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Apply to transfer

Please note: this degree is only accepting applications to transfer directly into the third year of the programme for 2021 entry.

Applied Physics is essential for innovation. This degree provides an opportunity for engagement in physics that will shape our future world.

  • Opportunity to undertake work placements in the London area and research projects in industries and research institutes
  • Student-centred approach to teaching and learning; tailor your own studies by choosing from a variety of optional modules
  • Graduates go on to work in the Research & Development departments of high profile industries and research institutes

Why study Applied Physics?

Applied Physics focuses on the engineering aspect of physics, meaning that greater emphasis is given to the real life applications of what you are taught.

The course is based on active, problem-based. learning. You will learn about a range of topics that are considered important to future technology and - more importantly - humanity. The degree aims to equip you with all the skills needed to be highly employable.

Collaborations with local industries (such as the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Culham Centre for Fusion Energy) in areas ranging from nanotechnology to medical physics, will aid your development and ensure you're well prepared to pursue a career in academia or industry after graduating.

Why St Mary's?

Lectures and tutorials are blended with practical classes to give to you a robust and well-rounded education in physics. A very strong emphasis is given to applications of physics in our daily lives, with the aim of developing the next generation of talented applied physicists.

Throughout the degree, you will undertake individual and group project work either within the Applied Physics department or with one of our industry partners. You will also have the opportunity to learn popular programme languages (including Matlab and Python) for advanced data analysis and modelling.

Specific modules are designed to develop industry-standard skills in computing and programming, including data processing. Specialist content in the final year of the course is strongly influenced by research expertise within the Applied Physics Department and our industry partners.

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Course lead

Dr Elisabetta Canetta headshotDr Elisabetta Canetta
Course Lead - Applied Physics BSc and Master by Research: Sport, Health and Applied Science

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Entry requirements

Applied Physics is only accepting applications to transfer directly into the second or third year of the programme for 2020 entry.

To transfer directly into the second year of the degree (level five) you must have achieved at least 120 UK credits at level four at another institution. For direct entry into year three (level six) you must have achieved at least 120 UK credits at level four and 120 UK credits at level five at another institution.

The modules you have previously studied must match the content and learning outcomes of the modules on the degree you are interested in studying at St Mary's.

For more information please email

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

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Course content

Year one

  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core

Year two

  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional

Year three

  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

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Career opportunities

The main goal of the Applied Physics degree programme is to train you to become highly skilled and, therefore, a highly employable scientist in a variety of fields, including:

  • Environmental physics
  • Biophysics and medical physics 
  • Space physics
  • Telecommunications
  • Nanodevices 
  • 3D manufacturing

Graduates in Physics have rewarding and successful careers because physics methods and insights are widely applicable. Physicists are widely sought in almost every scientific field and beyond, such as:

  • Transport
  • TV
  • Music
  • Sport
  • Videogames
  • Education
  • Patent attorney
  • Finance
  • Structural engineering
  • Healthcare
  • Energy
  • Space
  • Environment and climate
  • Nanotechnology

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Applied Physics students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

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How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

A variety of teaching methods are used including lectures, problem-solving tutorials, practical classes, seminars delivered by professional physicists, visits to research laboratories and research projects (both individual and as part of a team).

The methods are designed to encourage active learning and enhancement of your learning experience, enabling you to gain transferable skills - such as communication and independent working - as well as a knowledge and understanding of Physics and its most applied branches.

Class sizes range from 10 to 15 students.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 27%
  • Work-based learning: 2%
  • Independent study: 71%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

A diverse range of assessment methods are used to ensure continuous assessment throughout your studies. These include coursework, scientific reports, lab books, oral and poster presentations, and exams.

Each of these methods will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of Physics, but will also help you to use them as learning tools to improve your academic performance, to learn new skills - such as scientific writing and communication - and enhance your learning experience.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

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Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home: £9,250*
  • International: £12,900

*Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Fees for EU applicants starting courses in 2021/22 academic year

Eligible EU applicants will pay the same tuition fees as UK students to support EU students during this transition period. These fees will be applied for the duration of the course.

EU fees for 2022 entry are not yet confirmed.

View fees and funding information for EU students beginning their studies in 2021...

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred should you choose to buy copies of the core textbooks rather than loan from our library, which will amount to around £150 throughout your degree.


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.

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Teaching staff

  • Dr Elisabetta Canetta
    Course Lead - Applied Physics BSc and Master by Research: Sport, Health and Applied Science
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Further information

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Visit the campus

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

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