• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

Applied Physics cultivates your natural curiosity and creativity to solve the technological problems presented by modern and future industries.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences and is concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. Applied physics on the other hand involves the application of the methods and principles of physics to help human beings, usually in an industrial context, to solve their technological problems. As a graduate Applied Physicist, you will find a host of exciting career options open to you in many employment sectors where creative problem-solvers and trouble shooters are in high demand. Tech-driven industries such as Defence, Telecommunications, Computing, Medicine and Energy are obvious career destinations where a diverse physics education can be exploited readily.

Whilst the differences between Applied Physics and Engineering are often subtle, and the modus operandi of Applied Physicists and Engineers certainly enjoy overlapping qualities, it is in the specific nature of the technological challenges that are embraced that usually separates the two disciplines. Engineers typically solve well-defined problems, whereas Applied physicists use physics, or conduct physics research, to develop new technologies to solve engineering problems. This often requires thinking 'outside the box', but based on a deep physical appreciation of the problem at hand. Here at Dundee we'll teach you the hard-core skills of a versatile Physicist's repertoire, including the fields of quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and electrodynamics; and you'll consolidate the taught elements with a schedule of fascinating laboratory-based practical classes. In parallel, you'll be developing your transferable skills and leadership potential, cultivating the confidence to think on your feet and operate not only in an independent fashion, but to collaborate effectively in teams: - skill-sets that are, and will be much sought after in the workplaces of today, and tomorrow. 


Student satisfaction

Students love our staff-to-student ratio, the friendly and approachable nature of our lecturers, the option to participate in dedicated undergraduate research projects from the outset of your course and the thriving undergraduate Physics Society.

Applied Physics
YouTube Poster Image (Cached)
YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2018 and 2019
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher BBBB (minimum) - AABB (typical) at Higher including mathematics and physics or an engineering subject for BSc degrees, or mathematics and physics for MSci degrees AB at Advanced Higher including mathematics and physics, plus AB at Higher in different subjects
GCE A-Level BCC (minimum) - BBB (typical) including A-Level mathematics and physics or an engineering subject BBB (minimum) - AAB (typical) including A-Level mathematics and physics
BTEC A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM A relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDD.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 30 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 5 to include mathematics and physics or an engineering subject 34 points at Higher Level grades 6, 6, 5 to include mathematics and physics
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) H2H2H3H3 (typical) at Higher including mathematics and physics or an engineering subject for BSc degrees, or mathematics and physics for MSci degrees Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Graduate Entry
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) A relevant HNC with B in the Graded Unit including Mathematics for Engineering 1 A relevant HNC with A in the Graded Unit including Mathematics for Engineering 2 and 120 SCQF points
A relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units including Mathematics for Engineering 2
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BC at Advanced Higher in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject Distinction with AB (MSci) at Advanced Higher in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject
SWAP Access Relevant science subjects with ABB grades including Mathematics and Physics Units at SCQF Level 6 Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Levels at AB in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject Grade B with ASL-A Level at AA in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A level at AB in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject Pass with A level at AA in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject 75% overall with 7.5 in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject
Other Qualifications

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be assessed

Our approach to assessment embraces a wide range of formats over the full term of your degree. This ensures that students develop the essential transferable skills required by industry. Our methods include:

  • Examinations
  • Extended Assignments
  • Weekly Problems
  • Formal Reports
  • Practical Laboratory Work
  • In class presentations as individuals and/or groups
  • Practical Research Methods

Our taught elements are structured to prepare you for the various assessments. You will also have tutorials and problem classes for specific modules and we will also guide you through your revision strategies.  All staff operate an 'open door' policy so as your questions and queries can be answered in a timely fashion, and feedback is given directly on the vast majority of assignment work.

How you will be taught

  • Lectures
  • workshops
  • practical classes
  • tutorials
  • module specific problem classes
  • peer-to-peer tuition and exam preparation in conjunction with our undergraduate Physics Society
  • talks by invited speakers

Students also meet regularly with an academic advisor of studies who will provide guidance and support throughout your degree and help develop your physics problem solving skills. This fosters excellent staff-student rapport and ensures an extremely friendly and supportive atmosphere for you.  

BSc Honours Degree

A BSc honours degree normally takes four years, full time, you study levels 1-4, as described below.

Degree without Honours

If you choose to study a degree without honours, you study for three years, levels 1-3 below.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

It is possible to study for most of our honours degrees in one year less if you have the required grades and subjects as listed in the Entry Requirements section. You study levels 2-4 for the BSc or 2-5 for the MSci. There are definite advantages to considering this route as the time needed to study is reduced by one year which enables you to start working and earning earlier.

Typical Degree Programme

A Typical F310 Applied Physics Degree Programme might consist of:

Level 1

Modules at level 1 are designed to increase your understanding of fundamental physics and give the necessary mathematical skills on which modules in later years depend:

  • MA11001- Mathematics 1A
  • PH11002 - Professional Physics
  • EG11008 - Mechanics
  • EG11006 - Electromagnetism & circuits
  • PH12003 - Space Physics & Astronomy
  • MA12001 - Mathematics 1B
  • PH12004 - Light and Matter
  • PH12005 - Waves and Mechanics

Level 2

Level 2 will extend your knowledge of classical physics and introduce you to some of the exciting advances made in modern physics:

  • PH21001 - Electromagnetism & Light
  • EG21005 - Mathematics for Engineers
  • EG21007 - Introduction to Programming
  • EG22009 - Electronics & Instrumentation
  • PH22002 - Maths, Mechanics & Optics
  • PH22001 - Classical & Quantum Matter

Level 3

At Level 3 you begin a detailed study of the main topics of modern physics together with the acquisition of advanced laboratory skills: 

  • EG31002 - Mathematical Methods for Physics
  • PH31005 - Quantum Mechanics I
  • PH41008 - Stars and Planetary Systems
  • PH31006 - Experimental & Professional Physics I
  • PH32008 - Quantum Mechanics II: Atoms & Molecules
  • PH32009 - Thermal Physics I
  • PH32014 - Computational Astrophysics
  • MA41006 - Fluid Dynamics

Level 4 

At Honours level, you continue your in-depth studies and carry out a personal project involving practical experience in a research laboratory:

  • PH40008 - Astrophysics Project (BSc)
  • PH31007 - Electrodynamics I
  • PH41005 - Optics & Photonics I
  • PH41009 - Galaxies and The Universe
  • PH42008 - Classical Mechanics & Relativity
  • PH42006 - Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • MA42007 - Magnetohydrodynamics and the Sun

Our Physics degrees are accredited by the UK Institute of Physics, with suitably experienced graduates thus eligible to apply for chartered physicist (CPhys) professional status.

Physicists and astrophysicists have a broad knowledge and expertise base in theoretical and applied science, combined with high level mathematical skills, and are adept at solving both abstract and concrete problems. As well as the career possibilities highlighted above, Physics graduates can pursue careers in such diverse areas as:

  • Telecommunications
  • Microelectronics
  • Nuclear Power and Instrumentation
  • Cryogenics
  • Astronomy
  • Geophysics
  • Materials Science
  • Computing
  • Teaching
  • Business, Finance and Management

Many physics graduates go on to pursue higher degrees, both taught postgraduate and PhD. Physics graduates are among those earning the highest starting salaries in the UK, according to recent IoP figures.

Adam McMurchie, BSc Physics 2013

Dundee’s unique teaching environment and approach meant that I had a lot of opportunities right from the get go. I was able to do project work each year (which allowed me to gain extra lab experience). I also got the opportunity to work as a technician and help out in the high school open day lab sessions (at the university). I also had other opportunities such as doing lab in a van and science outreach activities.

Adam McMurchie, BSc Physics 2013
now employed at Lloyds Banking Group

Nasir Ahmad, BSc Physics 2014

One of the most valuable things I was given at the University of Dundee was the opportunity to do research. The staff (from all departments including Maths, Physics and Life Sciences) were incredibly welcoming. Year on year I asked different members of staff if there were any opportunities to do research with them and no-one ever turned me away. They turned out to be some of the most important and useful experiences of my undergraduate.

Nasir Ahmad, BSc Physics 2014
Doctoral student in Biophysics at the University of Oxford

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £20,950 per year of study

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code
Apply NowApplied Physics BSc (Hons)F311