1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Choosing UK undergraduate physics degree

  1. Oct 30, 2012 #1
    Hello there

    I'm in the UK, wanting to study physics, I'm applying late through clearing in August next year for 2013 entry. Could someone direct me to a UK specific guide to undergraduate physics degrees? The sticky seems to be on the US system. I'm not sure whether to do a 3 year bachelors course, a 4 year integrated masters course, a straight/general physics course or something like 'physics with medical physics' or 'astronomy'. I also don't know what kind of physics courses are usually left at the end of the year through clearing. I don't have staff members to these questions to since I'm a self-studying a-level private candidate

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2012 #2
    It doesnt make a difference if you choose to do a BSc or MPhys, you get a choice to switch at the end of second year.
    Straight physics would probably be your best bet, because you're free to choose any physics module you want, whereas in physics with astrophysics you are more limited to your choice

    Physics will definitely be in clearing, but the universities will be random and different every year .. Thats how I got in :)

    Why do you want to get in through clearing ?! UCAS is still open
  4. Oct 30, 2012 #3
    Apparently doing a BSc messes up your student loan a bit when you go on to do masters

    Yeah, I was leaning towards straight physics

    I see, thanks for the advice

    Terrible predicted grades and references from my old teachers (although I don't blame them) so I've got no choice but to approach unis with my actual grades

    Thanks again
  5. Oct 30, 2012 #4
    Yeah, maybe !! but one phone call to student finance would fix the student loan thing .. I dont know anyone who had any problems with switching from BSc to MPhys

    LOL i have never heard of a teacher give a bad reference, they must be real dicks !!
  6. Oct 31, 2012 #5
    Not sure it's actually possible to do clearing unless you've already sent an application?

    In any case you'll still need to pay UCAS and write up a Personal Statement etc. so you may as well apply for whichever courses you fancy. Bear in mind that even if you don't get in through clearing, you still have this year to improve your relationship with your teachers to get a reference and a good set of grades if you take a gap year. If you do clearing, student housing tends to be harder to make work.

    It's almost always recommended to do MPhys rather than BSc because of the student finance difficulties. In any case, it is what the majority do, at least at my uni.
  7. Oct 31, 2012 #6
    It can be problematic to transfer from a BSc to MPhys, but you'll have until the end of your second year to decide which you want to do, although it is much easier to transfer from MPhys to BSc.

    As for straight physics vs physics and/with xxx, I chose to go for straight physics since my university offers a huge range of optional modules and I was interested in both astro and pure maths. However, most universities are reasonably flexible when it comes from transferring from straight physics to physics with xxx, provided you do it early in the first year.
  8. Oct 31, 2012 #7
    Yeah I'll still have to send an application and pay, the deadline for just clearing is very late though, I don't need to bother with it right now

    I'll automatically get turned down so there's no point in applying. I don't, I'm not in sixth form/college anymore, I've left after 3 years of being a terrible student, I'm already on a sort of 'gap year/limbo' as a private candidate doing exams externally. I don't see my old teachers (I'll have to ask them for the references they wrote last year at some point) but if I told them I wanted to do physics they would laugh in my face.

    By terrible predicted grades I mean last year before I left they predicted me DDD, those were already useless and it's going to go down even further if I email them for predicted grades this year. I've got no choice but to go through clearing or have another year out, which my parents don't want, they want me out of the house.

    Yeah, I might as well do MPhys

    I see, thanks for the info
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook