Aston University Gabriella Gardosi
Aston University has one of the largest photonics departments in the UK. It has been amazing to get involved in the research here."

Gabriella Gardosi 
BSc Applied Physics

Entry requirements

BBB – BBC (or equivalent) including A-Levels Maths and Physics

Our Applied Physicists have experience of a highly numerate subject that requires a significant amount of problem solving. They are prepared for careers in research, and are in demand by both the industrial and service sectors. 

100% of Physical Sciences students were satisfied with the Teaching on their course (National Student Survey 2017)
Integrated placement year
Gain specialist knowledge required to start a successful career in physics
Internationally recognised for research
4 years (inc placement year)

This BSc course is available on a 4-year industrial or research placement basis. We are currently developing a 4-year fast-track MPhys course including a 12-month integrated industrial or research placement. You will be able to delay the choice between MPhys and BSc course until the end of Year 2

UCAS Code: F300

Please note:

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.  Find out more about our English language requirements   

Information on Admissions Policy

GCSE requirements: Maths Grade C and English Grade C.

Tuition fees:

UK/EU: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year)  (2018/19)  
International students: £19,000  (2018/19)
Placement Year: £2,500 for International Students

For UK / EU students, there are scholarships for students with AAB or above at A Level (or equivalent), household income-based scholarships and placement scholarships. 

For international students, the School of Engineering offers a £3000 scholarship to students who can demonstrate a high level of achievement in their academic studies (eg grades AAA or CGPA 3.6+)  

 Typical offer level                                               

BBB-BBC to include  Maths Grade B and Physics Grade B.
General Studies and Critical Thinking not accepted.
A combination of two A Level and two AS Level subjects may be accepted.
32 overall points with 554 including Maths and Physics at Higher Level.
DDD in relevant National Diploma.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Course Outline

Physics is a core discipline at the heart of our attempts to address many of the challenges facing modern society, from the need for sustainable power generation to our thirst for ever-higher data rates on the internet. Our Applied Physics degree programme explores the boundary where fundamental physics meets applied science and engineering. The main goal of the degree programme is to provide graduates with a rigorous grounding in core physics coupled with an appreciation of its application in engineering disciplines. This degree programme prepares students for an industrial, research and higher education career, or further advanced degrees in applied physics, physics or engineering disciplines.


Year 1

The BSc programme shares a common first two years with an MPhys programme that is being developed. The first year lays the foundations of the discipline, and comprises the following modules:

  • Computational Problem Solving (EE1CPS)
  • Digital and Analogue Electronics (EE1DAE)
  • Electrical Circuit Theory (EE1ECT)
  • Core Engineering Mathematics (EE1CEM)
  • Mechanics (AP1MEC)
  • Theory of Electricity (EE1TEL)
  • Introduction to Optics and Waves (EE1IOW)
  • Thermodynamics (AP1THP)
  • Experimental Physics (AP1EPL)
  • Modern Physics (AP1MPH) 
Year 2 

In the second year students develop a deeper understanding of more complex physical phenomena and further improve their mathematical and experimental skills:

  • Electronic Systems Analysis (EE2ESA)
  • Mathematical Methods I (AP2MM1) 
  • Electromagnetism (AP2EMG)
  • Physics Group Project (AP2GRP) 
  • Measurement and Data Acquisition (AP2MDA)
  • Electrical Systems Engineering (EE2ESE)
  • Quantum Mechanics (AP2QUM)
  • Condensed Matter Physics (AP2CMP)
  • Mathematical Methods II (AP2MM2)
  • Physics Laboratory (AP2PHL)
  • Communication Systems (EE2CSY) 

Placement year

The placement provides the opportunity either to work in paid employment as a scientist in industry, or to study or undertake project work at a university abroad. The industrial placement will give you experience working in the professional world and an opportunity to develop time management, communication and team work skills, which is tremendously helpful when later looking for graduate employment.

The School has contacts with a wide variety of employers and most students arrange their employment with one of these. Studying or working in a research environment abroad will introduce you to a new academic and cultural environment and complement your studies by offering subjects that may not be covered at Aston and developing language and other skills. Our dedicated Placements Team will support and guide you through the recruitment process, developing your skills for applications, interviews and organising employer-led workshops. During the placement you will also have regular contact with the Placements Team, a Placements Tutor and a local supervisor, as well as a visit from a member of staff, in most cases. We plan to include a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) year in the programme, as an option for you to take instead of the placement year.  

  • EAS Study Placement Year (SEP001)
  • EAS Industrial Placement Year (SEP002)

Final Year

In the final year, the core modules cover Atomic and Nuclear Physics, Optoelectronics, and Project Management. You then select from a broad range of options or specialise on one particular area such as communications, nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology or power engineering. The course is designed so that most examined work is completed by January of the final year allowing you to spend the final semester concentrating on a substantial Individual experimental or theoretical Project, which will often be aligned with the research activity within the School.

Core Modules:

  • Atomic and Nuclear Physics (AP3ANP)
  • Optoelectronics (EE3OEL)
  • Project Management (EE3PMT)
  • Individual Final Year Project (AP3IFP)

Optional Modules

  • Automation, Measurement and Data Processing (EE3AMD)
  • Biophotonics (AP3BIP)
  • Nanomaterials and Applications (AP3NAN)
  • Digital Transmission (EE3DTR)
  • Internet of Things (EE3IOT)
  • Optical Communications Systems (EE3OCS)
  • Radio Systems and Personal Communications Networks (EE3RSY)
  • Signal Processing (EE3SPR)
  • Innovation Management (ME2033)
  • Energy Efficiency (ME3023)

Key Benefits

  • Provides a thorough knowledge of basic physical principles, as well as the theoretical knowledge and skills required for specific technological applications.
  • Exploits the extensive range of modules taught by the Engineering Subject Groups to allow students to follow one or more engineering specialisations while also gaining a solid grounding in physics.
  • Relevant industrial or study experience in placement year.
  • We are currently developing a fast-track 4-year MPhys including integrated 12-month professional or research placement.
  • Degrees with built-in flexibility, allowing students to choose whether to do the BSc or MPhys, study year abroad, professional placement or QTS after the second year.
  • Association with the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies allows students to study and work alongside internationally recognised researchers in areas such as non-linear photonics, laser machining, optical sensing and high-speed communications.

Career Prospects

With experience of a highly numerate subject requiring a significant amount of problem solving, applied physicists are in demand by both the industrial and service sectors, as well as being well prepared for a research career. They will perform research and development in high-technology industries in various fields including telecommunications, microelectronics and microdevices, optics, lasers, novel materials and advanced manufacturing after graduation. Additionally, the broad, thorough training provided in fundamentals and applied technology by this programme will enable our graduates to explore other burgeoning fields, such as energy, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and communications technology. Applied physics graduates can also enter advanced degree programmes to start an academic career, conduct research and instruct the next generation of physicists and engineers.

Applied physics is an ideal background for careers in patent law, and provides a very desirable pathway to careers in finance. Applied physics offers a seamless way to enter master programmes and then start careers in the highly-recruited area of medical physics, and is excellent preparation for careers at the interfaces of biology, medicine, and physics.

We will be applying for the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) accreditations.


Course Director:

Dr Sonia Boscolo
Senior Lecturer
Electrical, Electronic and Power Engineering
Engineering and Applied Science
+44(0)121 204 3495

Applications for all of our Undergraduate programmes should be made online through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

If your school, college or careers centre is registered with UCAS, you can apply through them, but if not you can apply directly on the UCAS website –

If you have any questions,contact us

EAS Undergraduate Admissions Office
+44 (0)121 204 3400

Interested? We'd love to hear from you.

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