If anyone is interested in Open-plus physics, but wants to follow more of an astrophysics route, I'll let you know what I've done with Sheffield.
Originally you are meant to study:
MST124 (30 credits) in the first year.
S217 (60 credits) in the second year
MST224 (30 credits) and SXPA288 (30 credits) in the third year.
Then you progress to the second year at your chosen University.
This route used to originally take 2 years rather than 3, but you have to study MST124 in order to get the math in S217. And it's highly recommended you need to have either studied MST224 or S217 before SXPA288. Now, I have heard people have studied the last 3 modules together over 1 year, but I'm uncertain as I was told what I said above. But at the end of the day, not everyone has the time to study 120 credits in one year. If you are, then I tip my hat to you. But for me, getting the best result possible was the goal. But I was put off by having to wait 3 years.
Now, the reason I wanted to study Physics was because I have a very high interest in Astrophysics. The only problem was most of the Universities that do Astrophysics for Open Plus students don't possess the merit I found in Sheffield, as well as content. Not only is the Physics & Astrophysics degree accredited by IoP, it is also 50:50 between the subjects. I got over excited about this, only to be put down as I would have to start in the first year at Sheffield as there are modules you study in the first year that are essential for . So I would have to do 3 years at Open then 4 years at Sheffield (3 if only a BSc).
But I managed to find a way around this that will take the same amount of time as a regular Open Plus student, but take off a year at Open by studying less modules. So instead of 3 years Open, 2 years Sheffield (BSc) I'd do 2 years Open, 3 years Sheffield.
I will be studying MST124/125 and S217. But I won't have to study MST224 and SXPA288, and I don't have to do the Residential School with Open either.
I've spent the last couple months communicating back and forth with Sheffield and the Open Plus team and found out MST124 doesn't cover the full A-Level syllabus, and whilst MST224 will extend that knowledge into Degree level, it would still mean studying separately and I'd be learning it in Year 1 at Sheffield anyway. So we had a look into MST125, which can be studied along side MST124, and we found both combined provides mathematics up to full A-Level standard. And whilst S217 does take you into degree level physics, it provides full A-level Physics equivalent.
Sheffield have been brilliant with researching all the details of the modules. Now I know this route will not appeal to everyone, and people may prefer other Universities. But it is my own opinion that Sheffield provides the best IoP Physics degree that has as much Astrophysics crammed in that is possible that is suitable for my own needs.
I just thought it was worth posting in case there's someone out there who is wanting the exact same thing from a degree as I am.
Another reason I'm posting it is that having gained qualifications that are A-level and above standard in Maths and Physics, it also open up a lot of doors to apply to Universities through UCAS. And it also saves the expensive costs of taking A-Level exams.Any questions, don't hesitate to ask
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