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University of Southampton

Physics with Astronomy (4 years)

UCAS Code: F3FM

Master of Physics - MPhys

Entry requirements


A level

A,A,B-A,A,A

AAA-AAB including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical or AABC including grades AA in mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking. ‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Principal

D3,D3,D3

D3,D3,D3, in three Principal subjects including mathematics/further mathematics and physics 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. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Extended Project

A

If you are taking an EPQ in addition to 3 A levels, you will receive the following offer in addition to the standard A-level offer: AAB including mathematics/further mathematics (minimum grade A) and physics (minimum grade A), with a pass in the physics Practical and grade A in the EPQ

GCSE/National 4/National 5

Applicants must hold GCSE English language (or GCSE English) (minimum grade 4/C) and mathematics (minimum grade 4/C)

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

36-34

Pass, with 36-34 points overall, with 18-17 points required at Higher Level, including 6 at Higher Level in mathematics/further mathematics and 6 at Higher Level in physics Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer. Applications where Higher Level subjects have been studied without the full Diploma, will also be considered on a case by case basis.

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

H1,H1,H2,H2,H2,H2

H1,H1,H2,H2,H2,H2, including H1 in mathematics and physics

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (first teaching from September 2016)

D

D in the BTEC National Extended Certificate plus grades AA in A-level mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical We do not accept the BTEC National Extended Diploma We do not accept the BTEC National Diploma Applicants with a BTEC National Extended Diploma or the BTEC National Diploma should apply for the Engineering/Physics/Mathematics/Geophysics Foundation Year ‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)

D

D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma plus grades AA in A-level mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical We do not accept the BTEC Extended Diploma We do not accept the BTEC Diploma Applicants with a BTEC Extended Diploma or the BTEC Diploma should apply for the Engineering/Physics/Mathematics/Geophysics Foundation Year ‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.

Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

A-B

AAA-AAB including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical or AA from two A-levels including mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical and A-B from the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate or AABC including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical or AA from two A-levels including mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical, and grades BC from a third A-level and the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking. ‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. A pass in the physics Practical is required where applicable. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

UCAS Tariff

136-144

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

90%
Applicants receiving offers

About this course


Course option

4.0years

Full-time | 2020

Subjects

Astronomy

Physics

Enter the realm of extreme physics and learn the science behind powerful phenomena such as white dwarfs, black holes and neutron stars, the evolution of the universe, the formation of galaxies and space weather. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge of a professional astronomer, taught by academics who are directly involved in astronomy research. Whether you choose to do a PhD and become an astronomer, or use your advanced computing and data analysis skills in another profession, the knowledge you gain will underpin your lifelong passion for astronomy.

A special feature of this programme is the study visit to Tenerife, where our top 12 students have the opportunity to visit the Izana Observatory for a period of astronomical observation. This degree is also the gateway to our MPhys Astrophysics with a Year Abroad flagship programme, which offers a unique opportunity to spend your fourth year at the prestigious Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Boston, USA. Our top-performing students can transfer onto this programme at the end of second year.

The University of Southampton is a great place to study physics; we rank fourth in the Russell Group for course satisfaction by the Guardian University Guide 2020. And 100% of MPhys Physics with Astronomy students were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course in the last National Student Survey results (autumn 2018).

You’ll have access to exceptional research-grade facilities, including a rooftop observatory. 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.

Modules

You will cover core physics modules, as well as astronomy topics such as solar flares, white dwarfs, black holes and quasars. You will also work on cutting-edge research projects, which often involve working with the latest results from international observatories. The degree has been designed to maximise student choice by allowing you to tailor the degree structure to suit your own interests. You can study modules within Physics and Astronomy, or from across the wider University, such as law, management or languages. Learn more about the range of optional modules available: http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk/programmes/f3fm-mphys-astronomy-4-yrs#modules

Throughout your degree, you’ll also develop key transferable skills such as problem solving, data analysis and computing, which are sought after by a range employers. During year two, you’ll also have access to a programme of physics-focused career sessions, timetabled to fit in with your studies, which include application and interview workshops as well as talks from visiting professionals.

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

Select where you currently live to see what you'll pay:

Channel Islands
£9,250
per year
England
£9,250
per year
EU
£9,250
per year
International
£21,580
per year
Northern Ireland
£9,250
per year
Scotland
£9,250
per year
Wales
£9,250
per year

The Uni


Course location:

Main Site - Highfield Campus

Department:

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.

84%
med
Physics

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.

Astronomy

Sorry, no information to show

This is usually because there were too few respondents in the data we receive to be able to provide results about the subject at this university.


Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

94%
UK students
6%
International students
74%
Male students
26%
Female students
90%
2:1 or above
8%
Drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)

A
B
B

Physics

Teaching and learning

83%
Staff make the subject interesting
85%
Staff are good at explaining things
83%
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
77%
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

89%
Library resources
73%
IT resources
88%
Course specific equipment and facilities
81%
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

83%
UK students
17%
International students
78%
Male students
22%
Female students
82%
2:1 or above
8%
Drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)

A
B
B

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.

Astronomy

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.

£25,000
med
Average annual salary
94%
med
Employed or in further education
100%
med
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

23%
Information technology and telecommunications professionals
16%
Business, research and administrative professionals
11%
Teaching and educational professionals
What do graduate employment figures really tell you?

Not a lot of people study astronomy as a first degree, and if you want to be one of the small number of people who start work as an astronomer - often overseas - every year, you will need a doctorate — so at least a third of graduates go into further study. Astronomy graduates, however, are versatile, going into all parts of the jobs market - their good technical, data and maths skills taking them into IT and business especially. However, if you want to find out more specifically about the prospects for your chosen subject, it might be a good idea to go on open days and talk to tutors about what previous graduates from your chosen subject went on to do.

Physics

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.

£25,000
med
Average annual salary
95%
med
Employed or in further education
83%
med
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

24%
Information technology and telecommunications professionals
15%
Business, research and administrative professionals
10%
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.

Astronomy

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

£25k

£25k

£31k

£31k

£32k

£32k

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.

Physics

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

£25k

£25k

£31k

£31k

£32k

£32k

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.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

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.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

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?

Have a question about this info? Learn more here