Top UK Universities For Physics - Ranking & League Table

The UK’s commitment to academic excellence, research opportunities, diverse course offerings, and support for international students make it an exceptional choice for studying physics, nurturing students into skilled physicists and scientists equipped to tackle real-world challenges. In our guide, top UK universities for Physics, we have curated a list of high-ranking universities which offer affordable, globally-recognised qualifications for Physics.

Table of Contents

Why Study Physics?

The study of physics offers a profound exploration of the fundamental principles governing the universe, providing a deep understanding of the natural world and its underlying mechanisms. Pursuing this field equips students with critical problem-solving skills, mathematical expertise, and analytical thinking abilities, which are highly sought after in various industries.

Additionally, a physics degree opens doors to cutting-edge research opportunities, advancements in technology, and innovative discoveries, contributing to advancements in numerous fields, from medicine and engineering to space exploration and environmental sustainability.

UK University League Table for Physics (Updated 2025)

top uk universities for physics

The University League Table for Physics below displays the top-ranking universities for studying Physics in the UK. We’ve compiled a list of top ten universities you should look out for, based on UK rankings from the Complete University Guide 2025.

What do you Study in Physics?

Physics encompasses the study of the smallest of things such as subatomic particles to massive astronomical objects such as galaxies. Depending on your specialisation, you may be taking subjects such as relativity, geophysics, astrophysics, nuclear physics, and so on. 

The study of Physics may also refer to subjects such as:

  • Applied Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Optics
  • Theoretical Physics

Top Physics Schools In The UK

The renowned University of Oxford is ranked second in the UK for Physics. The university offers a Master’s programme in Physics, which is taught at Oxford’s St. Peter’s College,  as well as a Master’s programme in Physics and Philosophy, conducted at the Balliol College. Oxford is among the best universities in the UK and the world, consistently ranked among the top five global universities. You can read more about the University of Oxford’s Physics course on their website or read more about the application process via UCAS here.

The University of St Andrews ranks number 11 for Physics in the UK. The university offers 13 undergraduate courses in Physics with multiple entry options that include a gateway year for international students who do not meet the subject or entry requirements. St. Andrew’s is located in Fife, Scotland and it is one of the oldest universities in the UK.

Need advice about applying to a UK university? We are here to help. Book a free appointment with us now!

Recommended Physics Schools In The UK

Durham University is ranked third in the UK for Physics and it offers four programmes in the subject. The TEF Gold-rated university is located in the heart of Durham city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university inspires confidence in the quality of education it offers and its famed location makes for a great cultural experience for students.

Lancaster University is also another great choice as one of the top 10 UK universities for Physics and overall in the country. Lancaster’s renowned teaching standards are recognised with the TEF Gold standard and consistently produces top graduates, which is why the university ranks among the top three UK universities for graduate prospects. The university offers 12 undergraduate courses in physics with the option to study abroad.

The University of Surrey offers 26 courses in Physics, offering students plenty of options to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or an undergraduate Master’s degree. Surrey also includes programmes with a foundation year which is a great entry option for those who either do not meet entry requirements or wish to enrol without taking the A-levels. Surrey’s campus is located in Guildford, located about an hour away from London.

How To Apply To Study Physics In The UK?

Step 1: Choose A University

The first step is to look for popular and high-ranking Universities in the UK that offer courses you are interested in. Refer to the table above to start your search. Here are some things to consider when applying:

  • Location
  • Employability/Graduate prospects
  • Fees
  • Entry requirements
  • University Ranking

Step 2: Preparations

Once you have narrowed down the search to your top five universities, the first step is to prepare necessary documents and forms. This includes school leaving certificates, exam results, the UCAS application form and a written Personal Statement, among other documents that may be required.

Step 3: Submit UCAS Application

The application process for UK universities differs from local universities as applications go through an organisation known as UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. UCAS handles all admission applications to UK universities, including those submitted by international candidates like you.

To ensure a better chance of getting accepted, it is important that you prepare all the necessary documents and fill out all forms correctly. We also recommend that you apply for multiple universities simultaneously to ensure that you get your preferred offers. Read our full guide on UCAS here

More about UCAS

The entire application process might be daunting and lengthy for some, so let us help you. Make a free appointment with us today for professional assistance in submitting applications to your preferred UK universities.

UK Physics School Entry Requirements

Here are some of the common entry requirements and tests a student has to pass before being accepted at a UK university to study Physics.

  1. English Language Test requirement – such as IELTS or TOEFL.
  2. Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland for Scottish Universities)
  3. Health checks.
  4. Entrance interviews.
  5. Personal statement. This is a supporting document and part of your application to a UK university. Usually, you will write about what you hope to achieve studying at the course, what you plan to do after graduating and why you are applying for this specific university.

Frequently Asked Questions

Physics encompasses the study of the smallest of things such as subatomic particles to massive astronomical objects such as galaxies. Depending on your specialisation, you may be taking subjects such as relativity, geophysics, astrophysics, nuclear physics, and so on.

The number 1 university for Physics in the UK is the University of Cambridge, according to 2025 rankings.

The common entry requirements for studying Physics in the UK include English language tests, criminal record declarations, health checks, entrance interviews and submission of a personal statement.

The tuition fees for Physics degrees in the UK range between £21,000 to £36,000 per annum for international students, depending on the university. The ranking and location of a university might also affect tuition fee costs.

The UCAS deadline for Physics programmes is 15 January on the year of admission. Do take note that the deadline for Oxford and Cambridge is 15 October.

Get Free UK Physics Course Application Assistance

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