Undergraduate BSc (Hons)


School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Three year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Physics underpins everyday life, from the structure of the universe to the smartphone in your hand. A BSc Physics degree with Salford will put you in position for a career where you can discover the next scientific breakthroughs and innovations.

Delivered over three years – or four with an optional industry placement year - you will study a suite knowledge-building modules designed to help you become a future world-class physicist.  Accredited by the Institute of Physicsthe course provides advanced subject knowledge, so that you are ready for a wide-range of career in industry, research or teaching.

Through our engaging tutorials and laboratory-led activities, you will develop a greater understanding of the laws governing physics, strengthen your mathematical problem-solving and choose specialisms in acoustics or nanotechnology.  We use small group teaching so that you feel supported and able to ask the questions that satisfy your enquiring mind. 

Start your study journey 

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying physics, explore our facilities and meet the course team 

You will:

  • Explore physics fundamentals, including classical dynamics, static and dynamic charges, quantum mechanics, fundamentals of relativity and atomic and nuclear physics
  • Expand your knowledge and systematic understanding in quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules and solids, including the origin and limitations of the associated laws
  • Understand the laws of physics that govern the behaviour of all systems, with application in modern technologies
  • Experience computer laboratory sessions and learn the importance of mathematics in a quantitative description of physics, using symbolic computing and programming
  • Develop skills desired by industry and academia, including team working, problem solving, communication and presentation skills

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations

Institute of Physics Logo
Institute of Physics - Juno Practitioner

This is for you if...


You’re excited about mathematics and physics with a strong academic background that you want to take into higher education


You’re a problem-solver with an enquiring mind and a fascination about the world around you


You want to take your interest in physics into your future career, whether that is in industry, teaching or research

Course details

All about the course

Physics student

Led by our research-focused academic team, with strong industry links and laboratory-based learning, BSc (Hons) Physics at Salford delivers a programme where you can explore the laws of physics, make new discoveries and see how these can be applied to drive innovation in industry.


Delivered over three years - or four with a placement year, you will study a suite of modules designed to embed theoretical knowledge, build career-focused skills and help you become a world-class scientist.

Throughout your degree you will explore the whole breadth of physics, including advanced topics such as quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules, nuclear and particle physics, and wave optics. You will also apply your knowledge while using mathematical and computing techniques to solve complex physics problems.

Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.


Collaboration is core to our values, so we strive to embed this as a learning objective throughout your studies. You will experience group projects that will build your confidence and capabilities in team working, problem-solving and communication - all desirable skills for real-world physics careers. 

In the first year of our course, one of the modules is taught through problem-based learning and involves direct collaboration with industry employers. We host a series of seminars given by industry professionals to talk to students about what they can do with their physics degree. This gives students the chance to think about their future and choose modules based on the career pathways that they're most interested in.

Our second year students take part in a trimester-long group project, where students develop skills in areas such as computer interfacing and CAD design. Each group will design and build their own piece of physics-related equipment.


On this course, you'll have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you'll be responsible for securing your placement, a tutor will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report.

Read about student Elizabeth's placement experience with the University of Salford's Energy House.

Year one


Physics in Context

This module focuses on the underlying skills required in science and engineering. You will learn the importance of units, dimensional analysis, problem solving, presentation skills. We will also review the use of scientific IT, and introduce CAD/CAM and its application.  

The module content will also highlight the relationship between these underlying skills and their role for scientists and engineers in the workplace. Seminars from various physics-based industrial organisations will give you the opportunity to consider your future employment options and outline what will be required to achieve your goals.


Physics Laboratory 1

In Physics Laboratory 1, you will learn core laboratory skills including measurement, data analysis and electronics. During the module activities, you will use these skills to undertake a set of experiments designed to complement the core physics ideas presented in other course modules.

The module is taught in the laboratory, facilitated by academic and technical staff.


Modelling of Physical Systems

The use of computers to support problem solving in physics is widespread in both academic and industrial research. During this module, you will explore the application of numerical modelling, demonstrating how it can be complementary to mathematical-based analytical techniques, often allowing the examination the characteristics beyond the limitations of standard approaches. The learning focus is on developing appropriate physical models and is applied to the core areas of mechanics, waves and thermal physics.


Electricity, Magnetism and Light

During this module, you will learn about the physical laws associated with electricity and magnetism and how the motion of charged particles is governed by electric and magnetic fields. Module content will also introduce the properties of electromagnetic waves.

The module is taught using a combination of lectures and interactive workshops.


Mechanics, Relativity and Quantum Physics

During this module, you will learn about the laws and applications of classical mechanics ,and how the principles of relativity and quantum physics adapt these laws to describe motion at relativistic speeds and of very small entities such as atoms and electrons.

The module is taught using a combination of lectures and interactive workshops.


Understanding and using mathematics is an essential skill for success in physics. During this module, you will review A-level standard mathematics topics covering algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus, with emphasis on learning their applications to physics.

Year two


Quantum Physics

In this module, you will learn about the origins and principles of quantum mechanics. Both Schrӧdinger’s wave equation and the matrix formalism of quantum mechanics will be introduced, with applications in the fields of atoms and electrons.

The module is delivered using a combination of lectures and problem-solving tutorials.


Physics Laboratory 2

During Physics Laboratory 2, you will learn about experimental and computational methods applied in physics. You will undertake a series of experiments across a range of areas in physics, learn how to record results and link your findings to laws of physics. You will further develop computing skills and apply these to simulations in physics.

The module is delivered in laboratory settings with instruction and hands-on help.


Waves and Optics

Learn about principles of wave motion applied to mechanical, sound and electromagnetic waves. The module will introduce wave interference and build your understanding of diffraction in optical systems and applications. The module will also introduce underlying mathematical techniques including partial differential equations, Fourier transforms and convolutions.

The module is delivered using a combination of lectures and problem-solving tutorials.


Thermal Physics

During this module, you will learn about the laws of thermal physics and how the statistical properties of many particle systems relate to the laws in macroscopic systems. We will also introduce the concept of entropy and build your understanding of different states of matter.

The module is delivered using a combination of lectures and problem-solving tutorials.



You will learn about the fundamental laws of electromagnetism leading to the development of Maxwell’s equations and the electromagnetic wave equation. Underlying mathematical techniques, including vector calculus, will be introduced alongside the physical laws. The module is taught by a combination of lectures and problem solving tutorials.

Plus one module from below:

Principles of Acoustics

You will build on your knowledge and skills from the Introduction to acoustics module, to give you a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of acoustics. Subjects include: Fourier's theorem, solutions of 1-D wave equation, acoustic impedance, reflection factor and absorption coefficient, 3-D wave equation, radiation impedance, and behaviour of sound in 3D enclosures.


Group Project in Physics

This module is designed to bring together important aspects that are related to physics-based project work. You will learn:

  • the use of CAD/CAM software in the context of design and development of complex scientific parts and models;
  • how to construct simple sensor circuits and write interface software allowing automatic data collection;
  • experimental design and construction, incorporating the CAD/CAM; and,
  • interface skills, time management, teamwork and written/oral presentation skills via a group project.

University Wide Language Programme

Choose to study a world language in a friendly, supportive environment. Delivered over two semesters, with additional resources available via Blackboard, you will receive around 50 hours of supported learning to help you progress and consolidate your listening, reading, speaking and writing core skills. Available languages include Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Year three

Project in Physics

Working under the supervision of academic staff, you will conduct a research and/or development project. You will initially conduct background research into your chosen scientific area and produce a literature review highlighting the important history and progress made.

You will learn to work independently and be responsible for your progress (monitored by your supervisor). As part of your final assessment, you produce a professional scientific report outlining the progress made and present this work to an academic staff panel.

Nuclear and Particle Physics

You will receive an overview of Nuclear Physics and gain an understanding of nuclear stability in terms of the Liquid Drop Model and of nuclear reactions involving neutrons, protons, electrons and neutrinos, and major experimental techniques and practical applications. The particle physics element will cover the basic discoveries of modern Particle Physics and introduce the ideas of Grand Unified Theory.


Physics Laboratory 3

This module concentrates on the advanced physics laboratory skills required in science, engineering and the workplace. You can choose to focus on either experimental or computational physics.

You will build knowledge and gain the ability to use and understand the methodologies that underpin hi-tech materials deposition and analysis apparatus.  Throughout the module, we will highlight the relationship between the module topics and their role to scientists and engineers in the workplace.



Condensed Matter Physics

You will learn how the fundamental laws of physics determine the properties of solids and liquids. The physics behind semiconductors and devices, magnetism and superconductivity will be developed. The module is taught by a combination of lectures and problem solving tutorials.

Plus one module from below:

Photonics and Nanotechnology

Learn about the interaction of electromagnetic waves and photons with non-linear materials and applications. In the nanotechnology element, you will learn about applications of physics at the nanoscale including graphene, thin films, and quantum dots.

The module is taught by a combination of lectures and problem solving tutorials.


Astrophysics and Planetary Physics

Learn about the evolution of the universe, the structure and evolution of stars and galaxies and fundamental ideas in cosmology. In the planetary physics elements, you will learn about planetary formation, structure and the properties of matter under extreme conditions as found in the interior of planets.

The module is taught by a combination of lectures and problem solving tutorials.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


We place great emphasis on small group teaching to make you feel fully supported and able to ask questions. With your future in mind, you will also have opportunities to learn about future careers through our weekly seminars delivered by physics graduates and industry professionals.

During your studies, you will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of methods:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Practical laboratory activities

Practical laboratories activities are designed to reinforce your understanding of the laws of physics and their application. During these sessions, you will complete open-ended group-based exercises designed to enhance your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You will also build desirable industrial and research skills in team working, communications, and presentation skills.


You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Laboratory exercises
  • Examinations
  • Reports


Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As a physics student, you'll have access to our world-class laboratories in our new £65 million SEE building. These include a purpose-built teaching suite with specialist areas for electronics, optics, lasers, computing, and composite materials.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Physics student


A physics degree will equip you with a skillset and scientific approach so you can discover new scientific breakthroughs and innovations. Due to the analytical and problem-solving nature of physics, this degree can open up a wide range of career pathways.

As a physics graduate, you can look for opportunities in a diverse range of sectors, including healthcare, defense, finance, research, education, engineering and the nuclear industry.  Graduates can also take routes into teaching or academic research.

Today, you will find our alumni working in roles at leading regional, national and international organisations, including NHS Digital, the Home Office, Barclays, Rolls-Royce, National Nuclear Laboratory, the Royal Air Force, Laser Quantum, Christie’s Hospital, and Airbus Defence and Space. 


You might find you want to learn more about fields covered by your physics degree. Building on our expertise, we offer a range of postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni who apply for our postgraduate courses also qualify to receive a generous fees discount. 

MSc Acoustics

MSc Aerospace Engineering

MSc Data Science

A taste of what you could become

A Research Scientist

A Science Teacher

A Nanotechnologist

A Software Engineer

A Physicist

and more...


What you need to know


This course is designed for someone who is passionate about physics and science in general. We're looking for applicants with an aptitude for mathematics and problem-solving.


If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course, or the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

Standard entry requirements


English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above. Equivalents are accepted.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104-112 points including Mathematics (with mechanics) and Physics

A Level

104-112 points including Mathematics (with mechanics) and Physics

BTEC National Diploma

DMM in Engineering or Science (must include Maths with mechanics and Physics)

BTEC Higher National Diploma

DMM in Engineering or Science (must include Maths with mechanics and Physics)

Foundation Degree

104 -112 points including Mathematics (with mechanics) and Physics

Scottish Highers

104 -112 points from Higher Level, including Advanced Higher Mathematics and Physics at grade C 


Irish Leaving Certificate

104 -112 points from Higher Level, including Higher Mathematics (with mechanics) and Physics

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% from Science or Engineering

International Baccalaureate

30 Points to include Grade 5 in Physics and Mathematics (with mechanics) at Higher Level

Access to HE

104 - 112 UCAS points from QAA-approved Engineering or Science Access course. 

Other Qualifications

104 -112 UCAS points

International Students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements. If you do not meet the entry requirements, you could take the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we receive your application, we'll assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

To be considered for the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).

Please contact Admissions for further information.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £17,040.00per year

Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for International Students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's Apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID F300

Institution S03