Physics with Foundation Year
BSc, 4-5 years
This is for you if... you want to study physics, but don’t have the traditional entry requirements.
Our integrated Science, Technology and Engineering (STEM) Foundation Year degrees are aimed at students who wish to study a STEM subject, such as physics, but don’t have the traditional entry requirements.
- By completing the STEM Foundation Year you will automatically progress onto the first year of your chosen degree.
- You will be taught by our expert academic staff from across a number of departments.
- The course does not require a maths test for entry, but it will cover the A-level maths syllabus and understanding of this will be measured before you progress.
- The course strongly emphasises the development of essential professional and personal skills, which are necessary throughout your studies and beyond.
- During your foundation year you will join our student community and be able to enjoy all aspects of the University of Leicester student experience. You will be able to join the Students’ Union, use our academic and leisure facilities, live in our accommodation and access all our support services.
- You will have a personal tutor to support you.
- Typical offer
- UCAS code
- Start date
- September 2017
- Physics and Astronomy
+44 (0)116 252 5281
Course enquiries: Dr Paul HowesDepartment of Physics and Astronomy website
0116 252 3587
View Key Information Sets
We are a top 5 Physics department [Source: Gaurdian league table 2016, 2017] and our degrees are accredited by the UK Institute of Physics (IOP).
We host a 500 core supercomputer for undergraduate use plus a 3618 core research machine. We also host part of DiRAC, the UK’s supercomputing facility for particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology.
We have an excellent staff-student ratio (among the best in the UK) [Source: Guardian league tables 2016, 2017] and we operate an open door policy. This means teaching staff make themselves available throughout the day for you to get the support you need.
In the Physics Challenge module, third year students work in teams to solve problems requiring imagination, estimation or approximation. Like many real-world problems, there are often no right answers but the teams compete to find and present the best answers.
- Maths: Core A-level content, with an emphasis on developing your competence and confidence at applying mathematics to problems in the physical sciences.
- Science 1: Materials: Phases of matter (solids, liquids and gases), atomic structure and radioactivity, chemical bonds and chemical reactions, properties of solids (engineering materials, elastic properties, strength, toughness, failure and electrical properties).
- Science 2: Mechanics: Newton's laws, forces, mass, velocity acceleration, projectiles, momentum, angular momentum, circular motion, simple harmonic motion and resonance.
- Science 3: Heat and energy: Temperature, heat, power, ideal gases and kinetic theory.
- Science 4: Electricity and magnetism: Light, optics and the quantum world.
- Methods and Techniques: Core study skills and professional competences necessary for successful university level study. Reading scientific literature, research techniques, report writing skills, presentation skills, computer programming and algorithms.
- Physical Science Laboratory: Basic experimental techniques, health and safety in the laboratory, recording data, data analysis and report writing.
Year 1 of the BSc course is your second year at Leicester.
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Laboratory Physics 1
- Light and Matter
- Mathematical Physics 1.1
- Mathematical Physics 1.2
- Waves and Quanta
- Physics Speciality 1
Build your option module (Physics Speciality 1) from four short lecture courses which cover topics such as:
- Digital Electronic Systems
- Great Experiments
- Modern Physics
- Observational Astronomy
- Planetary Exploration
- Space Technology
- The Sun and Stars
- Terrestrial Planets
Year 2 of the BSc course is your third year at Leicester.
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electromagnetic Fields
- Laboratory Physics 2
- Mathematical Physics 2.1
- Mathematical Physics 2.2
- Scientific Inference 1
- Physics Speciality Electives 2
Build your option module (Physics Speciality Electives 2) from four short lecture courses which cover topics such as:
- Evolution of Mechanics
- Fractals and Chaos
- Galaxies and the Universe
- Jovian Planets and Moons
- Planetary Remote Sensing
- Quantum Devices
- Science Communication 1
- Spacecraft and Mission Design
- Stellar Structure
Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)
Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)
If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions or working on an industrial placement (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in four years.
NB. A year spent abroad or on an industrial placement still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.
Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.
- University of Groningen, Netherlands
Our exchange programme with the University of Groningen is administered through the European Erasmus scheme, under which you may be eligible for an Erasmus grant if you comply with European Commission rules and regulations. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them.
- For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite.
We also have links with some universities outside Europe. There is no monthly grant when you attend one of these universities, however if you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. We have links with the following universities:
Year in Industry
An industrial placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of a professional working environment, between your second and third years of study. By enhancing your degree with an industrial placement, you can make yourself a more attractive proposition to employers after you graduate.
You'll benefit from real-world experience in a commercial setting, enabling you to make an easier transition from studying to working after you finish your degree. You'll gain invaluable insight into a potential career path, as well as strengthening your CV significantly in preparation for entering the graduate labour market. On top of all this, you'll be paid a salary for your placement, which gives you greater financial flexibility as well as offsetting the cost of the extra year.
For further information, please visit the Industrial Placement pages on the College of Science and Engineering website.
Your final year will allow you to take more control of your learning as you select from an even wider pool of specialist options. Group and research project work will span an entire semester to give you the opportunity to delve further into subjects that intrigue you.
- Quantum Mechanics
- Atoms and Nuclei
- Radiation and Matter
- Physics Challenge
- Physics Speciality Electives 3
- Workshops and Projects (incl. Skills Elective 1)
- Skills Elective 2 (BSc only)
Build your option module (Physics Speciality Electives 3) from four short lecture courses which cover topics such as:
- Active Galaxies
- Advanced Propulsion Systems
- Climate Physics
- Elementary Particles
- Human Spaceflight
- Life in the Universe
- Magnetic Systems
- Medical Physics
- Physics in Education
- Planetary Plasma Environments
- Planetary Science
- Spaceflight Dynamics
- Stellar Evolution
All of our degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics.
An accredited degree not only gives you a solid grounding in core physics, it also sets you on a route towards Institute of Physics membership and the Chartered Physicist (CPhys) professional qualification. With an accredited BSc degree to your name, you will have partially fulfilled the educational requirements for CPhys status.
Major/Minor degrees enable you to create your own degree. You can study a core area in depth (your major subject), while also exploring an additional area (your minor subject).
Why not complement your Major with a subject that you enjoyed before, or which has vocational elements that can boost your career prospects? Alternatively, you may want to try something completely new that you’ve always been interested in, like a language.Find out more
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, small group tutorials, lab sessions, seminars, workshop classes and project work. Training in scientific computing and programming is built into each degree.
A typical week for a first year physics student might consist of five hours of lectures, about two afternoons in laboratory or computing workshops (six hours), two hours of problem classes, four hours of workshops, and one hour in a small group tutorial session. This is a total of about 20 hours of contact time. You will also spend several hours a week on private study.
Assessment includes exams and course work (such as workshop and seminar problem classes). Lab work is primarily assessed in real time and project work is assessed through written reports and oral presentations.
You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they be academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.
- A-levels: BBB or points equivalent from your best three A-levels (non-traditional science A-levels considered). You must have taken Maths or Physics at AS-level or hold GCSEs grade A/A* in Maths and Physics.
- BTEC Diploma: DDM in appropriate subject area – typically Engineering or a Physical Science discipline (no Maths assessment test required)
- International Baccalaureate: Pass diploma with 28 points minimum.
- Access to HE courses in Science and Engineering: 45 L3 credits, including some at Distinction in relevant science and Maths modules (no Maths assessment test required)
We welcome applicants with other qualifications. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
NB. This course is only open to applicants from the UK and other EU countries. Applicants outside the EU can apply for our International Foundation Year.
English Language Requirements
IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.
Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.Countries list
Fees and Funding
Starting in 2017
An inflationary increase (2.8% based on RPIX*) in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Government for 2017. This is still subject to formal parliamentary approval however, if approved, fees for 2017/18 entry could rise to £9,250 in 2017/18.
After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations.
(*RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)
- Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.
- Year in Industry: your fee will be 15% of the full-time tuition fee that applies in that year.
Find out more about scholarships and funding.
- Please note this course is not available to International (non-EU) students.
You can gain first-hand experience of physics education through a final year mentoring scheme with physics teachers in local schools, working for half a day a week over one semester.
We offer a small number of Summer Research Placements: six weeks of paid employment working with the research groups within the Department of Physics and Astronomy. These placements provide excellent experience if you want to go on to a career in academic or industrial research.
Our dedicated Careers Tutor can provide information, advice and guidance on the graduate job application process.
Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.
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