School of Physics & Astronomy

Foundation Year

Engineering and PS Foundation

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 Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation year enables you to pursue your interest in physics if you lack the right subjects for direct entry, or if you have not yet achieved your full potential, to get on-track for a career in physics.

Is the foundation year for me?

The foundation year is ideal 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.)

Course information

Our online prospectus pages contain details about entry requirements and modules. There are two pathways, one for home or EU students and one for international students.

Course for UK or EU students

Course for international students


Mature students

Mature students in a class

Applications 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. Specific grades can be found on the  online prospectus. 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.


Progression routes

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

Mathematical Physics and Physics with Philosophy are excluded from this guarantee. Progression onto these two programmes is possible but needs to be agreed with the school.

Other options include engineering, mathematics or computer science.

Physics undergraduate

Teaching methods

All modules are taught on campus with the same facilities (eg 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.


Contact us

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: