Physics / Theoretical Physics BSc/MSci

Physics student

Physics is the experimental and theoretical study of matter and energy and their interactions, ranging from the domain of elementary particles, through nuclear and atomic physics, to the physics of solids and, ultimately, to the origins of the universe itself. Studying with us offers you a fundamental understanding of the way the Universe works, brings you to the forefront of technology, and provides the opportunity to work in world-leading research groups. Many of our staff play leading roles in major international research projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and the gravitational wave observatory LIGO.

The scientific knowledge and mathematical and analytical skills you acquire will equip you to work across a wide range of industries including aerospace, electronics, semiconductors, petroleum, communications, computing, medical physics, education, commerce and the civil service: both in scientific and administrative areas. 

  • September start: session dates
  • Physics BSc (Hons): F300 4 year degree
  • Theoretical Physics BSc (Hons): F344 4 year degree
  • Physics MSci: F301 5 year degree
  • Theoretical Physics MSci: F340 5 year degree

Why study Physics / Theoretical Physics?

  • Physics & Astronomy at Glasgow is ranked 2nd in Scotland and 12th in the UK (Complete University Guide 2020) 
  • This degree programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics 
  • Lectures are complemented by our observatory, planetarium and telescope facilities at our Garscube Campus
  • The school has two active societies - PhySoc and AstroSoc - run by students, for students

Programme structure

Year 1

Core courses:

You will gain a basic understanding of the core topics in theoretical physics, receive an introduction to the methods of experimental physics and obtain a solid foundation for further study of the subject. Topics will include dynamics, wave motion, properties of matter, thermal physics, optics, electricity and magnetism, and quantum physics.

Year 2

Core courses:

You will undergo training in more specialised experimental techniques and expand your awareness of the latest developments in modern physics research. Topics will include physics of waves, dynamics, physics of solids, thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, nuclear and particle physics, physics of optics, and mathematical techniques.

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.

Year 3

Core courses:

Year 4

Core courses:

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will continue to study in greater depth core topics spanning all areas of physics, explore a range of specialist topics of your choice, and undertake project work, often within a world-leading research group.

An important aspect of the Physics degree programmes is the emphasis on technological applications such as laser physics, semiconductor physics and devices, modern signal processing technology, and magnetic and superconducting materials. If you choose the Theoretical Physics degree you will focus on more advanced theoretical topics. Additionally, you will undertake specialised computational project work. There is an opportunity to take an MSci degree, which explores physics topics in greater depth and includes an individually supervised project working at the cutting edge of international research.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

You will have the opportunity to apply to study abroad. There are currently two options available: the Erasmus+ Programme and the International Exchange Programme. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2020



  • Standard entry requirements: AAB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum entry requirements: BBB considered for offer if additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: Mathematics AND Physics A-levels at Grades A or B. Further Mathematics is also recommended to aid university preparation but will not affect an offer. We accept Mathematics and Further Mathematics as two different subjects. Applicants to joint degrees must meet the entry requirements of both subjects.

Advanced entry

Indicative Grades for Advanced Entry Consideration (in addition to having met the Standard and Additional Entry Requirements)

We offer Advanced Entry to some of our programmes. Applicants who achieve exceptional grades may be considered for Advanced Entry, meaning that an Honours degree can be completed in three years instead of the normal four years, or four years for five-year integrated Masters programmes. 

  • A*AA.