School of Physics & Astronomy

Undergraduate entry - asking rates

Experimentation with lenses in first year waves and optics lectureAll applications are considered on their individual merits by our admissions officer, under the admissions policy stated by the University. 

The typical offers for students who have obtained their results at any one level in a single sitting are shown below.  In all cases physics and maths are normally specific requirements on top of the University entrance requirements.  As detailed elsewhere, we have three major points of entry. 


Entry Point Highers Advanced Highers A-level IB
First Year AAAA inc. Physics and Maths   AAA inc. Physics and Maths 38 inc. Physics and Maths HL6
Gateway BBBB inc. Physics and Maths      
Second Year   AA Physics and Maths + Higher AAAA AAA inc. Physics and Maths 38 inc. Physics and Maths HL6

Summary Table for some qualification types. Please also see more detailed information on this page. The typical asking rates for direct entry to second year of single-honours degree programmes in the School are shown. A-level qualified students applying to our joint degrees with Mathematics need in addition Further Mathematics A-level at A. Direct entry to second year is not possible in the School's other joint degrees.


First Year Traditional Entry

For level-one entry the typical asking rates for entry to all of this School's degree programmes are at AAAA at Highers (including physics and mathematics) or AAA at A-level (including physics and mathematics).  Note, however, that admissions officers also take into account the personal statement and the referee report, and some offers may be at a lower or higher level than this. Demand for our programmes for recent entries was such that results from Standard Grade or GCSE were also looked at carefully. As we have to manage entry numbers the asking grades may need to change on a yearly basis to reflect this.

The Advanced Higher courses in physics and in maths are both potentially excellent learning opportunties, and we would strongly encourage all offer holders to complete any such course to the best of their ability, even if it is not a formal entry requirement to our programmes (but see also below for direct entry to second year).


Gateway to Physics and Astronomy

Students showing high potential, but who have not reached (or are not expected to reach) a level close to AAAA in Highers (or equivalent) due to circumstances beyond their control may be interested in our "Gateway to Physics and Astronomy" entry route. This alternative first year sacrifices the traditional breadth of a first year at an ancient Scottish university in favour of an intensive programme in physics and maths and related skills. "Circumstances beyond their control" could for example include studying at a school with a relatively low average achievement, living in an area of relative disadvantage, or other "widening participation" criteria, or studying in an education system that does not quite reach the same level as the UK systems in physics and maths. The likely asking rate for this style of entry is expected to be around BBBB at Higher, plus careful consideration of circumstances, or equivalent.


Direct Entry to Second Year

The typical asking rates for entry to level two for single honours degrees in the School are AAA at Advanced Higher or A level, or Advanced Higher at AA in physics and mathematics along with Highers at AA in two other subjects (these Highers could have been done the previous year). We normally expect A-level candidates for level two entry to have included at least one mechanics module in their A-level maths study. Applicants seeking to enter our joint degrees with Mathematics from an A-level background need in addition an A-grade in Further Mathematics. Direct entry to second year is not possible for the School's joint degrees with Chemistry, Computer Science, or Philosophy.


Other Qualifications

We also welcome students offering other types of qualification, including those from overseas.  For example, our published asking rates for IB-qualified students are 38 points for entry at level-one or level-two, with this including maths and physics at higher level, and attainment of 6 points in each.



While physics and maths are requirements on the subjects studied, we do not specify what the other subjects must be for degrees involving just this School. Those aiming for a joint degree will need to satisfy the other School here with qualifications relevant to that discipline.

Depending on the demand for places the actual asking rates used may have to vary from those shown above.

Mature students often have valuable additional skills, and these will normally be taken into account when considering such applications.

It is likely that very few (if any) offers will be made until after the UCAS application process has been completed, so those receiving offers are likely to hear from us in February.

Last updated BDS 9.17