Lancaster University, in partnership with the Open University, offers a flexible route to a degree in physics for prospective students without A-level Maths and Physics (or their equivalent).

Two years are spent studying in your own time with the Open University, allowing you to combine study with full time employment. Successful completion of the Open University component allows you to directly transfer onto the second year of one of our full time BSc degree courses (excluding Theoretical Physics with Mathematics). You study for a further two years as a full time student at Lancaster and graduate with a Lancaster University BSc degree. Students who do particularly well can also choose to study for an additional year (i.e. study for three years in total at Lancaster) and graduate with a MPhys degree, the usual qualification for a professional physicist and the recommended route to PhD study. It is possible for you to spend a year studying at a US or Canadian university; if you wish to pursue this option, please make your intentions clear when you first contact us.

How Does it Work?

In your first two years of part-time study with the OU (your foundation year and year one) you will get a thorough grounding in basic physics and mathematics via excellent distance learning courses. Experimental work is included in residential courses that give you the experience and background knowledge necessary to undertake laboratory work in physics at degree level. On successful completion of all the OU courses you will be equipped to become a full time second year student on one of our BSc or MPhys degrees (excluding Theoretical Physics with Mathematics).

In the Lancaster year 2 fundamental topics are explained further and you will be given training in advanced mathematical techniques. You will also be introduced to more advanced physics topics in areas such as relativity and nuclei and particles. A useful transferable skill learnt in year 2 is the object oriented computer programming language Java, an essential tool for later projects and a useful ability for future employment. In year 3, you will see further applications of quantum mechanics in core courses, as well as taking optional lecture courses from a selection covering many of the most recent areas of discovery in physics, allowing you to explore and enjoy the range and depth of physics knowledge. If you stay with us for a further year, you will hear more about the frontier topics in physics and undertake a significant research-based project.

Please see our list of degree courses for further information.