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Plasma lamp

The understanding of the physical world has been instrumental for technological advances that benefit society, and the quest to explore the smallest and largest scales of the Universe has been a natural urge of the human mind.

Exploring the world of physics is fascinating and changes how people think about the world. In this subject area we teach from classical to quantum physics and investigate radiation and matter at small and large scales. We also open up the Universe with physics and astronomy.

IES accreditation logo

Our Natural Sciences degree programme allows you to study a physics pathway which is accredited by the Institute of Physics, physics is included in the name of your degree.

How we teach Physics

Compton scattering apparatus

Our long established, quality distance-learning methods use innovative technologies to provide a modern, blended learning experience. We’re designing our new Science modules with on-screen delivery in mind, taking advantage of year-on-year developments in new technologies to make students studies with us even more engaging and flexible - on computer, mobile and tablet devices.

Students will be immersed in interactive activities, using a mix of high quality text, graphics, audios and videos to support their learning.

Meet some of our Academics

Professor Nick Braithwaite talks about his research into plasma including its use in advanced manufacturing. Nick also discusses his involvement in the developing field of online science.

Dr Silvia Bergamini discusses her research into quantum mechanics and the importance of using super-cold atoms.

Teaching underpinned by research

The Open University doesn’t just teach: it’s a global leader in research and innovation too, with OU research and development ranking in the top third of UK universities. The Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics has a long and distinguished record of conducting high quality, internationally leading research. These researchers contribute to our state of the art curriculum material ensuring our teaching is up to date, informed by scientific research.

Find our more about our research in Physics.

You can get a flavour of our published research more broadly in the Physical Sciences through our Open Research Online (ORO) website

Meet some of our Students

Dr Mandy Bailey

I never dreamt I would do the things I have, the observing residential school in Mallorca was a turning point – I knew then what I really wanted to do.

Dr Mandy Bailey
Natural Sciences (Physics) student
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FUSION is the Open University Physics & Astronomy society. They organise regular events of interest to members, have a regular newsletter and Facebook group. They welcome current and past students or anyone with a general interest in physics and astronomy.

Find out more

Explore some of our Physics resources

Get Inspired

Watch our 60 second adventures in microgravity series. Funded by the UK space Agency, Narrated by David Mitchell

Motion under gravity

Have a look at our free OpenLearn unit 'Motion under gravity' (4 hours study)

Describing motion along a line

Have a look at our free OpenLearn unit 'Describing motion along a line' (15 hours study)

Meet our Academics

Head and shoulders of male OU academic

In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.

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Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

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