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Study with us

We think Physics is awesome - watch what you could do when you study physics with us

Find your physics or space course here


The curriculum developed and presented by the School of Physical Sciences is designed to support students with an interest in and career aspirations for physics and its closely aligned disciplines of astronomy, planetary science and space science.

At undergraduate level we offer three main routes leading to a BSc honours degree:

  • The BSc (Honours) Physics (R51) is accredited by the Institute of Physics and includes a significant practical science component built on assets in our award-winning OpenSTEM Labs, and a project element at Stage 3. The OU is currently the only UK HE distance-learning provider offering comprehensive experimental skills development on the basis of online tools and assets. (Note: The BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences (Physics) (Q64) degree differs from R51 in that it includes a slightly wider choice of modules for the 30 credit option at stage 1, and the optional module S350 is available at stage 3.)

  • The BSc (Honours) Mathematics and Physics (Q77)  is accredited by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and recognised by the Institute of Physics. It  is a popular choice for students who are drawn to the concepts in theoretical physics and the underpinning mathematical ideas and methods. This qualification shares about half of the curriculum with the BSc Physics.

  • The BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences (Astronomy & Planetary Science) (Q64) appeals to those who are drawn to the mysteries of the Universe beyond Earth and wish to acquire a deeper grounding in the scientific underpinnings of this discipline. From the exploration of the Solar System to the search for life on planets orbiting stars other than our Sun, and from black holes disrupting stars to the history and fate of the Universe as a whole – these and more topics in extra-terrestrial physics have traditionally inspired humans to advance their knowledge of science. All routes through Q64 are accredited by the Society of Natural Sciences. The Q64 Physics pathway and Astronomy & Planetary Science pathway are recognised by the Institute of Physics.

We also offer an integrated masters MPhys degree:

  • The MPhys Master of Physics (M06) degree combines undergraduate with post-graduate study, and features close links to Physical Sciences research themes at the OU. Within the degree, you can specialise in Astrophysics with Space Science or in Physics. It comprises 480 credits, which is the workload equivalent of 4 years full-time study. We are currently (2024) seeking accreditation for this degree by the Institute of Physics.

Both the M06 Master of Physics degree and the R51 BSc Physics degree have three possible routes through Stage 1: Basic maths start, Standard start and Advanced Start. Similarly, the Q77 BSc Mathematics and Physics degree has two possible routes through Stage 1: Basic maths start and Standard start.

To check whether you're ready to embark on these courses, take a look at the "Are You Ready For ...?" quizzes for the various modules.


At postgraduate level we offer the MSc in Space Science and Technology (F77), designed for those with an academic or professional interest in space science and the technology that underpins this discipline. It equips students with the skills to carry out scientific investigations using space-based instrumentation, both individually and as a team.


In addition there is a choice of complementing Diplomas and Certificates,the OU Certificate in Physics, the OU Certificate in Astronomy & Planetary Science, and a large number of badged open courses, short modules and other free learning resources on OpenLearn.


For more information about studying Physics, Astronomy and Planetary Science, or Space Science at the Open University, click on the links above. Our modules are supported by module team staff and by a large group of part-time associate lecturer staff based around the UK and Ireland.