Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Physics with Foundation Year

School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Full-time

With placement

Attendance

Four year

Five year

Course

September 2019

Next enrolment
Introduction

In a nutshell

Physics underpins everyday life, from the structure of the universe to the smartphone in your hand. A degree in physics with Salford will put you in position to discover the next scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations that will shape life in the future.

Physics is integral to many modern industries. Our professionally-accredited course features a suite of modules to give you a solid knowledge base, with the opportunity to specialise in your interests.

A unique part of our physics degree is our emphasis on employer engagement. We consulted professional physicists from industry when we designed this course to ensure that the content we are teaching you is robust and will prepare you for the world of work. Additionally, physicists working in industry also drop by to give guest seminars and set real life problems for you to work on. Due to the analytical and problem solving nature of physics, this degree opens doors to a wide range of careers. Previous graduates have commonly found employment in the following sectors: medical physics, defence, finance, research, education, engineering and nuclear. As a Salford graduate you will  have no shortage of skills to take you into a successful, exciting career.

You will:
  • Explore physics fundamentals, including classical dynamics, static and dynamic charges, quantum mechanics, fundamentals of relativity and atomic and nuclear physics
  • Expand your knowledge and systematic understanding in quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules and solids, including the origin and limitations of the associated laws
  • Build analytical, numerical and computer-based problem solving skills in Maxwell’s Equations and Wave Optics
  • Learn the importance of mathematics in a quantitative description of physics, using symbolic computing and programming
  • Experience computer laboratory sessions to apply numerical methods and techniques frequently encountered in physical and engineering challenges
  • Develop problem solving skills throughout the course which will open up diverse career opportunities in research, science based industry, business teaching and finance
Placement

options available

This is for you if...

1.

You didn't reach the A-levels or BTEC required for the full course

2.

You have chosen a new direction for your studies

3.

You are looking for a degree that will lead to a wide range of career options

4.

You want to study a course with strong links to industry

5.

You have an enquiring mind

Course details

All about the course

The Foundation Year of the four-year programme aims to provide understanding of the key subjects in physics to meet the prerequisites for study on the associated degree programme. The key areas of study will be effective communication and study skills combined with key subjects in physics.

Furthermore, you will cover essential mathematics and gain the correct skill set for success on the related physics course. Following completion of the Foundation Year, you will progress on to year one of your selected degree for the remaining three years of your course.

Full Physics BSc (Hons) degree

Our physics courses combine a fundamental understanding of the laws of physics that govern the behaviour of all systems from the very small to the very large, with applications in modern technologies underpinned by these laws.

The course is built around a core of compulsory modules giving a thorough grounding in physics. You will also take part in group projects that will allow you to develop your team working, problem solving, communication and presentation skills; all desirable within the industrial and research communities.

In the first year of the full degree you will be introduced to the whole breadth of physics including classical physics, quantum physics, particle physics and relativity. In addition you will study further mathematical techniques and the use of computers to solve mathematical problems. Lectures and tutorial classes are complemented by practical laboratories used to reinforce an understanding of the laws of physics and their application. This teaching is further complemented by exposure to possible careers in physics through weekly seminars delivered by employers of physics graduates. These seminars are complemented by a problem based learning laboratory where you will embark on open ended group based exercises designed to enhance problem solving skills.

In the second year of the full degree you will study more topics in physics at an advanced level including classical and quantum wave phenomena, statistical physics and the properties of matter and electromagnetism. You will learn how to use computers to solve problems in physics as well as interfacing computers to experiments. In the practical laboratory you will undertake experiments linked to the curricula as well as undertaking a group project whose aims are to design, build and demonstrate a piece of physics related equipment. Optional modules include astrophysics, acoustics and a foreign language.

In the final year of the BSc you will study topics including the quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules and solids, nuclear physics, particle physics, relativity, electromagnetic theory and wave optics. Optional courses include photonics, nanotechnology, theoretical physics, musical acoustics and a foreign language.  You will also undertake a significant final year project that can be practical, theoretical or computational in nature (or a mix). Projects can be tailored to your interests or career ambitions.

You can opt to take an industrial placement year in between the second and third year of your degree course. You will arrange your placement with our support. Placements have a number of benefits: 

  • You will improve your employment prospects after graduation
  • You get to see the physics you have learned in action
  • Positions are often paid
  • Many of our industrial placement students ultimately improve their degree classification over their second year results to receive top class degrees.
Foundation year

Foundation Mathematics A and B

These modules entail the development of mathematical and modelling skills. Subjects include algebra, transposition of formulae, coordinate systems, logarithms, introduction to calculus, problem solving in velocity and acceleration, differentiation, integration and matrices.

Foundation Physics A and B

This module provides grounding in basic physics and the development of numerical problem solving. The syllabus includes, mechanics, properties of matter and wave propagation. Electronics and electricity are introduced, along with fields (magnetic, electric, gravitation etc.) and atomic and nuclear physics.

Foundation IT and Study Skills

This module involves the development of IT, research, team working, presentation and scientific reporting skills. In more detail, the use of spreadsheets, graphical representation of data, report writing, scientific presentations and group-based research will be undertaken.

Foundation Physics Laboratory

Laboratory skills, critical analysis of data and scientific reporting are examined in this module. The areas covered are experimental design, scientific measurement methods and data analysis. This is achieved through a series of experiments covering mechanics, thermal physics, electricity and waves.

Year one

Fundamentals of Physics A

Delivered through lectures, problem-based learning and laboratory sessions, in this module you will be introduced to the following subjects: classical dynamics, static and dynamic charges, fundamentals of quantum mechanics, fundamentals of relativity and atomic and nuclear physics.

Fundamentals of Physics B

Delivered through key note lectures, tutorial and problem-based learning classes and practical laboratory sessions, in this module you will be introduced to the following subjects: thermodynamics, microscopic and macroscopic properties of matter, fundamentals of waves and geometrical optics and wave optics.

Fundamentals of Physics C

In this module you will develop the knowledge and understanding in the area of Electricity, Electronics, Optics and Optoelectronics including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also develop analytical, numerical and computer based problem solving skills in the above areas. This module will also develop your practical laboratory skills.

Mathematics and Computing

Building on the subject knowledge from the Mathematics module you will further you knowledge of differential equations and series with emphasis on their applications to physics and develop your awareness of the importance of mathematics in a quantitative description of physics. You will be introduced to the use of spreadsheets, computing programming and symbolic computing.

Mathematics

An understanding and ability to use mathematics are essential skills for success in physics this module will review A level mathematics covering the following subjects: algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus, with emphasis on their applications to physics.

Frontiers of Physics and Entrepreneurial Skills

Being able to apply your scientific knowledge and thinking to unfamiliar problems is a key skill for success in industry and research. By introducing you to this skill, along with other important skills identified by our industrial and academic partners, they will become second nature, giving you a head start in your chosen career.

Year two

Classical and Quantum Waves

You will develop a knowledge and critical understanding in the area of classical and quantum waves including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also gain analytical and numerical problem solving skills in this topic.

Computing Laboratory

The Computing Laboratory module will help you build computer programming skills, so you can tackle simple non-analytic physical and engineering problems. You will use the numerical methods and techniques frequently encountered in physical and engineering challenges, and learn how to implement these them on the computer. You will also learn about interfacing sensors to computers and computer control of experiments.

Physics Laboratory

Gain breadth and depth in experimental techniques in the Physics laboratory. You will strengthen you knowledge and analytical technique around the physical principles associated with electrons and physics. You will develop your team-work skills within the context of project-based experiments and acquire effective and impactful report writing skills.

Mathematical Methods and Applications

In this module you will develop a knowledge and critical understanding in the area of Mathematics Methods for Physics including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also develop analytical, numerical and computer based problem solving skills in the area of Mathematical Methods for Physics.

Properties of Matter

Through this module you will develop a knowledge and critical understanding in the area of the properties of matter including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also develop analytical and numerical problem solving skills in the area of the properties of matter.

Plus one module from below:

Principles of Acoustics

You will build on your knowledge and skills from the Introduction to acoustics module, to give you a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of acoustics. Subjects include: Fourier's theorem, solutions of 1-D wave equation, acoustic impedance, reflection factor and absorption coefficient, 3-D wave equation, radiation impedance, and behaviour of sound in 3D enclosures.

Physics Universe: Introduction to Astrophysics

Gain knowledge and critical understanding of astrophysics including the origin and limitations of the associated laws.

University Wide Language Programme

Choose to study a world language in a friendly, supportive environment. Delivered over two semesters, with additional resources available via Blackboard, you will receive around 50 hours of supported learning to help you progress and consolidate your listening, reading, speaking and writing core skills. Available languages include Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Year three

Maxwell's Equat and Wave Optics

You will develop a knowledge and systematic understanding in the area of Maxwell’s Equations and Wave Optics, including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also develop expertise in analytical, numerical and computer based problem solving skills in the area of Maxwell’s Equations and Wave Optics.

Project in Physics

This project will allow you to carry out a research or development project individually, under the guidance of a personal supervisor.

Nuclear and Particle Physics

You will receive an overview of Nuclear Physics and gain an understanding of nuclear stability in terms of the Liquid Drop Model and of nuclear reactions involving neutrons, protons, electrons and neutrinos, and major experimental techniques and practical applications. The particle physics element will cover the basic discoveries of modern Particle Physics and introduce the ideas of Grand Unified Theory.

Quantum Mechanics Atoms Mole and Solid

Develop your knowledge and systematic understanding in quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules and solids including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will develop expertise in analytical, numerical and computer based problem solving skills in quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules and solids.

Plus one module from below:

Theoretical Physics

You will develop a knowledge and systematic understanding in the area of Theoretical Physics, including the origin and limitations of the associated laws.

Photonics and Nanotechnology

This module will enable you to develop a knowledge and systematic understanding in the area of Photonics and Nanotechnology including the origin and limitations of the associated laws.

Speech and Musical Acoustics

You will be introduced to speech production and modelling, speech analysis and synthesis with particular reference to the application of speech technology in modern communication devices. You will develop a systematic understanding of human perception of sound and its application in a musical context.

University Wide Language Programme

Choose to study a world language in a friendly, supportive environment. Delivered over two semesters, with additional resources available via Blackboard, you will receive around 50 hours of supported learning to help you progress and consolidate your listening, reading, speaking and writing core skills. Available languages include Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

What will I be doing?

Teaching

You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Lab activities
Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Lab exercises
  • Examinations
  • Reports

Physics facilities

The Joule Physics Laboratories include a purpose-built suite of large, open-space Teaching Laboratories.

Physics student facilities also include:

  • Main Joule Physics Teaching Laboratory
  • Secondary Joule Physics Teaching Laboratory
  • Student Laboratory Workroom
  • Electronics Laboratory
  • Optics Laboratory
  • Laser Laboratory
  • Physics Computing Laboratory
  • School Project Laboratory
  • High-Performance Computing & 3D Visualisation Facilities

 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

As a Salford physics graduate, you will have no shortage of exciting career options. Due to the analytical and problem-solving nature of physics, this degree opens a wide range of pathways.

Previous Salford physics graduates have found employment in a diverse range of sectors, including medical physics, defence, finance, research, education, engineering and the nuclear industry.

Further study

We offer a range of specialism postgraduate study paths to help you take your career even further. We even offer a sizeable fee discount to our graduates and alumni.

Become

A Research Scientist

A Science Teacher

A Nanotechnologist

A Software Engineer

A Physicist

and more...

Career Links

We work with a range of organisations to ensure the course content remains relevant, but they also contribute annual seminars, research project opportunities and work placements. Recent organisations include:

Atkins Global, Technium OpTIC, Pilkington, Nuvia, Royal Navy, Astrium, BPD Acoustics, Nanoco Technologies, Salford Royal Hospital, BAE Systems, Centre for Alternative Technology, IOP (Institute of Physics) Publishing, NPower, Serco and TDA (Training and Development Agency for Schools).

These organisations add value to the course by sharing industrial skills and knowledge with you from the very start of your degree.

Requirements

What you need to know

English Language Requirements

This course is not suitable for international applicants

Applicant profile

This course is designed for someone who is passionate about physics and science in general. Students should have an aptitude for mathematics and problem solving.

For entry onto the foundation year we consider students from any academic background including students choosing a new direction to their studies. Industrial experience can be used in place of academic qualifications for prospective students seeking to enter academia after spending time in the workplace.

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English Language and Maths at grade C/grade 4 or above.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below. 

 

UCAS tariff points

72 UCAS points

GCE A level

72 UCAS points from any subject combination 64 UCAS points where qualifications include both Mathematics and Physics at A Level. E Pass in Science Practical.

BTEC National Diploma

MMP for any subject MPP for engineering or science.(with merits in maths and physics modules)

Scottish Highers

72 UCAS Tariff points (new system) from any subject combination. 64 UCAS Tariff points where qualifications include both Mathematics and Physics to A-level standard.

Irish Leaving Certificate

72 UCAS Tariff points (new system) from any subject combination. 64 UCAS Tariff points where qualifications include both Mathematics and Physics to A-level standard.
Alternative Entry Requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £8,250 for subsequent years.
Full-time international 2019 £14,820per year
Part-time 2019 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's Apply

Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID F305

Institution S03