Undergraduate Degrees

UCAS Code Programme Title Duration  
F510 Astrophysics BSc 3 years  
F300 Physics BSc 3 years  
F340 Theoretical Physics BSc 3 years  
F511 Astrophysics MSci 4 years  
F303 Physics MSci 4 years  
F345 Theoretical Physics MSci 4 years  
The Department

Expected intake 114
Applications per place 8
Staff:student ratio 1:5

Research Assessment:
60% of staff were rated 4*
(‘world-leading’) or 3*
(‘internationally excellent’)

What is the Research
Assessment Exercise?

The Physics and Astronomy Department at UCL is located in the heart of the historical area of Bloomsbury. Scientific research and study has been a strong feature of UCL since its inception in 1826 and the Department is currently one of the top ranked Physics departments in the country, and indeed the world.


We have forged an internationally renowned reputation for being at the forefront of world leading research and providing high class teaching. Those joining us can expect to be part of a dynamic community of Physicists and Astronomers whose enthusiasm for science and innovation is exceptional.

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Transfers into Year 2 from other departments or other universities are not possible.

Entry requirements

A Levels
Grades Please see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/subject-areas/physics-astrophysics
GCSEs English Language and Mathematics at grade C.
For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet this requirement following enrolment at UCL.
IB Diploma
 Points  38
 Subjects  A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics and Physics at grade 6, with no score below 5.
English Language requirement

For native or near-native speakers:
IB Language A1 at either higher or standard level - grade 4 IB Language A2 at either higher or standard level - grade 4

For non-native speakers:
IB Language B at higher level - grade 4
IB Language B at standard level - grade 6

Other UK Qualifications
Birkbeck Certificate of Higher Education Distinctions in Mathematics in Parts 1, 2 and 3
Distinctions in Physics in Parts 1, 2 and 3
 Access to HE Diploma  Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 18-23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
 Advanced Diploma
 Level 3 Advanced Diploma (any individual line of learning) awarded with an overall minimum grade of A, plus 2 GCE A-levels awarded at a minimum of grades AA-AB in the additional/specialist learning component. See A-levels for subject requirements.
 BTEC  Edexcel level 3 "National" Extended Diploma (QCF) with Distinction in at least 3 subjects including Maths and Physics.
Overseas Qualifications

Please refer to the undergraduate prospectus for the international entry requirements for the programme you are interested in.


If you are based in the UK, and your application demonstrates your suitability for the programme, you will be invited to a compulsory applicant open day. This will include presentations, a tour of facilities and an opportunity to meet current students and staff members.

If you are based outside the UK and are not able to attend an open day, this will not impact your chances of receiving an offer.

Further information on the application process

The aim of our teaching programme is to produce graduates who are independent scholars, having developed independent study and research skills during their degree programmes in the Department. We expect students to be highly motivated and dedicated to their studies, in an exciting and enriched environment for hard work.

There are three main components of your degree programme:

Lecture courses
Practical courses
Computer programming
  • Lectures (conveying basic information)
  • Problem sheets (homework)
  • Problem solving sessions (for guided practice)
  • End of year examination.

These take about 20% of your time:

  • Basic laboratory skills
  • Standard experiments (usually with a partner)
  • Keyboard and computer skills (transferable skills)
  • Continuous assessment
  • Data analysis techniques (evaluating results)
  • Project work (extended experiments or research)


All students are assigned a Personal Tutor, who is the first point of contact for any confidential matters, such as domestic difficulties, on which help or advice is needed. There are a number of example classes in key subjects such as mathematics to help you in your work and your tutor can help you find additional help if you both feel that is needed. The tutor is also a key person in helping to develop your communication skills.

How is the final degree class arrived at?

The class of degree which you are awarded after three or four years of study at UCL is decided by the quality and quantity of the work you do during that period. Results of examinations are combined with continuous assessment marks in a simple formula to gauge your overall performance. The formula used recognises that some students do not settle immediately, so an increasing weight is given to results from each successive year of the programme.

BSc/MSci Degree Programme Structure

Please see the booklet below for information on how courses offered fit into particular degree structures as well as brief descriptions of the courses themselves. Please note that it cannot be guaranteed that all courses offered will run and that only the most usual pre-requisites for courses are given.

Detailed Course Descriptions

This listing contains details about all the constituent courses for full-time undergraduate programmes, which are planned to be offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2015/16. For each course you will find aims and objectives, the syllabus and its teaching and assessment methodology. 

Intercollegiate MSci

During the fourth year of their MSci degree programmes, UCL students have the opportunity to take some intercollegiate modules at Queen Mary, King's College and Royal Holloway.

Further information on the Intercollegiate programme
UCL Examination registration Form for Intercollegiate Students

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this document, the Department cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions contained herein.

Academic year

Example First-Year Undergraduate Physics Timetable (First-Term)

Example year 1 timetable

Guided Tours

UCL is pleased to offer guided tours of the campus by current UCL students. The tours are primarily for prospective students and their family members and normally last approximately an hour and a half. The dates of upcoming tours are available at guided tours website.

Self-Guided Tours

You are welcome to visit UCL and follow our self-guided tour - simply print out the page, then visit UCL and follow the tour route as shown.

The Physics building is open to visitors between 10.00am and 4.00pm from Monday to Friday. On the first floor of the building, you will find the First Year Lab and on the fourth floor, you can see the Undergraduate Common Room (A17) and the undergraduate computer cluster room (A19). The undergraduate office is in room E2 on the ground floor, however please note the admissions administrator may not always be available to meet you. If you have any questions regarding the application process, you can contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.

Virtual Tours

If you are unable to visit in person, you can take a virtual tour of UCL instead. You'll be able to look inside lecture theatres, laboratories, the Library, Fitness Centre, the Bloomsbury Theatre and the Students' Union. Virtual tours of our Student Houses and Halls of Residence are also available. A list of Student Houses and Halls of Residence detailing prices and locations can be found on the accommodation website.

UCAS Applicant Visit Days

Successful applicants will be invited to attend a UCAS Offer Holder Visit Day, where you will meet members of staff and current students and will be taken on a tour of the department and the campus. There will also be opportunity to visit our observatory at Mill Hill. The visit days will take place between November and March, well before the deadline for firming your university choices.

University of London Open Day

The next University of London Information Days will take place in 2015. Further details can be found on their website.