challenges of cosmology in topics aligned with our active research.
To explore the cosmos you'll need grounding in many disciplines of physics, from optics to electromagnetism, quantum physics to classical mechanics. You'll gain foundational understanding of fundamental physics, scientific principles and methods. You'll learn key skills for analysing real-life problems, write scientific reports to industry standards, communicate complex concepts, and solve mind-bending astronomical puzzles.
Gain unique global experiences spending a year at one of our partner universities. Boost your confidence by immersing yourself in a different culture and gain valuable language skills for your CV.
Our Physics courses are accredited by the Institute of Physics (iop.org), guaranteeing the standard of our teaching and learning. Completing this degree will put you on track to becoming a Chartered Physicist.
The course is better than I ever imagined! I get to study the entire Universe, from the smallest particle to the largest galaxies.Mike, MPhys Physics with Astrophysics
Our dedicated observatory gives you unparalleled access to powerful optical, solar and radio telescopes from your very first term
Spend a year abroad and boost your confidence, independence and language skills
This course will build on your previous studies to prepare you for advanced research in industry or academia. Our core and optional modules will give you a broad base of knowledge, and opportunities to focus on the specialist subjects which excite your curiosity.
Specialist modules allow you to pursue a broad understanding of modern astrophysics, including stars, galaxies and the exotic concepts of dark matter and dark energy.
In your final year you'll design and carry out an original research project. You'll work under guidance from an academic supervisor to bring new knowledge and deeper understanding to an area such as radio astronomy, infrared spectroscopy or variable stars.
A year of studying abroad not enough? Spend a few weeks or a whole summer on a short course, volunteering programme, or career-related summer school with one of our international partners.
Year 1 emphasises core material to consolidate your existing knowledge and prepare you for more advanced study. You'll study a range of key modules, and put your learning into practice in the lab throughout the year.
We'll help you prepare for your year abroad with an additional language module. You'll study a European language at an intermediate or advanced level, so you'll need at least a grade C in GCSE German, Italian or French.
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:
In Year 2 you'll deepen your understanding of fundamental laws, processes and techniques. Advanced laboratory work will enable you to plan and execute extended experiments. You'll learn to approach problems creatively and develop your observational astronomy skills.
You'll spend your third year at one of our prestigious partner institutions. You'll return to York for your fourth year with a fresh perspective, and new ideas and skills which will be invaluable for your future development.
The penultimate year introduces some advanced concepts, building on the expertise you've developed. Optional modules give you the chance to delve deeper into your favourite topic, or discover a new area of advanced physics.
You'll complete advanced laboratory work which will include preparation for your research project in the final year.
You will pick two of the following option modules:
In your final year, you'll study a number of advanced option modules, providing you with the opportunity to specialise further. You'll apply the core knowledge you've developed over the previous years to topics aligned with our internationally-recognised research groups.
You'll undertake a major research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff with expertise in the area you choose to focus on. You'll conduct original research to reach new conclusions and, at the highest levels, contribute to our understanding of the Universe.
Our students widely acknowledge the MPhys project as one of the most satisfying and rewarding parts of the course. You'll undertake independent research to investigate a current problem in the field, or bring new perspectives to a familiar topic. You may need to design, build and evaluate equipment for a specific experimental purpose.
Recent projects have included:
You'll be supported by a professional skills module to hone your research techniques. You'll undertake a literature survey, write a review essay, develop a project plan and give oral and poster presentations in an end-of-year conference.
You will choose two of the following optional modules:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
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.
Apply independent learning strategies that incorporate core and advanced physics, mathematics and/or computational knowledge, techniques and understanding to synthesise and evaluate physical world problems.
Plan and execute extended or complex scientific investigation using the principles of physics in investigating a hypothesis, and interpret outcomes.
Work independently and within a research team and apply group-specific research methodologies, including objective analysis and constructive criticism of research level literature, to extended or complex open-ended problems.
Communicate succinctly to the general public and professional physicists through accurate and precise scientific record keeping, scientific report writing and presentations.
Select and apply sophisticated digital tools for in-depth scientific investigation and in wider societal applications.
Evaluate the use of mathematical, observational and/or experimental and/or computational techniques as applied in astrophysics within an extended line of investigation, assessing the limitations of the methodology.
Be inspired by and articulate the advantages of successfully studying in a non-UK academic environment and how this broadens your perspective and develops adaptability, flexibility, resilience and drive.
It's a very rewarding course with plenty of opportunities to 'go your own way'. There is equipment for optical, solar and radio observations in the same place, so there's always something to do.Dominic, BSc Physics with Astrophysics
The fees and funding figures below are based on data from 2018 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.
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.
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 offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.
We offer £1,000 in each year of your degree if you achieve an A* or equivalent in Mathematics or Physics and select York as your firm choice when applying. This scholarship is renewable each year, subject to attaining full credits and an overall mark of 70 per cent or higher at your first attempt.
If you achieved an A* or equivalent in A level Mathematics or Physics and maintain an overall mark of 70% or higher Year 1 you'll be guaranteed a paid summer placement with one our research groups.
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.
“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.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. 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.
Much of your teaching will be in the form of lectures based on our cutting-edge research. Twice a week you'll join four or five other students to discuss course material with a tutor. Discussions often range beyond the immediate subject matter to wider implications and issues.
You'll have regular meetings with a personal academic supervisor, who will guide your studies and keep an eye on your academic progress and general welfare.
As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|Lectures and seminars||396 hours||444 hours||0 hours||324 hours|
|Placement||0 hours||0 hours||1200 hours||0 hours|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.
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.
Your MPhys Project makes up a large proportion of mark for your final year. You'll be assessed on your lab work and dissertation, and face an oral examination: all great preparation for continuing your studies to PhD level.
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 open door policy means you can always approach your tutors if you want to discuss your work.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
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. 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. Thanks to this commitment to employability we have the 2nd highest score for graduates “career after 6 months” for physics departments in the 2019 Guardian University Guide.
Our graduates are working as:
Working as an accelerator physicist I am involved with enabling the efficient, reliable and safe operation of the particle accelerators as well as understanding the underlying physics to help design upgrades and particle accelerators of the future.Hayley, Physics with Astrophysics (2009), Accelerator Physicist, Science and Technology Facilities Council
AAA in three subjects including Physics and Maths.
This must include a pass in all practical components (where offered).
Your third A level can be in a wide range of acceptable subjects. We do not accept General Studies or Critical Thinking.
We may consider AS Maths at A grade instead of A level Maths. In this case you'll attend additional maths classes in your first year of study.
|GCSEs||4 (C) or above in French, German or Italian|
|Cambridge Pre-U||D3 D3 D3 in 3 principal subjects including Physics and Maths|
|European Baccalaureate||85% overall, with 85% in Physics and Maths|
|International Baccalaureate||36 Points with higher level Maths and Physics at grade 6|
All other qualifications, including Scottish Highers and Irish Leaving Certificates, will be considered individually.
If you don't have suitable qualifications in Maths and/or Physics, successfully completing a Foundation Year will guarantee a place on any of our undergraduate degrees:
We welcome applications from mature students and students without standard qualifications. Please contact our admissions team to discuss your specific circumstances.
You may also be interested in our part-time access course:
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.
To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
If we're thinking about making you an offer, we'll invite you to an interview day. This gives us a chance to discuss your choice of course and get a better picture of you as an individual. You'll get a chance to look around the Department and University, attend a mini-lecture, take part in some hands-on activities, and talk to our academics and student ambassadors.
If you're applying from outside the UK we can arrange telephone interviews. Part of the interview takes place online, so you'll need to be able to connect to the internet while you are on the phone.
Get in touch if you have any questions
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to deluxe.
Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.
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