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MPhys Physics with Astrophysics

Year of entry: 2021

Overview

Degree awarded
MPhys
Duration
4 years
Typical A-level offer
A*A*A (to include Physics and Maths). We would normally require a pass in the Practical Assessment in science A levels.
Typical contextual A-level offer (what is this?)
WP+ Grades A*AA (to include Physics and Maths with A* in Physics or Maths). We would normally require a pass in the Practical Assessment in science A levels.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer

38-37 points overall with 7,7,6 at Higher Level (to include Physics and Maths)

Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019, first examination 2021. We are aware of the planned changes to the IB Mathematics curriculum. IB students will be able to choose from: Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation from September 2019.

For this programme of study we will accept either Mathematics: analysis and approaches or Mathematics: applications and interpretation at HL, provided the required grade is achieved.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants
For entry in September 2020 there were 330 places/1800 applicants.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS .

Course description

This course is designed for students wishing to obtain a solid grounding in physics but who also want to study astronomy. Astrophysics principally involves the application of the laws of physics to distant regions in which the physical conditions can only be inferred from the emission of electromagnetic radiation. During the course you can learn about the Sun and the Solar System, the Stars and the Galaxy, distant galaxies and quasars and the beginning of the universe in the Big Bang. You learn how to apply basic physics in situations that are often extreme compared to those available on earth.

It is possible to transfer to the 3-year BSc course at the beginning of your third year.

See more in our  undergraduate handbook   where you can find out more information about the course content of your chosen degree programme.

Open days

For details of the next University Undergraduate open day, visit open days and visits

Fees

Tuition fees for home students commencing their studies in September 2021 will be £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £25,500 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

For information about scholarships and bursaries please visit our   undergraduate student finance pages   and the   Department funding pages  .

Contact details

Department
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Contact name
Admissions Office
Telephone
+44 (0) 161 543 4021
Email
Website
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/physics
School/Faculty overview

Our internationally-renowned expertise across the School of Natural Sciences informs research led teaching with strong collaboration across disciplines, unlocking new and exciting fields and translating science into reality.  Our multidisciplinary learning and research activities advance the boundaries of science for the wider benefit of society, inspiring students to promote positive change through educating future leaders in the true fundamentals of science. Find out more about Science and Engineering at Manchester .

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Compare this course

Entry requirements

A-level

Grades A*A*A including Physics and Mathematics

Practical skills are a crucial part of science education and therefore there will be a requirement to pass the practical element of any science A Level taken.

Where applicants are applying for science and related degrees, this is likely to be made explicit in the offers you will receive.

AS-level

AS level results are not considered as part of the standard admissions process at The University of Manchester.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available.  Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application.  Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.

GCSE

Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade C or 4 in GCSE/iGCSE English Language and Mathematics. GCSE/iGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/iGCSE English Language.

International Baccalaureate

38-37 points overall with 7,7,6 at Higher Level (to include Physics and Maths)

Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019, first examination 2021. We are aware of the planned changes to the IB Mathematics curriculum. IB students will be able to choose from: Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation from September 2019.

For this programme of study we will accept either Mathematics: analysis and approaches or Mathematics: applications and interpretation at HL, provided the required grade is achieved.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see Accepted entry qualifications from your country .

Scottish requirements

Scottish Advanced Highers are normally required in one of the following combinations:

  • Three Advanced Highers with grades AAB (to include Physics and Maths)
  • Two Advanced Highers in Physics and Maths, Grades AA plus 2 additional Highers in other subjects with Grades AA

English Language and Mathematics not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grade C / Intermediate 2 grade C / Standard Grade Credit level grade 3).

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy .

Welsh Baccalaureate

We welcome and recognise the value of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and usually requires two A Levels or equivalent in Maths and Physics  to be included within this We require minimum grade A from the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the  Department of Physics and Astronomy .

European Baccalaureate

The Department of Physics and Astronomy welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

Following interview, we normally require: at least 85% overall with 9 in (Advanced Higher Level) Physics and Maths

AQA Baccalaureate

The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, we will focus on the three A levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate, two of which must be Physics and Maths.

Foundation year

We recognise a number of foundation programmes as suitable for entry to this undergraduate programme:

Applicants completing the INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester international foundation programme are required to achieve grades A*A*A to include Physics and Maths and a B grade in EAP.     INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester students will be invited to attend an interview.

Applicants completing the NCUK International Foundation year are required to achieve grades A*A*A to include Physics and Maths and a B grade in EAP.

Applicants studying other Foundation programmes should contact the academic department to check if their qualification is recognised for entry to this programme and for specific entry requirements.

Pearson BTEC qualifications

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma:

  • We require D*D*D-DDD plus A Level Maths and Physics at grade A*/A.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma:

  • We require D*D*-DD plus A Level Maths and Physics at grade A*/A.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma:

  • We require D*D*-DD plus A Level Maths and Physics at grade A*/A.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate:

  • We require D*/D plus A Level Maths and Physics at grade A*/A.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma:

  • We require D*D*D-DDD plus A Level Maths and Physics at grade A*/A.

Cambridge Technical Diploma:

  • We require D*D*-DD plus A Level Maths and Physics at grade A*/A.

Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma:

  • We require D*-D plus A Level Maths and Physics at grade A*/A.

Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate:

  • We require D*/D plus A Level Maths and Physics at grade A*/A.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Access to HE Diploma

Given that it is not possible to meet our published offer conditions within an Access course, we would not recommend an Access course as the best way of preparing for our courses. However, we would look very carefully at any applications from exceptional Access students who were on track to gain the AAA equivalent (45 credits at level 3 awarded at distinction). We would treat any such exceptional students on a case-by-case basis, looking very carefully at past academic history and the academic reference; promising candidates would be invited to interview to add supplementary information. A decision would be made about entry holistically on the basis of all information (including details of the course undertaken) and would usually be conditional on the above standard.

Cambridge Pre-U

We consider applicants offering Pre-U Principal Subjects, or a mix of Pre-U and A Level subjects, provided a minimum of three distinct subjects overall is taken (to include Physics and Maths).

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview.

Core Maths

The University recognises the value of Level 3 Core Mathematics qualifications. Core Mathematics is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result we will not normally include it in the conditions of any offer we make. Where a course requires applicants to have at least grade 6/B or higher in GCSE Mathematics we would be likely to consider a pass in Core Mathematics at a minimum grade C or B as an alternative way to fulfil this requirement. Core Mathematics will not be accepted in lieu of an A Level.

Home-schooled applicants

If you are a student who has followed a non-standard educational route, e.g. you have been educated at home; your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course for which you are applying. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the specified academic entry requirements of the course. We will also require a reference from somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. If you are a home schooled student and would like further information or advice please contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy .

Non-standard educational routes

Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences.  Students come from a whole array of backgrounds, study every kind of course, undertake full-time and part-time learning and are motivated by career intentions as well as personal interest.  There is no such thing as a typical mature student at Manchester.  The application process is the same as for other prospective undergraduates.  If you require further clarification about the acceptability of the qualifications you hold please contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Further information for mature students can be found here .

English language

All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency.  The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE/iGCSE English Language grade 4/C
  • IELTS 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in each subtest)
  • An acceptable equivalent qualification.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the the department of Physics and Astronomy for clarification.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English Language in order to be granted a UK visa (Tier 4 visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This level is often referred to as the 'B2 level'.

Additionally, our individual departments may ask for specific English Language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes. In most cases these requirements are likely to be higher than the B2 level. Further information about our English Language policy, including a list of some of the English Language qualifications we accept, can be found  here .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

Advice to applicants

Our primary selection criteria are based on academic achievements and potential. The personal statement is not normally used to distinguish applicants as long as it is sensibly written and in good English. Applicants to this course can change to any of our Physics-based degree courses at any time up to the start of the academic year. 

Skills, knowledge, abilities, interests

We would be interested in any work experience, although we realise that this is very difficult to find in relevant areas.

Interview requirements

Promising applicants based in the UK and the EU will be invited to attend one of our UCAS visit days, to meet staff and current students, take part in an academic interview and find out what it's like to be a student here.

Due to the current situation, interviews will be held online.

Returning to education

We welcome applicants who are returning to education and are as flexible as possible when making offers. 

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

We are happy to consider applicants from overseas. We have no quota limitations for overseas applicants.

Deferrals

We will consider applicants who wish to defer on a case by case basis. We normally guarantee a place in the current year should the applicant's gap year plans change.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

If you have re-sat individual modules to improve your grades, we will consider your application according to the standard selection process. If you are planning to re-sit the final Year 13 examinations, or have already done so, the University will consider your application, but we may require further information in order to make an informed judgment on your application.

Policy for applicants who take their examinations in more than one sitting

We are happy to consider applicants who are taking their examinations in different sittings.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.  In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved.  We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course. If you are applying through clearing you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.

Transfers

We are happy to consider students who want to transfer from other courses within the University. Transfers from other institutions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Course details

Course description

This course is designed for students wishing to obtain a solid grounding in physics but who also want to study astronomy. Astrophysics principally involves the application of the laws of physics to distant regions in which the physical conditions can only be inferred from the emission of electromagnetic radiation. During the course you can learn about the Sun and the Solar System, the Stars and the Galaxy, distant galaxies and quasars and the beginning of the universe in the Big Bang. You learn how to apply basic physics in situations that are often extreme compared to those available on earth.

It is possible to transfer to the 3-year BSc course at the beginning of your third year.

See more in our  undergraduate handbook   where you can find out more information about the course content of your chosen degree programme.

Special features

  • You get the chance to conduct experiments based at Jodrell Bank, the home to the world's second largest fully-steerable 76-metre diameter Lovell radio telescope.
  • There is an opportunity to spend a period of time studying abroad in Year 2 or 3.
  • It is possible to transfer to the 3-year BSc course at the beginning of your third year.

Coursework and assessment

Course units are normally assessed formally at the end of the semester via examinations. Laboratory or computer based course units also employ assignments and other methods of continuous assessment.

Course unit details

You can find out more information about the course units included in your chosen degree programme here

Course content for year 1

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Mathematics 1 PHYS10071 10 Mandatory
Dynamics PHYS10101 10 Mandatory
Quantum Physics and Relativity PHYS10121 10 Mandatory
Year 1 Lab Work (All Yr) PHYS10180 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Astrophysics and Cosmology PHYS10191 10 Mandatory
Vibrations & Waves PHYS10302 10 Mandatory
Electricity & Magnetism PHYS10342 10 Mandatory
Properties of Matter PHYS10352 10 Mandatory
Mathematics 2 PHYS10372 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Data Science PHYS10791 10 Mandatory
Microeconomics 1 ECON10221 10 Optional
Science & the Modern World HSTM10221 10 Optional
Physics in Everyday Life PHYS10461 10 Optional
Random Processes in Physics PHYS10471 10 Optional
Advanced Dynamics PHYS10672 10 Optional
Physics of the Solar System PHYS10692 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 16 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics PHYS20101 10 Mandatory
Electromagnetism PHYS20141 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Programming for Physicists PHYS20161 10 Mandatory
Mathematics of Waves and Fields PHYS20171 10 Mandatory
Year 2 Lab Work (All Yr) PHYS20180 20 Mandatory
Fundamentals of Solid State Physics PHYS20252 10 Mandatory
Wave Optics PHYS20312 10 Mandatory
Statistical Mechanics PHYS20352 10 Mandatory
Galaxies PHYS20491 10 Mandatory
Astrophysical Processes PHYS20692 10 Mandatory
Professional Development PHYS20811 0 Mandatory
Macroeconomics 1 ECON10252 10 Optional
Information visions: past, present and future HSTM20282 10 Optional
Introduction to Logic MATH20302 10 Optional
Fluid Mechanics MATH20502 10 Optional
Introduction to Financial Mathematics MATH20912 10 Optional
Entrepreneurial Skills MCEL10002 10 Optional
Physics of Energy Sources PHYS10622 10 Optional
Advanced Dynamics PHYS10672 10 Optional
Physics of the Solar System PHYS10692 10 Optional
Introduction to Photonics PHYS20612 10 Optional
Complex Variables and Vector Spaces PHYS20672 10 Optional
Computational Physics PHYS20762 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 23 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics PHYS30121 10 Mandatory
Yr3 Physics Laboratory Work (All Year) PHYS30180 20 Mandatory
Cosmology PHYS30392 10 Mandatory
Stars and Stellar Evolution PHYS30692 10 Mandatory
Particle Physics PHYS40222 10 Mandatory
Nuclear Physics PHYS40322 10 Mandatory
Quantum Computing COMP39112 10 Optional
Comparative Planetology EART30232 10 Optional
Meteorology & Atmospheric Physics P511 EART30351 10 Optional
Climate and Energy P607 EART30362 10 Optional
Information visions: past, present and future HSTM20282 10 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today HSTM31212 10 Optional
Introduction to Logic MATH20302 10 Optional
Viscous Fluid Flow MATH35001 10 Optional
Wave Motion MATH35012 10 Optional
Mathematical Modelling in Finance MATH39032 10 Optional
Tools & Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30002 10 Optional
Advanced Technology Enterprise MCEL30012 10 Optional
Interdisciplinary Sustainable Development MCEL30022 10 Optional
Lagrangian Dynamics PHYS20401 10 Optional
Condensed Matter Physics PHYS30051 10 Optional
Applications of Quantum Physics PHYS30101 10 Optional
Electromagnetic Radiation PHYS30141 10 Optional
Mathematical Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics PHYS30201 10 Optional
Electrodynamics (M) PHYS30441 10 Optional
Introduction to Non-linear Physics PHYS30471 10 Optional
Nuclear Fusion and Astrophysical Plasmas PHYS30511 10 Optional
Lasers and Photonics PHYS30611 10 Optional
Physics of Medical Imaging PHYS30632 10 Optional
Physics of Fluids PHYS30652 10 Optional
Mathematical Methods for Physics PHYS30672 10 Optional
Physics of Living Processes PHYS30732 10 Optional
Object-Oriented Programming in C++ PHYS30762 10 Optional
Exoplanets PHYS31692 10 Optional
Advanced Quantum Mechanics PHYS40202 10 Optional
Applied Nuclear Physics PHYS40422 10 Optional
Semiconductor Quantum Structures PHYS40712 10 Optional
Physics and Reality PHYS41702 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 38 course units for year 3

Course content for year 4

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
MPhys Project PHYS40181 20 Mandatory
MPhys Project PHYS40182 20 Mandatory
Quantum Computing COMP39112 10 Optional
Comparative Planetology EART30232 10 Optional
Meteorology & Atmospheric Physics P511 EART30351 10 Optional
Climate and Energy P607 EART30362 10 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today HSTM31212 10 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33201 10 Optional
Reactor Systems MACE31642 10 Optional
Applied Complex Analysis MATH34001 10 Optional
Viscous Fluid Flow MATH35001 10 Optional
Wave Motion MATH35012 10 Optional
Mathematical Modelling in Finance MATH39032 10 Optional
Tools and Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30001 10 Optional
Tools & Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30002 10 Optional
Advanced Technology Enterprise MCEL30011 10 Optional
Advanced Technology Enterprise MCEL30012 10 Optional
Interdisciplinary Sustainable Development MCEL30022 10 Optional
Enterprise Strategy and Marketing MCEL30051 10 Optional
Introduction to Non-linear Physics PHYS30471 10 Optional
Nuclear Fusion and Astrophysical Plasmas PHYS30511 10 Optional
Lasers and Photonics PHYS30611 10 Optional
Physics of Medical Imaging PHYS30632 10 Optional
Physics of Fluids PHYS30652 10 Optional
Mathematical Methods for Physics PHYS30672 10 Optional
Physics of Living Processes PHYS30732 10 Optional
Object-Oriented Programming in C++ PHYS30762 10 Optional
Exoplanets PHYS31692 10 Optional
Advanced Quantum Mechanics PHYS40202 10 Optional
Frontiers of Solid State Physics PHYS40411 10 Optional
Nuclear Structure and Exotic Nuclei PHYS40421 10 Optional
Applied Nuclear Physics PHYS40422 10 Optional
Superconductors and Superfluids PHYS40451 10 Optional
Quantum Field Theory (M) PHYS40481 10 Optional
Frontiers of Particle Physics I PHYS40521 10 Optional
Advanced Statistical Physics PHYS40571 10 Optional
Radio Astronomy PHYS40591 10 Optional
Frontiers of Photon Science PHYS40611 10 Optional
Nuclear Forces and Reactions PHYS40622 10 Optional
Laser Photomedicine PHYS40631 10 Optional
Atomic Physics PHYS40642 10 Optional
Gauge Theories (M) PHYS40682 10 Optional
Semiconductor Quantum Structures PHYS40712 10 Optional
Frontiers of Particle Physics II PHYS40722 10 Optional
Biomaterials/Biophysics PHYS40732 10 Optional
Soft Matter Physics PHYS40752 10 Optional
Gravitation PHYS40771 10 Optional
Early Universe PHYS40772 10 Optional
Galaxy Formation PHYS40992 10 Optional
Physics and Reality PHYS41702 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 50 course units for year 4

Scholarships and bursaries

Information about undergraduate scholarships for entry in September 2021 will be updated here shortly.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Manchester Physics with Astrophysics graduates often go on to do research in astrophysics or other branches of physics; other possibilities include teaching or science-related careers in industry or the Civil Service. Some graduates use the analytical and numerical skills they have acquired to pursue careers in the commercial and financial sectors.

Find out how you can gain  work experience  to enhance your CV.

Accrediting organisations

Institute of Physics.

Associated organisations

All undergraduate students are offered free membership of the Institute of Physics.