Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Physics with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

With placement

Course

Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2019

Add to shortlist
Introduction

In a nutshell

For centuries, physics has found answers and driven discovery and innovation. By as technology rapidly changes our world, finding answers is more important than ever before. If you're enquiring mind seeks answers, a physics degree  will put you in position to discover the next scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations that will shape the future.

Physics with Foundation Year is an excellent route if you’re from a non-industry background, new to higher education, or seeking to develop your career in a new direction. Providing immersion in physics and mathematics principles and techniques, the foundation year pathway is designed to help you meet the prerequisites for our BSc (Hons) Physics degree.

Delivered using a range of lectures and tutorials, you'll learn to identify, define and evaluate real-world problems, using applied laws and formulas to challenge conventional ideas. Our professionally-accredited course features a suite of core modules to give you a solid knowledge base and prepare you for further study.

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

Course accreditations
Institute of Physics Logo

This is for you if...

1.

You're passionate about physics but didn't reach the entry requirements for the full honours degree

2.

You enjoyed studying mathematics or physics, and like problem-solving and discovering solutions

3.

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

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.  You will cover essential mathematics and gain the correct skill set for success on the related physics course. On successful completion of the Foundation Year, you'll progress on to year one of your selected physics 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 enable 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'll 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. In the second year, you'll 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'll learn how to use computers to solve problems in physics as well as interfacing computers to experiments.

In the final year, you'll 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 combine practical, theoretical or computational research, tailored to your interests or career ambitions.

INDUSTRY PLACEMENTS

Placements are a great way to expand you knowledge and apply theory to real-life practice. On this course, you'll have the option to take an industrial placement year between year two and three. Although you'll be responsible for securing your placement, a tutor will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report. Industry placements have a number of benefits. You can improve your employment prospects after graduation, see physics in action and receive a salary. Evidence suggests that many of our students who choose an industry placement year improve their final degree classification.

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 - undergraduate degree

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 - undergraduate degree

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 - undergraduate degree

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.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING

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

  • Lectures
  • Seminars and tutorials
  • Lab activities

Lectures and tutorial classes are complemented by practical laboratories which reinforce your understanding of the laws of physics and their application. 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. You;ll also have opportunities to learn about future careers in physics in weekly seminars delivered by physics graduates and industry professionals. 

ASSESSMENT

You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Lab exercises
  • Examinations
  • Reports

SCHOOL OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENT

The School of Science, Engineering and Environment aims to transform the quality of life for society and the wellbeing of future generations through a better and more sustainable future. Our research expertise includes the built environment, cancer, data security, dementia, marine conservation, robotics, and sustainability.

We place our students at the heart of everything we do. With over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative members of staff we offer a robust support system for our student community. Our expanding suite of multidisciplinary programmes cover acoustics, architecture, biology, biomedicine, chemical sciences, computing, construction, engineering, environment (built and natural), geography, mathematics, physics, property, robotics, surveying and wildlife.

Facilities

We’re serious about science at Salford, and we have some great facilities to help you get to grips with Physics. Dedicated teaching facilities include specialist laboratories for electronics, optics, lasers, computing and composite materials. The Joule Physics Laboratories include a purpose-built suite of large, open-space Teaching Laboratories.

We also have a femto-second pump probe facility, fully-equipped for operating our new Raman Scattering facility for use with high pressure diamond anvil cells. A high-pressure gas laboratory is available for investigations of hydrogen absorption and storage applications (automated gravimetric and volumetric instrumentation).

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

EMPLOYMENT

As a Salford physics graduate, you'll 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 roles in a diverse range of sectors, including medical physics, defense, finance, research, education, engineering and the nuclear industry.

FURTHER STUDY

You might find you want to learn more about physics and related subjects, so we offer a range of specialism postgraduate study options to help you take your career and interests even further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a significant fees discount. 

A taste of what you could become

A Research Scientist

A Nanotechnologist

A Software Engineer

A Science Teacher

A Physicist

and more...

Career Links

This course is extensively informed by collaboration between the university’s academics and its industry partners.Collaboration with these organisations helps to ensure our physics course content remains contemporary and relevant, but they also provide opportunities for them to contribute to annual seminars, research project opportunities and work placements. By sharing their experience, industry partners add value by sharing their skills and knowledge with you from the very start of your degree.

Recent partner 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).

Requirements

What you need to know

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you're an international applicant interested in studying a degree with a foundation year pathway, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

Applicants must satisfy both the University’s General Entry Requirement and the specific entry requirements.

Accreditation for Prior Learning (APEL) is not available for this course.

APPLICANT PROFILE

This course is designed for someone who is passionate about physics and science in general. We're looking for applicants with an aptitude for mathematics and problem-solving. For entry onto the foundation year, we consider applicants from any academic background, including those seeking a new direction to their studies. Industrial experience can be used in place of academic qualifications for applicants seeking to enter academia after spending time in the workplace.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

If English is not your first language, you must demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no band below 5.5, is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below

 

UCAS tariff points

72 UCAS points from any subject combination 64 UCAS points where qualifications include both Mathematics and Physics at A-Level standard. 

A Levels

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

Please contact Admissions for further information

BTEC Higher National Diploma

Please contact Admissions for further information

Foundation Degree

Please contact Admissions for further information

Scottish Highers

Please contact Admissions for further information

Irish Leaving Certificate

Please contact Admissions for further information

European Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information

International Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information

Access to HE

Please contact Admissions for further information

Other Qualifications

Please contact Admissions for further information

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively 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 receive your application, we'll 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.

Please contact Admissions for further information.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Part-time 2019/20 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Additional costs

You should 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