Physics with Extended Studies in Europe (BSc Hons) F308

BSc Honours

Physics with Extended Studies in Europe


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Key Course Information

Entry Year


Course length

4 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *



Engineering and Physical Sciences



Professional Year Out





Mathematics and Physics

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.


"Physics is an enabling discipline showing how to do things thought impossible and helping others refine their approach. Physics is to the rest of science what machine tools are to engineering."

Sir John Pendry

"Physics allows us to write with a piece of chalk on a blackboard the very structure of the universe and the shape of it. I mean… What's not to love?"

Dara O'Briain

Physics studies how the universe works - from the smallest atomic nucleus to the largest galaxy. It includes conceptual challenges such as quantum theory, relativity and chaos theory, and lies at the heart of most modern technology - for example the computer, the laser and the Internet.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has the highest teaching standards and is recognised nationally as being one of the leading centres for research. Physics at Queen's obtained an excellent grade in the last subject-based Teaching Quality Assessment exercise, while in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise 88 per cent of the scientific research carried out by staff was internationally excellent or world-leading. All students are taught by the scientists whose work will be in the next generation of textbooks.

This strong link between research and teaching in Physics at Queen's means our graduates obtain one of the best degrees available for understanding our recent scientific advances, and can play an important role in our increasingly technological society.

Why Queen's?

Accreditation: our Physics degrees are fully accredited by the Institute of Physics, except for Applied Mathematics and Physics. These are recognised by the Institute, and students' individual degrees may be accredited depending on module choices at Stage 2 and above.

Study Abroad: Physics with Extended Studies in Europe includes a year spent studying abroad.

Scholarships and Bursaries: students in the School can benefit from scholarships and bursaries provided by the University and by external companies; see the School website for further information.



Course Content (including module information)

BSc Degrees

Physics may be studied either as a Single Honours degree, as Physics, Physics with Astrophysics, Physics with Medical Applications, Physics with Extended Studies in Europe, Theoretical Physics; or depending on choice of Stage 1 modules, as a Joint Honours degree in conjunction with Applied Mathematics or Computer Science.

Stage 1

In their first year students study a core of modern Physics and Applied Mathematics, and, if desired, a third subject such as Computer Science. Physics topics include:

  • Classical Mechanics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Light and Optics
  • Quantum Theory
  • Relativity
  • Solid State Physics
  • Thermal Physics

Practical work will be performed in our new state-of-the-art teaching centre laboratories. Here students will encounter the physical phenomena learned about in their lectures, as well as computer programming.

Tutorials, based around the lecture courses, give experience in problem-solving and verbal and written communication. Within the course students will receive basic skills training in writing, presentations and personal/career development.

Stages 2 and 3

At Stage 2, according to degree selection, modules are taken which reveal the excitement of such areas as:

  • Astrophysics I
  • Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Optics, Electricity and Magnetism
  • Physics of the Solid State

Advanced Laboratory work develops the skills of planning, carrying out and analysing experiments and simulations, and provides opportunities for deepening understanding of the wide applicability of physics.

At Stage 3, a choice of modules is made to develop in-depth understanding of such areas as:

  • Astrophysics II
  • Advanced Electromagnetism and Optics
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Physics in Medicine
  • Quantum Mechanics and Relativity
  • Advanced Solid State Physics
  • Professional Skills

Project work entails a major experimental or computational investigation of a particular physics problem; in conjunction with this a project report and associated poster are produced to a professional standard.


MSci (Master in Science)

These four-year degrees are aimed at the more able and committed students who intend to practise the profession of physics in research and development, in industry or academia, at the highest level.

Single Honours MSci options are available in Physics, Physics with Medical Applications, Physics with Astrophysics, Physics with Extended Studies in Europe and Theoretical Physics. A Joint Honours MSci option is also available in Applied Mathematics and Physics.

Transfer from the three-year BSc degree to the MSci is permitted up to the end of Stage 2. Students who successfully complete the four-year MSci qualify for the degree of MSci (Hons) in the relevant option.

Stages 1 and 2 are identical to those for the BSc degree.

At Stage 3, a selection is made from the modules listed with the BSc pathway. This includes a Professional Skills module, where important scientific skills such as report writing, presentations and peer-review are further developed. MSci students also have the opportunity to undertake a Computational project module, which will introduce them to numerical simulations that are fundamental to all areas of physics today.

At Stage 4, specialist modules are available,broadly reflecting research interests of those teaching in the Department. These modules include:


High-Energy Astrophysics Laser Physics

Medical Radiation Research Methods Molecular Physics

Planetary Systems Plasma Physics

The Physics of Nanomaterials Ultrafast Science

Also in this year, a major project is carried out in association with one of these research centres, with the student working within the world-leading research groups. Through this project students gain an intensive insight into modern scientific research.

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of all physics courses all students study core areas of physics and mathematics to give a common foundation for specialization as the course progresses. Several different degree programmes are available, but with the common core material it is frequently possible to switch from one physics course to another at the end of the first year. The high level of research in the Department feeds through to making the undergraduate courses up-to-date, relevant and interesting.

The physics course covers a wide range of areas within the subject with advanced options in higher years. There is also include extensive practical and project work, with a very wide range of skills development leading to many careers options.

Entry Requirements


Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application. 

Entrance Requirements

BSc Options

Applied Mathematics and Physics

Theoretical Physics

A-level: A (Mathematics) BB including Physics

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Mathematics and H3 in Physics

Physics with Extended Studies in Europe

A-level: BBB including Mathematics and Physics

    • For French option: A-level French grade B For Spanish option: A-level Spanish grade B

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Mathematics and Physics 

    • For French option: Higher Level grade H2 in French
    • For Spanish option: Higher Level grade H3 in Spanish


Physics with Astrophysics

Physics with Medical Applications

A-level: BBB at A-level including Mathematics and Physics

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Mathematics and Physics 

MSci Options

Applied Mathematics and Physics

Theoretical Physics

A-level: AAA including Mathematics and Physics


A* (Mathematics) AB including Physics

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Mathematics and Physics

Physics with Extended Studies in Europe

A-level: AAB including Mathematics and Physics

    • For French option: A-level French grade B For Spanish option: A-level Spanish grade B

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher grade H2 and H3 in any order in Mathematics and Physics

    • For French option: Higher Level grade H2 in French
    • For Spanish option: Higher Level grade H3 in Spanish


Physics with Astrophysics

Physics with Medical Applications

A-level: AAB at A-level including Mathematics and Physics

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher grade H2 and H3 in any order in Mathematics and Physics

Note: applicants for the MSci degree will automatically be considered for admission to the BSc degree if they are not eligible for entry to the MSci degree both at initial offer-making stage and when results are received.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Engineering and Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English


How To Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate courses at Queen’s should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. A Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

Physics graduates earn 14 per cent more on average than other graduates (HESA 2014). They have a significantly lower unemployment rate on qualification and over a lifetime, only graduates in medicine or law earn more than those with a physics degree (Institute of Physics Careers Survey 2012).

Physics-related jobs are available in research, development, and general production in many high technology and related industries. These include medicine, biotechnology, electronics, optics, aerospace, computation and nuclear technology. Physics graduates are also sought after for many other jobs, such as business consultancy, finance, business, insurance, taxation and accountancy, where their problem-solving skills and numeracy are highly valued.

About a third of our graduates will go on to postgraduate study. Many physics graduates take up careers in education, while a large number are accepted for a PhD programme in Physics, which can enhance employment prospects or provide a path to a research physicist position.

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

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