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Programs Physics and Philosophy BSc - What to expect?

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Hi,
I'm applying for 2020 entry in the UK (coming from Poland) and the subject that I'm most interested in is BSc in Physics and Philosophy (well maybe next to Natural Sciences degree, but I feel like that's out of my grasp), with the intent to later pursue MSc, PhD and ultimately an academic career.

I will probably apply for a foundation year, because I don't really feel that confident in my academic skills right now, as well as the predicted results of the final exams, as I have made some mistakes regarding my education during high school.

What should I expect from that program? Will the amount of lab work be substantially lower than in a standard physics degree program? Is there much more focus on analytic philosophy, or is there fair amount of continental philosophy as well? Will I be able to pursue experimental physics or on the other hand philosophy PhD later if I find it to my liking, or will I be limited to theoretical physics?

Thanks for the help in advance.
 
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Also if this information is relevant, I'm going to apply to Manchester, Nottingham, and Sheffield for the Physics and Philosophy BSc and to Liverpool, and UCL for the Physics BSc, or Natural Sciences BSc in case of the UCL (probably not gonna make it there though).
 

Orodruin

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I'm applying for 2020 entry in the UK (coming from Poland)
Just to mention the elephant in the room here. Did you consider the impact that Brexit may have on your plans?

Note: This is just a question of whether you have considered the impact on your plans. Political discussion as such is not allowed on PF, but we can discuss how it may affect you (or not) as long as we keep political opinion out of it.
 

DEvens

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You should concentrate on the BSc first. Most universities will have quite a lot of requirements on what classes you must take and various other requirements. You should be talking to the admissions and guidance folks at the university you are applying to.

Be nice to the support staff at your university. The department clerks and secretaries will know a lot of the details the profs might not tell you. For example, there are usually several scholarship programs that could get you some money. But you must apply to them, and there are deadlines. The support staff will know. And they will know how to fill out those forms and where to submit them.

When you are in the BSc program you should be looking forward to the grad school in order to select your classes. That will mean you need more specific ideas than "experimental physics." That's a huge subject. It could be high energy particle physics or geology or health physics or materials or a bunch of other stuff. Narrow it down a bit, then pick classes that match.

Find out what classes you enjoy and are good at. Look around for universities that do those subjects and that have graduate programs. Contact them (or look them up on the net) and find out what requirements they have. That will guide you as to what classes to take in your BSc, particularly in the 3rd and 4th years. And possibly what other activities. Most BSc programs have some kind of senior project or some such. If you are interested in a particular type of experimental physics then a 4th year project with a prof who does that kind of thing would be a very good choice.

Also, look for the trade magazines such as Physics Today and similar things. They will show where recent grads got jobs. If you like the job a grad got, possibly the school and prof he worked for are a good match for you. The library at your university will have several and possibly make suggestions as to others.
 
3
1
Just to mention the elephant in the room here. Did you consider the impact that Brexit may have on your plans?

Note: This is just a question of whether you have considered the impact on your plans. Political discussion as such is not allowed on PF, but we can discuss how it may affect you (or not) as long as we keep political opinion out of it.
Yes. Actually I was going to take a gap year first, but there is a guarantee that the students from the EU entering 2020 will still receive student loans and pay the same fees as the domestic students. What comes after 2020 entry is unknown.

You should concentrate on the BSc first. Most universities will have quite a lot of requirements on what classes you must take and various other requirements. You should be talking to the admissions and guidance folks at the university you are applying to.

Be nice to the support staff at your university. The department clerks and secretaries will know a lot of the details the profs might not tell you. For example, there are usually several scholarship programs that could get you some money. But you must apply to them, and there are deadlines. The support staff will know. And they will know how to fill out those forms and where to submit them.

When you are in the BSc program you should be looking forward to the grad school in order to select your classes. That will mean you need more specific ideas than "experimental physics." That's a huge subject. It could be high energy particle physics or geology or health physics or materials or a bunch of other stuff. Narrow it down a bit, then pick classes that match.

Find out what classes you enjoy and are good at. Look around for universities that do those subjects and that have graduate programs. Contact them (or look them up on the net) and find out what requirements they have. That will guide you as to what classes to take in your BSc, particularly in the 3rd and 4th years. And possibly what other activities. Most BSc programs have some kind of senior project or some such. If you are interested in a particular type of experimental physics then a 4th year project with a prof who does that kind of thing would be a very good choice.

Also, look for the trade magazines such as Physics Today and similar things. They will show where recent grads got jobs. If you like the job a grad got, possibly the school and prof he worked for are a good match for you. The library at your university will have several and possibly make suggestions as to others.
Alright, thanks for the tips. I guess I will apply and see what happens then!
 

Orodruin

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Yes. Actually I was going to take a gap year first, but there is a guarantee that the students from the EU entering 2020 will still receive student loans and pay the same fees as the domestic students. What comes after 2020 entry is unknown.
I would say anything beyond October 31 is unknown in terms of how the UK will relate to the rest of the world. I guess if you go for entry in 2020, the most severe effects of a possible no-deal will be known before you actually have to start and you can decide what to do based upon that. Predictions generally seem to range from "nothing will change" to "there will be no food or medicines" depending on who you choose to listen to. While the former would not impact studies at all, the latter would be a severe impediment to any studies even if you receive student loans and pay the same fees as domestic students.
 

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