Physics with European Language MSci


Fact file - 2017 entry

UCAS code:F3RX
Qualification:MSci Hons
Type and duration:4 year UG (year 3 out counting)
Qualification name:Physics with European Language
UCAS code
UCAS code
Physics with European Language | MSci Hons
4 years full-time/year 3 out (available part-time)
A level offer
Required subjects
Maths and physics, plus a GCSE in a relevant language, A or above
IB score
36 (6 in maths, plus 6 in physics and 6 in a third subject, all at Higher Level, plus a GCSE in a relevant language, A or above
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places
185 places for all courses in the School of Physics and Astronomy


This degree provides a broad and challenging course in physics together with training in a continental European language and experience of the wider European culture.
Read full overview

This degree provides a broad and challenging course in physics together with training in a continental European language and experience of the wider European culture. You will spend the third year of the course studying at one of a variety of institutions, currently including universities in France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. For the MSci degree, the work done during the year abroad counts toward your final degree classification.

Year one 

You will undertake the same core of fundamental physics material as the Physics MSci (F303), and use some of your available options to raise the level in your chosen European language. The number of options that you spend on the language depends simply on the level that you have attained before arriving.

Year two

You will continue to pursue your studies in physics as in the MSci programmes, and take the modules necessary to raise your language skills to stage three in the University's system.

Year three

This year is spent at one of our European partner universities, studying in the appropriate European language. Since different universities offer different modules, we tailor the programme to both the individual's interests and what the particular institution has to offer. For the MSci degree, the work done in this year has to count towards your final degree classification, so we tailor the programme to match that in Nottingham as closely as possible.

Year four

The final year in Nottingham is also tailored to you as an individual, using a range of modules to cover those aspects of the syllabus that have not been studied during the year abroad. You will also take the presentation skills and mathematical application modules, and the synoptic modules for which they prepare you. The final major element is the industrial or academic consultancy-style research project.

More information 

See also the Language Centre.


Entry requirements

A levels: A*AA-AAA, including physics and maths at A level; also GCSE grade A in a language

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies. Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS. Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.

Alternative qualifications 

For details please see the alternative qualifications page

Flexible admissions policy

We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.

Notes for applicants 

Scholarships - we offer a range of scholarships designed to assist you in settling in to your studies and meeting the financial requirements of your course. Some of these are means-tested but we also offer special scholarships that reward academic achievement. 

One is offered on the basis of performance in the qualifying examinations for university entrance (eg A levels). A scholarship package is also offered to reward good performance in the qualifying (first-) year examinations. This scheme includes special prizes that have been inaugurated in collaboration with our commercial partners. Full details of all scholarship prizes will be provided at the UCAS open days.

For more details about scholarships, please see



Typical Year One Modules
Mathematics for Physics and Astronomy
You will study a selection of mathematical techniques that are useful for analysing physical behaviour. The module topics are: complex numbers, calculus of a single variable, plane geometry and conic sections, ordinary differential equations, calculus of several variables and matrices and matrix algebra. 
From Newton to Einstein
This year-long module aims to introduce core topics in physics which will underpin all subsequent physics modules. You’ll discuss classical mechanics in the language of vectors and the key notion of harmonic motion which is extended to cover wave phenomena. You’ll have an introduction to Einstein's special theory of relativity as well as the basic ideas of electromagnetism and electrical circuits and quantum physics.
Introductory Experimental Physics
In this module you will receive: an introduction to the basic techniques and equipment used in experimental physics; training in the analysis and interpretation of experimental data; opportunities to observe phenomena discussed in theory modules and training in the skills of record keeping and writing scientific reports.
Quantitative Physics
This year-long module will train you in the mathematical modelling of physical processes. You’ll be trained in topics such as basic statistics and errors, dimensional analysis, curve sketching, orders of magnitude and estimates and integrating problems in physics among others. You’ll have an hour per week of lectures plus a number of 90 minute workshops throughout the year to assist in your learning.
Computing for Physical Science
In this year-long module you’ll learn the techniques for solving physical problems using MatLab. Topics will include variables and operators, vectors and arrays and plotting 2D and 3D graphs among others.
Appropriate language module
You will choose from French, German or Spanish language modules appropriate to your level of understanding. These are available from beginners' level to fluency. 

Typical Year Two Modules

The Quantum World
This module will provide an introduction to the theory and applications of quantum mechanics, a theory that is one of the key achievements of 20th century physics. This module will begin with a discussion of simple systems and develop the mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics. The module will then extend the formalism to cope with the movement of particles and make links to the material that you have seen in the 'From Newton to Einstein' module.
Thermal and Statistical Physics
In this year-long module you’ll learn about the two main themes relating to the description of important physical properties of matter; thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. You’ll discover that they share common features through two hours of lectures weekly and four practical workshops throughout the year.
Classical Fields
In this module, you are introduced to the concepts of scalar and vector fields, will be extended by introducing the mathematics of vector calculus, that can be used to describe these fields. The mathematics will then be used to provide a framework for describing, understanding and using the laws of electromagnetism.
Wave Phenomena
Many physical systems support the propagation of waves, from the familiar waves on the surface of water to the electromagnetic waves that we perceive as light. The first half of the module will focus on optics: the study of light. Topics to be covered will include: geometrical optics; wave description of light; interference and diffraction; optical interferometry. The second half of the module will introduce more general methods for the discussion of wave propagation, and Fourier methods.
Intermediate Experimental Physics
In this module you will develop your experimental technique and gain experience of some key instruments and methods. The experiments will cover electrical measurements, optics and radiation. You will also learn how to use a computer to control experiments and to record data directly from measuring instruments.
Appropriate language module
You will continue with your chosen language to raise your skills to stage three in the University's system.

Typical Year Three Modules
This year will be spent studying physics at a European university. The module selection will be made in consultation with your host university.

Typical Year Four Modules
Research Techniques in Astronomy
This module develops a range of modern astronomical techniques through student-centered approaches to topical research problems. You’ll cover a range of topics related to ongoing research in astronomy and astrophysics, and will encompass theoretical and observational approaches. This module is based on individual and group student-led activities involving the solution of topical problems including written reports and exercises, and a project.
Light and Matter
This module will extend previous work in the areas of atomic and optical physics to cover modern topics in the area of quantum effects in light-matter interactions. Some basic material will be introduced in six staff-led seminars and you’ll have around two hours of lectures and student-led workshops each week. 
Physics Research Project
In this year-long module you’ll aim to solve a theoretical or practical problem. You’ll spend semester one researching your chosen project and carry out your practical research in semester two. You’ll have the opportunity to work with external parties such as an industrial laboratory, school or hospital if appropriate to your topic. You’ll see your supervisor for one hour per week in tutorials to assist you during this module.
Appropriate Language Module
You will continue with your chosen language studies.

Typical Optional Modules
This module provides an introduction to the modern theory of gravitation: Einstein's general theory of relativity. This module is based on a regular series of two 1-hour lectures per week supplemented by a two-hour workshop once a fortnight.
Magnetic Resonance Techniques
In this module you’ll receive an overview of spin dynamics and an introduction to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and related techniques. You’ll gain knowledge about the key ideas, techniques and instrumentation used in this field and how they are applied in a range of situations. You’ll have two hours per week of lectures studying this module.
Modern Cosmology
This module introduces you to the key ideas behind modern approaches to our understanding of the role of inflation in the early and late universe, in particular through the formation of structure, the generation of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background radiation, and the origin of dark energy. You’ll study through a series of staff lectures and student-led workshops.
Imaging and Image Processing
This module aims to provide you with a working knowledge of the basic techniques of image processing. The major topics covered will include: acquisition of images, image representation, resolution and quantization, image compression and non-Fourier enhancement techniques, among others. You’ll spend around four hours in lectures, 8 hours in seminars and have a one hour tutorial each week. 

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



You will have a thorough understanding of the fundamental theories of physics and will have applied them in practical research work. You will have perfected your command of your chosen language and developed both your language and physics skills during the year abroad.

Professional accreditation

The Institute of Physics accredits bachelor and integrated masters degree programmes for the purposes of the professional award of Chartered Physicist. Chartered Physicist requires an IOP accredited degree followed by an appropriate period of experience during which professional skills are acquired. 

An accredited integrated masters degree fulfils the academic requirements for Chartered Physicist.

institute of physics

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 87% of first-degree graduates in the School of Physics and Astronomy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,046 with the highest being £30,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14.

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  


Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.

Home students*

There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.

To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.  

Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


This course contains a year of study abroad. The estimated values for assessment on the year abroad are:

  • written exam 65%
  • coursework 15% 
  • practical 20%

Actual values depend on the host institution and option choices. Values given are averages over institutions.

How to use the data


finding the perfect course
It's #MeantToBe
Get in touch: 
+44 (0)115 951 5165 
Find us on FacebookFollow us

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


Admissions Tutor:
Prof Philip Moriarty
Admissions Secretary:
Mrs Julie Kenney

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
Make an enquiry