Routes into Physics Careers

The majority of those working in physics-related industries have followed a more traditional route, taking physics and maths A-levels at school followed by a physics-related degree before entering industry.

However, there are a number of other routes, including foundation year and access courses as well as vocational qualifications such as BTECs and Apprenticeships.

This map illustrates some of these pathways:

Pathways to careers with physics

Further information on these schemes.

If you are interested in engineering, then try the Career Route Map from Tomorrow’s Engineers.

Informed Choices produced by the Russell Group, this document indicates best A-level subject combinations for various degrees.

Foundation (or Extended) year courses currently available at the following SEPnet partners:

OpenPlus entry is available at the following SEPnet partners:

  • Queen Mary, University of London

Current entry requirement for SEPnet partners

Entry requirements are given as UCAS points and A-levels. Please see individual websites for offers in other entry courses. This table is intended as guidance only and individual websites should be checked for further detail.

All partners, with the exception of the Open University, require A-levels in Maths and Physics for BSc/MPhys courses. Some may specify particular grades in them

University of Kent ABB, 320 UCAS pointsABB, 320 UCAS pointsNo given requirements

University BSc MPhys Foundation
Univ. Hertfordshire ABB, 320 UCAS points AAB, 340 UCAS points 120 UCAS points
The OU GCSE Maths and English GCSE Maths and English n/a
Univ. Portsmouth 260 UCAS points to include 2 A levels or equivalent, with 80 points from A level Mathematics, Physics, or Electronics. n/a n/a
Queen Mary A or B in physics and maths, 320 UCAS points total A in physics and maths, 340 UCAS points total 240 UCAS points
University of Reading ABB, 320 UCAS points n/a n/a
Royal Holloway AAB-AAA, 360 UCAS points AAB-AAA, 360 UCAS points n/a
Univ. Southampton ABB, 320 UCAS points AAA, 360 UCAS points BBB, 300 UCAS points
Univ. Surrey ABB, 320 UCAS points AAB, 340 UCAS points n/a
Univ. Sussex ABB-AAB, 340 UCAS points AAA, 360 UCAS points Evidence of competence in mathematics

For more information on:


Careers from physics


FutureMorph – careers from science and maths (for 11-18 year olds)

Apprenticeships :

NPL Advanced Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeship in Space Engineering

Rolls Royce Science Apprenticeships