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Physics reaches from the quark out to the largest of galaxies, and encompasses all the matter and timescales within these extremes. At the heart of a professional physicist is a fascination with the ‘how and why’ of the material world around us. We aim to equip you with the skills to understand these phenomena and to qualify you for a range of career pathways.
Overview
The School of Physical Sciences is a dynamic multidisciplinary department, achieving national and international excellence in physics, chemistry, and forensic science. We offer a broad training in physics, and provide an ideal preparation for a wide range of careers in the manufacturing and service industries as well as education, the media and the financial sector.
This programme is fully accredited by Institute of Physics (IOP).
Our degree programme
Astrophysics emphasises the underlying physical concepts of the stars and galaxies, which make up the Universe. This provides an understanding of the physical nature of bodies and processes in space and the instruments and techniques used in modern astronomical research.
In your first year, you get to grips with the broad knowledge base on which physical science is built, including electricity and light, mathematics, mechanics, thermodynamics and matter. You also develop your experimental, computational, statistical and analytical skills.
Your second and third years include a broad range of modules such as quantum mechanics, solid state, atomic, nuclear and particle physics, electromagnetism and optics, and mathematical techniques as well as the mulitwavelength universe exoplanets and stars, galaxies and the universe.
Year in industry
You can also take this programme with a year in industry. See Physics with Astrophysics and a Year in Industry.
Year abroad
You also have the option of doing a fouryear MPhys programme and working as part of a research group doing cuttingedge work. For details, see Physics with Astrophysics.
Student view
Physics student Anthony talks about his course at the University of Kent.
Study resources
The Beacon Observatory provides a fully automised system with both optical telescope and radio telescope capability. It includes a 17" astrograph from Plane Wave Instruments with a 4k x 4k CCD and a BVRIHa filter set, as well as a 90framespersecond camera.
You have access to firstclass research facilities in new laboratories. These are equipped with stateoftheart equipment, including a full characterisation suite for materials, including:
 three powder diffractometers
 a single crystal diffractometer
 xray fluorescence
 instruments to measure magnetic and transport properties
 a Raman spectrometer
 scanning electron microscopes
 optical coherence tomography imaging equipment
 optical spectrum analysers
 twostage light gas gun for impact studies.
The University is a member of the South East Physics Network (SEPnet), which offers a competitive programme of summer internships to Stage 2 and 3 undergraduates.
Extra activities
The School of Physical Sciences is home to an international scientific community of physics and astronomy, chemistry and forensic science students. Numerous formal and informal opportunities for discussion make it easy to participate in the academic life of the School. All students have an academic adviser and we also run a peer mentoring scheme.
You are encouraged to participate in conferences and professional events to build up your knowledge of the science community and enhance your professional development. The School also works collaboratively with business partners, which allows you to see how our research influences current practice.
You can also take part in:
 the School’s Physical Sciences Colloquia, a popular series of talks given by internal and external experts on relevant and current topics
 the studentrun Physics and Space Societies, which organise talks with top industry professionals, practical demonstrations and social events
Professional networks
The School of Physical Sciences also has links with:
 the Home Office
 optical laboratories
 local health authorities
 aerospace/defence industries
 software and engineering companies Interpol.
Independent rankings
Physics and Astronomy at Kent scored 90.6 out of 100 in The Complete University Guide 2019.
In the National Student Survey 2018, over 85% of finalyear Physics and Astronomy students who completed the survey, were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.
Of Physics and Astronomy students who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed a national survey, over 90% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).
Teaching Excellence Framework
All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
Course structure
The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
At all stages in this programme, the modules listed are compulsory.
Stage 1
Compulsory modules currently include  Credits 

PH304  Introduction to Astronomy and Special Relativity
Introduction to Special Relativity: Inadequacy of Galilean Transformation; Postulates of Relativity; Lorentz transformation; Time dilation, length contraction and simultaneity; Special relativity paradoxes; Invariant intervals; Momentum and energy in special relativity; Equivalence of mass and energy. Introduction to Astronomy: Astronomical coordinate systems and conversions; Positions and motions of stars; Timekeeping systems; Introduction to the distance scale. Introduction to Astrophysics and Cosmology: Stellar luminosity and magnitudes; Magnitude systems; Colour of stars; Stellar spectral classification; Evolution of stars, HertzsprungRussell diagram; Cosmological principle; Redshift; Hubble constant; Space expansion. View full module details 
15 
PH311  Mathematics I
Derivatives and Integrals: Derivatives of elementary functions, chain rule, product rule, Integrals of elementary functions, Evaluation by substitution, Integration by parts, Area under the graph of a function. Vectors: Basic properties, linear dependence, scalar and vector products, triple products, vector identities. Matrices: Matrix representation, systems of equations, products, inverses, determinants, solution of linear systems, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, transformations. Elementary Functions: Binomial coefficients, expansions and series, Maclaurin series, Taylor series, Exponential functions, Hyperbolic functions, Inverse functions. Functions of a single variable: Linear and quadratic functions, polynomials, rational functions, limits, infinite series, approximation of functions. Complex numbers: Quadratic equations, Argand diagram, modulus, Argument, complex exponential, de Moivre's theorem, roots of polynomials. View full module details 
15 
PH312  Mathematics II
Differential Equations: Solving differential equations, separable equations, linearity, homogeneity, first and second order equations, particular integrals. Boundary and initial values, auxiliary equations with complex roots, coefficients and terms, examples from physics. Partial Derivatives: functions of two variables , partial derivatives, directional derivatives, functions many variables, higher derivatives, function of a function, implicit differentiation, differentiation of an integral w.r.t a parameter, Taylor expansions, stationary points. Elementary multivariate Calculus: the chain rule, Multiple integrals, integrals over rectangles/irregular areas in the plane, change of order of integration. Polar Coordinates: Cylindrical polar coordinates in two and three dimensions, integrals, spherical coordinates, solid angle. Introduction to Vector Calculus : Gradients, Divergence, Gauss's theorem, Curl, Stokes' theorem. View full module details 
15 
PH321  Mechanics
Measurement and motion; Dimensional analysis, Motion in one dimension: velocity, acceleration, motion with constant acceleration, Motion in a plane with constant acceleration, projectile motion, uniform circular motion, and Newton's laws of motion. Work, Energy and Momentum; Work, kinetic energy, power, potential energy, relation between force and potential energy, conservation of energy, application to gravitation and simple pendulum, momentum, conservation of linear momentum, elastic and inelastic collisions. Rotational Motion; Rotational motion: angular velocity, angular acceleration, rotation with constant angular acceleration, rotational kinetic energy, moment of inertia, calculation of moment of inertia of a rod, disc or plate, torque, angular momentum, relation between torque and angular momentum, conservation of angular momentum. Concept of field; 1/r2 fields; Gravitational Field; Kepler's Laws, Newton's law of gravitation, Gravitational potential, the gravitational field of a spherical shell by integration. Oscillations and Mechanical Waves; Vibrations of an elastic spring, simple harmonic motion, energy in SHM, simple pendulum, physical pendulum, damped and driven oscillations, resonance, mechanical waves, periodic waves, their mathematical representation using wave vectors and wave functions, derivation of a wave equation, transverse and longitudinal waves, elastic waves on a string, principle of superposition, interference and formation of standing waves, normal modes and harmonics, sound waves with examples of interference to form beats, and the Doppler Effect. Phase velocity and group velocity. View full module details 
15 
PH322  Electricity and Light
Properties of Light and Optical Images; Wave nature of light. Reflection, refraction, Snell’s law, total internal reflection, refractive index and dispersion, polarisation. Huygens' principle, geometrical optics including reflection at plane and spherical surfaces, refraction at thin lenses, image formation, ray diagrams, calculation of linear and angular magnification, magnifying glass, telescopes and the microscope. Electric Field; Discrete charge distributions, charge, conductors, insulators, Coulomb’s law, electric field, electric fields lines, action of electric field on charges, electric field due to a continuous charge distribution, electric potential, computing the electric field from the potential, calculation of potential for continuous charge distribution. Magnetic Field; Force on a point charge in a magnetic field, motion of a point charge in a magnetic field, mass spectrometer and cyclotron. Electric current and Direct current circuits, electric current, resistivity, resistance and Ohm’s Law, electromotive force, ideal voltage and current sources, energy and power in electric circuits, theory of metallic conduction, resistors in series and in parallel, Kirchhoff’s rules and their application to mesh analysis, electrical measuring instruments for potential difference and current, potential divider and Wheatstone’s bridge circuits, power transfer theorem, transient current analysis in RC, RL, LC and LRC circuits using differential equations. Alternating Current Circuits; Phasor and complex number notation introduced for alternating current circuit analysis, reactance and complex impedance for Capacitance and Inductance, application to LRC series and parallel circuits. Series and parallel resonance, AC potential dividers and filter circuits, Thevenin's theorem, AC bridge circuits to measure inductance and capacitance, mutual inductance, the transformer and its simple applications. View full module details 
15 
PH323  Thermodynamics and Matter
Static Equilibrium, Elasticity and fluids; Elasticity: stress, strain, Hooke's law, Young's modulus, shear modulus, forces between atoms or molecules, intermolecular potential energy curve, equilibrium separation, Morse and 612 potentials, microscopic interpretation of elasticity, relation between Young's modulus and parameters of the interatomic potential energy curve, the nature of interatomic forces, the ionic bond, calculation of the energy to separate the ions in an ionic crystal, viscosity of fluids, Poiseuille's law, Stokes' law. Thermodynamics; Thermal equilibrium, temperature scales, thermal expansion of solids, relation between thermal expansion and the interatomic potential energy curve, the transfer of thermal energy: conduction, convection, radiation, the idealgas law, Boltzmann's constant, Avogadro's number, the universal gas constant. The kinetic theory of gases, pressure of a gas, molecular interpretation of temperature, molecular speeds, mean free path, specific heat, molar specific heat. The equipartition theorem, degrees of freedom. Heat capacities of monatomic and diatomic gases and of solids. Internal energy of a thermodynamic system, the first law of thermodynamics, work and the PV diagram of a gas., work done in an isothermal expansion of an ideal gas. Molar heat capacities of gases at constant pressure and at constant volume and the relation between them. Adiabatic processes for an ideal gas. Heat engines and the Kelvin statement of the second law of thermodynamics, efficiency of a heat engine. Refrigerators and the Clausius statement of the second law of thermodynamics. Equivalence of the Kelvin and Clausius statements. The Carnot cycle, the Kelvin temperature scale. Atoms; The nuclear atom, Rutherford scattering and the nucleus, Bohr model of the atom, energy level calculation and atom spectra, spectral series for H atom. Limitation of Bohr theory. Photoelectric Effect. Blackbody Radiation. Compton scattering. Xray diffraction. De Broglie hypothesis. Electron diffraction. Introduction to wavefunctions, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. View full module details 
15 
PH370  Laboratory and Computing Skills for Physicists
Standard Lectures: How Physical Sciences are taught at Kent. Library use. Bibliographic database searches. Error analysis and data presentation. Types of errors; combining errors; Normal distribution; Poisson distribution; graphs – linear and logarithmic. Probability and Statistics. Probability distributions, laws of probability, permutations and combinations, mean and variance. Academic integrity and report writing skills. Laboratory experiments: A number of experiments in weekly sessions; some of the experiments require two consecutive weeks to complete. Experiments introduce students to test equipment, data processing and interpretation and cover subjects found in the Physics degree program which include the following topics: Mechanics, Astronomy/Astrophysics, statistical and probability analysis, numerical simulations, electric circuits and Thermodynamics. Computing Skills: Introduction to the concept of programming/scripting languages. Introduction to operating systems: including text editors, the directory system, basic utilities and the editcompilerun cycle. Introduction to the use of variables, constants, arrays and different data types; iteration and conditional branching. Modular design: Use of programming subroutines and functions. Simple input/output, such as the use of format statements for reading and writing, File handling, including practical read/write of data files. Producing graphical representation of data, including histograms. Interpolating data and fitting functions. Programming to solve physical problems. Introduction to typesetting formal scientific documents. View full module details 
30 
Stage 2
Compulsory modules currently include  Credits 

PH500  Physics Laboratory
SYLLABUS Most practicing physicists at some point will be required to perform experiments and take measurements. This module, through a series of experiments, seeks to allow students to become familiar with some more complex apparatus and give them the opportunity to learn the art of accurate recording and analysis of data. This data has to be put in the context of the theoretical background and an estimate of the accuracy made. Keeping of an accurate, intelligible laboratory notebook is most important. Each term 3 three week experiments are performed. The additional period is allocated to some further activities to develop experimental and communications skills. View full module details 
30 
PH502  Quantum Physics
Revision of classical descriptions of matter as particles, and electromagnetic radiation as waves. Some key experiments in the history of quantum mechanics. The concept of waveparticle duality. The wavefunction. Probability density. The Schrodinger equation. Stationary states. Solutions of the Schrodinger equation for simple physical systems with constant potentials: Free particles. Particles in a box. Classically allowed and forbidden regions. Reflection and transmission of particles incident onto a potential barrier. Probability flux. Tunnelling of particles. The simple harmonic oscillator as a model for atomic vibrations. Revision of classical descriptions of rotation. Rotation in three dimensions as a model for molecular rotation. The Coulomb potential as a model for the hydrogen atom. The quantum numbers l, m and n. The wavefunctions of the hydrogen atom. Physical observables represented by operators. Eigenfunctions and eigenvalues. Expectation values. Time independent perturbation theory. View full module details 
15 
PH503  Atomic Physics
Atomic Physics Review of previous stages in the development of quantum theory with application to atomic physics; Atomic processes and the excitation of atoms; Electric dipole selection rules; atom in magnetic field; normal Zeeman effect; Stern Gerlach experiment; Spin hypothesis; Addition of orbital and spin angular moments; Lande factor; Anomalous Zeeman effect; Complex atoms; Periodic table; General Pauli principle and electron antisymmetry; Alkali atoms; ls and jj coupling; Xrays. Lambshift and hyperfinestructure (if time). Nuclear Physics Properties of nuclei: Rutherford scattering. Size, mass and binding energy, stability, spin and parity. Nuclear Forces: properties of the deuteron, magnetic dipole moment, spindependent forces. Nuclear Models: Semiempirical mass formula M(A, Z), stability, binding energy B(A, Z)/A. Shell model, magic numbers, spinorbit interaction, shell closure effects. Alpha and Beta decay: Energetics and stability, the positron, neutrino and antineutrino. Nuclear Reactions: Qvalue. Fission and fusion reactions, chain reactions and nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons, solar energy and the helium cycle. View full module details 
15 
PH504  Electromagnetism and Optics
SYLLABUS Electromagnetism Vectors: Review of Grad, Div & Curl; and other operations Electrostatics: Coulomb's Law, electric field and potential, Gauss's Law in integral and differential form; the electric dipole, forces and torques. Isotropic dielectrics: Polarization; Gauss's Law in dielectrics; electric displacement and susceptibility; capacitors; energy of systems of charges; energy density of an electrostatic field; stresses; boundary conditions on field vectors. Poisson and Laplace equations. Electrostatic images: Point charge and plane; point and sphere, line charges. Magnetic field: Field of current element or moving charge; Div B; magnetic dipole moment, forces and torques; Ampere's circuital law. Magnetization: Susceptibility and permeability; boundary conditions on field vectors; fields of simple circuits. Electromagnetic induction: Lenz’s law, inductance, magnetic energy and energy density; Optics Field equations: Maxwell's equations; the E.M. wave equation in free space. Irradiance: E.M. waves in complex notation. Polarisation: mathematical description of linear, circular and elliptical states; unpolarised and partially polarised light; production of polarised light; the Jones vector. Interference: Classes of interferometers – wavefront splitting, amplitude splitting. Basic concepts including coherence. Diffraction: Introduction to scalar diffraction theory: diffraction at a single slit, diffraction grating. View full module details 
15 
PH507  The Multiwavelength Universe and Exoplanets
Aims: To provide a basic but rigorous grounding in observational, computational and theoretical aspects of astrophysics to build on the descriptive course in Part I, and to consider evidence for the existence of exoplanets in other Solar Systems. SYLLABUS: Observing the Universe Telescopes and detectors, and their use to make observations across the electromagnetic spectrum. Basic Definitions: Magnitudes, solid angle, intensity, flux density, absolute magnitude, parsec, distance modulus, bolometric magnitude, spectroscopic parallax, HertzsprungRussel diagram, Stellar Photometry: Factors affecting signal from a star. Detectors: Examples, Responsive Quantum Efficiency, CCD cameras. Filters, UBV system, Colour Index as temperature diagnostic. Extra Solar Planets The evidence for extrasolar planets will be presented and reviewed. The implications for the development and evolution of Solar Systems will be discussed. Astrophysics Basic stellar properties, stellar spectra. Formation and Evolution of stars. Stellar structure: description of stellar structure and evolution models, including star and planet formation. Stellar motions: Space velocity, proper motion, radial velocity, Local Standard of Rest, parallax. Degenerate matter: concept of degenerate pressure, properties of white dwarfs, Chandrasekhar limit, neutron stars, pulsars, Synchrotron radiation, Schwarzschild radius, black holes, stellar remnants in binary systems. View full module details 
15 
PH513  Medical Physics
The aim of the module in Medical Physics is to provide a primer into this important physics specialisation. The range of subjects covered is intended to give a balanced introduction to Medical Physics, with emphasis on the core principles of medical imaging, radiation therapy and radiation safety. A small number of lectures is also allocated to the growing field of optical techniques. The module involves several contributions from the Department of Medical Physics at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital. SYLLABUS: Radiation protection (radiology, generic); Radiation hazards and dosimetry, radiation protection science and standards, doses and risks in radiology; Radiology; (Fundamental radiological science, general radiology, fluoroscopy and special procedures); Mammography (Imaging techniques and applications to health screening); Computed Tomography (Principles, system design and physical assessment); Diagnostic ultrasound (Pulse echo principles, ultrasound imaging, Doppler techniques); Tissue optics (Absorption, scattering of light in the tissue); The eye (The eye as an optical instrument); Confocal Microscopy (Principles and resolutions); Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and applications; Nuclear Medicine (Radionuclide production, radiochemistry, imaging techniques, radiation detectors); In vitro techniques (Radiation counting techniques and applications); Positron Emission Tomography (Principles, imaging and clinical applications); Radiation therapies (Fundamentals of beam therapy, brachytherapy, and 131I thyroid therapy); Radiation Protection (unsealed sources); Dose from invivo radionuclides, contamination, safety considerations. View full module details 
15 
PH588  Mathematical Techniques for Physical Sciences
Most physically interesting problems are governed by ordinary, or partial differential equations. It is examples of such equations that provide the motivation for the material covered in this module, and there is a strong emphasis on physical applications throughout. The aim of the module is to provide a firm grounding in mathematical methods: both for solving differential equations and, through the study of special functions and asymptotic analysis, to determine the properties of solutions. The following topics will be covered: Ordinary differential equations: method of Frobenius, general linear second order differential equation. Special functions: Bessel, Legendre, Hermite, Laguerre and Chebyshev functions, orthogonal functions, gamma function, applications of special functions. Partial differential equations; linear second order partial differential equations; Laplace equation, diffusion equation, wave equation, Schrödinger’s equation; Method of separation of variables. Fourier series: application to the solution of partial differential equations. Fourier Transforms: Basic properties and Parseval’s theorem. View full module details 
15 
Stage 3
Compulsory modules currently include  Credits 

PH602  Physics Problem Solving
Aims: After taking the classes students should be more fluent and adept at solving and discussing general problems in Physics (and its related disciplines of mathematics and engineering) There is no formal curriculum for this course which uses and demands only physical and mathematical concepts with which the students at this level are already familiar. Instruction is given in: Problems are presented and solutions discussed in topics spanning the entire undergraduate physics curriculum (Mechanics and statics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, wave mechanics, relativity etc) Problems are also discussed that primarily involve the application of formal logic and reasoning, simple probability, statistics, estimation and linear mathematics. View full module details 
15 
PH604  Relativity Optics and Maxwell's Equations
Special Relativity: Limits of Newtonian Mechanics, Inertial frames of reference, the Galilean and Lorentz transformations, time dilation and length contraction, invariant quantities under Lorentz transformation, energy momentum 4vector Maxwell's equations: operators of vector calculus, Gauss law of electrostatics and magnetostatics, Faraday's law and Ampere's law, physical meanings and integral and differential forms, dielectrics, the wave equation and solutions, Poynting vector, the Fresnel relations, transmission and reflection at dielectric boundaries. Modern Optics: Resonant cavities and the laser, optical modes, Polarisation and Jones vector formulation. View full module details 
15 
PH605  Thermal and Statistical Physics
1. Thermodynamics Review of zeroth, first, second laws. Quasistatic processes. Functions of state. Extensive and intensive properties. Exact and inexact differentials. Concept of entropy. Heat capacities. Thermodynamic potentials: internal energy, enthalpy, Helmholtz and Gibbs functions. The Maxwell relations. Concept of chemical potential. Applications to simple systems. Joule free expansion. JouleKelvin effect. Equilibrium conditions. Phase equilibria, ClausiusClapeyron equation. The third law of thermodynamics and its consequences – inaccessibility of the absolute zero. 2. Statistical Concepts and Statistical Basis of Thermodynamics Basic statistical concepts. Microscopic and macroscopic descriptions of thermodynamic systems. Statistical basis of Thermodynamics. Boltzmann entropy formula. Temperature and pressure. Statistical properties of molecules in a gas. Basic concepts of probability and probability distributions. Counting the number of ways to place objects in boxes. Distinguishable and indistinguishable objects. Stirling approximation(s). Schottkly defect, Spin 1/2 systems. System of harmonic oscillators. Gibbsian Ensembles. Canonical Ensemble. Gibbs entropy formula. Boltzmann distribution. Partition function. Semiclassical approach. Partition function of a single particle. Partition function of N noninteracting particles. Helmholtz free energy. Pauli paramagnetism. Semi Classical Perfect Gas. Equation of state. Entropy of a monatomic gas, SackurTetrode equation. Density of states. Maxwell velocity distribution. Equipartition of Energy. Heat capacities. Grand Canonical Ensemble. 3. Quantum Statistics Classical and Quantum Counting of Microstates. Average occupation numbers: Fermi Dirac and Bose Einstein statistics. The Classical Limit. Black Body radiation and perfect photon gas. Planck’s law. Einstein theory of solids. Debye theory of solids. View full module details 
15 
PH606  Solid State Physics
To provide an introduction to solid state physics. To provide foundations for the further study of materials and condensed matter, and details of solid state electronic and optoelectronic devices. Structure Dynamics of Vibrations Magnetism

15 
PH607  Stars, Galaxies and the Universe
Aims: To provide, in combination with PH507, a balanced and rigorous course in Astrophysics for B.Sc. Physics with Astrophysics students, while forming a basis of the more extensive M.Phys. modules. SYLLABUS Physics of Stars Galaxies Inadequacy of Newton's Laws of Gravitation, principle of Equivalence, nonEuclidian geometry. Curved surfaces. Schwarzschild solution; Gravitational redshift, the bending of light and gravitational lenses; black holes. Brief survey of the universe. RobertsonWalker metric, field equations for cosmological and critical density. Friedmann models. The early universe. Dark Energy. View full module details 
15 
PH617  Physics Project Laboratory
Aims: The module has two parts: Laboratory experiments and a miniproject. For half the term the students will work in pairs on a series of 3 twoweek experiments. A report will be written by each student for each experiment. Experiments include: Miniprojects. For half the term the students will work in pairs on a miniproject. These will be more openended tasks than the experiments, with only brief introductions stating the topic to be investigated with an emphasis on independent learning. A report will be written by each student on their project. View full module details 
15 
Teaching and assessment
Teaching is by lectures, practical classes, tutorials and workshops. You have an average of nine onehour lectures, one or two days of practical or project work and a number of workshops each week. The practical modules include specific study skills in physics and general communication skills.
Assessment is by written examinations at the end of each year and by continuous assessment of practical classes and other written assignments. Your final degree result is made up of a combined mark from the Stage 2 and 3 assessments with a 40/60 weighting.
Contact Hours
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Programme aims
The programme aims to:
 Foster an enthusiasm for physics by exploring the ways in which it is core to our understanding of nature and fundamental to many other scientific disciplines.
 Develop an appreciation of the importance of astrophysics and its role in understanding how our universe came about and how it continues to exist and develop.
 Enhance an appreciation of the application of physics in different contexts.
 Foster an enthusiasm for astrophysics and an appreciation of its application in current research.
 Involve students in a stimulating and satisfying experience of learning within a researchled environment.
 Motivate and support a wide range of students in their endeavours to realise their academic potential.
 Provide students with a balanced foundation of physics knowledge and practical skills and an understanding of scientific methodology.
 Enable students to undertake and report on an experimental and/or theoretical investigation.
 Develop in students a range of transferable skills of general value.
 Enable students to apply their skills and understanding to the solution of theoretical and practical problems.
 Provide students with a knowledge base that allows them to progress into more specialised areas of physics and space science, or into multidisciplinary areas involving physical principles.
 Generate in students an appreciation of the importance of physics in the industrial, economic, environmental and social contexts.
Learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding in physical laws and principles, as well as their applications. The areas covered include:
 Electromagnetism.
 Classical and quantum mechanics.
 Statistical physics and thermodynamics.
 Wave phenomena and the properties of matter as fundamental aspects.
 Nuclear and particle physics.
 Condensed matter physics.
 Materials.
 Plasmas and fluids.
You also gain an understanding of the theory and practice of astrophysics, and of those aspects upon which it depends – a knowledge of key physics, the use of electronic data processing and analysis, and modern day mathematical and computational tools.
Intellectual skills
You gain intellectual skills in how to:
 Identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems and make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
 Solve problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
 Execute an experiment or investigation, analyse the results and draw valid conclusions.
 Evaluate the level of uncertainty in experimental results and compare the results to expected outcomes, theoretical predictions or published data in order to evaluate their significance.
 Use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical phenomena.
 Comment critically on how telescopes (operating at various wavelengths) are designed, their principles of operation, and their use in astronomy and astrophysics research.
Subjectspecific skills
You gain subjectspecific skills in:
 The use of communications and IT packages for the retrieval of information and analysis of data.
 How to present and interpret information graphically.
 How to communicate scientific information, in particular to produce clear and accurate scientific reports.
 The use of laboratory apparatus and techniques, including aspects of health and safety
 The systematic and reliable recording of experimental data.
 An ability to make use of appropriate texts, researchbased materials or other learning resources as part of managing your own learning.
Transferable skills
You gain transferable skills in:
 Problemsolving, including the ability to formulate problems in precise terms, identify key issues and have the confidence to try different approaches.
 Independent investigative skills including the use of textbooks, other literature, databases and interaction with colleagues.
 Communication skills when dealing with surprising ideas and difficult concepts, including listening carefully, reading demanding texts and presenting complex information in a clear and concise manner.
 Analytical skills, including the ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, construct logical arguments, use technical language correctly and pay attention to detail.
 Personal skills including the ability to work independently, use initiative, organise your time to meet deadlines and interact constructively with other people.
Careers
Graduate destinations
Kent Physics graduates have an excellent employment record with recent graduates going on to work for employers:
 Defence Science and Technology
 Rolls Royce
 Siemens
 IBM
Careerenhancing skills
You graduate with an excellent grounding in scientific knowledge and extensive laboratory experience. In addition, you also develop the key transferable skills sought by employers, such as:
 excellent communication skills
 work independently or as part of a team
 the ability to solve problems and think analytically
 time management.
You can also enhance your degree studies by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
Help finding a job
The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:
 apply for jobs
 write a good CV
 perform well in interviews.
The experience you have gained in your placement year will be attractive to employers, putting you in a good position as you look for fulltime employment.
Professional recognition
Fully accredited by the Institute of Physics.
Entry requirements
Choosing Kent as your firm choice for this programme could result in a lower tariff offer than those listed below. Please contact the School for more information at spsadmissions@kent.ac.uk.
Home/EU students
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
New GCSE grades
If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.
Qualification  Typical offer/minimum requirement 

A level  BBB including Mathematics and Physics at BB (Use of Mathematics not accepted), including the practical endorsement of any science qualifications taken 
Access to HE Diploma  The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above. 
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)  The University will consider applicants holding/studying BTEC Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) in a relevant Science or Engineering subject at 180 credits or more, on a case by case basis. Please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances. 
International Baccalaureate  34 points or 15 at HL including Physics and Mathematics 5 at HL or 6 at SL (not Mathematics Studies) 
International students
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of science/mathematics ready for undergraduate study, we offer a Foundation Year programme which can help boost your previous scientific experience.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'presessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
Fees
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
UK/EU  Overseas  

Fulltime  £9250  £19000 
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
Your fee status
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
General additional costs
Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Funding
University funding
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
Government funding
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships
General scholarships
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.