School of Physics & Astronomy

Foundation Year

UCAS Code: H100 Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation (integrated honours programme)

Have you decided you would like to study physics but don't think you have the right qualifications? The School of Physics and Astronomy offers a foundation year which provides an alternative route onto our highly regarded BSc or MSci physics degrees. The year enables those wishing to pursue their interest in Physics, but who lack the right subjects for direct entry, or who have not yet achieved their full potential, 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 who have not yet achieved their full potential 
  • 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 - (There are additional English language requirements for International candidates.)

Full details of the entry criteria can be found on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation pages for UK and EU or International candidates as appropriate.

StudentsApplications from mature candidates are 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 single honours degree of your choice. (Excluding Mathematical Physics and Physics with Philosophy. Progression onto these two programmes is possible but needs to be agreed with the School.)

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.

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 (>80%) in their final marks will receive a scholarship, currently worth £1000, in their first year on the main degree programme.

For more information contact: Dr Philip Hawker (

School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

For all enquiries please visit: