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Urgent advice on course choice in England

  1. Jul 1, 2013 #1
    I am currently enrolling on a BSc Natural Sciences: Physics Pathway with the Open University in the UK and am a UK resident.

    Just discovered that they have another degree: BSc Mathematics and Physics.

    In respect to future opportunities which degree should I study? Shall I stick with the Natural Sciences: Physics pathway or change it before it begins in October to the Math & Physics degree?

    Can anybody tell me the pro's and con's of each degree?

    I would really appreciate any help.

    Thank you .
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2013 #2
    From what I understand of the UK system (note I am an american, but was seriously considering study in the UK), the main difference from a career perspective has to do with a Theoretical vs. Experimental divide. A Natural Sciences Bsc is more experimentally based, or to put it differently, these degrees prepare you better to do experimental work in graduate school (If that's what you want to do) While a Physics and Mathematics Bsc is better preparation for Theoretical Physics/ Applied Mathematics. There are overlaps between the two (you still take math courses in the Natural Sciences track, and still learn about modern experiments in the Physics and Mathematics track), but the emphasis overall is different. If you feel you're not going to end up in experimental physics for grad school, I would suggest the Physics and Mathematics track, since the extra math you learn will be applicable in almost any job you take after school. On the other hand, If you like doing experiments, I would say Natural Sciences is the way to go. Also, this all depends upon how much you like math compared to physics.
  4. Jul 15, 2013 #3
    I'm also interested and studying Physics at the Open University. On thing to consider is that neither degree is currently accredited by the IOP(Insitute of Physics).

    The Natural Science pathway has too little maths content, where as the maths & physics degree does not contain any experimental/lab work. Of course this might not matter to you if your intention is not to follow a research based career.
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