Frequently asked questions
How many students will be in my year?
There are about 100 students in each annual cohort, across all our Physics degrees.
What are the distinctive aspects of the Physics and Astronomy department at Leicester?
The friendly and supportive environment alongside world-leading research and teaching!
We’re medium-sized, with a great staff to student ratio (45 teaching and research staff, 100 students per year), allowing us to operate an open-door policy giving you easy access to staff when you need us.
Our students feel at home in the Physics building, and we have our own lecture theatres, labs, private study rooms and common room.
Did I mention we have our own telescope that students can book time on?
What is good about your courses?
They’re flexible – you can change from the BSc to MPhys (or the other way) up to the start of your third year, and you can change ‘flavours’ (Physics, Physics with Astrophysics, Physics with Space Science) as you go through the course as well.
We teach you how to be a physicist, not just how to memorise equations, through our innovative modules.
We allow you to start choosing modules from our large range of option courses, right from year one.
Will I need to buy lots of physics books?
No, you won't. On day one we'll give you a copy of our first year physics text (Tipler), and also the maths textbooks which we wrote to support our course. During subsequent years there may be recommended textbooks for both core and option modules to support the lecture material, but we try to ensure there are sufficient copies for the year group in the library, or online. Of course you’re welcome to buy textbooks for subjects that you find particularly fascinating, and we’re very happy to provide suggestions for more in-depth reading.
How is lecture material assessed?
For core courses, we allow students to obtain up to 30% of the final marks awarded for each module through continuous assessment, such as handing in seminar questions, completing term tests, and attending and engaging during workshops. This ensures engagement with the material throughout the lecture course, and deeper learning than just listening to lectures, as physics is a practical subject, and often the pieces only come together when you try to apply the theories you’ve been taught by having a go at some questions. It also means that the students have some marks under their belts before they have to sit any exams, which gives them confidence while preparing for exams.
Can I study abroad?
Many of our courses feature the opportunity to study abroad.
There are many benefits of spending time studying abroad during your course - International experiences can enhance your academic and personal skills and your employability.
Most students go for one academic year, between the second and third years of their course. However, some Schools offer one-semester options. You can also consider going on an overseas summer school, whether as a taster for a full year, or simply as a shorter alternative. And don’t worry if you don’t currently speak any other languages - we have many partner universities in other English-speaking countries, and most of our partner universities teach at least some of their classes in English.
We have exchange partner universities on every continent (except Antarctica!). Where you can go depends on your course and this list can vary from year to year.