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Fees and Funding
UK & EU Fee
General Funding Notes
Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance
Dr David Waters
Mrs Sophie Lo
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7246
Theoretical Physics BSc
UCAS Code: F340
This three-year programme offers a variant of the advanced study offered in the Physics BSc. You will develop an advanced understanding of the theoretical structure of the core topics in physics, and the programme is likely to appeal to you if you have a strong interest and ability in mathematics.
|Subjects||Mathematics and Physics at grade A, Further Mathematics also required.|
|AS Levels||A pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.|
|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 the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs|
|Subjects||A total of 17-18 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics and Physics at grade 6, with no score below 5.|
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Selected entry requirements will appear here
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
University Preparatory Certificates
UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.
The University Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
For more information see our website: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc
English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
- A science degree from UCL is a strong asset across the whole range of careers where basic scientific skills are required, from accountancy to astrophysics, and computing to cryogenics.
- The programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics and includes the very latest developments and discoveries in the field, based on our highly rated research.
- Collaborative links with both industry and international research laboratories provide insight into the practical application of your studies.
- A wide range of optional courses are available, including courses from other University of London colleges, which allows for individual preferences and specialisations within your degree.
Core courses in the first year provide a firm foundation in quantum-based phenomena and condensed matter, underpinned by mathematics and a practical skills course which includes computer-based and IT skills training. You will also take a course in practical mathematics.
The second year includes core courses in quantum physics and its application to atoms and molecules, in statistical thermodynamics and in electromagnetic theory, along with further mathematics. The quantum and condensed matter elements of the core are completed in the third year. Students reading for the Theoretical Physics degree replace second and third year experimental work with theory courses.
The third year also includes optional courses to develop further and enhance knowledge of a range of physics topics.
This programme is offered both as a three-year BSc and a four-year MSci, with common structures and subjects for the first two years. However, the additional fourth year of the MSci programme allows for a greater depth of study and we recommend you apply for an MSci initially, as this keeps more options open.
Teaching is undertaken through lectures, laboratory (and as appropriate, observatory) practical sessions, and supervised problem-solving tutorials. These tutorials are designed to deal with lecture-based questions, enlarge on topics addressed in lectures, and allow clarification and in-depth discussion of new concepts.
Assessment will normally involve end-of-year examinations, and an element of assessed coursework. For practical work you will be continuously assessed.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Further details available on degree page of subject website:
Your scientific training will equip you with an understanding of mathematics, and of physical principles and techniques, as well as transferable skills in analysis, rational argument and innovative problem solving. Surveys by the IOP indicate that physicists' versatility is welcomed by a wider range of professions than any other subject.
Around half our graduates choose to pursue further study for an MSc or PhD. A PhD opens up the possibility of an academic or research career in a university or research institute. Alternatively, like many of our graduates, you may consider employment in research, design, development, computing, finance, marketing and insurance industries, among others.
First career destinations of recent graduates (2009-2011) of Theoretical Physics programmes at UCL include:
- Software Development, Autonomy (2010)
- Accountancy Intern, Ernst and Young (2010)
- Full-time student, PhD in Particle Physics at Queen Mary University, London (2010)
- Full-time student, MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces at Imperial College London (2009)
- Power Forecasting Analyst, Centrica (2008)
Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:
In addition to the subjects and grades specified in the qualifying examinations, we are also looking for evidence of self-motivation and an enthusiastic interest in the subject. This may be demonstrated through paid or voluntary work experience, academic project work, or your interests and hobbies beyond the school curriculum.
How to Apply
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.
If you are based in the UK within a reasonable travelling distance of UCL, 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, or not within reasonable travelling distance of UCL, we will decide whether to make you an offer on the basis of your UCAS application and reference; a telephone interview may be offered.