Physics and Astronomy (with a foundation year) BSc

Foundation Years

Key information

Duration:
4 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
BCC-CCC
UCAS code:
FF35
Start date:
September 2018

Interested in physics or astrophysics, but don’t meet the entry requirements for a three-year course? A Foundation Year degree can help you get on to the course you want.

We have over 20 years’ experience running this Foundation Year, teaching students from a variety of backgrounds. You’re taught on campus and treated as a full undergraduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Accreditation

After passing your Foundation Year you can transfer to any BSc degree in Physics or Astrophysics or – depending on your performance – any MPhys degree. All our BSc and MPhys degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Foundation Year courses are a brilliant opportunity for students to fulfil their potential while they’re learning the skills required by a top university like Sussex.”Chantal Irtelli
English and A-level Academic Leader

Is a Foundation Year for you?

We welcome students with a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, including:

  • those who aren't sure which subject they'd like to specialise in
  • those who don't have the right combination of subjects for direct entry into Year 1
  • those who don't meet the expected requirements for direct entry into Year 1
  • those who are returning to education after some time away.

Entry requirements

You will need to demonstrate your potential to do well on a demanding degree, including the potential to succeed in your chosen discipline.

The following sets out some of the most common academic qualifications. However, each application is reviewed on its individual strengths and merits.

A-level

Typical offer

BCC-CCC

Subjects

A-levels should normally include both Mathematics and Physics, with at least C grade in each. Applications from A-level students without Mathematics and/or Physics will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

We would generally expect you to have studied two broadly scientific or quantitative subjects or have evidence of competence in mathematics.

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Additional requirements

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Other UK qualifications

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

28 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

Successful applicants will normally have completed the full IB Diploma with an overall score of at least 28 points. However, we are pleased to consider applicants with 26-27 points overall on a case by case basis.

Higher Level subjects should normally include both Mathematics and Physics, with at least 4 in each. Applications from students without Higher Mathematics and/or Physics will be considered on a individual basis. We will be looking for evidence of competence in mathematics (and would expect at least a 5 in Standard Level if not taken to Higher level).

Additional requirements

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DMM

Subjects

In addition to the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma, you will need an A-level in Mathematics, grade C.

GCSEs

You will need evidence of a broad range of GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above (or grade 4 in the new grading scale), including stronger grades in relevant subjects.

Additional requirements

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

BCCCC

Subjects

Highers should include Mathematics and Physics, with at least C grade in each. Applications from students without Mathematics and/or Physics will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We would generally expect you to have studied two broadly scientific or quantitative subjects or have evidence of competence in mathematics.

Additional requirements

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade C and CC in two A-levels.

Subjects

A-levels should normally include both Mathematics and Physics, with at least C grade in each. Applications from A-level students without Mathematics and/or Physics will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We would generally expect you to have studied two broadly scientific or quantitative subjects or have evidence of competence in mathematics.

 

GCSEs

You will need evidence of a broad range of GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above (or grade 4 in the new grading scale), including stronger grades in relevant subjects.

Additional requirements

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

28 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

Successful applicants will normally have completed the full IB Diploma with an overall score of at least 28 points. However, we are pleased to consider applicants with 26-27 points overall on a case by case basis.

Higher Level subjects should normally include both Mathematics and Physics, with at least 4 in each. Applications from students without Higher Mathematics and/or Physics will be considered on a individual basis. We will be looking for evidence of competence in mathematics (and would expect at least a 5 in Standard Level if not taken to Higher level).

Additional requirements

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

70%

Additional requirements

You will be able to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics. You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result of 4.5.

Additional requirements

You will be able to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of 11/20.

Additional requirements

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.5 or better.

Additional requirements

You will be able to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H4 H4 H4 H4 H4.

Additional requirements

You will need both Mathematics and Physics, with at least C grade in each. Applications from students without Mathematics and/or Physics will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We would generally expect you to have studied two broadly scientific or quantitative subjects or have evidence of competence in mathematics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 71.

Additional requirements

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole- Pass with an overall average of at least 3.5.

Additional requirements

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 6.5.

Additional requirements

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Subject-specific knowledge

You will need to demonstrate evidence of competence in Mathematics and an interest in studying Physics.

You may be asked to come to an interview and/or a mathematics assessment during an Applicant Visit Day as part of the selection process.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • If you don’t have the qualifications to take a degree with us, a Foundation Year is a great way to start.
  • You gain a rich understanding of your subject and develop the academic and transferable skills you need throughout your time studying at university. 
  • You can continue on to a degree at Sussex – a top-20 UK university – when you’ve successfully completed your Foundation Year.

Course information

How will I study?

You develop basic mathematical and problem-solving skills and an understanding of physics. The modules are excellent preparation for studying for a physics degree. Topics covered include:

  • mathematics, mechanics and optics
  • electricity, magnetism and waves
  • modern physics and properties of matter.

Each module has a number of lectures each week, supported by regular workshops in a smaller group. One afternoon a week is spent on laboratory work. The Foundation Year is intensive and requires hard work and commitment.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Find out more about studying Physics at Sussex, including astrophysics, theoretical physics and particle physics

“I work on the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider, where the Higgs boson was discovered.” Professor Antonella De SantoProfessor of Physics

Fees

UK/EU students:
Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you’ll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You’ll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
The University aligns fees for Channel Islands and Isle of Man students with fees for UK/EU students. These fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. We intend to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.
International students:
£15,500 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

If you’re an international student, note that fees for the foundation year are at the standard lower rate but fees for courses you can choose to continue your studies are at the standard higher rate. This means your fees will rise from lower to higher level after the foundation year.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Please note

Foundation Year courses are not eligible for USA federal Direct Loan funds. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

Next steps

Successfully completing your Foundation Year means you're able to take a range of degrees at Sussex. A higher level of pass is needed to progress on to the MPhys courses:

Foundation Mathematics A

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching

This module covers the basic foundations of Mathematics, also appropriate for Engineering and Physics.

It covers algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus (differential and integral).

In algebra you learn:

  • algebraic relationships
  • equalities and inequalities
  • remainder and factor theorems
  • factorisation
  • quadratic equations
  • partial fractions
  • indices and logarithms.

In geometry and trigonometry you learn:

  • inequalities and regions
  • trigonometric relationships
  • Cartesian coordinates and straight lines
  • compound angles
  • revision of some Euclidean geometry.

In differentiation calculus you learn:

  • the product and quotient rule
  • function of a function
  • differentiation of parametric forms and implicit functions
  • second order differentiation and turning points.

In integration calculus you learn:

  • standard integrals
  • integration by inspection, by substitution, by parts and using partial fractions
  • definite integrals
  • solution of first order differential equations by separation of variables.

Foundation Mechanics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching

Topics covered include:

  • Units and dimensions: mass, length, time and derived units.
  • Kinematics in one dimension: displacement, speed, velocity and acceleration; linear motion with uniform acceleration and the equations of motion; gravitational acceleration.
  • Vectors and scalars: addition and subtraction of vectors; components of a vector.
  • Motion in more than one dimension: projectiles.
  • Forces and Newton's laws of motion: force and mass; Newton's 3 laws; gravitational force, normal forces, tension, frictional forces and coefficients of friction.
  • Work and energy: work done by a constant force; the work-energy theorem and kinetic energy; potential energy; conservative and non-conservative forces; conservation of mechanical energy; power.
  • Linear momentum: linear momentum, impulse and conservation of linear momentum; elastic and inelastic collisions in one and two dimensions.
  • Uniform circular motion: centripetal forces and centripetal acceleration; satellites.
  • Rotational kinematics: angular displacement, angular velocity and angular acceleration; the equations of rotational kinematics with constant angular acceleration; rolling motion.
  • Statics of rigid bodies: torque; action of forces and torques on rigid bodies; rigid bodies in equilibrium; centre of mass and centre of gravity; stability.
  • Rotational dynamics of rigid bodies: Newton's second law for rotation about a fixed axis; moment of inertia; work and kinetic energy associated with rotational motion; angular momentum of a rigid body and conservation of angular momentum.

Properties of Matter

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching

This module covers:

  1. Simple Harmonic Motion: SHM of an ideal horizontal mass/spring system; rotating vector representation of SHM; kinetic and potential energy of a harmonic oscillator; examples of SHM; damped harmonic motion.
  2. Elasticity: Hooke's law; elastic modulii; Poisson's ratio; non-elastic behaviour.
  3. Fluids: fluids at rest; pressure; density; Archimedes' principle and flotation; Stokes's law and terminal velocity; hydraulic machines; fluids in motion: streamline flow; the equation of continuity and Bernoulli's equation and their applications.
  4. Temperature: temperature scales; thermometers; thermodynamic temperature and absolute zero; ranges of temperatures; zeroth law of thermodynamics.
  5. Thermal Expansion: linear and volumetric expansion; solids and liquids; water.
  6. Gas Laws: Boyle's Law, Charles's Law and Gay-Lussac's Law; equation of state and the ideal gas law.
  7. Kinetic Theory of Gases: basic postulates; microscopic definition of temperature.
  8. Thermal Energy: heat and temperature; quantity of heat; mechanical equivalent of heat; specific heat capacity.
  9. Changes of State: melting and freezing; vaporisation and boiling; latent heat.
  10. Transfer of Thermal Energy: radiation; convection; conduction.
  11. Thermodynamics: basic concepts; first law of thermodynamics; conservation of energy; isothermal, isobaric, isometric and adiabatic processes; Second Law of Thermodynamics and the concept of entropy; heat engines and heat pumps; cyclic processes; analysis of thermal efficiency; the Carnot cycle and the concept of an ideal engine.

Physics Foundation Year Laboratory

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching

This is a preliminary laboratory module, with experiments in classical mechanics, heat, optics, and electromagnetism. Integral to the module will also be the development of data-analysis and error propagation skills using spreadsheets; report writing; and presentations.

Electricity and Magnetism

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching

In this module, topics you will cover will include:

  • electrostatics; primitive electrostatic phenomena, Coulomb's law, SI units, electric fields and field lines, conductors and insulators, Gauss' law, electrostatic potential, equipotentials, capacitors; dielectrics
  • steady currents; currents, Ohm's law, batteries, electromotive Force (EMF), electrons and ions
  • D.C. circuits, ideal circuit elements R, C and L, Kirchhoff's laws; introduction to A.C. circuits; RMS, peak and average values, power dissipation in resistors; alternating voltages and currents, sine waves and sources, amplitude and phase; electrical measurements, voltmeters, ammeters and oscilloscopes; time dependence of CR circuits; logic gates and circuits, Boolean algebra
  • magnetostatics; magnets and magnetic fields, magnetic induction, magnetic fields of steady currents and Ampere's law, solenoids, force on current in magnetic field, motion of charged particles in B and E fields
  • principles of electric motors; self- and mutual inductance, Lenz's law, electric generators, electromechanical energy conversion.

 

Foundation Mathematics B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching

This module covers the foundations of Mathematics, also appropriate for Engineering and Physics.

It covers further calculus, vectors, complex numbers and series.

  • In further calculus you learn:
  • further differentiation
  • further integration
  • applications and approximate methods of integration
  • trapezium and Simpson’s rule.

With vectors you learn:

  • addition and subtraction
  • decomposition and resolution
  • scalar and vector products.

With complex numbers you learn:

  • addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • complex roots of quadratic equations
  • the Argand diagram.

With series and approximations you learn:

  • permutations and combinations
  • arithmetic and geometric progressions
  • binomial theorem
  • Maclaurin’s and Taylor’s theorem.

You also learn coordinate geometry including polar coordinates.

Optics, Waves and Modern Physics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching

This module covers:

  • Waves: Definition of a wave. Equation for a progressive wave. Amplitude, wavelength, wavenumber, frequency, phase, energy in waves. Examples of waves. Doppler effect.
  • Interference: Superposition principle, standing waves and harmonics. Reflection at hard and soft boundaries, phase change at reflection, beats, coherence.
  • Physical optics: Coherent sources, optical path difference, two-slit interference pattern, diffraction gratings. Huygens' principle, single-slit diffraction, resolving power, refraction, reflection, total internal reflection. Interference in thin films, wedge fringes, Newton's rings. Michelson's experiment.
  • Introduction to non-classical physics. Topics include wave-particle duality, black body radiation, the photo-electric effect, the Compton effect, Heisenbergs uncertainty principle. The Bohr model of the Hydrogen atom, line spectra. Introduction to the quantum mechanical picture of the hydrogen atom. The Pauli exclusion principle. X-rays and lasers.
  • Nuclear physics. Radioactivity. Nuclear fission and fusion. Introduction to elementary particles.
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