BSc Hons Physics (Donghua University)


Key facts

  • Accreditation: Institute of Physics for BSc (Hons)
  • Study mode and duration: full time, 4 years (2 years at Donghua, 2 years at Strathclyde)
  • Apply: Available only to eligible students from Donghua University

  • Scholarship: 15% tuition fee scholarship from the university and a 10% tuition fee scholarship from the department

Study with us

  • become part of our University community which is home to over 23,000 students from more than 100 countries
  • English language classes available before and during your studies
  • join Strathclyde in year three and graduate with a degree in Physics after two years
  • develop the knowledge and skills you’ll need to become a successful physicist and maximise your career options
  • gain from the strong links our Chinese staff members have to Chinese institutions
  • benefit from a degree structure that allows you to tailor your fourth year studies to your particular interests
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Why this course

Our BSc in Physics degree covers a wide range of topics in physics and modern physical principles. You’ll develop core skills in mathematics and physics that will allow you to gain an understanding of the fundamental aspects of physics.

Training in laboratories is complemented by a research project carried out in an up-to-date research lab, attached to one of the Department’s research groups. This allows you to benefit from our lively and diverse research environment.

Throughout our course, you’ll develop skills that will help you become a successful physicist and maximise your career options.


Our BSc (Hons) in Physics is accredited by the Institute of Physics for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

Quadropole in physics lab.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

The degree is a four-year programme, with Year 1 and 2 undertaken at Donghua University and Year 3 and 4 at the University of Strathclyde.

At the University of Strathclyde, each year’s curriculum consists of 120 credits including both compulsory and optional modules.

Year 3 has both compulsory and optional modules. You’ll be introduced to new topics in areas such as Condensed Matter Physics and Gases, Liquids and Thermodynamics. And you’ll also have the opportunity to enhance your communication skills and choose elective modules.

In Year 4, you'll choose a research lab project to complete under the supervision of a member of department staff. The research projects reflect the department’s strengths in Quantum Optics (both experimental and theoretical), Plasma Physics, Nanoscience and Photonics. Plus, you can select optional modules in topics as diverse as Nanoscience, Photonics and Quantum Optics.

The University’s competitive research internship scheme offers paid summer research projects lasting 6 to 8 weeks to well qualified students at the end of their third year. Many of our 2+2 students have benefited from these opportunities.


The University of Strathclyde’s department of Physics is one of the leading research departments in the UK. We have a range of cutting-edge research facilities that are equipped with the most up-to-date technology. These include novel optical and electron microscopes, laser systems capable of generating high peak power femtosecond pulses and access to high power computing systems. Students will have access to these facilities when working on their final year projects.

Work placement

The department offers extra credits to students who do a summer vacation project. Students will have the opportunity to either work in industry on a physics related project or in the research laboratories of our academic members of staff. Students may also be eligible for one of the University’s Research Interns at Strathclyde projects, but these are competitive.

Chinese students studying at Strathclyde

Chinese students studying in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics offer a strong support network to new students. The Chinese Students & Scholars Association also offers the opportunity to meet students who study in other departments, through their regular social events and opportunities to go on trips to other areas of Scotland.

Information for Chinese students

Learning & teaching

The following teaching methods are used in Physics:

  • lectures (using a variety of media including electronic presentations)
  • tutorials (small group learning, to further focus on topics covered in lectures)
  • interactive learning (using both personal response systems and web-based teaching resources)
  • directed laboratory work.

You’ll also learn through group work and self-paced project work.

The University offers four hours per week of free in-sessional English classes throughout the academic year to help students improve their English both for studying and everyday communication.


Knowledge, understanding and subject-specific skills are assessed by coursework, assignment, reports, presentations and written examinations.

Why Strathclyde

Strathclyde is a multi-award-winning university. We’re delighted to be the only university to have won the Times Higher Education University of the Year award twice (2012 and 2019).

We offer a flexible, innovative learning environment, where you’ll enjoy a first-class experience. We're currently transforming our campus, with investment set to reach £1 billion by 2025. This includes a new Learning and Teaching hub which will further enhance the learning environment for our students. The campus also has a dedicated sports facility, Strathclyde Sport, which offers a range of sports and wellbeing facilities.

Our campus is located in the city centre of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest and most vibrant city. The National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city!

Glasgow is also the gateway to Scotland, with an international airport and excellent travel links to explore and visit Scotland’s most scenic locations including the Scottish Highlands and Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh, during your time studying at Strathclyde.

Aerial view of the Strathclyde Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences building.


Find out more about accommodation on campus.

Check out our accommodation

Students walking through the garden at Birkbeck Court, university accommodation

Donghua University and the University of Strathclyde have had many years of friendship and co-operation. When I was at Donghua University, I attended a presentation by a teacher from the University of Strathclyde. I was attracted by the modern campus facilities and resources as well as the academic excellence and reputation of the university.
Xin Zhou
BSc Hons Physics – Donghua (fourth year)
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Course content

Please note, the semester of delivery and subject matters may change.

Semester 1 & 2 - Compulsory modules

Experimental Physics I (40 credits)

This module extends the laboratory work developed in years 1 and 2 and involves experiments covering a range of topics relevant to the 3rd year Physics UG taught syllabus. The laboratory work is open ended so you're able to fully explore the experiments in preparation for the final year project. You will develop advanced measurement, data recording and analysis skills and learn how to report experimental outcomes in the form of a journal paper. This module covers 4 experiments.

Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism (20 credits)

Building on what you learned in year 2, this module will extend your understanding of quantum mechanics. We'll introduce operators, expectation values and commutation relationships, and advanced concepts like time independent perturbation theory. In electromagnetism you will exploring the wave like nature of electromagnetism as predicted by Maxwell's equations, Poynting’s theorem, reflection and transmission at a dielectric interface, potentials and gauge transformations, and retarded potentials.

Condensed Matter Physics (20 credits)

Here you'll cover binding forces in solids, bulk material properties, phonons and other forms of collective excitations, crystal structure, elementary concepts of band structure, semi-conductors, magnetic materials and the origins of magnetism, and superconductors.

Gases, Liquids & Thermodynamics (20 credits)

This module covers the physics of gases and liquids and the fundamentals of thermodynamics. This includes the ideal gas law, hydrostatics, isothermal and adiabatic processes, and the laws of thermodynamics. We also present the basic principles of statistical mechanics, and various distributions such as Maxwellian, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein.

Semester 1 & 2 - Optional modules

Communicating Physics (20 credits)

This module will develop your knowledge base and transferable skills in preparation for the project undertaken in years 4 and 5 of the course. It focuses on effective and concise communication of complex information through oral, written and graphical presentations, literature and group-work skills.

Computational Physics (20 credits)

During this module, you’ll be introduced to the best practises in software development, and the numerical methods that are most commonly used to solve physical problems including linear algebra, partial, ordinary and stochastic differential equations, and Fourier methods.  To undertake this module, a prior understanding of Python is required.

Mathematical Physics (20 credits)

This module focuses on introducing new techniques in mathematical physics. You will develop your problem-solving skills through a series of challenging tutorial problems addressing advanced problems both from the topics addressed in this module and from the other core third year modules including quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermal physics, solid state physics and electrodynamics. You will gain an appreciation for how advanced mathematical techniques can be used to aid in solving challenging physics problems and become proficient in applying the techniques you will learn to solve more advanced and previously unseen problems.

Semester 1 & 2 - Compulsory modules

Physics project (40 credits)

The aim of this module is to help you develop as an enquiring, independent physicist, by undertaking a research project. You'll be under the supervision of a member of staff from the department.

Semester 1 - Optional modules

Topics in Solid State Physics (20 credits)

Here you'll track the development of key concepts in solid state physics and how these concepts can be exploited to form functional optical and electronic devices. You will look at the chemistry and physics of crystalline and amorphous materials, with a focus on semiconductor materials, optical activity in solid-state materials, the interaction of semiconductors with light, transistors (bipolar and unipolar), quantum wells and microstructured materials.

Topics in Nanoscience (20 credits)

This module will provide an overview of modern nanoscience. It will discuss basic physics related to low dimensional nanostructures and nanoclusters, nanofabrication including top-down and bottom up approaches, characteristics techniques including electron spectroscopy and microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, and optical spectroscopy and microscopy. Noble metal nanoparticles, quantum dots, carbon nanomaterials will be introduced. In particular it will cover the physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles, their production, applications in physics, chemistry and medicine along with issues relating to nanotoxicity and the ethics of medical nanoscience.

Topics in Photonics (20 credits)

During this module you'll gain an insight into laser physics, laser optics and nonlinear optics as used in many photonic laboratories. This will include properties of laser radiation, beam propagation and ray transfer matrices, nonlinear polarization, and second and third order nonlinear effects such as second harmonic generation and the optical Kerr effect.

Topics in Quantum Optics

Here you'll learn about modern experimental and theoretical developments in the field of quantum optics and atom optics.

Semester 2 - Optional modules

Topics in Physics (20 credits)

Here you'll be introduced to state-of-the-art developments in generation and use of charged particles in various forms such as free electron beams, plasmas and astrophysical plasmas. This will include basic plasma physics theory (particle orbit theory, fluid equations, ideal and magnetohydrodynamics, wave equations and kinetic theory), electron optics and electron microscopes, free electron devices and radiation sources. You will also look at the history and geography of our galactic environment, red giants, white dwarfs, supernovae, neutron stars, black holes and physics of the Big Bang.

Topics in Theoretical Physics (20 credits)

In this module we’ll demonstrate the large-scale structure of space-time. You will develop the necessary mathematical concepts (4-vectors, the metric tensor, covariant derivatives, connection coefficients and the Riemann curvature tensor) and use them to derive Einstein's gravitational field equation and look at idealized cosmological solutions for the large-scale structure of the universe, including the standard model. You will study gravitational collapse and the properties of black holes.

Experimental Physics II (20 credits)

This module extends the laboratory work developed in years 1 and 2 and involves experiments covering a range of topics relevant to the 3rd year Physics UG taught syllabus. The laboratory work is open-ended so you're able to fully explore the experiments in preparation for the final year project. You will develop advanced measurement, data recording and analysis skills and learn how to report experimental outcomes in the form of a journal paper. This module covers 2 experiments.

Topics in Complex and Nonlinear Systems (20 credits)

During this module you will learn about simple systems that exhibit non-linear and complex behaviour. You will find how to analyse non-linear systems and find stationary points, learn to analyse bifurcation diagrams and identify key features on these diagrams, look at periodic solutions to non-linear systems and recognise oscillations, and key features of these oscillations, and understand the origin of deterministic chaos and explain key features relating to chaos. 

Topics in Quantum Physics (20 credits)

This module will provide a broad foundation in concepts and techniques from quantum mechanics, and provide experience in the practical application of these techniques to describing state-of-the-art experiments and quantum technologies. 

Applied High Performance Computing (20 credits)

This module provides an up-to-date introduction to High Performance Computing (HPC) and the use of modern parallel computers to tackle the most demanding problems in science in general and Physics in particular. It provides an overview of the basic building blocks of High-Performance Computers and how they can be utilised effectively. The practical use of HPC will be demonstrated using application examples drawn from several areas of relevance to 4th year modules offered by the Department. 

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

This degree programme is only available to students from Donghua University, following a successful completion of two years of study on BSc Applied Physics, BSc Optoelectronic Science and BSc Engineering.

English language requirements

A minimum overall English language proficiency score of IELTS 6.0 (with no score below 5.5) is required.
We also accept alternative English language qualifications, please contact us for further information.

If you need additional support to meet our English language conditions, you may wish to consider our Pre-sessional courses in English.

If you already meet our English language requirements and wish to undertake pre-sessional English classes, you can register for our three-week Online Module 3, which takes place between August and September. This will be refunded if you go on to register on the BSc (Hons) Physics degree.

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Visa & immigration

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.


All students will receive a 15% tuition fee scholarship from the university and a 10% tuition fee scholarship from the department.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

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Studying physics helps you to problem solve and understand the world around you. It will also maximise your career options.

Our Physics graduates find work in diverse roles from research and development to production and management. And in every field of science and industry. Some have jobs as medical physicists or environmental physicists, others as petroleum engineers, patent officers or research scientists.

Our Careers Service provide careers information, advice and guidance to help our students and graduates achieve their career goals, with support provided to graduates up to five years after graduation. The Careers Service team regularly host on-campus seminars and events which provide opportunities for students and graduates to network with employers and industry professionals.

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This degree programme is only available to eligible students from Donghua University, following successful completion of two years of study on the BSc Applied Physics, BSc Optoelectronic Science and BSc Engineering.

You'll typically receive your offer of admission within four weeks of applying.

Our dedicated Admissions Team are available to support you every step of the way.

Start date: Sep 2024

(3 year entry)

BSc Hons
Start date: Sep 2024

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to the University of Strathclyde at this time.

Apply now
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Contact us

Department of Physics


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