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Study Physics in the United Kingdom

Study Physics in the United Kingdom

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Erudea's Complete Guide to Studying Physics in The UK

Reasons to Study Physics in the United Kingdom

Benefit from the excellent quality of the UK’s higher education

One of the main reasons why studying physics in the United Kingdom is the best option is the quality of education you will receive. As pioneers in the fields of physics, programs in the United Kingdom tackle the most fundamental concepts, from subatomic particles to the formation of new galaxies. Considering that UK’s universities are known for their outstanding research in physics, excellent lecturers, and their ranking among the top best universities in the world, studying physics in the United Kingdom will be the best decision you can make for a successful career in the future.

Access to excellent facilities

One of the factors that make the UK a top destination for international students is the excellent facilities of UK universities. The leaders of universities in the UK are aware of the fact that the facilities of a higher education institution impact the learning process of the students, thus the quality of the education. This is why they invest millions in developing the research facilities of the universities, so the staff, students, and other collaborators have the best conditions and equipment they need to learn and work. Practical work is an important part of the curriculum of UK universities.

Stretch yourself intellectually

Perhaps, one of the most important reasons to study in the United Kingdom is that you will be learning in a stimulating and challenging environment that allows you to stretch yourself intellectually. By studying in one of the UK's universities you will be able to develop many skills that are in demand by employers all around the world. These include problem-solving skills, numeracy, time management, communication, technical ability, attention to detail, analytical skills, IT, and discipline.


Universities generally require that their prospective students demonstrate a strong motivation and interest to learn physics, as well as have mathematical ability to express physical ideas, have great communication skills, reasoning ability, and the ability to predict what would happen in a physical situation: physical intuition. Academic requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible for a physics degree in the UK are:

For undergraduate studies:

  • A levels or equivalent in Maths and Physics
  • English language proficiency (IELTS, CAE, TOEFL, PTE, European Baccalaureate English Language 1 or 2)
  • Personal Statement
  • 4 Tier Visa

For postgraduate studies:

  • An undergraduate degree in subjects such as physics, mathematics, or astronomy.
  • English language proficiency
  • Work experience
  • Submit reference letters

Application Process

The application process you will follow when applying for a physics degree in the United Kingdom will be the same as it is for UK students, just with a few more documents to be submitted from your side. Usually, the most common application procedure for undergraduate studies in the United Kingdom is through UCAS - the centralized application portal of the country. The same procedure applies to international students as well. In order to apply to a university, you will need the UCAS course code.

You can also apply directly to the university. If you are not familiar with the application process, you can check for guides on the university website. Usually, applying directly to the university is done through the university’s online application form.

Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Physics in the United Kingdom?

Bachelor degrees in physics usually take three to four years to complete, depending on which country in the UK you decide to study. During your undergraduate studies you will learn about Computational Physics, Laboratory and Field Physics, Electricity and Magnetism, Mathematical Physics, Applications of Physics, Modern Physics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics, Waves and Optics, Mechanics and Dynamics, Practical Laboratory and Field Physics, Statistical Learning, etc.

Postgraduate degrees on the other hand can take 1 to 2 years of full-time study to complete. Note that if you decide to study part-time, completing your degree will take longer. During your postgraduate studies, you will choose a field of study in which you would like to specialize. These fields include Research Physics, Physics of Materials, Quantum Technologies, Cosmology and Gravitation, and many more disciplines.

Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Physics in the United Kingdom?

One of the main obligations you will have while studying abroad is paying for tuition fees. Considering what a developed country the United Kingdom is, and the quality of its higher education, tuition fees are not as high as one would expect. Normally, they differ between the four countries of the UK, and they also differ among home students and international students.

Tuition fees for undergraduate studies pursuing a degree in physics in the United Kingdom range from $24,127 to $48,965 (£17,600 to £34,500). Whereas, tuition fees for postgraduate degrees start at $32,005 (£22,550).

Physics Jobs in the United Kingdom

Almost every technology possible involves physics in one way or another, hence the application of physics in the real world is quite wide. UK’s physics graduates will enter the job market with skills in mathematics, data analysis, numeracy, communication of complex ideas, etc. All of these are skills that are in high demand in a variety of industries.

Some of the careers you can pursue after obtaining a physics degree include but are not limited to industries like:

  • Research industries
  • Energy
  • Technology
  • Computing and IT
  • Education
  • Automotive and Aerospace
  • The public sector
  • Healthcare, etc.

An average yearly salary of a physicist in the United Kingdom is around $49,599 (£35,000). The highest salary of a physicist in the United Kingdom reaches the amount of $340,108 (£240,000) per year.

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