Natural Philosophy (Physics)

University of Aberdeen


Old Aberdeen Campus


First Year:
The Physical Universe gives an overview of some of the aims and achievements of physics, including 24 lectures on Astronomy. You are also introduced to the fundamental subjects of Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism, and practical work covering Experimental Physics and Physical Computing. The mathematics component includes Calculus and Algebra and the philosophical component includes Formal Logic 1 and 2, a study of the logical relations that underlie the concept of proof, and Truth and Reason.

Second Year:
Physics concentrates on the following areas: Dynamical Phenomena, including oscillations and waves, and an introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Relativity. An extended course on Advanced Philosophy is taken along with an independent course on the History and Philosophy of Science, covering science from the 18th to 20th centuries. You have two optional subject courses, which can be chosen from a wide range of subjects, but it is common to take two additional physics courses from the selection Light Science, Space Science and Remote Sensing or Practical Optics and Electronics.

Third and Fourth Year (Honours):
The Honours years are 75% Physics and 25% Philosophy and related subjects. A balanced selection of pure and applied physics topics are chosen from those available for Honours physics students. There is less emphasis on laboratory work than in the Science degree. A choice of Philosophy courses includes further study of either Logic or The Theory of Knowledge. Everyone undertakes a final year project from a choice of subjects that usually covers the History of Physics, the Philosophy of Physics or, simply, Physics.

Entry Requirements

2021 entry requirements:
4 Highers at AABB (first sitting) including Maths and Physics by end S6 plus English at National 5. Those with Highers at BBB by end of S5 are encouraged to apply.

Widening access entry may be available - contact the university or check their website.

For direct entry to second year you must have the above plus 3 Advanced Highers at ABB including Maths and Physics at AB or BA.

Start Date





MA Hons

Study Method

Full time



Course Length

4 years


Arts and Social Sciences


Divinity, History and Philosophy

SCQF Level



Career Sectors


Chemistry and Materials Science

Food Science and Technology

Mathematics and Statistics


Science General