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University of Southampton

Physics (4 years)

UCAS Code: F303

Master of Physics - MPhys

Entry requirements

A level


AAA, to include Mathematics and Physics. EPQ Offer: AAB, to include Mathematics at Grade A and Physics at grade A, and grade A or A* in the EPQ A level science subjects considered include biology, human biology, physics, mathematics, psychology, environmental studies, geology. Science practical components must be passed. General Studies, Critical Thinking, and Use of Mathematics are excluded for entry.

Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Principal


D3,D3,D3, including Mathematics at grade D3, and Physics at grade D3. Cambridge Pre-U's can be used in combination with other qualifications such as A Levels to achieve the equivalent of the typical offer, where D3 can be used in lieu of A Level grade A or grade M2 can be used in lieu of A Level grade B.

Extended Project


The University of Southampton values the Extended Project Qualification. Applicants taking the EPQ in addition to three A levels, will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ. For more information on the University of Southampton’s EPQ Admissions Policy, please see our webpage: www.southampton.ac.uk/learnwithustransition/epq-support/admissions-policy.page

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme


Typical offer: Pass, with overall score of 34, with 18 points required at Higher Level: including 6 points from Mathematics and 6 points from Physics. International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP): The University of Southampton accepts the IBCP for entry to their degree programmes, recognising the value of combining academic skills with practical skills, providing a solid preparation for university level work. Offers will be made on the individual components of the IBCP. Applicants not taking the full IBCP but presenting with a combination of a Level 3 vocational qualification and IB Certificates may still be considered. Applicants are advised to contact the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering Admissions Office at fpse-ugapply@soton.ac.uk for more information.

Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017)


H1,H1,H2,H2,H2,H2, including H1 in Maths and Physics

Scottish Higher


AAAAA, including Mathematics and Physics at Advanced Higher Level.

AAA from three A levels, including Mathematics and Physics, OR, AA from two A levels, including Mathematics and Physics, plus A from the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate.

UCAS Tariff


We've calculated how many Ucas points you'll need for this course.

Applicants receiving offers

About this course

Course option


Full-time | 2019



The distinctive four-year MPhys Physics degree is the ideal choice for students who want to become professional physicists. From quantum mechanics to the evolution of the universe, you’ll explore the topics that interest you most at a profound level, learning from experts who share your passion. All MPhys programmes build on the BSc Physics, allowing for extra specialisation and depth of study.

This degree is also the pathway to three flagship programmes, which our top students can transfer to in their second year. On the MPhys Particle Physics with a Research Year Abroad flagship degree, students have a unique opportunity to relocate to CERN in Switzerland. The MPhys Physics with a Year of Experimental Research flagship degree enables students to spend their final year immersed in our world-class laboratories. And the MPhys Physics with Industrial Placement flagship degree gives students the opportunity to spend six months working on an original research project in an industrial laboratory.

The University of Southampton is a great place to study physics; we’re ranked fourth in the Russell Group for course satisfaction in physics by the Guardian University Guide 2020. You’ll also have access to exceptional research-grade facilities, including a rooftop observatory and specialist photonics labs. Our degrees are a passport to vocational and non-vocational careers alike, with recent graduates employed in roles ranging from physicists and engineers, to actuaries and statisticians, scientific journalists and medical researchers. Many students go onto further study.

This course is accredited by the Institute of Physics.


Students undertake four years of study. Core modules include the study of classical mechanics, electromagnetism, motion andrelativity, the quantum world of atomic, nuclear and particle physics, quantum physics of materials, wave physics and light as an electromagnetic. Around a quarter of your study will involve modules chosen from a range of options, enabling you to tailor the degree to your interests and career aspirations. MPhys students can study our MPhys ‘with degree’ modules. In your third and fourth year we offer numerous optional modules that reflect the specialist areas relevant to your course and key areas that will be critical in the future within the overall context of Physics and Astronomy. We place great importance on the development of graduate skills vital for future employment by adding transferrable skills into learning and teaching, right from the first lecture. Our flexible learning programme also allows you to personalise your learning by choosing interdisciplinary modules or modules from other programmes such as modern languages, law and management. For further details on optional modules available:

Assessment methods

For MPhys programmes, assessment in the first and second year is a mixture of unseen written examinations, marked problem-based coursework and laboratory work. In the third year assessment is mainly by examination, although laboratory-based, computer-based and dissertation modules will use different assessment methods, as appropriate. In the fourth year of the MPhys programmes, laboratory work is replaced by a project which involves continuous assessment, written reports and an oral examination.

Tuition fees

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Northern Ireland
per year
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The Uni

Course location:

Main Site - Highfield Campus


Physics and Astronomy

TEF rating:

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What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.


How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.


Teaching and learning

Staff make the subject interesting
Staff are good at explaining things
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

Library resources
IT resources
Course specific equipment and facilities
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

UK students
International students
Male students
Female students
2:1 or above
Drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)


After graduation

The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.


What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

Average annual salary
Employed or in further education
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

Information technology and telecommunications professionals
Business, research and administrative professionals
Business, finance and related associate professionals
What do graduate employment figures really tell you?

Although the subject has seen a bit of resurgence in recent years, the UK is still felt to be short of physics graduates, and in particular physicists training as teachers. If you want a career in physics research — in all sorts of areas, from atmospheric physics to lasers - you'll probably need to take a doctorate, and so have a think about where you would like to do that and how you might fund it (the government funds many physics doctorates, so you might not find it as hard as you think). With that in mind, it's not surprising that just over a fifth of physics graduates go on to take doctorates when they finish their degree, and well over a third of physicists take some kind of postgraduate study in total. Physics is highly regarded and surprisingly versatile, which is why physics graduates who decide not to stay in education are more likely to go into well-paid jobs in the finance industry than they are to go into science. The demand and versatility of physics degrees goes to explain why they're amongst the best-paid science graduates.

What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.


The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.







Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

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This is what the university has told Ucas about the course. Use it to get a quick idea about what makes it unique compared to similar courses, elsewhere.

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Course location and department:

This is what the university has told Ucas about the course. Use it to get a quick idea about what makes it unique compared to similar courses, elsewhere.

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Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF):

We've received this information from the Department for Education, via Ucas. This is how the university as a whole has been rated for its quality of teaching: gold silver or bronze. Note, not all universities have taken part in the TEF.

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This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

We calculate a mean rating of all responses to indicate whether this is high, medium or low compared to the same subject area at other universities.

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This information is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

You can use this to get an idea of who you might share a lecture with and how they progressed in this subject, here. It's also worth comparing typical A-level subjects and grades students achieved with the current course entry requirements; similarities or differences here could indicate how flexible (or not) a university might be.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

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Graduate field commentary:

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit have provided some further context for all graduates in this subject area, including details that numbers alone might not show

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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