Physics & Astrophysics
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For Undergraduate Applicants
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Physics and Astrophysics Course Brochure
Physics/Astrophysics at Keele was ranked #1 in the 2016 and 2017 National Student Survey (NSS) for overall student satisfaction amongst UK Physics and Astronomy courses. Specific strengths were the accessibility of staff, quality of feedback on student work, course organisation and that students felt they were part of a community.
Study Physics at Keele and you’ll learn to apply mathematics and computing to formulate and solve a wide range of physical problems. You’ll use mathematics to describe the physical world, and learn to plan and conduct investigations before reporting your results. Your course will be informed by the research interests of your teaching staff: primarily astrophysics and condensed matter physics. Regular laboratory sessions will enable you to investigate unfamiliar phenomena and acquire specialist techniques, but you’ll also develop invaluable transferable skills such as communication, IT and interpersonal skills. We operate an open-door policy which enables you to have excellent and flexible access to staff to seek advice or feedback on your work.
Entry into the Physics and Astrophysics Degrees Scheme is by the following routes.
3-Year BSc Honours Degrees
Combined Honours BSc Physics or Combined Honours BSc Astrophysics
You can combine either Physics or Astrophysics with another science or a non-science subject to achieve a Combined Honours BSc degree. The second subjects available in 2018 are:
Accounting, Computer Science, Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Environmental Science, Education, Forensic Science, Geology, Geography, Physical Geography, Human Geography, Mathematics, Music Technology
For a full listing of possible subject combinations and UCAS degree codes, see the 2018 Undergraduate Course List.
You may study both subjects with equal weight for three years to achieve a degree in "Physics and ... " or "Astrophysics and ...", or you may choose to specialise in Physics/Astrophysics (or the other subject) in Year 3, and the resulting BSc Honours degree will then be "Physics with ... " or "Astrophysics with ... " (and similar if specialising in the other subject).
This offers flexibility should your interests and career aspirations focus more sharply onto Physics or Astrophysics during the first two years of your course. The decision to specialise in Physics or Astrophysics is not made upon application to Keele, but can be made at any point up to the end of Year 2 in the degree. The choice is available to students with any second degree subject who meet the minimum credit requirements in both subjects during Years 1 and 2.
Note that if Physics or Astrophysics is studied for 3 years (either equal weight or specialising in Year 3), then your degree will be accredited by the Institute of Physics.
Single Honours BSc Physics or Single Honours BSc Physics with Astrophysics
Single Honours BSc Physics [F300] or Physics with Astrophysics [F301]
You can choose to completely specialise in Physics or Astrophysics by choosing one of our Single Honours programmes. These routes incorporate all of the corresponding Combined Honours courses, but as you are devoting all your time in the three years to Physics/Astrophysics they offer additional time and space (4 more modules per year) to increase both the depth and breadth of your studies. There is a special focus on the applications of theoretical, mathematical and computational techniques to solving problems ranging from the physics of galaxies to the properties of graphene, and additional opportunities for independent research and projects.
4-year BSc Honours Degrees with a Science Foundation Year
Physics with Science Foundation Year [F303] or Astrophysics with Science Foundation Year [F513]
If your qualifications are such that you cannot enter directly onto one of our 3-year BSc degree programmes, a 4-year degree with an integrated Science Foundation Year (SFY) at Keele may be an alternative. The SFY provides experience of the relevant scientific background, as well as development of practical, mathematical and study skills. These courses could be appropriate if, for example, you had not studied the sciences beyond GCSE, or if you are a mature student seeking to enter higher education. Successful completion of the integrated Foundation Year will allow you to progress either onto the first year of the 3-year Combined Honours or the Single Honours programmes - there are different Foundation Year programmes and success criteria for the two routes. However, Foundation Years are administered separately and have their own entry requirements and admissions policies. For details and the appropriate contact for further information, please see the SFY webpages.
OpenPlus: BSc Honours in Physics (or Astrophysics) and Mathematics
The OpenPlus scheme is a partnership with the Open University that allows you to study a set of prescribed Physics and Mathematics modules with the OU on a part-time basis over two years. This forms the equivalent of the first year of a 3-year Combined Honours BSc degree in Physics with Mathematics, or Astrophysics with Mathematics. Upon completion of the OU modules, you transfer to Keele to study Years 2 and 3 of the degree full-time. The total length of the course is therefore 4 years, and the final award is a BSc from Keele. Applications to OpenPlus do not go through UCAS but are made directly to the Physics & Astrophysics Admissions Tutor at Keele (see contact details below). Contact us for further information and see the OpenPlus webpages at the OU.
If you have any questions about studying Physics or Astrophysics at Keele, contact
Professor Rob Jeffries
Telephone : +44 (0) 1782 733892
Fax : +44 (0)1782 733750
Scholarships and Bursaries
Keele University recognises academic excellence in our incoming students through the Keele Excellence Scholarships programme. Bursaries are also available to students with demonstrated financial need. Details and further information about other sources of financial support are available from the Keele Student Funding webpages.
Combined Honours BSc degrees in Physics/Astrophysics at Keele are accredited by the Institute of Physics, with any choice of second subject as long as Physics/Astrophysics is studied for three years. The Single Honours programmes are new, but contain all of the Combined Honours programmes as a subset. We are in the process of applying to the Institute of Physics for accreditation of these programmes.
Quality Assurance Agency Report
The QAA rates all of our teaching, curriculum, and student support as Excellent, citing our:
"good quality of achievement by successful students..."
"excellent quality of student support and guidance..."
"excellent observatory ... to support astrophysics provision..."
"rigorous and well-considered assessment processes..."