PHYSICS WITH BUSINESS STUDIES (BSc)
Full-time 2019 entry, A*AA, IB 38
Developing your skills in analytical thinking, data analysis, logical thinking and practical computing – all highly valued by employers – this degree will provide you with a broad education in both subjects.
Studying physics will strengthen your ability to think clearly and to construct logical and reasoned arguments. You will also acquire transferable problem-solving, communication, IT and self-study skills, which are all highly valued by employers. When you transfer to Warwick Business School (WBS) for your final year, you will study areas of business and management.
In the first two years, you will concentrate on physics modules with the addition of an appropriate business module in the second year. Your final year in WBS is designed to develop a critical understanding of how organisations work, how they are managed, and how they interact with local, national and international environments. You may, for example, take modules covering markets, marketing and strategy and understanding organisational behaviour. There is flexibility to switch into or out of this stream at any time in your first two years.
Lecture size will naturally vary from module to module. The first year core modules may have up to 350 students in a session, whilst the more specialist modules in the later years will have fewer than 100. The core modules in the first year are supported by weekly classes, at which you and your fellow students meet in small groups with a member of the research staff or a postgraduate student. Tutorials with your personal tutor is normally with a group of 5 students.
You should expect to attend around 12 lectures a week and spend 7 hours on supervised practical (mainly laboratory and computing) work. For each 1 hour lecture, you should expect to put in a further 1-2 hours of private study.
Assessment is via end-of-year examinations, which make up about 70% of the year’s mark. Laboratory and project work, computing, and coursework associated with core modules, are assessed by final reports and oral presentations.
The weighting for each year's contribution to your final mark is 10:30:60 for the BSc courses.
We support student mobility through study abroad programmes. BSc students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities.
The Study Abroad Team based in the Office for Global Engagement offers support for these activities. The Department's Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.
All students can apply for research vacation projects - small research projects supervised by a member of academic staff. BSc students can register for the Intercalated Year Scheme, which involves spending a year in scientific employment or UK industry between their second and final year.
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A level: A*AA to include A in Mathematics (or Further
Mathematics) and Physics
IB: 38 to include 6 in Higher Level Mathematics and Physics
You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Contextual data and differential offers: Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
- Access Courses: Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units, and Mathematics and Physics A levels or equivalent.
- Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP) All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP page.
- We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
Interviews We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
Open Days All students who have been offered a place are invited to visit. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us. We want to make our admissions process as straightforward as possible, so find out more about how to make an application, alongside the latest entry requirements.
This module begins by showing you how classical physics is unable to explain some of the properties of light, electrons and atoms. (Theories in physics, which make no reference to quantum theory, are usually called classical theories.) You will then deal with some of the key contributions to the development of quantum physics including those of: Planck, who first suggested that the energy in a light wave comes in discrete units or 'quanta'; Einstein, whose theory of the photoelectric effect implied a 'duality' between particles and waves; Bohr, who suggested a theory of the atom that assumed that not only energy, but also angular momentum, was quantised; and Schrödinger who wrote down the first wave-equations to describe matter.
The Physics Laboratory introduces experimental science. There are experiments in six areas: i) The measurement of fundamental constants including h, c and e/m for an electron; ii) Wave phenomena; iii) Electricity and Magnetism, iv) Matter, v) Geometrical Optics and vi) Astronomy. The experiments can help give a different and more 'tangible' perspective on material treated theoretically in lectures. They illustrate the importance of correct handling of data and the estimation of errors, and provide experience in using a range of equipment. You will also be taught the 'art' of writing scientific reports and be provided a strong, basic grounding in practical laboratory work.
Electricity and Magnetism
You will largely be concerned with the great developments in electricity and magnetism, which took place during the nineteenth century. The origins and properties of electric and magnetic fields in free space, and in materials, are tested in some detail and all the basic levels up to, but not including, Maxwell's equations are considered. In addition the module deals with both dc and ac circuit theory including the use of complex impedance. You will be introduced to the properties of electrostatic and magnetic fields, and their interaction with dielectrics, conductors and magnetic materials.
Electronic instrumentation is widely used in virtually all areas of experimental physics. Whilst it is not essential for all experimental physicists to know, for example, how to make a low noise amplifier, it is extremely useful for them to have some knowledge of electronics. This workshop (and the one next year) introduce some of the basic electronics which is used regularly by physicists. You will cover the design and operation of some basic electronic circuits and familiarise yourself with the electronic instrumentation used to investigate and monitor circuit performance.
You will look at dimensional analysis, matter and waves. Often the qualitative features of systems can be understood (at least partially) by thinking about which quantities in a problem are allowed to depend on each other on dimensional grounds. Thermodynamics is the study of heat transfers and how they can lead to useful work. Even though the results are universal, the simplest way to introduce this topic to you is via the ideal gas, whose properties are discussed and derived in some detail. You will also cover waves. Waves are time-dependent variations about some time-independent (often equilibrium) state. You will revise the relation between the wavelength, frequency and velocity and the definition of the amplitude and phase of a wave.
Key Skills for Physics
This is a composite module made of 2 components; physics problems (6 CATS) and five worksheets (6 CATS). Problem solving forms a vital part of your learning process and therefore, each lecturer issues a set of problems on their module which you are expected to make serious attempts to solve. A subset of these problems is marked for credit. These problems are discussed in your weekly Examples Classes. You will cover background mathematical material assumed by other modules, to give you experience of learning by self-study and to develop the habit of keeping up with the problem sheets handed out in physics modules.
Classical Mechanics and Relativity
You will study Newtonian mechanics emphasizing the conservation laws inherent in the theory. These have a wider domain of applicability than classical mechanics (for example they also apply in quantum mechanics). You will also look at the classical mechanics of oscillations and of rotating bodies. It then explains why the failure to find the ether was such an important experimental result and how Einstein constructed his theory of special relativity. You will cover some of the consequences of the theory for classical mechanics and some of the predictions it makes, including: the relation between mass and energy, length-contraction, time-dilation and the twin paradox.
Mathematics for Physicists
All scientists use mathematics to state the basic laws and to analyse quantitatively and rigorously their consequences. The module introduces you to the concepts and techniques, which will be assumed by future modules. These include: complex numbers, functions of a continuous real variable, integration, functions of more than one variable and multiple integration. You will revise relevant parts of the A-level syllabus, to cover the mathematical knowledge to undertake first year physics modules, and to prepare you for mathematics and physics modules in subsequent years.
Physics Programming Workshop
You will be introduced to the Python programming language in this module. It is quick to learn and encourages good programming style. Python is an interpreted language, which makes it flexible and easy to share. It allows easy interfacing with modules, which have been compiled from C or Fortran sources. It is widely used throughout physics and there are many downloadable free-to-user codes available. You will also look at the visualisation of data. You will be introduced to scientific programming with the help of the Python programming language, a language widely used by physicists.
Quantum Mechanics and its Applications
In the first part of this module you will use ideas, introduced in the first year module, to explore atomic structure. You will discuss the time-independent and the time-dependent Schrödinger equations for spherically symmetric and harmonic potentials, angular momentum and hydrogenic atoms. The second half of the module looks at many-particle systems and aspects of the Standard Model of particle physics. It introduces the quantum mechanics of free fermions and discussing how it accounts for the conductivity and heat capacity of metals and the state of electrons in white dwarf stars.
Electromagnetic Theory and Optics
You will develop the ideas of first year electricity and magnetism into Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism. Maxwell's equations pulled the various laws of electricity and magnetism (Faraday's law, Ampere's law, Lenz's law, Gauss's law) into one unified and elegant theory. The module shows you that Maxwell's equations in free space have time-dependent solutions, which turn out to be the familiar electromagnetic waves (light, radio waves, X-rays, etc.), and studies their behaviour at material boundaries (Fresnel Equations). You will also cover the basics of optical instruments and light sources.
Thermal Physics II
Any macroscopic object we meet contains a large number of particles, each of which moves according to the laws of mechanics (which can be classical or quantum). Yet, we can often ignore the details of this microscopic motion and use a few average quantities such as temperature and pressure to describe and predict the behaviour of the object. Why we can do this, when we can do this and how to do it are the subject of this module. The most important idea in the field is due to Boltzmann, who identified the connection between entropy and disorder. The module shows you how the structure of equilibrium thermodynamics follows from Boltzmann's definition of the entropy and shows you how, in principle, any observable equilibrium quantity can be computed.
You will develop experimental skills in a range of areas and include the design and testing of a functional electronic circuit. The module also introduces you to the concepts involved in controlling an experiment using a microcomputer. You will explore information retrieval and evaluation, and the oral and written presentation of scientific material.
Mathematical Methods for Physicists
You will review the techniques of ordinary and partial differentiation and ordinary and multiple integration. You will develop you understanding of vector calculus and discuss the partial differential equations of physics. (Term 1) The theory of Fourier transforms and the Dirac delta function are also covered. Fourier transforms are used to represent functions on the whole real line using linear combinations of sines and cosines. Fourier transforms are a powerful tool in physics and applied mathematics. The examples used to illustrate the module are drawn mainly from interference and diffraction phenomena in optics. (Term 2)
Appropriate Business module
In the third year you will select from an extensive list of WBS modules. Some may be linked to prerequisite modules. For example, if you would like to study International Marketing, generally you will need to have also chosen the Marketing module earlier in the year.
Selection of optional modules that current students are studying
- Introduction to Astronomy
- Computer Programming
- Experimental Particle Physics
- Introduction to Secondary School Teaching (Physics)
- Climate Change
- Modern Foreign Language
- Supply Chain Management
- Company Law
- Business Data Analytics
- Accounting in Context
- Design in Business
- Understanding Enterprise
- Principles of Finance
- Bank of America (Merrill Lynch)
- Goldman Sachs
- Corporate Graduate
- Investment Bank Analyst
- Software Engineer
"Physics leads to a wide range of job opportunities."
"I wasn’t sure what career I wanted so chose Physics - a subject that would lead to a wide range of job opportunities. I became fully involved in the department and ran the open days, conducting tours and speaking to prospective students which taught me a number of skills I now use in my career. I also completed some original research in my fourth year which was a great experience.
After my degree, I knew I wanted to use the Maths element in my career and as I discovered from running the open days, I enjoyed speaking to other people and presenting…so became an actuary."
Eloise Richer - Actuary
Studied 'Physics (MPhys)' - Graduated 2016
"I have gained a lot more than just a degree."
"I was very impressed with the Physics department when I visited during an open day, and wasn’t disappointed when I joined Warwick. The lecturers on my course were genuinely passionate about what they were teaching which resulted in lectures that were fun and enjoyable.
There are many societies and volunteering opportunities at Warwick which I believe has made me a well-rounded graduate compared with graduates from other universities. I worked with Warwick Volunteers and took this experience through to my career as I realised I was passionate about helping others; I now work as a Mental Health Recovery Worker."
Naomi Hyde - Mental Health Recovery Worker
Studied 'Physics (BSc) - Graduated 2017
A level:A*AA to include A in Mathematics (or Further
Mathematics) and Physics
IB:38 to include 6 in Higher Level Mathematics and Physics
Degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc)
24 September 2019
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Other course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course.
For further information on the typical additional costs please see the Additional Costs page.
This information is applicable for 2019 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.