From scratch to physics

  • Thread starter Freshleaf
  • Start date
  • #1
Hi, I apologize if you get this sort of question a lot.

I left school at 16 and went straight into work and have worked for the last 7 years, the whole time my main hobby was science specifically physics, I absolutely loved reading about it and doing what I could related to it.

I decided to get back into education and have found myself on an access to HE course absolutely loving my science lessons. I spoke to my science tutor and she said I could progress onto a foundation degree in physics when I complete this course which blew my mind as I thought I would never have the chance to go to university.

The problem I am finding though is that even though most universities accept access to HE for foundation degrees, I don't really see how I will be ready to possibly do it.

My course is only a year and within it, it has level 2 maths and level 3 science, I feel that if I was to progress onto a foundation degree I would be completely out of my depth. Most people I know who went on to do physics did level 3's in maths for 2 years. I don't really see how a year of level 2 maths could prepare me for this. I am doing as much extra study as I can in maths and physics but I don't really see how in a year I could be prepared to do this.

So what I am asking is am I making a mistake going for a foundation degree in physics and also is 23 to late to really do this? I mean most people who did physics I know, did their maths when they were young so it sort of stuck with them, where as I am 23 pretty much starting from scratch.

Would it be more realistic, to maybe head in the direction of something slightly easier? I am willing to put in the leg work but sometimes no matter how hard you work its just unrealistic.

Sorry for that long post and cheers if anyone can help even if it is bad news as I have been losing sleep for about 2 months over this.

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Staff Emeritus
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I can't speak to the rest of your post but 23 is definitely not too old to learn physics in the general sense. I'm pretty sure that we have some people on this forum who went back to school in their 40s/50s and got technical degrees (math/science/engineering).
  • #3
That's pretty awesome to hear, I was just kind of worried it was like with languages. 23 is not to old to learn a new language but when you are younger it is so easy to pick up new languages. Where as you get older your brain seems a little more cemented.
  • #4
You have a year.
I'd suggest abusing the heck out of Khan Academy first (doing the math up to Calculus, and all the Physics), then moving on the, or taking edX's/MitX's Introduction to Classical Mechanics class made by Walter Lewin. You can do that in a year; I did it in less! :D Well, the Khan Academy part. Currently doing the edX Intro to Classical Mechanics, and it does require some Calculus knowledge of the basics so far. Probably will more in the future.
  • #5
Awesome thank you I have been using Khan academy it is great and I will check those other websites out. Recently got myself some maths books but made a pretty big mistake, most of the have small summaries then start on the questions and I realized these books were designed to be used in class.

My current plan is to work through the physics and maths on khan academy and make my way through an algebra book I bought then hopefully on to calculus, hopefully this on top of my level 2 math course should hopefully set me up.