BSc (Hons)
Physics

Key Information


Duration

3-4 Years

Part-time

Part-time study is available

Typical Offer

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Campus

Brayford Pool

UCAS Code

F300

Academic Year

Course Overview

Physics is a fundamental science which underpins our understanding of the world around us, from distant galaxies to the smallest particles. The knowledge and problem-solving skills of physicists are vital to new discoveries and advances in science and technology.

This course offers the opportunity to study a combination of fundamental and applied physics alongside rigorous mathematics and computational training. Teaching is informed by research, with the chance for students to work on real-world research projects alongside our academic staff.

Throughout the course there are extensive opportunities for students to hone practical skills in preparation for a career in a variety of sectors. The programme includes a combination of compulsory and elective modules covering all components of core physics, as defined by the UK Institute of Physics (IOP).

Why Choose Lincoln

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

Additional problem-solving tutorials

Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP)

Guest speakers from around the world

Informed by cutting-edge research

Placement Year available

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

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How You Study

The BSc (Hons) Physics programme combines theory with practical laboratory work and substantial research training. Throughout the course there are extensive opportunities for students to hone practical skills in preparation for a career in a variety of sectors.

The programme includes a combination of compulsory and elective modules covering all components of core physics, as defined by the UK Institute of Physics (IOP).

In the first year students have the chance to benefit from an additional three hours per week of problem solving tutorials. In addition, the School of Mathematics and Physics runs a tutor system for first year students, providing one hour weekly tutor sessions in small groups.

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

Modules


† 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 Modern Astronomy 2024-25PHY1006Level 42024-25This module aims to introduce fundamental concepts in modern astronomy from planets up to the universe as a whole.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.CoreProfessional Skills and Group Study 2024-25MTH1007MLevel 42024-25This module provides students the opportunity to learn a variety of transferable skills: to communicate scientific ideas via a variety of media, to work in groups, to manage and plan projects, to keep record of work. Students have the opportunity to develop an understanding of general and specialized databases, their uses and searches. Group study can develop Students' skills in team-working around investigating a topic from literature. Students have the opportunity to take on administrative roles within the team and work towards common aims and objectives.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.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.CoreLaboratory 2 2025-26PHY2004MLevel 52025-26This module builds on level 1 Laboratory 1 module. It provides students with a broad experience in mastering a range of more complex experimental techniques and offers the opportunity to develop skills in data collection and analysis.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 bracketsCoreScientific Computing 2025-26MTH2008MLevel 52025-26Students will have the opportunity to utilise computers for the numerical solution and simulation of models of physical and mathematical systems, including the use of computer procedural programming languages to solve computational problems. Numerical algorithms will be introduced to exemplify key concepts in computational programming, with the emphasis on understanding the nature of the algorithm and the features and limitations of its computational implementation. In creating programs, the emphasis will be on using effective programming techniques and on efficient debugging, testing and validation methods. Students may also develop skills at using a logbook as a factual record and as reflective self-assessment to support their learning.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.CoreAdvanced Topics of Physics and Physics Seminar 2026-27PHY3001MLevel 62026-27The module will cover several advanced topics of modern physics. The choice of the topics will be governed by the current research interests of academic staff and/or visiting scientists. Students may also participate in physics research seminars.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,CoreNumerical Methods 2026-27MTH3007MLevel 62026-27The module aims to equip students with knowledge of various numerical methods for solving applied mathematics problems, their algorithms and implementation in programming languages.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.CoreFluid 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.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.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.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 may be assessed through a variety of means, including coursework, examinations, written reports, and oral presentations.

Accreditation

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.

I have found all the course content fascinating and engaging, covering a broad range of topics in physics and mathematics. I thoroughly enjoyed the Electrodynamics and Condensed Matter modules, which were both challenging in their own right, but massively interesting.

Placements

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.

I thoroughly enjoyed my studies at the University, mainly due to the ever-patient staff and academics who were there every step of the way, no matter how small the problem.

What Can I Do with a Physics Degree?

Physics graduates are well-placed for careers in research and development, process control, and regulatory roles in organisations around the world. Some may go on to roles in education or further study at postgraduate level. Additionally, transferable skills such as communications, problem-solving, and decision-making, which students are expected to develop throughout their studies, are valuable in many spheres of employment.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

United Kingdom

112 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A Levels or equivalent qualifications to include 40 points in Maths and Physics.

A Level: BBC to include a grade B from A Level Maths and Physics.

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall, with Higher Level Grade 5 in Maths and Physics.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 112 UCAS Tariff points, including 40 points from 15 credits in Maths and 15 credits in Physics.

BTEC qualifications may be considered with a grade B in A Level Maths and Physics. Please contact our Admissions team for further information (admissions@lincoln.ac.uk).

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.

International

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 https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.

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 https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

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.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

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:
https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/sfysfyub/

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 admissions@lincoln.ac.uk

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. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Find out More at an Open Day

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to join us for one of our Open Days. Visiting us in person is important and will 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.