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F345 - Theoretical Physics

Theoretical Physics

BSc Honours

  • UCAS code: F345
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2020
Year :

From sub-atomic particles to the large-scale structure of the universe, this Physics degree with an added theoretical emphasis opens up new worlds and new career possibilities.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £22800

Entry requirements

  • A Level: AAB or A*BB
  • IB: 34 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Professional accreditation

Course overview

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
  • astrophysics

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.

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COVID-19
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

See our terms and conditions for more information

View our Frequently Asked Questions

Your course during COVID-19

Whilst things will not be the same when you join us in September, this course page is intended to give you insight into what to expect from your course and your learning experience for the duration of your degree.

We have updated all course information where there are specific changes in the first semester.

Facilities

Most of our student services are now available online. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, we'll be opening up our on-campus facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can get the best out of your studies.

Your learning experience

Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.

Our aim, if Government guidance allows us, is to deliver up to three hours of labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We'll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.

Assessment

In semester one, we will not be running face-to-face, on-campus examinations. We will instead use different approaches to assessment. These will test and support your learning.

Field trips

We will be running some but not all of our planned field trips. Some of those that do run, will be run virtually. For those that do not run, we will be offering alternative learning activities. These learning activities will give you the opportunity to achieve the same learning.

Terms and conditions and student complaints

The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.

Further information

Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University 2020 study experience.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.

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.

Professional accreditation

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

Modules and learning

Modules

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.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Dynamics 10
Introductory Quantum Mechanics 10
Laboratory Physics 1 20
Introduction to Calculus 20
Algebra, Multivariable Calculus & Differential Equations 20
Introductory Astrophysics & Electromagnetism 20
Vibrations, Waves, AC Theory & Introduction to Solid State Materials 20

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.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Semiconductor Devices 10
Physics in the Modern World 10
Fluid Dynamics 10
Computational Methods and Professional Skills for Theoretical Physics 10
Vector Calculus & Differential Equations, Transforms & Waves 20
Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics 20
Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Materials & Solid State Physics 20
Optics & Principles of Electromagnetism 20

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.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Advanced Materials and Solid-State Physics 10
Group Project 10
Advanced Astrophysics 10
Theoretical Project 20
Advanced Quantum & Atoms, Molecules, Nuclei & Particles 20
Relativity, Variational Methods & Lagrangian Dynamics 20
Advanced Fluid Dynamics & Computational Modelling 20
Optional Modules Credits
Geohazards and Deformation of the Earth 10
Advanced Electromagnetism 10
Partial Differential Equations and Nonlinear Waves 10
Photonics 10

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You will be taught via a range of approaches, including:

  • lectures and seminars
  • small group tutorials
  • problem classes
  • laboratory sessions
  • practical computing sessions

You'll also take part in experiments and project work.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assessments

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Projects

  • Reports

Skills and experience

Business skills

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.

Research 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
  • astrophysics
  • relativity
  • nanoscale properties of materials

Opportunities

Work placement

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.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment

Facilities

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.

Support

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

Your future

We have research links with the following companies and external organisations:

  • Littelfuse
  • the De Beers Group
  • DEFRA
  • Science and Technologies Facilities Council
  • NASA
  • LOFAR
  • intel
  • CPI

Physics graduates report earning average salaries close to £27,000 on graduation (www.savethestudent.org).

Possible career paths for physics graduates include:

  • engineering
  • medicine
  • finance
  • nanotechnology
  • oil, gas and renewable energy
  • telecommunications

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.

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Careers support

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.

Visit our Careers Service website

Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme

This degree is approved by DTUS, a Ministry of Defence sponsorship programme for students who wish to join the Royal Navy, British Army, RAF, or Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) as technical officers after graduation. 

Find out more about the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

A Level

AAB or A*BB

International Baccalaureate

34 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

PARTNERS

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. 

Find out more about PARTNERS

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. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

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.

Additional information

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 2020 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students

£9250

International Fee Students

£22800

The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK 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.

Read more about fees and funding

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.

Read more about fees and funding

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:

Scholarships

Find out more about:

Open days and events

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.

Visit our International pages

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