Physics with Astrophysics

In this degree programme the study of physics is pursued with particular focus on astrophysical phenomena: from stars and planets to galaxies and cosmology. Astrophysics provides a natural laboratory in which to explore the laws of physics, and in certain astrophysical objects – such as pulsars, quasars and black holes – to test those laws under extreme conditions.

  • Our Physics and Astronomy students report satisfaction levels of 91% in the National Student Survey 2010.
  • In the most recent independent survey of research quality, the RAE 2008, physics and astronomy at Glasgow was rated in the top ten in the UK.


All programmes containing physics are fully accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Study abroad

There are study abroad opportunities available in year two.

Programme structure

Year 1

In first year you will gain a basic understanding of the main topics in theoretical physics and will be introduced to the methods of experimental physics, thereby providing a solid foundation for further study in physics.

Year 2

The second year will extend your broad physics education, providing training in more specialised experimental techniques and expanding your awareness of the latest developments in modern physics research. You will also be introduced to the foundations of astrophysics, covering topics including the physics of our solar system, the origin of stars and galaxies, and the evolution of the universe.

Years 3, 4 and 5

If you progress to Honours (years three and four) you will continue to study core topics in greater depth but will also study specialist subjects of your choice in depth and will undertake project work, often within a world-leading research group. The main astrophysics components of the Honours programme include

  • stellar structure and evolution
  • high energy astrophysics
  • galaxies and cosmology
  • instruments for optical and radio telescopes
  • exploring planetary systems.

There is an opportunity to take an MSci degree which explores core and optional physics and astrophysics topics in greater depth. In the final year of the MSci degree you will carry out an individually supervised project working at the cutting edge of international research. The MSci aims to foster the development of critical judgement and independent scientific work, and to prepare you for professional leadership in your chosen field.

Special feature

Astronomy lectures are complemented by our observatory, planetarium and telescope facilities. The University also maintains close links with the Glasgow Science Centre, home of one of the UK’s best planetariums.

Partnership and industry links

The University is part of the Scottish Universities’ Physics Alliance (SUPA), a group of six university physics and astronomy departments which aims to place Scotland at the international forefront of research in physics and astronomy.

Our international links

The School of Physics & Astronomy has strong international links across a wide range of research fields. Many of our staff play leading roles in major international research projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and the worldwide collaboration searching for gravitational waves. You will have the opportunity to undertake part of your degree abroad.

Career prospects

Our graduates are employed in many areas including industry, national research laboratories, the financial sector and education. Many graduates choose to study for a postgraduate degree before entering the job market.

Faster Route

The University offers this degree as a Faster Route programme to highly qualified students. This means that the time you take to complete your degree is one year less than usual.

BSc, MSci

Highers: AAAB in first sitting = unconditional offer.

Applicants who achieved between BBBB/ABB and AABB at their first sitting may receive a conditional or unconditional offer once all applications have been reviewed in March 2012. Higher at B or above in Physics and Mathematics.

A-levels: ABB, including B or above in Physics and Mathematics.

IB: 32 points.

BSc, MSci (Faster Route)

Advanced Highers: AAA in appropriate subjects.

A-levels: AAA in appropriate subjects.

IB: 6,6,5 at Higher Level in appropriate subjects and at least 38 points overall.

For a full list of alternative qualifications please see: Entry requirements.

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details. If you’re from outside the EU, please see International students for more information.


We offer a wide range of scholarships to our undergraduates, including both home/EU and international students. The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That’s why we’ve invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding over the last year.
For a full list of scholarships including eligibility criteria and how to apply, please see:

How to apply ...