Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (2023)

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Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (1)
  • Undergraduate
  • BSc

Advance your understanding of theoretical physics in this professionally accredited degree.

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Advance your understanding of theoretical physics in this professionally accredited degree

Develop your interest in mathematics and its application in relation to this field of science

Complete a substantial project exploring a topic area of your choice during your final year

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • BSc

  • Duration

    3 years

  • Start date

    October 2023

  • UCAS course code

    F325

  • Study mode

    Full-time

  • Fees

    • £9,250 Home

    • £39,100 Overseas

  • Delivered by

    • Department of Physics

  • Location

    • South Kensington

  • Applications: places

    8 : 1 (2021)

Minimum entry standard 2023

  • A*A*A (A-level)

  • 40 points (International Baccalaureate)

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Explore how the principles and laws of physics underpin most science and engineering disciplines on this three-year course.

Problems in physics can relate to phenomena on gigantic scales such as the cosmos, minutely small ones, and virtually any other scale in between.

Throughout this course, you'll develop a large range of problem-solving skills that can also be applied to many other (seemingly unrelated) situations.

You'll receive a grounding in physics, mathematics, computational and experimental methods in preparation for advanced study or a career in the field.

This programme is particularly suited to those with a specific interest in mathematics and its application, with less emphasis on experimental work than our standard Physics courses.

You'll learn in a department at the forefront of research, guided by world-leading researchers with a high level of expertise in their specific field. Key topics covered during your first two years include electromagnetism, relativity and quantum physics.

Your third year provides opportunities to advance your knowledge across a wide range of optional modules. This work will allow you to take advantage of the diverse research specialisms within the department.

Your studies will culminate in a major project, carried out under supervision within one of our research groups.

Structure

This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

You’ll study these core modules.

Core modules

You’ll take the following core modules.

You’ll also choose one I-Explore module, and one optional module.

(Video) BSc/MPhys Theoretical Physics

Core modules

Optional modules

You'll study all core modules and choose one of the project modules.

You will also choose four or five optional modules. Most of these will be theoretical optional modules.

Core modules

Project modules

Optional modules

Theoretical optional modules

Professional accreditation

Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (2)

This degree is professionally accredited by theInstitute of Physics (IOP).

With a professionally accredited degree, you’ll be able to demonstrate to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency. Professional accreditation also provides international recognition of your qualifications, which you can use to launch a career abroad.

Our BSc Physics courses partially satisfy the academic requirement for professional registration as a Chartered Physicist (CPhys). This is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in physics, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

To gain Chartered status after you graduate, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have knowledge equivalent to an accredited integrated Master’s degree.

Our accreditation agreement with the Institute of Physics is renewed every five years. The current accreditation agreement was recently renewed through 2027.

Associateship

In addition to your degree, you’ll receive the Associateship of the Royal College of Science (ARCS) upon completion of this course. This associateship is awarded by one of our historic constituent Colleges.

Teaching and assessment

Balance of teaching and learning

Key

  • Lectures, tutorials and laboratory work
  • Independent study
  • Research project

Years 1 & 2

  • 50% Lectures, tutorials and laboratory work
  • 50% Independent study
  • 0% Research project

Year 3

  • 13% Lectures, tutorials and laboratory work
  • 87% Independent study
  • 0% Research project

Teaching and learning methods

  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (3)

    Lectures
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (4)

    Tutorials
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (5)

    Laboratory classes
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (6)

    Computing labs
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (7)

    Office hours
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (8)

    Project work
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (9)

    Virtual learning environment
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (10)

    Independent learning

Balance of assessment

Key

  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Written examination

Year 1

  • 25% Coursework
  • 15% Practical
  • 60% Written examination

Year 2

  • 20% Coursework
  • 10% Practical
  • 70% Written examination

Year 3

  • 15% Coursework
  • 15% Practical
  • 70% Written examination
(Video) BSc/MPhys Mathematical Physics

Assessment methods

  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (11)

    Computing reports and laboratory reports
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (12)

    Mastery tests
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (13)

    Oral presentations and assessments
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (14)

    Poster presentations
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (15)

    Project reports
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (16)

    Progress tests and quizzes
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (17)

    Written examinations
  • Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (18)

    Written problems

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis,welcomingstudents from all over the world.

  • A-levels
  • International Baccalaureate
  • English language requirement
  • Foundation programmes
  • Other qualifications

Minimum entry standard

A*A*A

To include:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A*/A in Physics
  • A*/A in another subject (Further Mathematics is recommended, but not essential)

Chemistry, although not essential, is considered to be a useful third subject for developing knowledge and understanding of the course.

Not accepted

: General Studies and Critical Thinking
Science Practical Endorsement:If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

Typical offer

A*A*A-A*A*A*(applicants studying three A-levels)

Made to at least 80% of 2021 A-level applicants.

Support for widening participation applicants

If your predicted grades meet the minimum College entry standard of AAA at A-level or an equivalent level qualification in the relevant subjects, and you demonstrate motivation to study the specific subject area, this department willmake you a guaranteed offer.

Find out more about ouradmissions schemes

Minimum entry standard

40points

To include:

  • 7, 6, 6 including Mathematics and Physics at higher level

Preferred Mathematics syllabus:The Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level, but Analysis and Approaches is preferred.

Typical offer

42points

Made to at least 80% of IB applicants in 2021.

(Video) Master's in Theoretical Physics

Support for widening participation applicants

If your predicted grades meet the minimum College entry standard of AAA at A-level or an equivalent level qualification in the relevant subjects, and you demonstrate motivation to study the specific subject area, this department willmake you a guaranteed offer.

Find out more about ouradmissions schemes

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve thehigherCollege requirementin the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see theEnglish language requirementsfor postgraduate applicants.

We accept the following foundation programmes for entry to this course:

  • UCL’s Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE), and
  • Warwick’s International Foundation Programme (IFP) in Science & Engineering

UCL UPCSE

Students complete four modules across the year – two compulsory and two elective modules.

Compulsory modules:
  • Research and Academic Skills: Science and Society
  • Academic English
Elective modues:
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Minimum requirements

TheDepartment ofPhysics minimum requirements are:

  • 80% overall
  • 80% Mathematics
  • 80% Physics

Warwick IFP Science and Engineering

TheDepartment of Physics minimum requirements are:

  • 80% overall
  • 80% Mathematics and Physics

To meet these requirements, youshould choose from the following IFP pathways:

  • Engineering

UK qualifications

If you are studying a UK qualification, other than A-levels, choose your qualification from the list below to see the entry requirement for this course.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of qualifications from different countries – choose your qualification from the list below to see the entry requirement for this course. If your qualification is not included, itmight not beaccepted for entry. Youcan check with the relevant Admissions team for confirmation.

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

You can start your application via UCAS Hub. There you can add this course as one of your choices and track your application.

Apply via UCAS | F325

UCAS institution code: I50

Application deadlines — 25 January 2023 at 18.00 (UK time)

Tuition fees

  • Home fee
  • Overseas fee

Home fee

2023 entry

£9,250 per year

Overseas fee

2023 entry

£39,100 per year

(Video) What does a theoretical physicist do?

Your future career

Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (19)

Improve your career prospects by developing a broad range of professional skills.

Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (20)

Approximately half of Imperial students also pursue MSc or PhD degrees.

Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (21)

Many Imperial graduates move into traditional technical jobs because of their analytical and problem-solving skills.

Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (22)

Oil and gas, telecommunications, business consultancy, banking, and finance are among them.

Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (23)

Other potential career prospects include the civil service, cyber risk modelling, the energy industry, and the automotive industry.

Further links

Contact the department

  • Telephone:+44 (0)20 7594 7513
  • Email: ph.admissions@imperial.ac.uk

Visit the Department of Physics website

Physics with Theoretical Physics BSc | Study (24)

Request info

Learn more about studying at Imperial. Receive useful information about our life in our undergraduate community and download our latest Study Guide.

Request info

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Events, tasters and talks

Meet us and find out more about studying at Imperial.

Find an event

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Course data

Compare this course

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can findfurther information about your course,includingdegree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications

(Video) Student experience - Abbie Cannon - Theoretical Physics BSc

FAQs

What can I do with a theoretical physics degree? ›

Typically, theoretical physicists work in office, laboratory or academic settings. These individuals may work at universities, laboratories, development facilities or government agencies.

Is theoretical physics a hard degree? ›

Any degree is hard work, and Theoretical Physics takes on the tough side of a regular physics degree. There are more math lectures and programming, and less lab time. Think of it as a half-mathematics and half physics degree, with programming mixed into both.

Is there a degree for theoretical physics? ›

If you're interested in theoretical physics, you can enroll in a bachelor's degree program that encompasses both philosophy and physics. Additionally, master's or doctoral degree programs exist in physics that include courses that teach theoretical concepts.

Who hires theoretical physicists? ›

Theoretical physicists typically work in laboratories with complex equipment or in offices planning experiments, analyzing data, and writing research reports. Theoretical physicists may also find jobs in colleges and universities.

Does NASA hire physicists? ›

The most common science roles at NASA are in the disciplines of general physical science, astronomy and space, and physics—we employ 15 different types of scientists who serve as experts across our varied projects and missions.

What is a theoretical physicist salary? ›

The average Theoretical Physicist salary is $73,587 as of December 27, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $63,072 and $83,672. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Do theoretical physicists make a lot of money? ›

Salary Ranges for Theoretical Physicists

The salaries of Theoretical Physicists in the US range from $55,610 to $185,230 , with a median salary of $98,391 . The middle 50% of Theoretical Physicists makes between $84,902 and $98,390, with the top 83% making $185,230.

Does NASA Need theoretical physicist? ›

Yes, you can work for NASA while being an astrophysicist/theoretical physicist. They employ people from a variety of professions, not just aerospace engineers and astronauts.

How much does a theoretical physicist make a month? ›

The national average salary for a Physicist is ₹45,148 in India.

Is theoretical physics a good career? ›

One benefit of a career in theoretical physics as opposed to experimental physics is that experiments have to be funded. Doing experimental work involves getting access to laboratory facilities. Theoretical work, unless it requires the use of high-speed and powerful computers, can be done at no cost.

Are physicists in demand in USA? ›

Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 8,200 physicists. That number is based on 2,600 additional physicists, and the retirement of 5,600 existing physicists.

Does SpaceX hire theoretical physicist? ›

If you want to go for the SpaceX then having a background in Space Physics, Solar Physics, Atmospheric Physics & Astrophysics will be influential. So yeah! you can work there, but you need to make yourself ready & mark you up as a highly skilled Physicist.

Can I join NASA after BSC physics? ›

No single degree or course is “best” for NASA. You must have a relevant degree and work experience in the field of science, technology, engineering or mathematics to join NASA as a scientist.

Can I get job in NASA after BSC physics? ›

To get a good job in NASA, B.sc physics degree is not enough, you must have done M.sc and must be involved in some Ph. d then only you'll be eligible enough for NASA.

Are physicists in demand? ›

Overall employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

What type of physics makes the most money? ›

Top paying Physics jobs
  • Physics Professor.
  • Aerospace Engineer.
  • Astronomer.
  • Software Engineer.
  • Research Scientist.
  • Geophysicist.
  • Data Scientist.
Dec 15, 2021

How much do physicists make at NASA? ›

The estimated total pay for a Research Physicist at NASA is $148,712 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $134,440 per year.

Does theoretical physics have a lot of math? ›

While physicists rely heavily on math for calculations in their work, they don't work towards a fundamental understanding of abstract mathematical ideas in the way that mathematicians do. Physicists “want answers, and the way they get answers is by doing computations,” says mathematician Tony Pantev.

What do theoretical physicists do all day? ›

Theoretical physicists use mathematical concepts to analyze and predict the behavior of the physical world. Experimental physicists use laboratory experiments to verify these theoretical predictions or develop devices and instruments.

Is being a theoretical physicist fun? ›

It's extremely exciting! Theoretical physics is full of surprises. You might think that a problem is really hard to solve, but then one day you get a moment of clarity and you can write up your results. It is truly a field of exploration.

Who is the most famous theoretical physicist? ›

Albert Einstein (arguably the greatest theoretical physicist of all time), who has revised at the most fundamental level Newton's concepts of space and time, his dynamics and theory of gravity.

What degrees does NASA hire? ›

NASA is looking for people with a degree in engineering, biological science, physical science (like physics, chemistry or geology), computer science or mathematics.
...
  • Join a school or community math, science, engineering or robotics club. ...
  • Participate in science and engineering fairs.
Feb 11, 2020

Can you work at NASA with a bachelor's degree? ›

A surprising number of roles at NASA require only an undergraduate degree. Astronauts, for example, must have a bachelor's degree in physical science, biological science, computer science, math or engineering. Atmospheric scientists, like meteorologists, can also start their NASA careers with an undergraduate degree.

Are theoretical physicists respected? ›

Yes, physicists are respected. Most people have the idea that it takes a lot of smarts and education to be one. Physicists don't say "I'm a quantum physicist" unless they want to sound jolly obfuscatory.

How long does it take to study theoretical physics? ›

This three-year programme offers a variant of the advanced study offered in the Physics BSc. You will develop specialised knowledge of the theoretical structure of the core topics in physics.

How long is a PhD in theoretical physics? ›

The DPhil in Theoretical Physics is a research-based course of three to four years in duration.

How much math does a theoretical physicist need? ›

A strong mastery of basic high-school level algebra, trigonometry, analytic and synthetic geometry, and single-variable calculus is required at the very least if one wishes to do serious research in the physical sciences.

Which country is best for physicists? ›

Top Universities to Study Physics. USA. UK. Canada.

Which field in physics is most in demand? ›

In terms of salary, the following are the best careers in physics — lab manager, test engineer, nuclear engineer, geophysicist, aeronautical engineer, optical engineer, astronomer, and research scientist.

Does the government hire physicists? ›

The diverse government sector of the US workforce—which includes positions at the federal, state, and local levels—employs a significant proportion of physicists in the US. There are roughly 58 000 physics PhDs in the country, as estimated by the Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics.

Do theoretical physicists get Nobel Prize? ›

Historically, experimentalists have a leg up over theorists

Roughly two-thirds of Nobel Prizes in physics have gone to experimentalists and one-third to theorists.

What GPA do you need to work at SpaceX? ›

There is no minimum GPA requirement; however, we have a preferred cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Can a theoretical physicist win a Nobel Prize? ›

Well, Nobel Prizes were not traditionally awarded for theoretical physics unless the research is later directly confirmed by experiments. A famous example is Higgs, who waited for more than fifty years for the detection of the boson carrying his name, but many theorists do not have the same luck.

Which branch of physics is in demand? ›

Bio and Medical Physics

They are also trained to use the mathematical-physical knowledge to understand the mechanisms of living systems. This branch also offers a lot of opportunities in academia, research, and the teaching field.

Are physics graduates in demand? ›

Media and entertainment are two more potential industries, where physicists are in demand for roles such as scientific journalism, computer game programming and film special effects. Other options include roles in teaching, manufacturing, transport, architecture and communications.

What is the maximum salary for a physicist? ›

Highest reported salary offered who knows Physics is ₹50lakhs. The top 10% of employees earn more than ₹28lakhs per year. The top 1% earn more than a whopping ₹46lakhs per year.

How much money does a theoretical physicist make? ›

The average Theoretical Physicist salary is $73,587 as of December 27, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $63,072 and $83,672. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Do theoretical physicists make good money? ›

The salaries of Theoretical Physicists in the US range from $55,610 to $185,230 , with a median salary of $98,391 . The middle 50% of Theoretical Physicists makes between $84,902 and $98,390, with the top 83% making $185,230.

How much does a theoretical physicist make at NASA? ›

$148,286. The estimated total pay for a Research Physicist at NASA is $148,286 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $134,231 per year.

Are physicists in high demand? ›

The demand for physics skills is widespread and isn't confined to jobs which are generally physics- demanding – new roles such as Data Scientists and Quantitative Analysts are often the ones that face most difficulty in finding physics talent.

Is there a demand for physicists in the future? ›

Job Outlook

Overall employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. About 2,100 openings for physicists and astronomers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

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