Physics BSc (Hons) - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 6

Final award and programme/pathway title

BSc (Hons) Physics

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
Ord Physics
DipHE Physics
CertHE Physics

Professional recognition

Institute of Physics (IOP)
Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time UCK10001 360 credits and 180 ECTS credits
Full-time with PTY UCK10025 480 credits and 240 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Physics, astronomy and astrophysics

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences - Mathematics & Physics

Programme Leader

SEAR Richard (Maths & Phys)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • To provide a range of physics-based degree pathways, matched to the needs of industry and society and to the aspirations of students
  • Develop students' base of knowledge, understanding and practical/computing skills, plus their mathematical, conceptual, communication and problem-solving skills, so as to prepare them for Employment or further study with the expertise expected of a physicist
  • Allow students flexibility in studying specialist subjects in areas of physics or in other areas of interest that are related to likely professional pathways for physics graduates
  • Count towards qualifying graduates for AMlnstP, MInstP and Chartered Physicist status with the loP

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Physics Fundamentals: electromagnetism, quantum + classical mechanics, thermodynamics, wave phenomena, properties of matter K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Mathematical methods and concepts appropriate to the description of physics and physics problems K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Specialised topics within physics in a broad coverage of specialised topics K Ord, BSc (Hons)
Scientific method as demonstrated by development of theories and planning of experiments K Ord, BSc (Hons)
Practical methods for performing and analysing experiments K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Appropriate IT + computer programming methods K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Conceptualise practical and abstract problems in physics and related areas C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Identify relevant principles in physics problems C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Formulate mathematical methods of description, solution of problems in physics and related areas C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Formulate mathematical models for computer C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Descriptions of physical phenomena C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Cognise numerical data C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Interpret data taking into account possible incompleteness, experimental and statistical error C Ord, BSc (Hons)
Use existing qualitative and/or good understanding of physical theories to assimilate new theories and information C Ord, BSc (Hons)
Formulate suitable methods of presentation of data to communicate results effectively C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Plan + execute an experiment/investigation P CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Analyse numerical results of an experiment or investigation and evaluate and interpret experimental errors and significance P CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Competently and effectively present numerical and graphical data, including use of appropriate computer packages P CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Clearly and accurately communicate results, including report writing P CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Plan and undertake an individual project and access relevant literature P Ord, BSc (Hons)
Show sound familiarity with basic physics apparatus P DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Formulate problems into soluble form T Ord, BSc (Hons)
Solve problems with well-defined solutions T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Solve open-ended problems T Ord, BSc (Hons)
Undertake independent investigations T Ord, BSc (Hons)
Read demanding texts T Ord, BSc (Hons)
Communicate complex information in a clear and concise fashion T Ord, BSc (Hons)
Manipulate precise and intricate ideas T Ord, BSc (Hons)
Construct logical arguments T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Pick up and use new IT packages and computer languages T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over three academic years, consisting of 360 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Full-time with PTY

This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over four academic years, consisting of 480 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5, 6 and the optional professional training year). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Professional Training Year (PTY) - Professional Training Year

Module Selection for Professional Training Year (PTY) - Professional Training Year


Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) Y
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) Y Module placement can take place in the STEM Public Engagement and Outreach module (PHY3063), in which students can be placed in partner schools for teaching experience. The professional training year is available for all BSc students, with support from the Professional Training Office. Students must apply for advertised placements and places are not guaranteed.
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) Y
Dual degree N

Other information

This programme is aligned to the University of Surrey's Five Pillars of Curriculum Design, namely: Global and Cultural Capabilities; Employability; Digital Capabilities; Resourcefulness and Resilience, and Sustainability.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Students engage with physical concepts and technological advancements that are of benefit to society worldwide. This technological progress addresses issues such as access to clean energy, healthcare, communication, and transportation, thereby benefitting different cultures globally. Students take part in scientific outreach in both core modules early in the programme and optional modules in later years, this enables our graduates to promote scientific literacy. In addition, this programme includes Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) workshops which aim to increase awareness of cultural, religious, or racial differences while delivering information about how a person can change their behavior to be more inclusive. Through this training, students are encouraged to diversify their knowledge and reflect upon their experiences as a physicist and in education. Through this we seek to prepare our graduates for work in large and diverse teams in their future careers.

Employability: Our programmes provide students with a blend of valuable scientific and mathematical expertise, problem-solving abilities, presentational skills, and other transferable skills sought by employers. These advanced skills are highly valued in sectors such as finance, engineering, data science, and technology. Students learn to apply concepts using industry-standard coding languages, such as Python, and students develop skills in communicating complex ideas clearly both through scientific writing and orally. The capacity to analyse and resolve complex problems through physical and mathematical reasoning, critical thinking, and logical deduction carries universal significance and is highly valued by employers. Finally, the principles and methodologies of our physics programmes are applicable across a diverse range of industries. Knowledge of physics can lead to careers in fields including healthcare (Medical Physics), environmental science, energy, finance, and the emerging quantum computing industry. Our range of optional modules exposes students to ideas in these areas and provides valuable experience for future employment.

Digital Capabilities: By integrating digital tools, programming skills, and data analysis techniques into the curriculum, our programmes equip students to employ physical and mathematical knowledge in a digital context, fostering the digital acumen essential for success in today's technology-driven world. Computer modelling and simulation are a key component of our programmes in order to understand and describe physical phenomena and require the use of computational languages such as Python. Students utilise advanced laboratory equipment and technology gaining hands-on experience with sophisticated instruments which helps with understanding how to operate and leverage technological tools effectively. Experiments and simulations in physics generate vast amounts of data and students learn statistical methods and data analysis techniques to interpret results. Such skills are transferable to various fields where data-driven decision-making is essential, such as data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. While studying on our programmes students also engage with various digital learning tools and our virtual learning environment thus learning to collaborate effectively in a technologically advanced work environment.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Physics involves tacking complex problems that sometimes lack straightforward solutions. Our programmes provide a learning journey whereby increasing complex ideas and problems are developed and explored which cultivates adaptability and innovation in the face of challenges. Frequent exposure to challenging problems, tackled both individually and in groups, encourages students to develop resourcefulness and resilience by exploring innovative approaches and thinking critically. The complex ideas and theories that students engage with on our programmes help students to further develop their resourcefulness by learning to break down these problems into manageable parts which can be tackled step-by-step. In addition, the need to make connections to other disciplines encourages students to broaden their skill sets and develop resourcefulness in applying interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving. Our students are, therefore, equipped with the general skills of resourcefulness and resilience which are applicable in all roles in society.

Sustainability: By studying physics our graduates can contribute to the development of technologies, systems and solutions that promote sustainability. Physics contributes to a deeper understanding of natural phenomena, leading to advancements that can address challenges related to energy, climate change, resource management and environmental conservation. By employing mathematical and computational modelling, data analysis, and optimization techniques, students learn to assess environmental and economic systems for informed decisions promoting sustainability.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.