BestProfileName
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I am referring to the following modules:

1. The quantum world
2. The relativistic Universe
3. Electromagnetism
4. Astrophysics

Is anyone able to give their views? Here are the details I am most interested in:

1. How interesting they were in comparison to each other
2. The quality of teaching material/tutorials
3. Which one was hardest/easiest?
4. Which ones lend themselves better to postgraduate level?

I know I wish to do no.1, but I am undecided in terms of my second option.

Thanks in advance.
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hmm_what?
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(Original post by BestProfileName)
I am referring to the following modules:

1. The quantum world
2. The relativistic Universe
3. Electromagnetism
4. Astrophysics

Is anyone able to give their views? Here are the details I am most interested in:

1. How interesting they were in comparison to each other
2. The quality of teaching material/tutorials
3. Which one was hardest/easiest?
4. Which ones lend themselves better to postgraduate level?

I know I wish to do no.1, but I am undecided in terms of my second option.

Thanks in advance.
1) Interesting is a relative concept. The quantum world is generally people's favourite followed by astrophysics, the relativistic universe and then electromagnetism.

2) All are extremely good although middle book of the relativistic universe (Observational Cosmology), while very interesting, is beyond undergraduate level and a constant source of misery.

3) On the basis of grade 1 passes it is the quantum world (~30%), astrophysics (~20%), electromagnetism (~15%), the relativistic universe (~12%). The latter two in particular are known for their difficulty and high failure rates.

4) It depends on what you want to do. If astrophysics is your thing then the relativistic universe, astrophysics and electromagnetism are likely to be the best three to choose. Alternatively a more classical/quantum bias would benefit from electromagnetism, the quantum world and astrophysics. IIRC the only one of the modules listed that isn't a requirement for Institute of Physics accreditation is the relativistic universe. When it comes down to it however your project (SXP390) is the most important thing to consider when looking at postgraduate study. Not from a subject point of view, although that is helpful, but from the point of view of the grade you achieve.
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David B
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Despite not studying physics myself I would be happy to do any of them modules. They all seem interesting.
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BestProfileName
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(Original post by hmm_what?)
1) Interesting is a relative concept. The quantum world is generally people's favourite followed by astrophysics, the relativistic universe and then electromagnetism.

2) All are extremely good although middle book of the relativistic universe (Observational Cosmology), while very interesting, is beyond undergraduate level and a constant source of misery.

3) On the basis of grade 1 passes it is the quantum world (~30%), astrophysics (~20%), electromagnetism (~15%), the relativistic universe (~12%). The latter two in particular are known for their difficulty and high failure rates.

4) It depends on what you want to do. If astrophysics is your thing then the relativistic universe, astrophysics and electromagnetism are likely to be the best three to choose. Alternatively a more classical/quantum bias would benefit from electromagnetism, the quantum world and astrophysics. IIRC the only one of the modules listed that isn't a requirement for Institute of Physics accreditation is the relativistic universe. When it comes down to it however your project (SXP390) is the most important thing to consider when looking at postgraduate study. Not from a subject point of view, although that is helpful, but from the point of view of the grade you achieve.
Thanks a lot for your informative response - I appreciate your time. I've decided to do Mathematics and Physics because I am mostly interested in theoretical physics/mathematical physics. From what I can tell, I do not have the option of a project, although as I would be looking to do an MSc afterwards, I did not think it would play too much of a factor (though you might be better placed to say).

I can choose 2 from the 4 options. With the quantum world being my firm choice, I was debating the second. I thought that the relativistic universe would be best, given that it must by definition cover some astrophysics (although feel free to correct that assumption) but that it would be more overtly mathematical. I must say that I imagined people would prefer the astrophysics module slightly and I am slightly put off by the grade 1 pass rate for the relativistic universe.

I feel somewhat uneasy that I might completely ignore the electromagnetism module, although as you say, it's generally considered the least interesting, and that certainly corroborates what I read in the module reviews.

I know that an MSc can cover some missed material but I wonder how much more difficult it would make it for me. So if it's possible, I'd like to ask some follow-up questions:

1. Does The Physical World (I am going into first year, not second) cover enough electromagnetism to make the jump to Theoretical Physics MSc doable? Not just doable, but maybe even not much of an issue?

2. Right now, it's a toss up between astrophysics and the relativistic universe. If you had the same aspirations as myself (the MSc in Theoretical Physics), knowing what you know, which do you think you'd profit more from?

3. Maybe I am relegating electromagnetism due to my ignorance - if so, please let me know.

Thanks again.

Edit: Sorry, I know this is a really long post, but for the purposes of further information for anyone interested, this is what one MSc Theoretical Physics course mentions in the entry requirements:

Ideally, we are looking for some knowledge of each of the following topics at intermediate (or advanced) undergraduate level:


  • Classical Dynamics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Special Relativity
  • Statistical/Thermal Physics.


We recognise that many Mathematics students (and indeed also some Physics students) will not have covered all of these topics at advanced undergraduate level, and we are therefore quite flexible in our admissions process. Every application in considered individually, and we are able to accept students who have studied a significant subset of these topics.
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hmm_what?
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(Original post by BestProfileName)
Thanks a lot for your informative response - I appreciate your time. I've decided to do Mathematics and Physics because I am mostly interested in theoretical physics/mathematical physics. From what I can tell, I do not have the option of a project, although as I would be looking to do an MSc afterwards, I did not think it would play too much of a factor (though you might be better placed to say).
It does appear that's the case which is... disappointing. The project module is often looked at as part of an application for postgraduate study. You'll probably be able to get away with it for an MSc though.

1. Does The Physical World (I am going into first year, not second) cover enough electromagnetism to make the jump to Theoretical Physics MSc doable? Not just doable, but maybe even not much of an issue?
No, it doesn't cover the essential maths and only mentions Maxwell's equations in passing. You really need the electromagnetism module for that.

2. Right now, it's a toss up between astrophysics and the relativistic universe. If you had the same aspirations as myself (the MSc in Theoretical Physics), knowing what you know, which do you think you'd profit more from?
Neither, I'd do electromagnetism. If your goal is not astrophysics or cosmology related then you're better off sticking with quantum and classical physics.

3. Maybe I am relegating electromagnetism due to my ignorance - if so, please let me know.
You are, electromagnetism is the cornerstone of modern physics and will be a core component of any physics degree.

Just out of interest what are your level 3 maths options?
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BestProfileName
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(Original post by hmm_what?)
It does appear that's the case which is... disappointing. The project module is often looked at as part of an application for postgraduate study. You'll probably be able to get away with it for an MSc though.



No, it doesn't cover the essential maths and only mentions Maxwell's equations in passing. You really need the electromagnetism module for that.



Neither, I'd do electromagnetism. If your goal is not astrophysics or cosmology related then you're better off sticking with quantum and classical physics.



You are, electromagnetism is the cornerstone of modern physics and will be a core component of any physics degree.

Just out of interest what are your level 3 maths options?
Ah, such a shame - I always found cosmology so interesting, but I suppose I could try a couple of modules at MSc level. The mathematics options are as follows:

http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/ms324
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/mst326
-something called ms327 that I cannot find anywhere-
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/m337
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/m343
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/mt365
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/M373

At this point I am in favour of the top two options.

Looking at the criteria set by that university, how well do you think I would therefore stack up?


  • Classical Dynamics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Special Relativity
  • Statistical/Thermal Physics.


If I take quantum world and electromagnetism obviously I satisfy 2 of those 5. I am assuming that the physical world and electromagnetism (and some parts of the math modules) will also cover classical dynamics. So I suppose my question would focus predominantly on the latter two.

Thanks again.
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hmm_what?
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Ah, such a shame - I always found cosmology so interesting, but I suppose I could try a couple of modules at MSc level. The mathematics options are as follows:

http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/ms324
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/mst326
-something called ms327 that I cannot find anywhere-
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/m337
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/m343
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/mt365
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/M373
A good selection. I'd liked to have done MS324 and MST326.

  • Classical Dynamics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Special Relativity
  • Statistical/Thermal Physics.


If I take quantum world and electromagnetism obviously I satisfy 2 of those 5. I am assuming that the physical world and electromagnetism (and some parts of the math modules) will also cover classical dynamics. So I suppose my question would focus predominantly on the latter two.
They'd all be covered by the physical world (S207 or its replacement S217), the quantum world and electromagnetism. I assume you'll be doing MST210?
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BestProfileName
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A good selection. I'd liked to have done MS324 and MST326.



They'd all be covered by the physical world (S207 or its replacement S217), the quantum world and electromagnetism. I assume you'll be doing MST210?
Yes, it's compulsory alongside the other one. Now that you mention it, do you have any information regarding the changes in S217?
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hmm_what?
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Yes, it's compulsory alongside the other one. Now that you mention it, do you have any information regarding the changes in S217?
More thermodynamics than in S207 I think. Other than that I couldn't say.
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