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Viewing as a student from United States living in United States interested in Undergraduate courses

Physics of the Environment with Placement Year BSc (Hons)

University of Reading

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Course options

  • Qualification

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

  • Location

    Main Site

  • Study mode

    Sandwich / Placement

  • Start date


  • Duration

    4 Years

Course summary

In this degree you can explore the physics behind the atmosphere, oceans, ice sheets and the Earth's crust, as well as space weather and the Sun. You will also develop an understanding of key environmental issues, including atmospheric pollution and climate change, from a physics perspective. This knowledge is essential for tackling many of the problems facing the planet today.

Teaching is divided between lectures and practical work, but the ratio depends on options selected. You will have the opportunity to carry out a range of experiments using our extensive fluid dynamics and instrument labs, and atmospheric observatory. During your final year you will have the option of attending a summer field study trip; in recent years students have gone to the Isle of Arran, but the location of the field class is subject to change. You will also carry out an independent research project, working closely with a member of staff on a topic of your choice.


This four-year degree course includes an industry placement or a year's study at a university abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop valuable professional skills and experience. The Department benefits from a specialist placement officer and strong links with industry. Many students carry out work experience during the summer vacation with popular destinations including the Met Office and EDF Trading.


In a greener economy, graduates who can understand, model and predict environmental changes are increasingly in demand. You could move into areas such as water resource management, environmental consultancy, energy supply, flood modelling, pollution predication or terrestrial and space weather forecasting. Government agencies, such as the UK Met Office and Environment Agency, are major employers of environmental physics graduates, as are the power, utilities, transport, agriculture and health sectors.

In addition to careers related to the environment, your problem solving, and numeracy skills will allow you to move into the finance, management consultancy and insurance sectors. Alternatively, you could choose to enter teacher training.

The degree is also a stepping stone to PhD study, and your solid grounding in fundamental physics will enable you to research topics beyond those linked to the environment and climate.

Application deadline

15 January

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 20,830per 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 : ABB

including B in Mathematics and B in Physics


University information

University of Reading

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Reading, Whiteknights House, PO Box 217, Reading, Wokingham, RG6 6AH, England

The University of Reading is an international community with more than 23,000 students from around 160 countries.
Reading is a lively town just 22 minutes from London Paddington by train, and 45 minutes from Heathrow Airport by coach. Windsor and Oxford are also close by.
Reading supports undergraduate, master's and doctoral students to maintain, improve and develop their academic English.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    35th out of 72

  • Entry standards

    / Max 210
    121 57%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    69 69%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.90 78%


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