Gendo
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Hi all!

Posted this question in the Physics generic thread already but hope to get some uni specific opinions here.

Just enrolled into Natural Science-Physics BSc starting Feb 14 but not sure if it's the right choice, there's a Mathematics and Physics degree as well with only 3 physics modules.

I'm obviously interested in Physics so i would be more keen on the first one but i understand Math is very important as well, i just don't understand the future implications of each degree.:confused:

Considering that i hope to get a career in Physics after maybe getting a PhD what would you say it's the best choice?

Thanks
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zenistar
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Have you already taken a look at some potential PhD programs to see what their entry requirements are, and maybe discussed this with an adviser from the OU?
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Gendo
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(Original post by zenistar)
Have you already taken a look at some potential PhD programs to see what their entry requirements are, and maybe discussed this with an adviser from the OU?
Thanks for the reply, from what i've seen a PhD requires a first class degree or a 2.1 in physics but that's beside the point.

My question was basically if the choice of modules now will affect a future career or PhD choice other than basic entry requirements.

Do you think there's a path that would benefit from some extra math?
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llys
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Hmmm, the only thing I would say is that if you want to do a PhD in theoretical physics, you should do as much maths as possible. But I don't know how maths-heavy the OU physics modules themselves are.
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linux geek
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Im doing B64 physics path now and asked the same question as you are a post 2012 student guess you are talking Q 64 and Q77 degrees

when I asked this was told that as B/Q64 has sxp390 which is a dissertation these skills would be needed at PhD level and would not get these from Q77 so stuck with B64
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Yosho
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What subject areas do you want to study at masters and PhD level?

For theoretical physics, you need a lot of maths, so BSc Physics and Maths makes sense. Not doing enough maths modules at BSc level could close the door to direct entry onto a Theoretical Physics masters. You could still do one, you'd just have to do another course in between, to top up the missing maths. It depends, which areas are you studying and interested in? Sorry I am not good with codes, give me the titles and (very) brief outline of syllabuses.

For a regular physics masters, you will find not having lab time a problem. Most undergrads get 5+ lab hours per week for three years, and a major project in their final year. Double that for the highest tier unis. Graduate Diploma courses exist, which you can take in one year on graduation of either physics or maths and physics (doesn't matter which), so maybe that could make up the missing experimental experience.

Do you know which areas of physics you are interested in studying afterwards?
What sort of physics do you find appealing for further study?
Would you prefer to do experimental or theoretical (or don't know?) ?

Once you had
-- a 2:1 or 1st in BSc Natural Sciences (Physics) or BSc Physics and Maths, and
-- an MSc Physics (or related subject) at merit or distinction
I'm sure a wide range of physics PhDs would be open to you.
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Schrodingersfrog
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There is a Maths + Physics degree these days with the OU - have you thought about that?

You should also note that because of the general nature of the year 1 courses, they tend to be very physics-lite. The compulsary module is S104 and a good deal of it is Geology.
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Davidswift9
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Hi, i think i have similar goals as you. From my understanding the Open University will not give you what we want at some point you are going to need to go a brick university to finish your degree to get lab experience. I'm currently working towards attempting a second year entry onto a Physics degree with a brick university.

I believe the Physics modules for BSc Natural Science and BSc Maths and Physics are below brick university standard. Brick universities ask for the second year modules of open uni science degrees as replacement for their first year courses if going for second year entry. I find the Open Uni first year modules below Alevel standard, I think this is because they must cater to students with zero science background from school.

If brick uni is not an option for you, I think Bsc maths and physics is the right choice with open uni as maths widens your career prospects and is used throughout physics, especially if theoretical physics is your chosen pathway.

You are definatly going to need to email admission tutors from universities to see if they will consider OU degree's for post grad study.p


Let us know what they say.
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hmm_what?
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(Original post by Davidswift9)
Hi, i think i have similar goals as you. From my understanding the Open University will not give you what we want at some point you are going to need to go a brick university to finish your degree to get lab experience. I'm currently working towards attempting a second year entry onto a Physics degree with a brick university.

I believe the Physics modules for BSc Natural Science and BSc Maths and Physics are below brick university standard. Brick universities ask for the second year modules of open uni science degrees as replacement for their first year courses if going for second year entry. I find the Open Uni first year modules below Alevel standard, I think this is because they must cater to students with zero science background from school.

If brick uni is not an option for you, I think Bsc maths and physics is the right choice with open uni as maths widens your career prospects and is used throughout physics, especially if theoretical physics is your chosen pathway.

You are definatly going to need to email admission tutors from universities to see if they will consider OU degree's for post grad study.p


Let us know what they say.
What level 3 modules have you done?
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Davidswift9
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(Original post by hmm_what?)
What level 3 modules have you done?
None yet. Im doing level 2 modules next year with OU which brick uni admission tutors have told me are below their year 2 standards and are equivalent to their first year modules. So I'm guessing OU level 3 are not as demanding as third year brick uni modules.
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hmm_what?
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(Original post by Davidswift9)
None yet. Im doing level 2 modules next year with OU which brick uni admission tutors have told me are below their year 2 standards and are equivalent to their first year modules. So I'm guessing OU level 3 are not as demanding as third year brick uni modules.
S207 is roughly equivalent to the first year of most physics degrees but the content of MST209 can span the content of all three years depending on the degree and institution.

You have the level 3 modules wrong though because they are a massive step up from level 2. You are looking at the equivalent year 3 work for the most part and in some cases (S383 for example) you deal with graduate level texts.

I should also pick you up on this

I find the Open Uni first year modules below Alevel standard
Which is untrue unless you've only done the most basic level 1 modules. Sub A-level would be GCSE and that only module I can think that would be that level is the introductory MU123.

Finally if you think that the OU physics degree is really lacking you should contact Ofqual with your concerns.
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Davidswift9
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(Original post by hmm_what?)
S207 is roughly equivalent to the first year of most physics degrees but the content of MST209 can span the content of all three years depending on the degree and institution.

You have the level 3 modules wrong though because they are a massive step up from level 2. You are looking at the equivalent year 3 work for the most part and in some cases (S383 for example) you deal with graduate level texts.

I should also pick you up on this



Which is untrue unless you've only done the most basic level 1 modules. Sub A-level would be GCSE and that only module I can think that would be that level is the introductory MU123.

Finally if you think that the OU physics degree is really lacking you should contact Ofqual with your concerns.
Im doing S104 at the moment and its content is not as detailed as the Alevels I done a few years ago. MST209 does not appear on the Natural Science Physics pathway, which is a shame because its the module Institute of Physics require to be accredited which you need to consider when doing a physics degree with OU. Okay so the third year maybe a jump and of the brick uni year 3 standard but OU physics pathway degrees are missing a whole year of learning then if their year two is equivalent to brick uni year 1.


It must be asked what are brick uni's in year 2 teaching that OU students miss out on?
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niyuco
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(Original post by Davidswift9)
Passive aggressive post. Im doing S104 at the moment and its content is not as detailed as the Alevels I done a few years ago. MST209 does not appear on the Natural Science Physics pathway, which is a shame because its the module Institute of Physics require to be accredited which you need to consider when doing a physics degree with OU. Okay so the third year maybe a jump and of the brick uni year 3 standard but OU physics pathway degrees are missing a whole year of learning then if their year two is equivalent to brick uni year 1.


It must be asked what are brick uni's in year 2 teaching that OU students miss out on?
The OU doesn't have years. It has levels. And they don't translate directly.

True, S104 content is AS level but it's 4 AS levels crammed into 8 months. And S207 covers about 1 1/2 years of undergraduate physics in the same time. So you're not missing a whole year, it's just compressed.

What is missing then? Well, lab work obviously. That is a valid criticism, but it would be true for any distance learning degree.

The new maths module is MST224. That isn't on the IoP list but they haven't actually inspected it yet. It is expected it will be. There is a post about this from Andrew Norton on the forums somewhere.
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linux geek
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Ive just started my level 3 study this year have been in regular contact with my local brick uni as plan to attend them for a post grad course after

they say that if you take the degree as a whole then its on a par with their degree but the levels do no match the years.

you have to take the degree as a package not just base it on one module
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Davidswift9
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(Original post by linux geek)
Ive just started my level 3 study this year have been in regular contact with my local brick uni as plan to attend them for a post grad course after

they say that if you take the degree as a whole then its on a par with their degree but the levels do no match the years.

you have to take the degree as a package not just base it on one module
Is that a physics or science degree that you are doing level 3 study in?
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linux geek
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(Original post by Davidswift9)
Is that a physics or science degree that you are doing level 3 study in?
I'm doing the physic pathway inside the natural science degree B64 so all my chosen level 3s are physics, as the post grad in interested in is related to plasma technology

the Brick uni also like the idea of having some cross science knowledge that comes with doing natural science in my foundation levels as a PhD will usually require some inter science collaboration.

my Phd idea requires some biology for example
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