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Course options

  • Qualification

    Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons)

  • Location

    Edinburgh Campus

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    4 Years

Course summary


This physics degree covers subjects including dynamics, electromagnetism, photonics and optics and astrophysics. These areas lead onto the quantum world of subatomic particles, the fascinating nature of light and the challenging but wonderful fields of quantum physics and relativity. Mathematics and practical work play an important part throughout the course, and specialist courses provided a background in physical maths and lab skills for physics applications. In later years, the course offers more specialist topics, including laser physics, solid state physics, optoelectronic devices, nuclear physics and biophysics.

In Year 4, individual research projects in world leading research groups allow you to develop skills in advanced experimental design, modelling and computation. Throughout, the programme will also help with your practical abilities, initiative and teamwork. The Physics degree provides broad and comprehensive training in all aspects of physics and modern science, and is well suited to both non-academic careers and careers in research.


This honours degree in Physics is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

Teaching and Learning

A variety of techniques are used to help the student learn the varied and complex skills of a physicist. The learning process takes place through lectures, small group tutorials, practical laboratories, and computer assisted open-learning. Subject-specific skills (both cognitive and practical) are acquired and developed through a combination of laboratory experiments, tutorials, problem-solving classes, open learning resources, computer modelling, presentations, project work and coursework exercises.

Personal abilities are incorporated within courses and are explicit throughout each stage of the course. Opportunities to acquire and develop these skills are provided through, for example, the Communication Skills activities and also through presentations, laboratories, group and individual projects, tutorials (both tutor and student-led) and self-directed learning materials.


The assessment policy for the course incorporates a range of assessment types: informal diagnostic tests which determine preparedness for a topic or course; formative tests during courses which provide feedback on performance and are used to inform further development. Continuous assessment during courses and summative assessment at the conclusion of courses both contribute to the overall assessment and are used to measure formally achievement in specified learning outcomes.

Application deadline

15 January

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 19,792per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

Entry requirements

Choose a qualification

A level : BBB

including Physics and Maths for entry to Year 1.For entry to Year 2: AAB including Physics and Maths.


University information

Heriot-Watt University

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, City Of, EH14 4AS, Scotland

Highly regarded around the world with a strong focus on business, engineering, design and the physical and life sciences.
Culturally diverse, warm and welcoming, Heriot-Watt is one of Scotland's most international universities with a global footprint.
Global companies actively seek out Heriot-Watt graduates due to the nature of the university's research-informed education.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    25th out of 49 3

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    168 73%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    73 73%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.32 86%



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