School of Physics & Astronomy

Foundation Year in Science

UCAS Code: H100 Science with Foundation Year (BSc/Scif)

 Have you ever wanted to study physics but don't think you have the right qualifications?

The School of Physics and Astronomy, as part of the Faculty of Science, now offers a foundation year which provides an alternative route onto our highly regarded BSc or MSci physics degrees. Direct entry into our undergraduate programmes normally requires 3 A-levels including Maths and Physics. Our Foundation Year enables those wishing to pursue their interest in Physics, but who lack either the A-level grades or the right subjects for direct entry, to get on-track for a career in physics.

The course is suitable for:

  • students with A-level qualifications in either maths or physics but not both
  • students who have good A-level qualifications in subjects not including maths or physics
  • students with appropriate BTEC or HE Access qualifications
  • mature students returning to education who maybe have not taken A-levels in the past, or who did not succeed in getting the necessary A-level grades the first time round.
  • international students whose qualifications are not equivalent to A-levels - see footnote

 Applications will be assessed on an individual basis and we will look for the 'potential to succeed' taking into account previous academic record, life and work experience. As a minimum, we normally require applicants to hold GCSEs in Maths and Science at grade B or above and in English at grade C or above but exceptions may be made if there are extenuating reasons for holding one grade lower than this. We also look for evidence of study at a higher level, either A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications, or evidence of a continuing interest in maths and physics since leaving school.

Successful completion of the Foundation Year guarantees a place on the BSc / MSci Physics degree of your choice.

The course includes all the physics and mathematics required to study physics at undergraduate level and also teaches a module on study skills to help you adapt to the style of studying you will encounter at University. Details of the modules on offer can be found at and

 All modules are taught on campus with the same facilities (e.g. laboratories, lecture theatres) as undergraduate courses. We provide a laboratory programme in all physics subjects and the courses are assessed through a mixture of exams and continuous assessment.

Students on foundation year who achieve a distinction (>70%) in their final marks will receive a scholarship worth £1000 in their first year on the main degree programme.

Financial help may be available for students who are mature, those who are the first generation in their family to go to University or whose household income is below a certain threshold. Details of financial costs involved in studying and the help available can be found at

For more information contact: Dr Philip Hawker (, Tel 0115 951 5183 ext. 18331 or Julie Kenney ( , Tel 0115 951 5165.

International students whose first language is not English are required to hold the British Council IELTS test at 5.5 (no less than 5.0 in the writing component); TOEFL 527 (no less than 3.5 in the Test of Written English); or 197 in the TOEFL computer-based test (no less than 3.5 in TWE). Students with IELTS of less than 6.0 (or equivalent) will be required to study additional English language modules during the Foundation Year Programme in order to bring them up to the requirements for year one entry.

School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 [0]115 951 5183
fax: +44 [0]115 951 5180