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Philosophy and Physics BSc (Full time) 2018 start

Course information for 2017 start

  • Overview

    This wide-ranging and challenging degree will allow you to think about fundamental aspects of the Universe from different scientific and philosophical perspectives.

    Core modules will introduce you to logic and central ideas in philosophy, as well as key areas of physics such as quantum mechanics and lab work. But 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 expert tutors in both subjects and fantastic research facilities at your disposal, this Joint Honours 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.

    Leeds has great facilities for students of philosophy. The world class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections– valuable assets for your independent research. Our other library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.

    The School of Physics and Astronomy is also home to state-of-the-art research facilities which are crucial elements of your independent learning.

  • Course content

    A Joint Honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each Single Honours course, but you’ll take fewer options and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects.

    Your first year will lay the foundations for the rest of your degree, as you study key areas in each subject. You’ll learn how to construct arguments and explore key issues in philosophy, as well as undertaking practical lab modules and being introduced to topics like quantum mechanics and thermal physics.

    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 central philosophy module to study and then be free to focus on whichever area suits you, ranging from logic, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and ethics to philosophy of religion. At the same time, you’ll take core modules on major topics in physics such as electromagnetism or particle physics. In both subjects, you’ll also have a choice of optional modules, covering areas from philosophy of science to the ethics of life and death.

    Throughout the degree, you’ll develop your mathematical, analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as learning 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

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    You’ll choose from a wide range of optional modules while maintaining a balance across your subjects. Follow the links to the Programme Catalogue for more example optional modules and the full course structure.

    Compulsory modules

    • How to Think Clearly and Argue Well 20 credits
    • Physics 1 25 credits
    • Vibrations and Waves (Geophysics) 10 credits
    • Laboratory 1a (Joint Honours and Geophysics) 5 credits
    • Maths 1 10 credits
    • Maths 2 10 credits
    • Introduction to Academic Skills 5 credits

    Optional modules

    Examples of the optional modules available are shown below. Please contact us for more details of the requirements and choices available.

    • Introduction to the History of Science 10 credits
    • The Good, the Bad, the Right, the Wrong 20 credits
    • Knowledge, Self and Reality 20 credits
    • How Science Works 10 credits
    • Great Philosophical Thinkers 20 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • Quantum Mechanics (Joint Honours) 15 credits
    • Maths 3 10 credits

    Optional modules

    Examples of the optional modules available are shown below. Please contact us for more details of the requirements and choices available.

    • Formal Logic 20 credits
    • Topics in Epistemology: Theory and Evidence 20 credits
    • Realism and Antirealism 20 credits
    • Physics Laboratory 3 10 credits
    • Physics 3 25 credits
    • Electromagnetism (Joint Honours) 15 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • Final Year Project

    Optional modules

    Examples of the optional modules available are shown below. Please contact us for more details of the requirements and choices available.

    • Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics 20 credits
    • Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art 20 credits
    • Feminist Philosophy 20 credits
    • Cosmology 15 credits
    • Advanced Quantum Mechanics 15 credits
    • Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics 15 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Philosophy and Physics BSc in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the 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.

    Assessment

    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, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: AAB including A in Mathematics and B in Physics.

    • 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.

    • BTEC

      We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

    • Cambridge Pre-U

      D3, M1, M1 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 Highers (Leaving Certificate)

      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 85% in Mathematics and 80% in Physics.


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

    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 A in Mathematics, B in 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 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: ABC at A Level including A in Mathematics and B in Physics and pass Access to Leeds.

    International

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

    International Foundation Year Programme

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

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU 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

    School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science Undergraduate Admissions Policy

    Fees

    UK/EU: To be confirmed

    International: To be confirmed

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2017, the fee for 2017/18 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2018 will be confirmed in September 2017.

    The fee is likely to increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% for 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in 2017 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans for the duration of their course. Read the full government statement

    The UK government has also confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    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.

    Additional cost information

    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

    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.

  • 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 at the Careers website.

  • 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.