Physics with Astrophysics MPhys, BSc

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
F3FM
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
4 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
AAB
Full entry requirements
Accredited
Yes

Course overview

A group of people on the roof looking at the observatory at the University of Leeds.

From studying planets around other stars to the most distant galaxies, astrophysics explores the wonders of the universe and our place in it. This field is constantly evolving, with new inventions and discoveries happening every day, which is why it’s still such a highly sought-after and relevant discipline.

Studying physics with astrophysics at Leeds will give you the chance to delve deep into the fundamental laws that govern the universe and learn leading techniques in observation and simulation by active researchers who’re using them to uncover new mysteries in the cosmos. During your final year, you’ll also have the chance to collaborate with our astrophysicists on current research projects.

Throughout your degree, you’ll have access to specialised facilities right here on campus, including the School’s observatory on the roof of the Sir William Henry Bragg Building. Here, you’ll have chance to get hands-on training in using optical telescopes and modern detectors, preparing you for working in industry.

Our close industry links and innovative research activity ensure this course reflects the latest advancements and applications in physics and astrophysics. You'll graduate with the specialist knowledge, skills and experience necessary to launch a successful career in this highly valued profession, with a wide range of career options available to you.

Why study at Leeds:

  • This course is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP).
  • Access specialist facilities right here on campus, including our very own observatory where you can use optical telescopes to image objects in the night sky.
  • Our School’s globally-renowned research feeds into the course, shaping what you learn with the latest thinking.
  • Learn from expert academics and researchers who specialise in a variety of physics and astrophysics areas.
  • Our comprehensive approach to teaching will give you a holistic understanding of how physics, mathematics, computing and experimental learning link together to qualify you as a physicist.
  • Broaden your experience before you graduate and enhance your career prospects with our study abroad programmes and industrial work placement opportunities.
  • Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining AstroSoc where you can meet fellow star enthusiasts, enjoy regular stargazing sessions, go on trips and gain fascinating insight from industry professionals at regular talks and networking events throughout your degree.

Benefits of an integrated Masters

Learn more about what an integrated Masters is and how it can benefit your studies and boost your career.

View this video on Bilibili.

Accreditation

Institute of Physics (IOP)

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the relevant professional body.

This course is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

This integrated Masters degree (MPhys, BSc) guarantees you eligibility for IOP membership and is accredited as fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a registered scientist (RSci) and to qualify as a chartered physicist (CPhys).

Course details

We've designed this course to enable you to develop your physics and astrophysics knowledge alongside the mathematical, computational and experimental methods that are needed to become qualified as a physicist. From the outset, you’ll learn about stars and galaxies before delving into details on the birth, lives and death of stars, extremely energetic phenomena and the evolution of the whole universe.

As you move through the programme, you'll increasingly build on your solid foundation to learn about and work on the latest developments in the subject, based on our research expertise.

We also take a competency-based approach to assessment, to enable you to demonstrate your skills and knowledge across a range of activities.

Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.

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.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read Physics with Astrophysics MPhys, BSc in the course catalogue.

Years 1 and 2

You’ll learn the foundations of astrophysics in terms of the properties of stars and galaxies, before gaining in-depth knowledge on how they evolve and can lead to extreme environments such as black holes. You'll also gain knowledge and skills in physics and learn how to apply them to solve problems across fundamental areas including electrodynamics, thermal physics, classical mechanics, quantum physics, solid state physics, waves, optics, contemporary physics, astrophysics and physics for sustainable development. We’ll also cover topics such as ethics, philosophy and career options in physics.

Throughout years 1 and 2, you’ll use specialist undergraduate teaching laboratories for experimental physics classes. In year 2, you’ll work in our Scriven Bolton Observatory which houses two 35 cm optical telescopes which you’ll use to train in the technique of multi-colour imaging with CCD detectors.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Mechanics, Relativity and Astrophysics – 20 credits

In mechanics, you’ll learn how to describe motion through physical space, together with the general causes of that motion: forces and energies. You'll also learn about using appropriate co-ordinate systems and the synergies between linear and circular motions. You’ll develop the mathematical skills to describe mechanical processes, including vectors, unit vectors, scalar and vector products, calculus and summations.

In special relativity, you'll extend your knowledge of co-ordinate systems to study motion as it appears to observers moving at different speeds. You'll also cover the theories originally developed by Einstein to describe this motion at speeds approaching the speed of light, and how the forces and energies of classical mechanics extend into the regime.
In Astrophysics, you'll learn how to apply basic physical principles to objects in the Universe and explore the basics of radiation and how we observe these phenomena.

Thermodynamics – 20 credits

Explore the underpinning theories and concepts of thermodynamics. Examples and applications will be used to allow you to build your understanding and application of this branch of physics, including in sustainable energy, which governs the behaviour of the universe we live in.

Electronics, Solid State and Introduction to Quantum Physics – 20 credits

In solid state and quantum physics, you’ll cover the underpinning theories and concepts including mechanics of solids, Bohr atom, atomic electron states, elementary bonding, elasticity, Photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, De Broglie relation, Wave-particle duality Crystal structure and X-ray diffraction.

In addition, you’ll analyse and design simple electric circuits using fundamental circuit elements, such as resistors, capacitors and inductors.

You’ll also learn the principles of Boolean algebra and its application in digital logic design.

Vibrations, Waves and Optics – 20 credits

Vibrations and waves are ubiquitous phenomena, occurring in widely different physical systems, from molecules to musical instruments to tectonic plates. Nevertheless, they can be described by a common mathematical approach, which this module provides.

In vibrations and waves, you’ll learn about oscillators, energy and resonance, different types of waves, energy/power transfer, reflection and transmission, impedance, superposition and interference, the wave-like behaviour of light, mirrors, lenses, nonlinear optics and lasers, the solution of 2nd order partial differential equations, complex numbers, Fourier series and an introduction to Fourier transforms.

Coding and Experimental Physics – 20 credits

Develop practical experimental, computational, communication and employability skills. You’ll build experimental skills through a range of laboratory tasks undertaken throughout the year and be introduced to programming using the Python computer programming language. You’ll also undertake tasks and assessments designed to improve your teamwork and presentation skills, as well as reflective practice. 

Optional modules

You’ll choose either one or both of the following optional modules. Or you may choose to combine one optional module with discovery modules.

Discovery modules give you the chance to apply your physics toolkit in real-world scenarios whilst expanding out into different areas, broadening your knowledge and giving you that competitive edge in the jobs market.

Please note: The modules listed below are indicative of typical options.

Introduction to Nanotechnology – 10 credits

The smallest possible devices that can be fabricated are on the nanometre length scale. Miniaturisation of devices offers many new technological opportunities, which are only just starting to be implemented in our lives. The physical properties of nanomaterials differ from both the constituent atoms and the bulk material. These can be unique and surprising. This module aims to introduce the physics behind nanotechnology in a semi-quantitative manner, without requiring knowledge of quantum mechanics or Maxwell’s equations. To understand nanotechnology, we will describe the physics of atoms and molecules, before moving on to discuss nano and bulk properties. We will cover a number of nanotechnological applications currently adopted and on the horizon, including nanomedicine.

Planets and the Search for Life – 10 credits

Explore the multitude of planets that are currently being discovered around other stars and compare them to those in our solar system. This module will concentrate on the concepts involved and is non-mathematical, and therefore amenable to students of the arts, humanities and sciences. We will examine the origin and evolution of the solar system and how it is likely to have produced the range of planets, moons and minor bodies that we see today. This will be contrasted with the range of extra-solar planets, their detection, properties, and how they challenge our understanding of how planets are formed. Finally, the conditions for life to emerge will be discussed and the prospects and techniques for finding life elsewhere in the solar system and on exo-planets will be explored.

Year 2 compulsory modules

Quantum Mechanics – 20 credits

Learn how to describe quantum systems using wavefunctions, operators and linear algebra and how to predict outcomes of measurements on quantum systems. You’ll also learn to solve the Schrodinger equation for simple model systems and understand the structure of atoms and molecules using the exclusion principle and spin.

In addition, you’ll learn about the structure of the atomic nucleus, predict various forms of radioactive decay and nuclear reactions, describe scattering processes between elementary particles and understand the key components of the Standard Model of particle physics.

Statistical Mechanics and Computation – 20 credits

Explore the concepts and applications of statistical mechanics, which are key to understanding the behaviour of small-particle systems.

This module will also enable you to translate descriptions of physical problems and data analysis processes into short programs to read and manipulate data, analyse and present the results for problems relevant to physics using a programming language.

Condensed Matter Physics – 20 credits

During this module, you’ll learn about the use of the density of states to explain some of the differences between metals, semiconductors and insulators. You’ll also cover how to derive the free-electron density of states, perform straight-forward calculations based on the free-electron theory and how a periodic potential modifies the free-electron dispersion relation, solving problems on the transport properties of semiconductors, and calculating the magnetic properties (consistent with the syllabus) of paramagnets and ferromagnets.

You’ll also build skills in communicating physics in preparation for projects/dissertations and research a topic of physics and communicate it in various formats whilst considering the importance of professional ethics and scientific conduct.

Electromagnetism – 20 credits

Learn how to use the integral versions of Maxwell's equations and to calculate fields in cases of simple symmetric geometry, calculate the force and energy in electric and magnetic fields, Maxwell's equations in both integral and differential form and discuss their derivation from the physical laws of electromagnetism. You’ll analyse simple AC circuits containing resistors, capacitors and inductors and apply logic principles to real-world scenarios in electronics and emerging technologies, developing the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the evolving landscape of electronic systems, from classical to quantum. As part of this module, you’ll also consider future career plans and complete a CV, LinkedIn profile and job application forms.

Astrophysics and Experimental Skills – 40 credits

Explore the physical processes that govern the structure and evolution of stars. These include nuclear fusion, radiative transfer, convective energy transport, degenerate matter, and stellar mass loss mechanisms. You’ll also be introduced to the radiative processes relevant to emission regions with temperatures in excess of one million degrees and/or containing non-thermal particles. Such radiative processes operate in supernovae explosions, pulsars and accretion discs and jets in evolved binary systems and around super-massive black holes at the centres of galaxies. You’ll develop the practical skills to plan, execute, reduce and analyse astronomical observations. Finally, further skills in various aspects of experimental physics will be gained.

Year 3

In your third year, your work will be closely linked to current research. How stars and planets actually form is a key topic, as well as the evolution of the universe via studying cosmology. Other advanced modules on physics research topics are also available, such as: spintronics, quantum optics and photonics, bionanophysics, quantum information, molecular simulation, advanced mechanics, medical physics, and physics education research.

We also offer work-related modules that involve innovation projects or short work placements. Our students are also able to study higher-level modules offered by the Schools of Medicine, Mathematics, Earth and Environment, Chemical Engineering, and Philosophy.

To prepare you for your final year research project, year 3 features a course on advanced observational and numerical astrophysical techniques, which emphasises open-ended investigations and includes written and verbal presentations.

Compulsory modules

Advanced Techniques in Astrophysics – 40 credits

Develop the ability to apply physical understanding and advanced problem-solving skills in designing and carrying out experimental studies. These are essential aspects you’ll need for both higher-level academic study and many professional careers for astrophysicists. You’ll carry out extended, open-ended studies using techniques that are commonplace in experimental research, honing key skills in experimentation, data handling, analysis, teamwork and communication in a professional context.

Advanced Topics in Physics – 40 credits

Develop a broad knowledge, understanding and application of core areas in advanced physics and be able to solve unseen, problem-led questions in these areas.

Cosmology – 20 credits

Gain the fundamental knowledge for understanding the basis for both observational and theoretical cosmology. You’ll see how the geometry of the Universe affects its evolution and how the contents of the Universe shape its geometry. You’ll study how we make measurements of distant stars and galaxies to study the properties of the expansion of the Universe, as well as studying the physics of the early Universe, when the seeds of the objects that turned into the Galaxies around us were first created. You’ll cover from the first 10^-43 seconds through to the present day.

Optional modules

Please note: The modules listed below are indicative of typical options and some of these options may not be available, depending on other modules you have selected already.

Molecular Simulations – 20 credits

Explore the theory of molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations of materials, including biomolecules, with practical experience using standard software packages to perform these simulations on high performance computing facilities. The module will provide insight into the use of computing simulation in industry and engineering.

Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics – 20 credits

This module provides an in-depth introduction to theoretical particle physics. It is a basis for further study in particle physics, astrophysics, detector physics and other areas of science and technology, which require elementary knowledge of particle physics concepts.

Medical Physics 1 – 20 credits

Module description coming soon.

Earth and Environment option 1 – 20 credits

Module description coming soon.

Philosophy of Modern Physics – 20 credits

Examine philosophical issues connected with modern physics (e.g. quantum mechanics, special and general relativity), such as determinism, causality and the nature of space and time.

Magnetism in Condensed Matter – 20 credits

Magnetic materials underpin much of modern technology and thus our everyday lives, from electric motors to data storage, sensors and computing. An understanding of magnetism in condensed matter requires knowledge in several areas of physics to be brought together, including classical and quantum mechanics, statistical physics and condensed matter physics. The first half of this module focuses on the theory of ferromagnetism, while the second half uncovers the physics behind the applications, such as permanent magnets and spin electronics.

Quantum Photonics – 20 credits

Gain insight into the quantum mechanics of open quantum systems. You'll study the interactions between light and matter on the level of single photons and single atoms and concepts widely used in quantum optics and in condensed matter physics and quantum field theory.

Medical Physics 2 – 20 credits

Module description coming soon.

Earth and Environment 2 – 20 credits

Module description coming soon.

Physics into Schools – 20 credits

If you’re considering a career in teaching, this module gives you the chance to understand and experience what it’s like to teach physics. By undertaking a placement or teaching activities, you’ll develop key skills utilised in the teaching profession. And while not exclusively for students considering a career in teaching, it can help you decide, and advantage you in this career route.

Group Innovation Project – 20 credits

This module brings together science and entrepreneurship. You'll work in a team to develop a business plan around an idea for an enterprise based on current scientific research that can help to address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This will culminate in a presentation to an "investment panel". Throughout the module, you’ll further develop your skills in teamwork, project and time management, commercial awareness and self-reflection while providing valuable insight into the commercial side of science.

Nuclear Operations – 20 credits

Nuclear energy will be a major part of the UK's strategy to generate low (no) carbon energy. To understand how the technology fits into that strategy, as well as how the UK nuclear industry has developed into one of the largest in the world, you need to know about a wide range of operations across the nuclear fuel cycle. This module will give you a basic understanding of the physics and chemistry behind nuclear operations, as well as the engineering.

Communicating Science – 20 credits

Explore a broad range of issues and associated challenges within science education. You’ll learn about historical developments in science education, how young people think about science concepts and approaches to teaching/learning science.

Year 4

For your final year project, you'll work as part of an internationally recognised research team on an open-ended project. You'll plan and organise your work, follow it through and present your results. This is a wonderful opportunity to take part and contribute to the latest astrophysics research. Some of our students even get to publish their research project in peer-reviewed journals.

You'll also get to study how violent phenomena shape the galaxies we see today. A range of other specialist Masters modules are available that will take you to the forefront of research in topics such as: general relativity and black holes, quantum field theory, liquid crystals, superconductivity and the physics of biological systems.

Research Project – 60 credits

This project gives you the chance to plan and execute a major scientific project, investigating and critically analysing the results and draw valid conclusions. You’ll use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour and interpret mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena. You’ll also have to communicate the complex scientific ideas concisely, accurately and informatively. It’s an excellent opportunity to build transferable and professional skills in time management, presentation and independent thinking.

Winds, Bubbles and Explosions – 15 credits

Massive stars inject radiative and mechanical energy into the interstellar medium via their intense photon fluxes, powerful winds, and SN explosions. This “feedback” is at least partially responsible for dispersing the molecular gas from massive star-forming regions. On larger scales, the energy injected from groups of massive stars powers galactic fountains and superwinds. This module covers the theory behind these processes and the necessary background to understand them.

Exoplanetary Systems – 15 credits

Explore observational techniques in the detection of exoplanets, the physics of exoplanet atmospheres and planet formation, and the principles of habitability. You’ll be taught the underlying theories and techniques and then work through several examples, learning how to apply the taught concepts to solve problems in this area.

Optional modules

Please note: The modules listed below are indicative of typical options and some of these options may not be available, depending on other modules you have selected already.

Soft Matter Physics: Liquid Crystals – 15 credits

Soft matter physics and liquid crystals are important states of matter that have an intermediate order between the liquid and crystal solids. They are relevant to many aspects of science and technology, from display devices to biological. This module will provide you with the background physics behind the principal liquid crystal phases.

Quantum Information Science and Technology – 15 credits

On completion of this module, you should be able to describe the applications and limitations of classical information theory and the processes of quantum communications. You’ll be able to solve numerical examples of problems in transmission of quantum information through noisy channels and explain, quantitatively, the fundamental processes of quantum entanglement. You'll also be able to describe the application of quantum measurements and entanglement to quantum key distribution and quantum metrology and appreciate the hardware and algorithmic requirements for quantum computation.

Current Research Topics in Physics – 15 credits

Attend research seminars given by internal and external speakers across a wide range of physics topics. This will allow you to critically analyse these results, applying your physics knowledge. You’ll also research and write about current research in physics using relevant online resources.

Quantum Field Theory – 15 credits

Learn how to explain and apply to simple problems all the basic principles, building blocks, tools and concepts of QFT.

Advanced Bionanophysics Research – 15 credits

Learn about and discuss current research topics in experimental bionanophysics. The module will have a strong emphasis on the emerging applications of bionanophysics and the development of new tools and technologies for biomedical and biomaterials applications.

Soft Matter Physics: Polymers, Colloids and Glasses – 15 credits

You'll explore and develop your understanding of the structure of polymers, dynamics and viscoelasticity of polymer melts and solutions, glass-formation in soft matter, colloids and colloidal interactions and phase separation in soft matter.

Physics of Biological Systems – 15 credits

This module illustrates through a set of examples at the forefront of the discipline how concepts from physics help understand how biological systems function. The range of systems sizes covered spans from molecules and their nanoscale assemblies to cells and tissues. These will be introduced at a level necessary to reveal salient physical phenomena at play and you’ll explore experimental techniques to analyse their physical properties. The physics of the systems will be treated quantitatively making use of mathematical techniques and physics concepts acquired in foundational physics courses.

Quantum Many-Body Physics – 15 credits

Build foundational knowledge in quantum many-body systems, based on the mathematical formalism of second quantisation and the ideas from quantum information such as entanglement. The module will take you to the cutting edge of research into quantum many-body systems, highlighting their fundamental role in condensed matter and high-energy physics, but also their promising applications in quantum computing.

General Relativity – 15 credits

Learn how to utilise techniques appropriate to differential geometry for familiar problems from Special Relativity before moving on to the study of how these methods can be used to derive the optimal means of studying particle dynamics in a curved space-time, and how physical laws can be translated into the same framework. The module will conclude with a study of applications of general relativity including cosmology and black holes.

Advanced Physics in Schools – 15 credits

Build your experience in teaching, whilst also using a critical eye to write a literature review of current issues in physics teaching. You’ll then deliver a presentation, with demonstration, to showcase a research topic adapted for teaching purposes.

Group Innovation Project in Sustainability – 15 credits

Learn about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, working in a team to develop a business plan around an idea for an enterprise based on current scientific research that will address these goals. The module will lead you through the various stages of setting up a new enterprise, from the inception and development of the idea itself, through preparation of a business plan and pitch to potential investors. Throughout the module, you’ll further develop your skills in teamwork, project and time management, commercial awareness and self-reflection while providing valuable insight into the commercial side of science.

Superconductivity – 15 credits

Explore the phenomenological properties and theories of superconductivity, including the principal features of superconducting tunnel junctions and contacts. You’ll also build an understanding of superconductivity using appropriate mathematical tools.

Project work

Throughout your degree, you’ll get hands-on experience through project work. This gives you the opportunity to explore your subject further as well as developing valuable skills in problem solving, communication and teamwork.

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either undertake a one-year work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.

Learning and teaching

We have an integrated approach to the teaching on our programmes, bringing together theoretical and practical learning to train you to become a physicist. You'll be taught through several different approaches, including lectures, workshops, small-group tutorials, laboratory work, project work and digitally enhanced learning.

In the first two years, our teaching is delivered using interactive in-person lectures, small group tutorials and larger workshops, where you'll develop your problem-solving skills. In later years, the lecturer will usually support their own specialist material through a combination of lectures and workshops.

Experimental physics and astrophysics is an essential part of our teaching. It provides you with the opportunity to develop your verbal and written communication skills through performing experiments individually, and as part of a group. Computer programming is an integral part of physics, and during the first two years, you'll be taught the programming skills that you need, using Python.

All students are assigned a personal tutor. During year 1, your personal tutor will also host your weekly tutorials, so you'll really get to know them well, alongside a small group of other students, which really helps our students to settle into university study. Your personal tutor is there to offer advice, monitor your progress, and be your first point of contact throughout your years of study.

We also have a peer assisted learning scheme, where higher year students meet weekly with first years to support their learning and help them to settle into university life.

There are many facilities that will support your studies including extensive computer clusters and study areas.

Taster lectures

Watch our taster lectures to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:

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.

Assessment

In this programme, we will utilise a variety of assessment methods, including written reports, open-book exams, online tests and presentations.

In years 3 and 4, the programme features a mandatory course on advanced techniques, which emphasises open-ended investigations and includes written and verbal presentations in the third year, and a research project with a written report, presentation and viva in the fourth year.

Additionally, the programme places emphasis on the development of teamwork skills, as they are becoming increasingly important in today's workplaces. Thus, group work opportunities are an integral part of the programme.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA including Physics and Mathematics.

Excludes A Level General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Where an A Level science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A Level at the stated grade.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), International Project Qualification (IPQ) and Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (ASCC): We recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, and where an applicant offers an A in the EPQ, IPQ or ASCC we may make an offer of AAB at A-Level.

GCSE: English Language at grade C (4) or above, or an appropriate English language qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Overall pass of the Access to HE, with 45 credits at level 3. Of these 45 credits, 30 level 3 credits must be in Physics and Mathematics and must be passed with Distinction.

BTEC

BTEC qualifications in relevant disciplines are considered in combination with A Level Physics and Mathematics. Applicants should contact the School to discuss.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M2 to include Physics and Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate

18 points at Higher Level to include 5 in Higher Level Physics and 5 in Higher Level Mathematics.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H1, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2 including H2 in both Physics and Mathematics.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AA at Advanced Higher in Physics and Mathematics with AABBB at Higher.

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 a contextual 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 contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: ABB including physics and mathematics. Excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, please contact the Admissions Team.

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 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any one 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.

Fees

UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 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 UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

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.

Additional cost information

Whilst there are no compulsory additional costs, it would be helpful to bring your own calculator. You’ll have access to all the recommended texts and a vast supply of books and academic journals from the university libraries.

You’ll also have access to the extensive IT facilities on campus including 24/7 computer clusters with everything you need to complete your work.

However, you may wish to purchase your own books and/or computer.

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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.

Applying

Apply to this course and check the deadline for applications through the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Admissions guidance

Read our admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

What happens after you’ve applied

You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.

UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.

How long will it take to receive a decision

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.

Offer holder events

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.

International applicants

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.

We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Read about visas, immigration and other information here.

If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Physics and Astronomy

Contact us

School of Physics and Astronomy Undergraduate Admissions Enquiries

Email: physics.admissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

There are extensive employment opportunities in the field of physics across numerous industries, which is why physics graduates are in demand for some of the highest paid and most satisfying roles in employment.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.

Qualifying with a degree in physics from Leeds will set you up with the numerical, analytical and problem-solving skills and specialist subject knowledge needed to pursue an exciting career across a wide range of sectors, including:

  • Aerospace
  • IT
  • Engineering
  • Finance (including Fintech)
  • Medical Physics
  • Patent Attorney
  • Tech Consulting
  • Aerospace
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Teaching
  • Environment
  • Science Journalism
  • Research

Throughout your course – especially in your final year research project – you'll have the chance to advance your knowledge and experience, whilst developing widely transferable skills desirable to employers including teamwork, independent research, analysis and communication.

Here’s an insight into the job roles some of our most recent physics graduates have obtained:

  • Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Clinical Scientist, Christie Hospital NHS Trust
  • Electronic Engineer, NASA
  • IT Specialist, IBM
  • Nuclear Engineer, Rolls Royce Submarines
  • Nuclear Independent Oversight Inspector, Sellafield Limited
  • Physicist, AMEC
  • Research Scientist, National Physical Laboratory
  • Science Teacher
  • Scientific Officer, Met. Office

Read our alumni profiles to find out more about where our students are working.

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You'll be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability Team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

We’re also an active partner in the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy, where we hold the UK’s largest annual Physics Careers Fair, with employers looking exclusively for physicists.

You'll also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.

From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.

This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more about Study abroad.

Work placements

A placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
  • Build industry contacts within your chosen field
  • Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
  • Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
  • Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
  • Improve your employability

If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you'll be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.

With the help and support of our dedicated Employability Team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.

Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:

  • RF, IT, Secure Networks & Communications 2021 Year in Industry, QinetiQ
  • Industrial Placement - Technology Network Engineering, Vodafone Limited
  • Pricing and Supply Chain Analyst, Solidigm
  • QA Engineer, Elder Studios Ltd
  • Software Engineer, Renishaw

Find out more about Industrial placements.

Student profile: James Cooney

I really enjoy how much practical work there is. You’re not just sat in lecture theatres for hours on end. You will be applying the knowledge you’ve gained from lectures.
Find out more about James Cooney's time at Leeds