Philosophy and Physics BSc

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB including Mathematics and Physics and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Stack of historic texts on desk

This varied joint honours degree considers fundamental aspects of the universe from different scientific and philosophical perspectives.

Core modules introduce you to logic and central ideas in philosophy, as well as key areas of physics such as quantum mechanics and lab work.

You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules in both subjects which give you the chance to explore philosophy of science or religion, electromagnetism, the history of ideas, particle physics, the nature of scientific knowledge, metaphysics and ethics.

With the support of tutors in both subject areas, plus fantastic research facilities in the School of Physics and Astronomy, this degree will allow you to think in different ways about humanity’s place in the universe, as well as gaining an impressively broad range of skills.

Course details

A joint honours degree enables you to study the same core topics as students on each individual single honours course, but you’ll choose fewer optional or discovery modules. This means you can fit in both subjects.

In your first year you’ll learn how to construct arguments and explore important questions in philosophy, as well as undertaking practical lab modules and being introduced to topics such as vibrations and fundamental forces.

From this foundation, you’ll build your knowledge and skills over the next two years with a wider range of choice. You’ll choose a module within theoretical philosophy (encompassing philosophy of logic, language, knowledge, and reality) and then focus on whichever areas interest you.

The option modules encompass a wide range of topics, including philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, ethics and philosophy of religion. At the same time, you’ll take core modules on major topics in physics such as quantum mechanics, as well as a variety of optional modules in the subject.

Throughout your degree, you’ll develop your mathematical, analytical and problem-solving skills, learn to think clearly, construct effective arguments and conduct independent research. You’ll have the chance to showcase these skills in your final year research project.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Philosophy and Physics BSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
How to Think Clearly and Argue Well 20
Physics 1- Fundamental Forces 25
Vibrations and Waves (Geophysics) 10
Laboratory 1a (Joint Honours and Geophysics) 5
Maths 1- Scalars and Vectors 10
Maths 2- Multivariable Calculus 10

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Magic, Science and Religion 10
History of Psychology 10
Introduction to the History of Science 10
Darwin, Germs and the Bomb 10
Living with Technology 10
History of Modern Medicine 10
The Mind 10
Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion 10
The Good, the Bad, the Right, the Wrong 20
Knowledge, Self and Reality 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Quantum Mechanics (Joint Honours) 15
Maths 3- Matrices and Operators 10

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Formal Logic 20
Ancient Philosophy 20
Ethics of Life and Death 10
Moral Philosophy 20
Philosophy of Religion 20
Experimental Physics (For NatSci & Joint Honours) 10
Physics 3- Fields and Energy 25
Maths 4- Transforms and Partial Differential Equations 10
Thinking About Race 10

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Independent Research Project in Philosophy, Religion or History of Science 40
Integrated Research Project in Philosophy, Religion or History of Science 40
Physics Project 40

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics 20
Metaethics 20
Philosophy of Mind 20
War, Terror and Justice 20
Philosophy of Modern Physics 20
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20
Photonics 15
Molecular Simulation: Theory and Practice 15
Advanced Quantum Physics 15
Statistical Mechanics 15

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science and the School of Physics and Astronomy are both home to tutors at the forefront of research in their fields.

We use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise. Normally these include lectures, seminars and tutorials, or occasionally workshops. Lab classes and project work are also major elements of Physics modules. However, independent study is central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis while giving you space to form your own ideas.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We also use different types of assessment, usually a mixture of exams and essays. However, some modules may also assess you on oral presentations, group, project or practical work. Support will be on hand throughout your time at Leeds – for example, you’ll be able to attend extra classes on exam technique, structuring an essay and public speaking.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB to include Mathematics and Physics

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be ABB at A Level including Mathematics and Physics and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.


We will consider the level 3 QCF BTEC at Subsidiary Diploma level and above in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2 including D3 in Mathematics and M1 in Physics

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in Physics at Higher Level and 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including H2 in Mathematics and H3 in Physics

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Scottish Highers accepted in combination with Advanced Highers. Contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 80% including 8.5 in Mathematics and 8.0 in Physics

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB including Mathematics and Physics and pass Access to Leeds.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science Undergraduate Admissions team.

You can find out more about what it is like to be an international student by speaking to a Link to Leeds ambassador. They can’t help you with your application, but they can tell you how they have found living and studying in Leeds.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £27,000 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
School of Physics and Astronomy

Contact us

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Admissions


Career opportunities

A joint honours degree in Philosophy and Physics will equip you with a wide range of skills and subject knowledge which are highly attractive to employers.

You’ll have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills and be able to interpret complex quantitative and qualitative data. You’ll be confident working independently or in a team and have good research skills. In addition, you’ll be able to communicate and defend your views clearly, both verbally and in writing – and you’ll have the organisational skills needed to manage two very different subjects.

Graduates have gone on to succeed in a range of careers that reflect the diversity of this degree. They’ve gone into science, education, business and finance, law, sales and marketing, the media, the civil service and charity sector. Many have also progressed to postgraduate study.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

All University of Leeds students can apply to spend a year studying abroad. It’s a great way to gain an insight into another culture, as well as gaining valuable experience that will look great on your CV.

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science also has exclusive exchange links with universities in Denmark, France and Spain – language classes are available before you go to prepare you for the experience.

Read more about Study abroad in Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Student profile: Otto Lyons

My course seemed to offer a combination of things that I had both studied and wanted to understand further, as well as a range of interesting topics I had never considered.
Otto Lyons, School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
Find out more about Otto Lyons's time at Leeds