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The award
FdSc

How long you will study
2 years

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Physics at The School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University

This physics foundation degree leads to a recognised qualification after two years. It gives a rigorous grounding in all aspects of physics and is a qualification in its own right. Topics include studying the ideas of motion and mathematical techniques alongside developing practical skills in the laboratory.

If you achieve high grades in your first year, you can transfer to our Physics degrees - Year Two of our BSc (Hons) Physics or BSc (Hons) Physics with Nuclear Technology courses, meaning you can gain a BSc (Hons) in three years. Alternatively, upon successfully completing your FdSc course, you can:

  • study for one extra calendar year and be awarded our BSc (Hons) Technological Physics, which emphasises practical applications
  • join Year Two of our BSc (Hons) Physics, BSc (Hons) Physics with Nuclear Technology or BSc (Hons) Physics with Astrophysics courses, meaning you can gain a BSc (Hons) in four years of study
  • qualify with FdSc Physics and go on to secure positions such as laboratory technician, IT assistant or research assistant.

Why choose this course?

  • We've got a great reputation. We're consistently rated as one of the best universities for teaching in the UK. We have been awarded a gold rating in the government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the rankings produced by the Times Higher Education put us 3rd in the UK.
    We get consistently high satisfaction scores in the National Student Survey. In the most recent survey (2017) the overall satisfaction with our Physics and Astronomy courses was 97%, putting us joint 4th in the UK.
  • We have inspiring learning environments. We have a custom-built on-campus observatory recognised by the International Astronomical Union, a radio telescope, a CT scanner, new microscopes, MRI scanners, a scanning tunneling microscope and an ionising radiation laboratory.
  • We provide innovative accredited courses. Our pioneering courses and research are carried out in close collaboration with university and industry partners worldwide, giving our students skills and knowledge which are highly relevant to the needs of industry. Our undergraduate MSci and BSc physics courses are accredited by The Institute of Physics (IOP).
  • We're delivering research with impact. Physics staff contribute to research activity in a number of areas including Superhydrophobic Surfaces, Medical Resonance Imaging, Art Conservation and Space Weather. NTU has recently been awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for research - the highest national award achievable. Every year approximately ten of our students undertake paid summer placements in our research groups, giving them hands-on experience of cutting edge research.
  • We're one of the top universities for offering placements. Our courses offer the opportunity to apply for a placement in the UK or abroad, giving you the real-life experience employers are looking for, including recent placements at CERN, E.ON, The Netherlands Forensic Institute and Diamond Light Source.
  • We've got an excellent employability record. Over 93% of NTU graduates are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving.

What you'll study

About the Physics Team

Our highly experienced staff are constantly updating and renewing the way in which they teach Physics. This ensures all our courses are up-to-date, forward-thinking and designed to meet the needs of an ever-changing, fast-paced technological world.

Professor Carl Brown is the inventor of low power liquid crystal e-paper displays that are used in many retail outlets. He shares this expertise on the Advanced Experimental Techniques module.

Dr Bill Neal has 30 years of teaching experience in UK universities. He knows all of our physics courses backwards and has an open door to dispense his good advice.

Dr Michael Newton is a Chartered Engineer and has more than 30 years of experience in the development of experimental equipment and instrumentation.

Professor Haida Liang is an internationally recognised expert in imaging in art conservation, a field in which she applies her background training in observational astrophysics.

Dr David Fairhurst is an accomplished researcher in the behaviour of liquid droplets. He received the Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching in 2014 in recognition of his inspirational teaching.

Dr Dan Brown, who teaches astronomy modules, is regularly interviewed on radio and TV for his astronomy work with schools and other outreach events.

Dr Nicolas Sawyer has a very student-friendly approach to being Year One Tutor, along with expertise in optics and imaging.

Dr Martin Bencsik, who teaches and researches into MRI, studied for his PhD supervised by Nobel-prize winning Sir Peter Mansfield, co-inventor of MRI.

Visit our academic team pages to find out more about our approach to teaching, our partners and research interests.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. As part of this, we're offering scholarships for up to 30 students to study a language module as part of their degree.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills;
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad; and
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

  • Year One

    Ideas of Motion - From Galileo to Einstein

    Understand how force and motion are related, from the ideas of Galileo through to Newton's laws of motion up to Einstein's special theory of relativity.

    Laboratory Instrumentation and Physics Skills

    This module provides an underpinning of essential professional, laboratory and IT skills, including physical principles of electronics-based measurement instruments.

    Introduction to Laboratory Software

    Learn basic concepts of program design, and gain the knowledge and skills to implement software solutions to scientific problems.

    Microscopy and Sound

    Study the physical principles of optical, electron and scanning probe microscopy and gain an introduction to geometrical optics, using examples of forensic specific equipment.

    Workshop

    Regular contact with staff in small-groups to support your progress across the whole range of Physics and Mathematics topics.

    Mathematical Techniques

    This module provides the mathematical tools you need to support your studies in including matrix and vector algebra, and their application to real examples in Physics.

  • Year Two

    Matter: Evidence for Quantisation

    Providing you with knowledge in elementary quantum ideas and nuclear physics, you will develop your ability to understand and apply mathematical techniques in a scientific manner.

    Optics and Semiconductors

    Study a range of topics concerned with geometrical and physical optics, and with the elucidation of the principles of operation of semiconductor devices through the application of solid state theory.

    Digital Techniques

    Learn about digital electronics and digital data processing, including scientific image processing, the structure of a computer and its modes of communicating with other systems.

    Preparation for Work

    In this module students will develop knowledge of key issues related to employment in physics related industries.

    Thermal and Environmental Physics

    Learn about the principles of thermal physics, including heat transfer processes; thermal expansion of materials; behaviour of gases, liquids and solids; sources of energy; and the physics of climate change.

    Ionising Radiation and Non-invasive Imaging

    Learn about how different types of radiation interact; the beneficial and detrimental effects of Ionising Radiations (IR); and the principles of imaging techniques such as Ultrasonic and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).  This module includes a substantial number of experiments in our dedicated Ionising Radiation laboratory.

  • Final year

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Careers and employability

Your career development

You will develop numerical, analytical and computational skills which are greatly respected by employers, in addition to essential, transferable skills which include report communication skills, team working and problem solving. Our Physics graduates have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • aerothermal engineer - Rolls Royce
  • wind analyst - Prevailing Ltd
  • technical writer - KA Testing Facility
  • medical dosimetrist - NHS
  • software test engineer - Nikon
  • car configuration engineer - Jaguar Land Rover
  • teacher - Numerous schools
  • public engagement of science officer - Science and Technology Facilities Council
  • graduate quantity surveyor - Balfour Beatty
  • scientist training programme - NHS

Many graduates also choose to undertake further study on one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees in areas including Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Quantum Computing and Detector Research.

Study options for this course

Notes about fees for this course

UK Fees

Once our 2018/19 fees have been set, they will be available on our fees and funding pages.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

International Fees

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

If you do not meet these entry requirements you may be able to join the OpenPlus Nottingham Trent University scheme we are running with the Open University (OU). The scheme involves part-time study, with the OU, followed by two years' full-time study with us to complete this degree programme. Find out more.

This course does not attract Tier 4 sponsorship.  If you require Tier 4 sponsorship to study in the UK, then you may be interested in one of our BSc Physics courses or the OpenPlus Nottingham Trent University scheme (details above).


International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you're not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.


English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study.   We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

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