Physics with Astrophysics BSc (Hons)

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
UCAS code:
F3F5
Start date:
September 2025
  • 7th in the UK for our research environment in Physics in REF 2021 (Times Higher Education)

This course is perfect if you’re passionate about physics and fascinated by the mysteries of the universe. You’ll apply physics and mathematics to explore planets, stars and galaxies.

Your teaching is directly influenced by our world-leading research. Our faculty work at the forefront of their subject. Their work includes developing next-generation quantum computers, exploring dark energy and quantum effects in black holes, searching for fundamental particles at CERN and working with NASA’s James Webb Telescope.

You’ll use the latest equipment and state-of-the-art laboratories, and gain a broad understanding of the core principles of physics and astrophysics. Options enable you to specialise in areas you find most fascinating. You’ll apply this knowledge across a range of areas including:

  • galaxies and the cosmos
  • quantum physics
  • particle physics
  • mathematical physics.

You could be making exciting discoveries during your final-year project. You’ll work with world-leading astrophysicists, using rooftop optical, radio and muon telescopes. From sustainability to economics and modern languages, you take electives from other subjects to open your mind to other disciplines and tailor your degree to your interests.

Our Department is a friendly hive of activity. You’ll join a close-knit community. Our open-door policy means that whatever you need, we’ll be there to support you.

By graduation, you’ll have developed skills much in demand with employers. You’ll gain an analytical approach to problem solving, data analysis skills and solid research skills. Your training will open doors to careers in:

  • consulting
  • geophysics
  • the aerospace industry
  • the scientific civil service.

Accreditation

  • Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist. Find out more

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

MPhys or BSc?

We also offer this course as a four-year MPhys. Find out about the benefits of an integrated Masters year.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are currently under review – please check back in early March 2024.

Modules

This is a major/minor course, enabling you to study in depth in a core area (your major subject: taking up 75% of your time), while also exploring an additional area (your minor subject: taking up 25% of your time).

Find out about our types of undergraduate degrees, their structure, modules and credits

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you have the opportunity to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in two electives – one in Year 1 and one in Year 2 – helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives

Engineering and physics principles drive the green energy transition. In our Sustainable Energy elective, I’m excited to work with you to explore all the available information – and discuss your ideas.Professor Simon Peeters
Professor of Physics

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you have the opportunity to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in two electives – one in Year 1 and one in Year 2 – helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives

Engineering and physics principles drive the green energy transition. In our Sustainable Energy elective, I’m excited to work with you to explore all the available information – and discuss your ideas.Professor Simon Peeters
Professor of Physics

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you

If your application to study abroad is successful, you’ll have to meet the academic requirements at Sussex and also at the partner university. Find out more about studying abroad as a Sussex student

Placement (optional)

To help you gain experience and increase your employability, you can apply for an optional placement as part of your course. You’ll be responsible for applying for and securing your placement. Our dedicated careers team can provide you with information and advice. If you’re successful in obtaining a placement, this will form part of your course.

Find out more about placements and internships

Recent Mathematical and Physical Sciences students have gone on placements at:

  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd
  • NATS Holdings
  • HEFCE.
SEPnet Employer Programme

We are a core part of the SEPnet (South East Physics Network) consortium, which gives us links to universities and industries across the region. SEPnet’s Employer Programme creates opportunities for our students to apply for eight-week funded summer placements.

Find out more at Department of Physics and Astronomy: South East Physics Network (SEPnet)

Please note that if you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of your course with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA if the number of credits for the placement/internship exceeds 25% of the total credits for your course. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

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

TEF 2023 silver

Silver

The student experience and student outcomes are typically very high quality.
This rating was awarded in 2023, for four years.
(Teaching Excellence Framework 2023)

Find out more about our approach to teaching and supporting you to thrive

Our staff

I try to understand how the first stars and galaxies formed in the early universe. To do this I use both observations, mostly taken from the Hubble Space Telescope, and super-computer simulations.Dr Stephen Wilkins
Senior Lecturer in Astronomy

Fees

Fees are not yet set for the academic year 2025/26 – please check back in September 2024. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Find out about our terms and conditions

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2025/26.

Careers

We are a core part of the SEPnet (South East Physics Network) consortium, which gives us links to universities and industries across the region. 

On your course, you’ll develop versatile and transferable skills. This prepares you for finding jobs in industry or academia. Many of our graduates go on to postgraduate research and PhD study. Others find graduate jobs in a diverse range of fields, including:

  • aerospace
  • consulting
  • geophysics
  • teaching
  • the scientific Civil Service.
During your course, you’ll get dedicated careers and CV advice. With careers fairs, forums and a dedicated careers officer, we support your career development from day one. You’ll have opportunities to meet potential employers.
 
You’ll have a wide range of paid work opportunities within the Department – from teaching and research opportunities in the summer, to outreach roles throughout the year.

Graduate destinations

Recent Physics and Astronomy graduates have started their careers as:

  • SAP applications consultant at Capgemini
  • geophysicist at CGG
  • graduate diagnostic physicist at Diamond Light Source.

Some of our graduates have also gone on to study for a postgraduate qualification (for example a PhD, MSc or PGCE).

(Department of Physics and Astronomy careers database)

Working while you study

Our Careers and Entrepreneurship team can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

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