IOP Institute of Physics

For physics • For physicists • For all

Members can try our new IOP Career Development Hub

visit the new Hub

Undergraduate courses

Undergraduate physics degrees fall into two categories: bachelor degrees and integrated Masters degrees (MPhys or MSci). The latter, which involve a longer period of study, have more academic kudos.

Here are physics degrees directly accredited by the Institute.

Bachelor degrees (BSc)
A BSc is the most basic physics degree you can do. The course usually takes three years if you’re studying full time (four years in Scotland), while so-called “sandwich courses” are four years long, with the extra year taken in the middle of the course and spent working abroad or in industry.

Degrees in physics can be done either “with” or “and” another subject – and there’s an important difference. “And” usually denotes a 50-50 split (so if you do Physics and Philosophy, half your time will be spent studying philosophy). Physics with Philosophy indicates that the majority of your time will be spent on physics.

Enhanced bachelors degree (MPhys or MSci)
MPhys and MSci are integrated degrees combining study at bachelor and masters level and are four years in length (five in Scotland). The first three years of the degree are broadly in line with the content of a standard BSc, but in the final year, MPhys or MSci students will undertake a substantial research project and study a range of physics topics at depth, some of which will be at the forefront of the discipline.

Students studying an integrated Masters degree will further develop their research and transferable skills beyond that of a bachelors degree. An additional benefit of studying for an accredited MPhys or MSci is that you will have met the educational requirements for Chartered Physicist status.

Integrated Masters are qualifications at level 7 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, which is the same level as MSc and MPhil degrees.

More information on undergraduate physics can be found at:

last edited: April 16, 2013

Other IOP websites

Search for undergraduate physics courses in the UK and Ireland

Cookie Settings