Close up of telescope with student operating it and looking towards it

Physics with Astronomy MSci

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

About Physics at the University of Nottingham

We have a proud history of learning and innovation. Research undertaken within the School of Physics and Astronomy, by Professor Sir Peter Mansfield, was recognised with a 2003 Nobel Prize for the invention of Magnetic Resonance Imaging body scanners. This technology has already helped more than half a billion people worldwide. More recently, our use of quantum technologies to understand how the brain works is changing the way that neurological conditions are detected and treated.

Our research activities cover cutting-edge topics ranging from probing quantum mechanics at ultralow temperatures to understanding the largest structures in the Universe. 

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

From Newton to Einstein

Mandatory

Year 1

Introductory Experimental Physics

Mandatory

Year 1

Frontiers in Physics

Mandatory

Year 1

Quantitative Physics

Mandatory

Year 1

Basic Mathematical Methods for Physics

Mandatory

Year 1

Computing For Physical Science

Mandatory

Year 2

The Quantum World

Mandatory

Year 2

Thermal and Statistical Physics

Mandatory

Year 2

Classical Fields

Mandatory

Year 2

Wave Phenomena

Mandatory

Year 2

Intermediate Experimental Physics

Mandatory

Year 2

The Structure of Stars

Mandatory

Year 2

The Structure of Galaxies

Mandatory

Year 3

Atoms, Photons and Fundamental Particles

Mandatory

Year 3

Introduction to Cosmology

Mandatory

Year 3

Introduction to Solid State Physics

Mandatory

Year 3

Extreme Astrophysics

Mandatory

Year 3

Physics Project

Mandatory

Year 3

Quantum Dynamics

Optional

Year 3

Principles of Dynamics

Optional

Year 3

Atmospheric and Planetary Physics

Optional

Year 3

Functional Medical Imaging

Optional

Year 3

Scientific Computing

Optional

Year 3

Semiconductor Physics

Optional

Year 3

Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics

Optional

Year 3

Force and Function at the Nanoscale

Optional

Year 3

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos

Optional

Year 3

Symmetry and Action Principles in Physics

Optional

Year 3

Soft Condensed Matter

Optional

Year 3

Molecular Biophysics

Optional

Year 3

From Accelerators to Medical Imaging

Optional

Year 3

Health Physics

Mandatory

Year 4

Physics Research Project

Mandatory

Year 4

Research Techniques in Astronomy

Optional

Year 4

Order, Disorder and Fluctuations

Optional

Year 4

Modern Cosmology

Optional

Year 4

Magnetic Resonance

Optional

Year 4

The Politics, Perception and Philosophy of Physics

Optional

Year 4

Quantum Transport

Optional

Year 4

Imaging and Data Processing

Optional

Year 4

Gravity

Optional

Year 4

Light and Matter

Optional

Year 4

Modern Applications of Physics: From Research to Industry

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About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Thursday 13 June 2024.

Teaching methods

  • Computer labs
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Problem classes

For a typical core module the examination carries a weight of 80%, the remaining 20% usually being allocated for regular coursework and workshop assignments throughout the year.

Experimental and other practical work is continually assessed through laboratory notebooks and formal reports.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group projects
  • Lab reports
  • Research project
  • Written exam

Typically in the first year, there are 10 lectures per week including problem sheets and directed reading. Some modules are supplemented by additional workshops where you will have the opportunity to put your learning into practice.

You will take part in weekly small group tutorials (typically five students), where your tutor will provide support and guidance. The practical modules involve working between three and six hours per week in laboratories. Subsequent years will vary with the largest change being no more weekly tutorials.

Studying advanced physics will enable you to become more adaptable and better at problem solving. These are invaluable traits for any career. Our students go on to work in a variety of industries, including engineering, aerospace, IT, and finance, as well as academic research. Others use their training in communication skills to enter teaching or science communication careers.

Through our practical learning, you will gain key skills in microscopy and imaging and manipulating nanostructures. These specialist skills are much-desired by employers in a range of industries.

Employers of our graduates include Accenture, BBC, EDF Energy, Jaguar Land Rover, and various NHS Trusts. Roles include Trainee Clinical Scientist, Medical Physicist, Systems Engineer, Data Analyst and Software Development Engineer.

The student-centred nature of the fourth year will give you additional experience in communication, group work, and project management.

Average starting salary and career progression

86.40% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Science secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £27,834.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017-2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

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.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Trent Building in sunshine  June 2nd 2020 by Lisa Gilligan-Lee

I have gained two amazing research internships through studying physics at UoN. In 2020 I interned for the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, studying the Sagittarius Galaxy. This summer I will be working with the LEAPS programme for the European Space Agency, studying exoplanet transits and stellar variability.

Larissa

Physics with astronomy student

Course data

Open Day June 2022