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Quickest route to physics degree

  1. Jan 19, 2009 #1
    hi there

    i've just realised that physics is my true calling in life! unfortunately i am 28 and have a steady job. My question is, is there any way to do a physics degree with a decent UK university either part time or by intensive course?

    i've got a "A" at A-level to build on, further mathematics A levels and an engineering degree.

    many many thanks for any replies..
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2009 #2
    I'm not very knowledgeable on this, but have you tried the Open University?
  4. Jan 20, 2009 #3
    Yes, i've had a look at that but would like to consider all options before settling on one.
    Is it possible to self-teach and just link into a course towards the end to sit exams and carry out projects?
    Alternatively, are there any research institutions where good opportunities to get involved are available for those without the standard orthodox qualifications?
  5. Jan 20, 2009 #4
    No mate, you've got me there. I'm currently doing my degree in Physics and Computer Science through an institution very similar to the UK's Open University and I must admit that I seriously doubt your chances of making a success of studying Physics without guidance. It gets hairy. Furthermore, belonging to some educational institution is sometimes the only motivation to keep going as it helps enforce the discipline required when the going gets tough.

    From my personal experience of trying to get involved in anything scientific without the necessary paperwork to back you up, I'd say that the chances of that is also very slight if not zero.

    All of this probably sounds very negative, but I do wish to add that, in your position, I'd seriously consider the possibilities of part-time/distance education rather than attempting to "jump the queue" so to speak by trying to skip the formal option.

    However, do not take my word for it. This is only my opinion. Sorry I can't be of more help to you :redface:
  6. Jan 21, 2009 #5
    Also: if you really think physics is your true calling, you'll likely need to pursue a graduate degree. Your chances of getting into a top program will be better if you have experiences that can honestly only be gained through connections at real, live (not-online) institutions... such as advanced lab projects with special equipment and addition research experiences in the research labs of faculty (or during summer at other institutions).
  7. Jan 21, 2009 #6
    At 28 it's not too late to get into a full-time Uni but the blow to the wallet might be too severe. Don't forget the Uni's will ask for something like AAB at A level to gain entry to a Physics undergraduate programme so if you don't have that it'll take longer. Your best bet would be the Open University where you could still earn a living but study at the same time. I already have a Physics degree from Glasgow and am now studying for a Maths degree through the OU.

    Course materials excellent, good choice of subjects and all examinable at the end of the year in 3 hour written tests. It's a well thought of institution and those going on to postgrad don't seem to suffer too much from the experience.

    If you need to continue to work and earn then there's really no other way. Good Luck.
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