Physics with Philosophy

Key Information


4-5 years

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool



Academic Year

Course Overview

This joint degree programme introduces fundamental and applied physics, while developing a philosophical understanding of the world we live in and the place we occupy within it.

Combining physics with philosophy offers students the chance to study, reflect on, and understand scientific material. Students can apply philosophical theory and ask the fundamental questions designed to investigate, enhance, and expand knowledge.

Students have the opportunity to learn from, and work alongside, our team of academics who can support and encourage them to apply imagination, creativity, and rigour to the solution of real-world problems. Individual and group projects during the course are designed to develop transferable skills.

Those who choose to enrol on this MPhys programme continue their study for a fourth year at an advanced level. They have the opportunity to examine topics in greater depth and undertake substantial additional project work.

Why Choose Lincoln

Subject ranked in the top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction*

Additional problem-solving tutorials

Informed by cutting-edge research

Guest speakers from around the world

Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP)

Placement Year available

*Complete University Guide 2024 (out of 47 ranking institutions).

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How You Study

The course is designed to provide a thorough grounding in experimental and theoretical physics, alongside the study of philosophy. It is structured to enable students to engage with the core physics curriculum and to examine it from different perspectives more deeply.

Students can develop critical thinking and reflective skills alongside numerical and analytical methods of physics and mathematics, and practical scientific and research techniques. The course also aims to develop a wide range of transferable skills, including logical reasoning, critical analysis, communication, and teamwork.

In the first year modules include Geometrical Optics, Waves and Mechanics; Calculus; and Introduction to Philosophical Logic. Progressing into the second year students can study modules including Differential Equations, Condensed Matter Physics, and Philosophy of Science. The third year offers modules such as Physics of the Universe, Quantum Mechanics, and Contemporary Problems in Philosophy, in addition to a range of optional modules including Methods of Mathematical Physics, Newton's Revolution, and Fluid Dynamics.

The fourth year offers the opportunity to examine topics in greater depth and undertake substantial additional project work.

The course is taught via lectures, problem solving classes, computer based classes and seminars.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Calculus 2024-25MTH1002MLevel 42024-25This module focuses on the concepts of the derivative and the Riemann integral, which are indispensable in modern sciences. Two approaches are used: both intuitive-geometric, and mathematically rigorous, based on the definition of continuous limits. Important results are the Mean Value Theorem, leading to the representation of some functions as power series (the Taylor series), and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus which establishes the relationship between differentiation and integration. Further calculus tools are explored, such as the general properties of the derivative and the Riemann integral, as well as the techniques of integration. In this module, students may deal with many "popular" functions used throughout mathematics.CoreComputer Algebra and Technical Computing 2024-25MTH1006MLevel 42024-25This module presents an introduction to computer packages for analytic formulas manipulation (computer algebra) and technical computing. Students will also have the opportunity to develop skills including; utilising a logbook as a factual record and as reflective self-assessment to support their learning.CoreElectricity, Magnetism, Thermal and Quantum Physics 2024-25PHY1003MLevel 42024-25This module covers basic notions of modern physics. In electricity and magnetism these include Coulomb’s law, electrostatic vector and potential fields, magnetic fields, motion of charges and currents in electromagnetic fields, and the basics of electric circuits. In thermal these include the zeroth, and first and second laws of thermodynamics applied to different model situations. The quantum physics part introduces notions such as the wave-particle duality, the concept of wavefunction, energy quantization, and simple models of the atom.CoreGeometrical Optics, Waves and Mechanics 2024-25PHY1002MLevel 42024-25This module introduces established theories describing optical, acoustic, and mechanical phenomena. The optics part includes Fermat’s principle of light propagation, Snell’s laws of reflection and refraction, thin lenses, and Huygens’s principle. The mechanics part includes the basic mathematical tools to describe the motion of objects (kinematics) and the laws of Newton (dynamics) underpinning these observed motions. The wave part of the module includes a discussion of propagating waves, the Doppler effect, phase and group velocities, and standing waves.CoreIntroduction to Moral Philosophy 2024-25PHL1004MLevel 42024-25This module is designed to introduce students to the three areas of discussion in contemporary moral philosophy. Metaethics is concerned with the nature of morality itself and questions such as ‘Are there moral facts?’, ‘If there are moral facts, what is their origin?’. Normative ethics is the attempt to provide a general theory that tells us how to live and enables us to determine what is morally right and wrong. Applied ethics involves the application of ethical principles to specific moral issues (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, animal rights) and the evaluation of the answers arrived at through this application. This module aims to introduce students to all three of these branches of ethics.CoreIntroduction to Philosophical Logic 2024-25PHL1002MLevel 42024-25This module introduces some of the basic ideas and concepts of philosophical logic and the technical vocabulary that is required for understanding contemporary philosophical writing. Students are introduced to logical concepts such as validity, soundness, consistency, possibility, necessity, contingency, inductive and deductive forms of argument, necessary and sufficient conditions, the rudiments of formalisation, and a range of logical fallacies. The emphasis will be on using logic to construct and evaluate arguments.CoreLaboratory 1 2024-25PHY1004MLevel 42024-25This module will provide students with the opportunity to learn practical skills needed for physical laboratory experiments. The module provides a structured introduction to laboratory skills development with particular emphasis on measurement uncertainty. This module explores measurement and estimation followed by techniques in data analysis and presentation of data. Students will also have the opportunity to develop practical skills in a set of experiments which examples may include: basic electronic circuits, pendulum, Hooke's law, heat capacity, lenses.CoreLinear Algebra 2024-25MTH1004MLevel 42024-25This module describes vector spaces and matrices. Matrices are regarded as representations of linear mappings between vector spaces. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors are introduced, which lead to diagonalisation and reduction to other canonical forms. Special types of mappings and matrices (orthogonal, symmetric) are also introduced.CoreDifferential Equations 2025-26MTH2004MLevel 52025-26Calculus techniques already provide solutions of simple first-order differential equations. Solution of second-order differential equations can sometimes be achieved by certain manipulations. Students may learn about existence and geometric interpretations of solutions, even when calculus techniques do not yield solutions in a simple form. This is a part of the existence theory of ordinary differential equations and leads to fundamental techniques of the asymptotic and qualitative study of their solutions, including the important question of stability. Fourier series and Fourier transform are introduced. This module provides an introduction to the classical second-order linear partial differential equations and techniques for their solution. The basic concepts and methods are introduced for typical partial differential equations representing the three classes: parabolic, elliptic, and hyperbolic.CoreElectrodynamics 2025-26PHY2002MLevel 52025-26This modules covers the first established classical theory of fields, namely the theory of electromagnetic fields. After introducing the necessary mathematical tools such as curl, divergence, and gradient, the module discusses the macroscopic and microscopic Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism as well as their solutions for some model problems in vacuum and in some materials. Topics covered include Gauss’s law, Maxwell’s law of induction, Faraday’s law, time-dependent electromagnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and dielectric and magnetic materials.CoreExistentialism and Phenomenology 2025-26PHL2006MLevel 52025-26The aim of this module is to give students a thorough understanding of two intimately related philosophical traditions that came to prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries: existentialism and phenomenology. Each attempts to address the nature and meaning of human existence from the perspective of individual, first-person experience, focusing in particular on fundamental questions of being, meaning, death, nihilism, freedom, responsibility, value, human relations, and religious faith. The module will examine selected existential themes through the writings of thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus. Since existentialism is as much a artistic phenomenon as a philosophical one, students will also be given the opportunity to explore existentialist ideas in the works of various literary figures, such as Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and Milan Kundera.CoreGroup Project 2025-26MTH2005MLevel 52025-26This module aims to provide students with the experience of working as part of a team on a project. Students will have the opportunity to produce a set of deliverables relevant to their programme of study. Final deliverables will be negotiated between the group and their supervisor, the module coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that each project covers the learning outcomes of the module. Groups are expected to manage their own processes, and to hold regular meetings both with and without their supervisor. Groups will be allocated by the module coordinator and other members of staff. The process of development of the topic under study and the interaction and management of group members underpins the assessment of skills in the module.CoreIndustrial and Econo-Physics 2025-26PHY2003MLevel 52025-26This module describes how modern physics is used in everyday industrial practice. Examples used in this module will be aligned with the interests of the university's industrial partners and collaborators. The module also introduces how theoretical apparatus developed initially in physics finds its application in the field of economy.CoreLagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics 2025-26MTH2007MLevel 52025-26This module is concerned with a modern formulation of mechanics called Lagranian mechanics whereby the actually observed motion of an object is viewed as one among many potentially conceivable motions. The selection process of the actual motion satisfies the so-called Principle of Minimum Action. The corresponding formalism allows to tackle very intricate mechanical problems and has many technical advantages with regards to changes of variables. A ‘dual’ theory called Hamiltonian mechanics can also be formalized with its own advantages to address problems in mechanics. These two theories constitute the foundation on which quantum mechanics, statistical and quantum field theories are based. The module delivery includes the Minimum Action Principle, Euler-Lagrange equations, Noether’s theorem, Hamilton’s equations, and Poisson bracketsCorePhilosophy of Science 2025-26PHL2007MLevel 52025-26This module explores a range of philosophical questions relating to the nature of science. How are scientific theories developed? Are scientific theories discovered through a ‘flash of genius’ or is something more methodical involved? How much of scientific discovery is down to careful observation? Do scientific theories tell us how the world really is? Do the entities scientific theories postulate – atoms, electromagnetic waves, and so on – really exist? Or are scientific theories merely useful models of reality? Is science independent of its social context? To what extent is scientific inquiry affected by gender, race or politics? Is there such a thing as truth that is not relative to a particular culture, social class or historical era? Drawing on accessible examples from a variety of scientific fields and by answering these and related questions, we shall try to reach an understanding of how science works.CoreStatistical and Quantum Physics I 2025-26PHY2007Level 52025-26This module introduces two pillars of modern physics: statistical mechanics and quantum physics. Both theories involve the combination of probability theory and physical concepts. The module will aim to equip students with the tools of probability theory necessary to engage with these two theories. It will then delve into a presentation of classical equilibrium statistical mechanics and the basic principles of quantum physics.CoreCondensed Matter Physics 2026-27PHY3014Level 62026-27In contemporary research, condensed matter physics pertains to the physics of condensed phases of matter such as solid and liquids. Depending on the properties of interest, condensed matter physics is traditionally split in two different sub-fields: solid state physics dealing primarily with the behaviour of electrons in periodic solids, and soft-matter physics dealing with the properties of assemblies of atoms in a somewhat confined space. This module introduces the basic ideas of these two worlds from Drude’s model and the band theory of conductivity in solids to the physics of colloidal and polymeric systems.CoreCosmology and General Relativity 2026-27PHY3009Level 62026-27The aim of the this module is to use appropriate cosmological models to understand the Universe from early to current and late epochs,CorePhysics Project 2026-27PHY3007MLevel 62026-27In this module the students have the opportunity to conduct modern physics research in a research group of the school, university or an external collaborating establishment.CoreStatistical and Quantum Physics II 2026-27PHY3013Level 62026-27This module continues the exploration of statistical and quantum physics started in the module Statistical and Quantum Physics I. More advanced concepts and techniques are presented in quantum mechanics. Statistical and quantum mechanics are then combined into a single Quantum statistical mechanics theory which is then applied to simple model systems.CoreApplied Ethics 2026-27PHL3014Level 62026-27This module gives students the opportunity to build and demonstrate problem-solving skills in the context of applied philosophy. Students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary methods of applied ethics and examine together a series of selected applied ethics case studies, drawn from a variety of different areas including health care, climate justice, AI, beginning and end of life. Students will then work on an individual project which they will present in poster form at the end of the module. The module will give students a thorough grounding in applied ethics and enable them to evidence the key employability skill of problem-solving in the context of applied philosophy.OptionalClassical Indian Philosophy 2026-27PHL3016Level 62026-27This module provides an introduction to Indian philosophy and gives students the opportunity to study some of the classic texts of Indian philosophy in detail. While texts will be studied in English translation students will also gain a familiarity with the elements of classical Indian (principally Sanskrit) philosophical vocabulary. Topics will be drawn from both the astika (orthodox Hindu) schools such as Naya-Vaisheshika and Samkhya-Yoga and nastika schools such as Jainism and Buddhism, and will cover areas such as logic, epistemology, metaphysics, and linguistics.OptionalContemporary Problems in Philosophy 2026-27PHL3018Level 62026-27This module gives students the opportunity to engage with some key issues and contemporary debates in key areas of philosophy, such as epistemological relativism, the nature of consciousness, the nature of causation in science, the nature of the self. The precise topics addressed will vary from year to year and students will have input into the choice of topics. The aim of the module is to explore in-depth some significant contemporary philosophical issues and to enable students to develop and enhance their key philosophical and debating skills.OptionalFluid Dynamics 2026-27MTH3002MLevel 62026-27This module gives a mathematical foundation of ideal and viscous fluid dynamics and their application to describing various flows in nature and technology. Students are taught methods of analysing and solving equations of fluid dynamics using analytic and most modern computational tools.OptionalLegal and Political Philosophy 2026-27PHL3015Level 62026-27This module gives students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in terms of philosophical methodology and analysis to issues involving political and legal institutions. For example, most people use concepts such as rights or justice in their everyday life, but few could articulate what those concepts mean. This makes discourse about political and legal matters difficult because there is no clarity, let alone agreement, about the concepts being used.OptionalMethods of Mathematical Physics 2026-27MTH3006MLevel 62026-27The module aims to equip students with methods to analyse and solve various mathematical equations found in physics and technology.OptionalNewton's Revolution 2026-27PHL3004MLevel 62026-27This module examines some of the philosophical issues raised by the Newtonian revolution in the natural sciences, such as: What is the nature of Newton’s distinction between ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ space? In what sense can forces be said to exist? What is the ontology of force? Is it sufficient to provide a mathematical definition of force (e.g., f=ma)? Is gravity a special kind of force with its own unique set of properties? What is the nature of ‘action at a distance’? Is Newton’s view of space metaphysical? This is an interdisciplinary module that situates Newtonian science in its sociocultural context.OptionalPhilosophy of Psychiatry and Mental Illness 2026-27PHL3017Level 62026-27This module focuses on a range of philosophical questions relating to mental illness and its treatment. What makes a person mentally healthy or mentally unhealthy? What makes a conscious state psychotic or delusional? How might mental disorders be distinguished from non-disordered mental states and conditions? Would certain putative mental illnesses be better characterized as “problems with living” rather than as medical conditions? We will also consider questions raised by particular psychopathologies. Questions will be explored through the lens of recent literature in the analytic tradition, as well as seminal texts in the history of the philosophy of mental illness (e.g., Freud, Foucault, R.D. Laing).OptionalPhysics Pedagogy 2026-27PHY3002MLevel 62026-27This module is designed to provide students with an insight into the teaching of science at secondary school level and does this by combining university lectures with an experience of a placement in a secondary school science department. The module is particularly aimed at those considering a career in science teaching and provides students with an opportunity to engage with cutting edge science education research and will examine how this research impacts directly on classroom practice. Students will have the opportunity to gain an insight into some of the key ideas in science pedagogy and how these are implemented in the school science lessons and will develop an understanding about the barriers to learning science that many students experience.OptionalPhysics Masters Project 2027-28PHY9004MLevel 72027-28In this module, students have the opportunity to undertake a substantial project under the supervision of a research-active member of staff. Projects can be undertaken at an external collaborating establishment. Students are expected to conduct independent research in modern physics, working in a research group of the school, the university or in an external collaborating establishment.CoreReading Module In Philosophy of Physics 2027-28PHY9008MLevel 72027-28The reading module allows students to acquire knowledge of a particular area of Philosophy of Physics, and develop the skills needed to study Philosophy of Physics in a more independent manner. The module also provides an opportunity for MPhys students to study certain topics in Philosophy of Physics which may not be covered by any regular lecture modules, thus adding to the flexibility of the scheme of studies. Subject areas for proposed reading module will be announced to students, together with an indicative syllabus. The choice offered will depend on the range of other lecture modules available to MPhys students, as well as on the availability of teaching staff with particular areas of Philosophy of Physics, who could be able to act as moderators. The role of the reading module tutor is to provide students with support for their reading, including the setting of Philosophy of Physics questions that are to be addressed.CoreAdvanced Instrumentation 2027-28PHY9001MLevel 72027-28The aim of this module is to enhance students’ experimental skills with a range of advanced experimental problems. The module may be conducted at university laboratory facilities or at an external collaborating establishment.OptionalExploration of the Solar System 2027-28PHY9021Level 72027-28OptionalFinancial Kinetics 2027-28MTH9001MLevel 72027-28This module brings together the main ideas and methods of the mathematical theory of financial markets. In addition, the methods of practical calculations of volatilities of traded assets from historical data are discussed. The influence of randomness of the interest rate and volatilities on price of options is studied.OptionalMolecular Modelling 2027-28PHY9002MLevel 72027-28This module introduces modern computational techniques for molecular modelling in condensed matter physics.OptionalNano-Physics 2027-28PHY9003MLevel 72027-28This module covers several sub-disciplines of nano-physics from solid state physics till soft matter physics and their interface. Students have the opportunity to gain insights into theoretical and experimental aspects of nano-physics, one of most rapidly developing field of modern physics.OptionalTheoretical Physics Laboratory 2027-28PHY9005MLevel 72027-28The aim of this module is to enhance students’ theoretical skills with a range of advanced theoretical physics problems.Optional

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

The course is assessed through a variety of method including coursework, examinations, written reports, and oral presentations.


This programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP). Holders of accredited degrees are eligible for IOP membership and can follow a route to professional registration as a RSci, CPhys, and/or CSci.

More Information
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Research-informed Teaching

Teaching on this course is conducted by academic members of staff who are active researchers in their fields. This research informs teaching at all levels of the programme. Staff conduct cutting-edge research in fundamental and applied mathematics and physics, ranging from pure mathematics to applied nano-science at the interface between biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The School of Mathematics and Physics collaborates with top research institutions in Germany, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, and the USA.

Visiting Speakers

The School of Mathematics and Physics regularly welcomes guest speakers from around the world. Recent visitors to the University of Lincoln have included former vice president of the Royal Astronomical Society Professor Don Kurtz, mathematician and author Professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE, and operations research specialist Ruth Kaufman OBE.

This course complements the key aspects of each subject, providing the ideal balance between Physics and Philosophy. The support of the lecturers is unrivalled, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere from both subjects’ respective schools.


Students on this course are encouraged to obtain and undertake work placements independently in the UK or overseas during their studies, providing hands-on experience in industry. These can range from a few weeks to a full year if students choose the sandwich year option. Placements may be conducted with external research institutions (which can be overseas). The option is subject to availability and selection criteria set by the industry or external institution. When undertaking optional placements, students will be required to cover their transport, accommodation, and general living costs.

What Can I Do with a Physics with Philosophy Degree?

Graduates may pursue careers in the fields of science, education, finance, business, consultancy, and research and development. This degree promotes skills in creative, critical, and independent thinking. It may prove beneficial in careers requiring flexibility and the ability to formulate a persuasive case. This could include careers in politics and the media, as well as the civil service, among other areas. Some graduates may choose to continue their studies at postgraduate level.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

United Kingdom

104 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 2 A Levels to include 40 points in Maths and 40 points in Physics.

International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma from a minimum of 2 Higher Level subjects to include a Higher Level Grade 5 in Maths and Physics.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 104 UCAS Tariff points including 40 points from 15 credits in Maths and 15 credits in Physics.

BTEC qualifications may be considered. Please contact our Admissions team for further information (

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 or above, which must include English and Maths. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may also be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and do accept a combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTECs, EPQ etc.

We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.


Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

If you are an overseas student, you may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) certificate in order to enrol on this course.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

If you are an overseas student, you may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) certificate in order to enrol on this course.

For applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements, our Science Foundation Year can provide an alternative route of entry onto our full degree programmes:

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email

Contextual Offers

At Lincoln, we recognise that not everybody has had the same advice and support to help them get to higher education. Contextual offers are one of the ways we remove the barriers to higher education, ensuring that we have fair access for all students regardless of background and personal experiences. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit our Offer Guide pages.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. To help support students from outside of the UK, we are also delighted to offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Find out More by Visiting Us

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to visit us in person. We offer a range of opportunities across the year to help you to get a real feel for what it might be like to study here.

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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.