|Duration||4 year integrated degree programme: 1 year Foundation year plus 3 year undergraduate degree programme|
|Discipline||Physics and Astronomy|
We believe that fair access to higher education is a fundamental enabler for social mobility and are committed to delivering this through our education. We aim to widen participation and raise attainment - bridging gaps in retention, progression and success - to ensure our students enjoy the best possible outcome.
The BSc Physics with Foundation Year has been designed explicitly for this purpose, to support UK students from Widening Participation backgrounds wishing to study Physics:
- It covers the core mathematics required to successfully complete the Physics degree programme at Exeter
- You’ll be learning in a friendly and structured environment and will be supported academically and personally as you prepare to study the Physics undergraduate degree
- Provided you achieve the specific progression criteria, you will progress into Year 1 of our BSc Physics programme which has a Foundation Year
- Depending upon the qualifications you’ve gained prior to beginning the Foundation programme it may be possible to transfer to an undergraduate programme in Mathematics, Natural Sciences or Engineering which have a foundation year and provided you meet the entry requirements for that programme
- International students looking for a foundation course, please visit our INTO page.
Find out more about the foundation year in our Foundation Year [pdf].
9th in the Russell Group for student experience
The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.
9th in the Russell Group for Mathematics
The Guardian University League Table 2021
Strong community characterised by genuine student-staff relationships and small tutorial groups, typically made up of 5 students
|Qualification||Typical offer||Required subjects|
|A-Level||BBC||GCE AL Maths B and Physics grade B. We will also accept AS Maths at A or Core Maths at A in lieu of A level Maths.|
|IB||28/554||Maths HL 5 and Physics HL 5|
|BTEC||DMM||Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require at least grade B in GCE AL Maths and Physics|
|GCSE||4/C||Grade C or 4 in GCSE English language|
In support of the University’s Access and Participation Plan this course is only open to UK domiciled students who meet our contextual offer eligibility criteria and who may not have met the entry requirements for first year entry. Check if you are eligible to join this programme on our contextual offer webpages.
Please note: As part of our ongoing commitment towards improving the student experience at Exeter, we are introducing a new foundation level year to our Mathematics degrees from September 2022. The foundation course covers the core maths skills needed to progress onto our Year 1 of the BSc Physics with Foundation Year programme, or have the opportunity to transfer to Year 1 of another programme with a foundation year provided you meet the entry requirements for that programme. As a result of introducing the foundation year we are currently going through a process to expand our accreditation to include this programme.
We’re really proud to launch our foundation programme pathways which demonstrate the University of Exeter’s commitment to widening access to our engineering, maths, physics and natural science programmes.
For any student who has not had the opportunity to demonstrate their true ability in A-level maths, whether through educational disadvantage, exceptional circumstances or making the wrong choices, this programme offers an alternative route into STEM at Exeter.
Professor Nicola King
Associate Dean for Education
The Foundation Year is part of an integrated 4 year undergraduate degree programme. The information below relates to the Foundation Year only. Please see our 'pathways' below for further information and details of the modules available on the degree programmes you can progress to from the Foundation Year*.
The course comprises of 90 credits of core maths, to elevate students’ knowledge to A-level grade A standard, plus some aspects of the further maths curriculum, but concentrating on developing core mathematical skills.
The other 30 credits would comprise a project including key skills for university study.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The courses listed below are the pathway options available for these integrated 4 year undergraduate degree programmes. In the second term of your Foundation Year, you will specialise in your chosen course:
Exeter’s foundation has been created to support and prepare students for the challenges of an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Physics, Natural Sciences or Engineering.
The programme has been designed for students with the passion and aptitude for a degree, but who may have missed our standard entry criteria for various reasons, and is a call to widen participation and increase access to higher education.
Dr Houry Melkonian
Foundation Year Course Director
Tuition fees for 2022 entry
UK students: £9,250 per year.
The Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences department is pleased to be able to offer a number of scholarships to students joining this Foundation programme in September 2022.
* Please note that the fees for students starting in 2023 have yet to be set. The fees provided above are the fees for students starting in 2022 and are for guidance only. We will post the fees for 2023 entry shortly.
The University of Exeter has over £2.5 million in scholarships available for students applying to study with us from September 2022 - including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students and financial support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.
* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.
Learning and teaching
The way you learn at university may be different from what you have experienced before. Depending on your course, you may encounter a variety of teaching methods.
In the Foundation year of this programme, you will experience a range of teaching and learning activities including lectures, workshops, tutorials, group projects/presentations and/or seminars. The mathematics modules at this stage comprise of 90 credits in total, while 'Science: Skills and Culture' module is 30 credits. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time including guided independent study hours.
Visit our course pages for details of the Learning and Teaching methods on the BSc Physics or BEng Engineering, BEng Mechanical Engineering, BEng Civil Engineering, BEng Electronic Engineering, BSc Mathematics or BSc Natural Sciences degree programmes for the subsequent years of your chosen degree programme.
Private study and support
In addition to lectures and seminars, you should spend about 20 hours per week in private study. Working through examples and solving problems is a vital part of learning mathematics, and we advise you attempt all coursework problems, whether formally assessed or not. You will be allocated a personal tutor who will be happy to advise or put you in touch with support services and you are encouraged to discuss mathematical problems or questions with tutors and lecturers who advertise regular office hours. Extra support is available, for example through lunchtime mathematics surgeries or our peer mentor scheme, and we have an active student-staff liaison committee.
A research and practice led culture
You will benefit from teaching by academic staff comprising of internationally-recognised experts active across a wide range of topics in your chosen degree programme. As you progress through your degree, you will hear about the latest research and have opportunities (for example, the independent research project) to become involved in a research project yourself.
Modules are assessed by a combination of summative assessments. You must pass your foundation year and meet the progression criteria to progress to Year 1 of the BSc in Physics with a foundation year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification.
Employability skills are an integral part of the physics curriculum. The flexibility and adaptability of a well-trained physicist is appreciated by employers: they acknowledge the benefits of excellent problem solving skills, an educated scientific intuition, and the confidence to be able to grasp new concepts quickly.