Imperial College London theoretical physics

By | 15th June 2017

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Imperial College London theoretical physics

BSc Physics with Theoretical Physics

Focus on theoretical physics, with more mathematical content and less emphasis on experimental work, in this professionally accredited degree.

Key information




3 years


Typical offer

Three A-level offer:A*A*A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

6.9 : 1

Based on 2015 application data

Professionally accredited

Read about this course’s accreditation

  • UCAS course code: F325
  • ECTS: 180
  • Start date: October 2018
  • Department: Department of Physics
  • Campus: South Kensington

Open days

Come visit us on 28 and 29 June 2017.


Physics at Imperial covers a broad range of topics in both fundamental and applied physics.

This course is ideally suited to those with a specific interest in mathematics and its application, and places less emphasis on experimental work than our standard Physics courses.

You will follow a similar curriculum to the standard Physics courses for the first two years, covering key topics such as electromagnetism, relativity and quantum physics. As a Theoretical Physics student, you will take an extra mathematics module in both years in place of a physics module.

This core programme provides you with a good grounding in physics, mathematics and experimental methods, and prepares you for advanced study.

In your final year you will have greater flexibility to specialise, with a wide choice of theoretical optional modules in areas such as group theory, general relativity and quantum field theory. You will also have the chance to complete a substantial project on a theoretical physics topic in one of our research groups.

Many of our modules are directly linked to our research so you’ll be learning at the very cutting edge of the subject. Research in our Department has contributed to ground-breaking discoveries in many different fields, from astrophysics to quantum optics and laser science.

Laboratory and computing work

Physics student in a labPractical work is an important part of the Physics curriculum at Imperial, and you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities as well as data collected from major experiments such as CERN.

Physics is a practical science and relies on data, so physicists need to understand how data is generated and how to analyse it. You will take laboratory classes to equip you with a wide range of skills such as using apparatus, conducting experiments, interpreting data, and presenting your results.

You will also gain a solid understanding of how to use computers as tools to help model and understand the physics of complicated phenomena. This includes using computers to make advanced calculations and analyse data, and how to use the programming language Python.

Imperial College London theoretical physics

Transfer between courses

The high level of shared content in the first two years of our Physics degrees means that transfer to another degree within the Department is usually possible in the first two years.

  • To transfer onto the BSc or MSci with Theoretical Physics, you must take the appropriate mathematics module(s).
  • Transfer onto the Year in Europe degree must be done at the very start of your first year.
  • It is not possible to transfer onto the Physics and Music Performance degree.
  • Students interested in the BSc or MSci Physics with Science Education should initially apply for any of the Department’s other degrees (excluding Physics and Music Performance) and transfer at the end of their second year.

Please note there is no benefit in applying to multiple courses within the Department of Physics, and you should only apply to one course from this department.

If interviewed, you will have the opportunity to discuss your choice of degree and the potential to transfer on to another degree within the department.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.