Course Info

Durham is one of the leading physics and astronomy departments in the UK. When you choose the BSc in Physics, you’ll be joining a dynamic and focused learning community that is home to multiple research institutes, world-class facilities, and experts with close links to industry. Current developments in both research and industry are used to bring theoretical learning to life, a factor which contributes to our consistently high ranking in university league tables.

Undergraduate physics degrees at Durham offer a high level of flexibility. We offer four Institute of Physics accredited courses – the BSc in Physics and MPhys qualifications in Physics, Physics and Astronomy, and Theoretical Physics – which follow the same core curriculum in Year 1.

Subject to the optional modules chosen, it is possible to switch to one of the other courses until the end of the second year. You can also apply to add a placement year or a year abroad to your degree, increasing the course from three years to four.

The first year lays the foundation in physics theory, mathematical skills and laboratory skills that you will need to tackle more complex content later in the course. From Year 2 you’ll have the opportunity to explore areas such as astrophysics, quantum theory and the relationship between physics and society in more detail.

In Year 3 you can apply your learning to a range of real-world issues with project work, student-led laboratory work and optional modules tailored to your interests and aspirations.

The rigorous curriculum has been designed to develop skills in reasoning, problem-solving and data analysis as well as advancing your understanding of mathematics and IT. The BSc in Physics is the first step towards achieving Chartered Physicist status, however many graduates move straight into employment in a wide range of industries from energy and IT to engineering and scientific research.

Entry requirements

A level offerA*A*A including Physics and Mathematics.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended DiplomaD*D*D and A levels as above.

IB Diploma score38 with 776 in higher level subjects, including Mathematics (maths analysis & approaches) and Physics.

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements and the degree-specific entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study.
  • Entry requirements are the same for all four Physics degrees and transfer from the BSc degree to the MPhys degree is possible and is based upon first and second-year examinations.
  • We may request further information such as UMS marks and/or predicted grades if this information is not available on the UCAS application. This is to ensure that we have an equal amount of information for all applicants. If for some reason this cannot be supplied, the candidate’s application will not be disadvantaged.
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.