The OpenPlus scheme offers a flexible route onto a physics degree for students without standard entry qualifications.
You'll spend around three years studying essential science modules with the Open University part-time. After successfully completing this programme you can transfer onto Year 2 of one of our full-time physics degree courses.
Get into physics
Start your university-level study, even if you've never done physics before
Learn in your free time, at a pace which suits you
Finish this course and go straight into Year 2 of a full-time physics degree
Your part-time studies with the Open University will familiarise you with the fundamental maths and physics you'll need to study at university level. Students typically complete these modules over three years, working around full-time employment and family commitments.
Essential Mathematics 1 introduces calculus, vectors, matrices and complex numbers. You'll also learn to use mathematical software to solve problems.
Laboratory Skills for Science is a short residential course at the Open University campus. You'll spend three days in the lab, building your confidence and ability in practical science techniques.
Physics: from Classical to Quantum covers classical mechanics; electric and gravitational fields and potentials; electromagnetism and relativity; waves and optics; thermal and statistical physics; quantum physics and an introduction to its applications to solids, atoms and nuclei.
Mathematical Methods applies mathematics to solving real-world problems, using techniques such as differential equations, linear algebra and vector calculus.
Practical Science: Physics and Astronomy gives you online access to specialist equipment including X-ray spectrometers and radio and optical telescopes. Investigate the universe - from huge stars to tiny subatomic particles - from the comfort of your own home.
Successfully completing this course will qualify you to transfer directly into Year 2 of any of our single-subject physics degrees. You'll continue your studies full-time at York for two, three or four years, depending on the degree course you choose.
- Physics (BSc)
- Physics with a Year in Industry (BSc)
- Physics (MPhys)
- Physics with a Year in Industry (MPhys)
Physics with Astrophysics
- Physics with Astrophysics (BSc)
- Physics with Astrophysics with a Year in Industry (BSc)
- Physics with Astrophysics (MPhys)
- Physics with Astrophysics with a Year in Industry (MPhys)
- Theoretical Physics (BSc)
- Theoretical Physics with a Year in Industry (BSc)
- Theoretical Physics (MPhys)
- Theoretical Physics with a Year in Industry (BSc)
Many of our degree courses have an optional integrated year abroad. You can spend a year at one of our partner institutions in France, Germany or Italy.
Before your year abroad you'll study a European language at an intermediate or advanced level, so you need at least a grade C in GCSE German, Italian or French to join these courses.
- Physics with a Year Abroad (BSc)
- Physics with a Year Abroad (MPhys)
- Physics with Astrophysics with a Year Abroad (BSc)
- Physics with Astrophysics with a Year Abroad (MPhys)
- Theoretical Physics with a Year Abroad (BSc)
- Theoretical Physics with a Year Abroad (MPhys)
You can also take advantage of one of our many other study abroad programmes. Here are some of the opportunities you'll find here at the University:
Fees and funding
Fees for this course are charged per module.
- Essential Mathematics 1
- Laboratory Skills for Science
- Physics: from Classical to Quantum
- Mathematical Methods
- Practical Science: Physics and Astronomy
For further details see the Open University's fees and funding pages.
There may be extra costs on top of tuition fees, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.
If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.
Teaching and assessment
Most Open University modules are delivered via distance learning. You'll get a study guide and calendar which will let you know how your module is structured and when your assignments are due.
You'll receive online materials before the start of each module. You may also receive additional learning materials in the post. A personal tutor and a study adviser will support you throughout each module, online and by phone.
You'll also take part in a residential school at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes. This is a chance for you to get hands-on experience performing scientific experiments and familiarising yourself with practical laboratory work.
The majority of your teaching is conducted online. You will spend three days at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes for the Laboratory Skills for Science residential school.
Assessment and feedback
Open University assessments can take the form of coursework, exams or project work. For each module you will receive information on how the final mark is determined. You'll receive feedback from your tutor for the work you hand in, helping to guide your learning.
Careers and skills
Our graduates are sought by employers in a huge range of disciplines. 96% of our graduates were employed or in further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2015/16).
Many of our graduates progress to postgraduate degrees at York and other leading universities. However, the skills you will learn - analysis, mathematics, problem-solving - are relevant in industries from finance to software development.
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. 91% of our graduates in employment are in graduate or professional level jobs 6 months after graduation (DLHE, 2015/16). Our commitment to employability places us in the top 5 physics departments for Graduate Prospects in the 2018 Times Good University Guide.
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
- Electrical Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
- Environmental Modeller, E.ON
- Accountant, John Lewis
- Communication skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Creativity and innovation
- IT literacy
There are no standard entry requirements for this course. Each application is considered on an individual basis. We'll speak to you to discuss your areas of interest and reasons for applying to the course. This can either be in person in the department or via a pre-arranged phone appointment.
You may wish to contact us before applying. We'll be happy to discuss your application and answer any questions you may have about the course.
How to apply
Apply directly to us using the following form:
Please submit your completed application form to:
Department of Physics
University of York
Get in touch if you have any questions