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Admissions criteria - Physics and Astronomy

This information applies to all undergraduate Physics and Astronomy programmes - single or joint honours.

Predominantly we want to see evidence of a strong ability and enthusiasm for maths and physics subjects. Primarily this evidence will come from awarded and predicted grades. But additional factors such as evidence of extra-curricula academic drive, interesting work placements or experience, additional courses taken, indicate initiative and a keen mind. However, we do appreciate that not all students will have had these opportunities.

As well as these subject specific indicators, we will look favourably on evidence of broader interests and an ability to time manage different aspects of an academic, working and social life. These factors may be many and varied and again respect is given to the range of experience available to different applicants.

Attributes Measure (how?)
Evidence of potential for high academic achievement and a strong work ethic. Predicted and achieved grades in Maths and Physics qualifications.
An academic reference suggesting that the student has a strong aptitude for mathematical science.
Interest in and enthusiasm for the subject. Personal Statement should indicate the applicant’s drive for their chosen subject. Evidence of relevant Work Experience or Placements, additional courses undertaken, and details of academic projects can help to convey this.
An enquiring mind and proof of reasoning and problem solving ability. Qualifications achieved.
Personal statement.
Academic Reference.

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate requirements can be found in Course Finder.

Additional requirements for admission

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome, as are those who may have combinations of qualifications or other relevant work/life experience. If you would like to know the entry requirements for a specific qualification not listed here, please contact our admissions team on either or +44 (0)29 2087 9999.

All applications for a place on any of the Physics and Astronomy degree programmes must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application service. Applications can be made either in the English or the Welsh language.

We will read and review all UCAS applications as they are received at all stages throughout the UCAS cycle. We will check you are studying the required pre-requisites (specifically A-level or equivalent Maths and Physics) and advise you of alternative routes if you are not. Your ability will be assessed on your AS level grades and predicted A level (or equivalent) grades. If these fall below our requirement, but this issue is addressed within the personal statement and/or tutor’s reference, i.e. mitigating circumstances are identified, you will still be considered.

All applicants assessed by the Admissions tutor as suitable for entry to one of our degree schemes will be invited to visit the school on one of our UCAS Visit Days. We offer you the opportunity to discuss your application with us and to ask further questions. The visit includes a tour of some of the University as well as the School of Physics and Astronomy, allowing you to see such facilities as the library, student residences, Students' Union, computer and experimental laboratories and observatory. There are illustrated talks describing the courses and the activities of the School. You will have an opportunity to talk to students and staff, so that you can find out exactly what being a student at Cardiff is like. You can choose to visit the School on a number of alternative dates. You may request an informal interview with a member of staff.

We recognise that if you are a Welsh speaker, you may feel more comfortable speaking to a Welsh speaking personal tutor. Provided there are Welsh-speaking members of staff available, every effort will be made to allocate a Welsh speaker to you.

All suitable applicants who are eligible for additional consideration will be guaranteed a typical offer on the School of Physics and Astronomy's undergraduate courses. View the University policy on use of contextual data.

We will consider applications on an individual basis.

We are happy to make offers for deferred entry.

Transfers with credit from another Higher Education institution

We will consider applications from students wishing to transfer to Cardiff from other UK Universities only where there are compelling personal circumstances supporting a transfer, and where you, (a) meet the entry requirements for the relevant degree scheme, and (b) have achieved a satisfactory level of performance in each module taken at his/her current institution.

Please note, all transfer requests must be made formally through UCAS. You should therefore allow sufficient time for requests to be approved. You should provide a full transcript of results and reference at the time of application. Requests without this information will not be considered.

Transfer with credit from another programme at Cardiff University

Applications for transfers from students wishing to transfer to Year one from other Schools within Cardiff University are considered where you meet the entry requirements for the relevant degree scheme and are able to demonstrate motivation to study physics and astronomy. Students should contact the Admissions Team in the first instance.