Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology BSc Hons - 2021 Entry


Entry Year

A Level Requirements
AAB see all requirements

Full time 3 Year(s)

  • 4th
    For Physics The Guardian University Guide (2021)
  • 4th
    For Graduate Prospects (joint) The Complete University Guide (2021)
  • 7th
    For Physics and Astronomy The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2021)

Course Overview

Our BSc Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology degree develops your understanding of the relationship between the physical laws of the universe and the astrophysical and cosmological domains. The specialist teaching is informed by our world-leading activities in space and planetary science, observational astrophysics and particle cosmology, and culminates in an investigative group project and specialist options in year three.

You will obtain a thorough grounding in core physics areas such as Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism in your first year, Quantum Mechanics and Relativity in your second year, and Particle and Atomic Physics in your third year. Furthermore, this scheme also includes lectures on Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology in your second year and Stellar Astrophysics and Big Bang Cosmology in your third year, as well as specialised laboratory work in Astrophysics and Cosmology.

In your final year, you also carry out an investigative Astrophysics or Cosmology group project where you tackle a problem of current research. 

Entry Requirements

Grade Requirements

A Level AAB

Required Subjects A level Mathematics grade A and A level Physics grade A

IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.

Interviews Applicants may be interviewed before being made an offer.

Other Qualifications

International Baccalaureate 35 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including 6 in Mathematics HL (either analysis and approaches or applications and interpretations) and Physics HL

BTEC May be considered alongside A level Mathematics and A level Physics.

We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualifications. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.

Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via

Course Structure

Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster please visit our Teaching and Learning section.

The following courses do not offer modules outside of the subject area due to the structured nature of the programmes: Architecture, Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research.

Year 1


Year 2


Year 3





Physics is an exciting subject that is fundamental to the developments in modern society. Applications of the subject range from the very pure to the very practical, and a physics degree opens up a wide range of rewarding careers in scientific research and technological development, as well as in a variety of other professions. A substantial number of our graduates continue on to postgraduate education, or enter employment that directly relies on their specialist skills. Our students also find employment in careers where they are valued because of general skills gained during the course such as logical thinking, problem solving, numeracy and computer literacy. Examples include consulting, finance, computer programming, and accountancy, as well as managerial and administrative positions.

Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, you also graduate with the relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.

Fees and Funding


Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12-month session, starting in the October of your year of study.

Our Undergraduate Tuition Fees for 2021/22 are:

UK International
£9,250 £24,070

Fees for EU applicants

The UK government has announced that students who will begin their course in 2021 will no longer be eligible to receive the same fee status and financial support entitlement as UK students. This also applies to those who have deferred entry until 2021. Lancaster University fees for applicants from EU Member States in 2021-22 and later will be available online shortly.

Undergraduate tuition fees

For students starting at the University for the 2020 session, subsequent year’s fees may be subject to increases. UK fees are set by the UK Government annually. For international applicants, any annual increase will be capped at 4% of the previous year’s fee. For more information about tuition fees, including fees for Study Abroad and Work Placements, please visit our undergraduate tuition fees page.

Applicants from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more information about this on our Island Fees page.


For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page

Students taking Part I of the course are charged £10 for a bound copy of the lab manual. There are a number of optional one-day visits to places of interest and students pay travel costs.

Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews. 

Download the latest Physics brochure, featuring all of the information you could need. The includes detailed course information about each of our courses.

This is Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Student Emma Dodd explains our courses in Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology. She unravels techniques and her own personal projects and remembers her trip to the observatory at La Palma in the Canary Islands.

The right degree for you

Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IoP), all of our degrees provide you with a comprehensive education and cover all the general and specialist skills valued for further study and employment in the private and public sectors.

3 or 4 years

We offer a choice of 4 year MPhys Hons degrees and 3 year BSc Hons degrees. Providing you meet academic requirements you can easily switch to the MPhys from the BSc. The fourth year in the MPhys degrees contains an extended research project, which is ideal if you are considering studying for a PhD in the future or aiming at a research-based career outside academia.

Joint Honours

We also offer a BSc/MSci degree in Theoretical Physics with Mathematics, taught jointly with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. This means that there is extra maths content, and you will also receive extra support from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.


The Physics Department reward excellence by providing an academic scholarship of £1,000 for applicants who choose one of our Physics degrees as their firm choice and achieve A*A* in A level Mathematics and Physics, or equivalent grades for those with alternative qualifications.

Pascale Desmet, MPhys Physics, Astrophysics & Cosmology

A place for Pascale

When did you know Physics at Lancaster University was the place for you?
When I visited, I felt so at home, it was so welcoming, and everyone was so enthusiastic and friendly, plus the facilities were great, I could see myself living and studying here.

What made the facilities so great?
The newly refurbished Physics Department has lots of study spaces, including computer rooms and laboratories. They’re perfect for getting work done between lectures, and the open-door policy means that if you’re stuck on a worksheet, you can find lecturers outside of teaching hours to get help. It’s also in a central position on campus, meaning you never have to walk too far to get to a different lecture theatre throughout the day.

What is your favourite aspect of your course?
I’ve most enjoyed the astrophysics modules, as well as the coding, which is something I’ve found out that I’m quite good at that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. I like all the study space in the Department; it makes it much easier to sit with your friends and work through coursework.

What are you going to do after your degree?
I want to stay in academia and do research. Lancaster is helping me by letting me know about all the internships I can apply for as well as hosting some within the Department and supporting all my applications

Pascale Desmet, MPhys Physics, Astrophysics & Cosmology

Becoming the researcher

Our courses are designed to link strongly to our research - providing an up to date physics education that is engaging and inspiring to our students and contributes to excellent student-staff relations. Recent third year group research projects include:


Working with brand new data taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Very Large Telescope in Chile and the Isaac Newton Telescope to discover and study new galaxies, to determine physical properties of stars and star clusters or to unveil the last major transition of the Universe: the epoch of re-ionisation.

Industrial projects

Student teams worked with external organisations to investigate re-condensing gas-based anaesthetics to reduce waste, testing high-tech plastic films to improve the shelf-life of food and characterising technical non-woven fabrics for magnetic shielding.


Using the cosmological constant or dark energy to solve the Age of the Universe problem.

Equipped to achieve

You will benefit from our unique and world-leading research facilities. The includes specialised equipment and materials in our Quantum Technology Centre, IsoLab and Ultra-Low Temperature Lab. You will also have access to a wide range of learning resources, from our own computer suites and new teaching laboratories to the 365mm Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope.

Hello Future

Preparing you for your next step and helping you achieve good employment prospects is important to us. Our graduates find employment in high-technology industries, medical and telecommunication businesses, computer programming, public health and teaching programmes, as well as in consulting, finance and accountancy and further research.

Transferable skills

Our degree schemes will develop your transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, numeracy, computational skills, communication skills, and team working, which are all highly valued by both employers and academia.

Employability Champion

Our dedicated Employability Champion provides individual support, organises trips to careers fairs and runs the Employability Booster programme. This is designed to help you achieve the career you want and prepare you for your future.


Each year we offer a number of internships for our students, which will give you relevant work experience and the opportunity to apply your academic knowledge in real-world situations.

Industry and placements

You will benefit from our direct links with industry and outside agencies, which contribute to the range of our third and fourth year projects and fund departmental research.

What else?

You will have ample opportunities to further enhance your CV, for example, acting as a student ambassador, taking part in outreach activities, or by joining student societies and participating in the University’s Lancaster Award.

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Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2021/22 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication. The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses.

In the event of a course being withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date information before you submit your application. Further legal information.

The amount of time you spend in lectures, seminars and similar will differ from year to year. Taken as an average over all years of the course, you will spend an average of 12.1 hours per week in lectures, seminars and similar during term time.

A broad range of assessments methods will be used throughout the degree. As a guide, 38% of assessment is by coursework over the duration of the course.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.

A student ambassador at a Lancaster open day

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