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Physics courses

You can explore the smallest and largest scales of the Universe with a physics course at The Open University. Our world-leading research and teaching will inform your learning to deliver a study experience designed to enrich your intellectual and personal development and enhance your career options. Choose one of our physics qualifications below, and the future is open.

Physics technician in a lab


Stage 1120 credits
Stage 2120 credits
Stage 3120 credits
Total of 360 credits 

How long will it take?

Part time: 16–18 hours per week for 6 years
Full time: 32–36 hours per week for 3 years


Stage 1120 credits
Stage 2120 credits
Total of 240 credits 

How long will it take?

Part time: 16–18 hours per week for 4 years
Full time: 32–36 hours per week for 2 years


Stage 1120 credits
Total of 120 credits 

How long will it take?

Part time: 16–18 hours per week for 2 years
Full time: 32–36 hours per week for 1 year

Why study Physics with The Open University?

Join the UK’s only distance-learning higher education provider able to develop comprehensive experimental skills using online tools and assets. You’ll be able to study at a pace that suits you and your other life commitments, enhanced by our innovative teaching methods. Our degree is accredited by the Institute of Physics.

You’ll also have access to:

  • The award-winning online OpenSTEM Labs, to develop your investigative and laboratory skills, including with remote experiments you can control online.
  • Optional hands-on laboratory work in physics, hosted on our Milton Keynes campus.*
  • A selection of seminars and lectures covering the breadth of research in physics offered by the School of Physical Sciences.*
  • The preparation you need to take your next step – whether it’s further study or employment.

OpenPlus – combine OU and campus-based study

If you’re considering study at a campus-based university, but perhaps your qualifications, finances or family commitments are holding you back, then OpenPlus could be the ideal blend of home based flexibility and on-campus university life. For more information about this unique partnership scheme, visit the OpenPlus website.

Careers in Physics

People with physics qualifications are well placed to enter both scientific and non-scientific jobs. The logical, reasoned approach needed for physics study is relevant to a wide range of employment sectors. For this reason, physics graduates – particularly those who have effective communication and interpersonal skills – are very much in demand.

A physics qualification from the OU could help you start a career in:

  • Teaching
  • Scientific research and investigation
  • Analysis and diagnostics
  • Information management
  • Product design and development

*As a part of our response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we don’t expect to be able to offer face-to-face tuition on modules beginning before 31 August 2021. For any face-to-face events we’re unable to offer, online alternatives will be provided instead.

Looking for something other than a qualification?

The majority of our modules can be studied by themselves, on a stand-alone basis. If you later choose to work towards a qualification, you may be able to count your study towards it.

See our full list of Physics modules

All Physics courses

Browse all the Physics courses we offer – certificates, diplomas and degrees.

See our full list of Physics courses