Physics BSc

  • UCAS code F300
  • Duration Up to 4 years
  • Delivery type Full Time
  • Study location Edinburgh
  • Number of places 55 across all programmes

Overview

The Course

Core concepts studied include dynamics, electromagnetic fields and optics, leading to the fascinating quantum world of subatomic particles, the unique nature of laser light, and the philosophically challenging ideas of astrophysics. Mathematics forms an integral part in enabling students to understand physical concepts in depth. There are various options available in later years including Laser Physics, Photonics, Semiconductor Physics, Instrumentation, Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particles. Research projects allow students to develop skills in experimental design or computational modelling, as well as practical ability, initiative, and teamwork. The MPhys degree is mathematically rigorous and suitable for those wishing to pursue research.

Career Prospects

Physics graduates from Heriot-Watt have an excellent reputation with UK employers, and career prospects are very good. Our graduates gain employment in a wide range of research and industrial establishments, as well as in areas of banking and finance.

Programme content

Level 1

Provides the opportunity to look at wider aspects through a series of courses in investigative techniques. Elective subjects allow students to broaden their interests and increase the range of degrees open to them. Options include Computer Science; Chemistry; Electrical Engineering; Philosophy; Business; or Languages.

Level 2

Important themes of physics are introduced through courses in Astrophysics, Photonics and Environmental Physics.

Level 3

Deals with more advanced treatments of core physics, such as: Electromagnetism and Optics; Dynamics and Quantum Concepts; and Solid State Physics. Students can choose from specialist topics including Optical Processing, Laser Physics and Atmospheric Physics.

Level 4

Deals with more advanced treatments of core physics, such as: Electromagnetism and Optics; Dynamics and Quantum Concepts; and Solid State Physics. Students can choose from specialist topics including Optical Processing, Laser Physics and Atmospheric Physics.

Your career

Iain Lawrie

  • Degree MPhys (First Class Hons), Computational Physics
  • Present Job Physics Teacher, George Watson's College,Edinburgh


“I graduated in 1999 (Computational Physics) and found having a Physics degree opened many possible career doors. Opting initially for accounting I worked for five years as a Corporate Tax Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, qualifying as a chartered accountant in the process. However, having got married (to another of the Physics class of 99!) family life was on my mind. I was also hearing the call of my first love - Physics. One year of re-training later and I began teaching Physics at George Watson’s College where I am still happily educating and entertaining. My Physics programme notes from all those years ago are proving a very valuable asset when developing Advanced Higher Physics investigations, as are the laboratory skills developed in my first two undergraduate years.”

“The undergraduate Physics programme left me with a passion and excitement about the world we live in that I try to pass on to all pupils I encounter, hoping to inspire them to study Physics at university level.“

Claire Reekie

  • School Beath High School, Cowdenbeath
  • Degree Physics with Education
  • Present Job Physics Teacher

"My ambition since leaving school was to one day return and teach Physics. This has been made possible by the excellent course and tuition provided at Heriot-Watt. Through their expertise, care and dedication (and a bit of hard work from myself) I graduated with an Honours degree in 'Physics with Education'."

Entry requirements

The University offers as its normal entry routes:

  • entry at Level 1, mainly for students with Scottish Highers (or similar)
  • entry at Level 2, mainly for students with A-levels (or similar).

There is nevertheless considerable flexibility, depending on the level of qualifications, for entrants with A-levels to opt to enter at Level 1 and for Scottish students to enter at Level 2. Direct entry into Level 3 is also possible for students who already have certain HE qualifications.

Level 1 entry

  • HighersAABBor BBBBC
  • A-LevelsBBB
  • HNCBin graded unit. Relevant HNC - please contact Admissions Tutor to discuss further
  • Int. Baccalaureate29 pointsto include Higher Level Mathematics and Physics
  • Scottish Baccalaureatepass with BC in Adv. Higher Maths and Physics
  • Additional informationEntry normally to include Physics and Mathematics Highers or A-Levels at B and for Chemical Physics B in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry

Level 2 entry

  • A-LevelsABB
  • Advanced HighersABBplus AABB at Higher
  • HNCAin graded unit. Relevant HNC - subject to satisfactory tutor reference and interview. Please contact Admissions Tutor to discuss further.
  • HNDBBCin graded units. Relevant HND - subject to satisfactory tutor reference and interview. Please contact Admissions Tutor to discuss further.
  • Scottish BaccalaureateDistinction with AB in Adv. Higher Mathematics and Physics
  • Additional informationA range of alternative qualifications may be accepted including good qualifications in non-scientific subjects and mature applicants with appropriate work experience. Advanced qualifications should be in Physics and Mathematics.

Level 3 entry

  • HNDAABin graded units. Relevant HND - subject to satisfactory tutor reference and interview. Please contact Admissions Tutor to discuss further.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees by residency status
Status*Scotland / EU**England / Northern Ireland / WalesInternational
FeePaid by SAAS9,000.0015,490.00

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the 3 years before the start of your programme. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries, not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Scholarships & bursaries