Results are out! Find what you Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

Difference between Physics and Theoretical Physics?

Announcements Posted on
Review your Uni: we’re almost at 10,000 reviews. Our 10,000th will win £100 amazon voucher! 21-09-2015
  1. Offline

    Could anybody kindly explain the main difference please? From what I've read on university websites, they're pretty much the same within a uni, with the exception of one or two minor modules being different.
    Thanks x.
  2. Offline

    Well I assume in straight physics you have to take lab modules which take up a significant amount of time. And I suppose in theoretical physics you would have to take a lot of extra maths modules to be able to understand the harder stuff. I think physics will have more of a practical element to it, and theoretical physics more of a mathematical element basically.
  3. Offline

    Not being a physics student, but having a friend who does straight physics and boyfriend doing theoretical- seems that instead of doing the lab sessions, the theoretical people do maths-y stuff. From what I can tell, that makes up about six hours a week...
  4. Offline

    It depends on the uni. At Durham there is no difference between theoretical physics and physics until the 3rd year, where the physicists carry on labs and us theoretical physicists do no labs and theoretical modules (essentially more maths from what I understand).

    From what I can remember from applying last year similar things are true of most unis. Often it's the case that an optional module in the first year for normal physicists isn't optional for the theoretical physicists and they do extra maths or something along those lines. You'll have to check how each uni works individually I'm afraid.

    Really it shouldn't matter what you go for now, you don't really know which way you want to head yet. Every uni I looked at allowed for very easy transfers between their courses in the first or second years.
  5. Offline

    At Manchester Theoretical Physics students don't do lab in the 2nd semester and also don't have a choice in their optional modules.
  6. Offline

    theoretical physics certainly has a lot more theory to it


Submit reply


Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: January 11, 2009
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Today on TSR

You know you're a student when...

What's your defining moment?

What is your opinion about sugar tax?
Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.