Our three-year Theoretical Physics BSc Honours degree focuses on developing your knowledge so you have a thorough understanding of advanced mathematics and physics. This course covers a range of topics linked to the research specialisms of our staff, so you graduate a well-prepared, dynamic and sought-after physicist.
You will study at the cutting edge of the discipline, with a degree that reflects the world-leading research of our expert staff, ensuring you can be confident your degree education is up-to-date and relevant to your future career.
Your degree will ensure you become a confident physics professional. You'll learn about a range of topics fundamental to the subject, such as:
- quantum mechanics
- fluid dynamics
- computational modelling
BSc or MPhys?
Some of our degrees are offers at two levels:
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- Master of Physics (MPhys)
Our MPhys degree includes an additional year of advanced study at master’s level, where you will gain a deeper understanding of the subject to prepare you for a career in this challenging field.
Your course during COVID-19
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
Quality and ranking
We have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, recognised in many external surveys and assessments, but also by our own students.
Our commitment to teaching quality and an excellent student experience is reflected through our results in national and international student satisfaction surveys.
This degree is professionally accredited by the Institute of Physics.
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.
Modules and learning
The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage.
Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
You cover topics in classical dynamics; quantum mechanics; mathematical methods and problem-solving; astrophysics; electromagnetism; states of matter and materials; vibrations, waves and AC circuits; and laboratory physics.
You build on your knowledge of core concepts and study modules in thermodynamics; semiconductor devices; optics; materials and solid-state physics; statistical mechanics; vector calculus; differential equations; computational modelling methods and fluid dynamics.
You study core subjects to an advanced level, including quantum mechanics, materials and solid-state physics, and electromagnetism.
You will take part in a group project and an individual project in an area of interest under the tuition of our expert academic staff; developing research, practical and presentation skills.
Projects let you explore areas of interest in greater depth and may be computational or theoretical in nature. A wide variety of projects are available, for example: astrophysics and cosmology; quantum theory; photonics; fluid mechanics; and computational modelling of materials.
|Geohazards and Deformation of the Earth||10|
|Variational Methods and Lagrangian Dynamics||10|
|Partial Differential Equations||10|
|Stellar Structure and Evolution||10|
|Interstellar Medium & High Energy Physics||10|
We base these figures and graphs on the most up-to-date information available to us. They combine data on the planned delivery and assessments of our courses in 2021-22 with data on the modules chosen by our students in 2020-21.
Teaching time is made up of:
- scheduled learning and teaching activities. These are timetabled activities with a member of staff present
- structured guided learning. These are activities developed by staff to support engagement with module learning. Students or groups of students undertake these activities without direct staff participation or supervision
Teaching and assessment
You will be taught via a range of approaches, including:
- lectures and seminars
- small group tutorials
- problem classes
- laboratory sessions
- practical computing sessions
Typically 45 hours in your first year will consist of practical sessions in our laboratories where you will take part in experiments and project work.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
In Stage 3 you'll take part in a group project, allowing you to build on your team-working and practical skills. You'll also conduct an individual project in an area of interest under the tuition of our expert academic staff, developing research, practical and presentation skills.
You will benefit from our interdisciplinary approach and the diverse research strengths of our expert academic staff. We have research expertise in:
- novel electronic materials
- semiconductor devices
- computational physics
- quantum fluids
- nanoscale properties of materials
Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.
You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.
If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.
Facilities and environment
As a physics student at Newcastle University, you'll be based at our city-centre campus in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics' Herschel Building.
The School has high-specification laboratory facilities equipped with leading experimental and computational physics capabilities, such as:
- cryogenics labs
- semiconductor labs
- High Performance Computing
- data from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
The Herschel Building also has dedicated study and social spaces, and a computing area.
To support you in your studies, all new students entering year 1 or year 2 will receive a tablet so you can download the online learning resources you'll need for your course (helping us to make our campus more sustainable).
You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.
Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.
There's also a dedicated member of staff whose responsibility is to help our students manage the transition from A Levels to undergraduate study.
The Transition Officer works with Stage 1 undergraduates to provide:
- Stage 1 pastoral and academic support
- attendance and academic performance monitoring
- Stage 1 induction
- weekly drop-ins
We have research links with the following companies and external organisations:
- the De Beers Group
- Science and Technologies Facilities Council
Physics graduates report earning average salaries close to £27,000 on graduation (www.savethestudent.org).
Possible career paths for physics graduates include:
- oil, gas and renewable energy
You'll be equipped with transferable skills that are highly valued by employers such as problem-solving, analytical, mathematical, communication, presentation, teamwork and computing skills.
Further study, including postgraduate courses for secondary school teaching and PhD courses, is also available to physics graduates.
Make a difference
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
Entrance courses (INTO)
International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.
Advice on maths and science requirements
If you don’t think you will have the exact mathematics and science qualifications referred to in our entry requirements by the time you need them, you may not be sure what to do.
- If you have a maths qualification but will not have it at A Level (or equivalent) when you start your degree, you should apply for the relevant degree with Foundation Year. We may give you the opportunity to take the Newcastle University Pre-Entry Maths Course* and the option to start in Year 1 if we think that this will be the best route for you.
- If you have A Level Maths (or equivalent) already but not at the required grade, you should contact us for advice. We may decide that you could be considered for Foundation Year entry, or it may be that this course is not the best option for you.
- If you will not have the equivalent of an A Level in the science subject (if any) required, you should apply for the relevant degree with Foundation Year.
If you are still not sure, don’t worry. Whatever you apply for, our Admissions Tutors will help you decide which is the best route for you. They may, therefore, make you an offer for a different course from the one you apply for (eg Foundation Year entry instead of Year 1 entry).
*The Newcastle University Pre-Entry Maths Course aims to provide the requisite mathematical skills and concepts needed on our engineering, maths and physics degree courses and to prepare students for the modes of learning they will encounter. The materials for the course are delivered electronically and include opportunities to practise your skills. You study the materials in your own time and, when you are ready, you book your exam with the Engineering School to which you have applied. A fee of £150 is payable at the time of booking the exam or shortly before the date set for examination.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)
Home Fee Students
International Fee Students
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for home fee-paying students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.
If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.
Year abroad and additional costs
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
Find out more about:
Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
• explore our beautiful campus
• find out about our vibrant city
• discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the subjects you're interested in.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:
- the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
- the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
- the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.Apply through UCAS
Apply through an agent
International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.