This page contains answers to some of the most common questions the Department of Physics is asked about what we look for in applications and offers.
Please note that due to the high volume of applications received, the Physics Department cannot provide feedback on individual applications.
International applicants should also read our information for international applicants.
Please read our competency standards for Physics.
Information on this page last updated: September 2021
A Level entry requirements
For 2022 entry the minimum entry reuirement to study Physics at Imperial College London is A*A*A in three full A Levels - including A* in Mathematics and A*A in Physics and another subject (excluding General Studies or Critical Thinking). The offer conditions are often higher than this. A grade B or 6 in GCSE English will satisfy the College English language requirements (see below) which all applicants, including native speakers, are required to meet.
A Level subject selection
Mathematics and Physics are compulsory. Further Mathematics and Chemistry are the most common third subjects, both of which will be useful to physicists, but we recognise that some applicants will wish to have a broader education and so we place no restriction on the third A Level subject. We do not accept General Studies or Critical Thinking as meeting our entry requirements.
Further Mathematics is not a requirement but we recommend it because it will be helpful when you start your course. We are aware that not all schools are able to offer Further Mathematics, and not taking it will not count against you in the selection process.
A Levels taken a year early
We often receive applications where at least one A Level (usually Mathematics) has been completed a year early in Year 12. Where an A* in Mathematics has been achieved this will definitely count towards satisfying that condition in our entry requirements. However, we want to be sure that applicants are undertaking a full programme of studies in their final year at school as a lightly loaded year would not be a good preparation for the demands on your time that you will face at university. Thus we may decide to make an offer requiring three A Levels from your final year at school. Each such application is assessed individually.
Acceptance of AS and A Level resits
Because the 2020 and 2021 A-Level exams were cancelled, some applicants may feel that their grades do not give an accurate measure of the ability. In these cases we will encourage retaking the exam, and we will consider the retake results with full weight. We also recognise that applicants can occasionally have a one-off bad exam and may therefore also consider retaken A-Level results in other cases as well. If there are extenuating circumstances to explain your retakes please ask your school to comment in their reference.
The requirements shown for each qualification below are the minimum we will ask for 2022 entry. We assess each application on its individual merits and in some circumstances may make offers that are higher than quoted here. These are the most common qualifications presented by applicants from the UK and the Republic of Ireland. View entry requirements based on the more common international qualifications.
Grade of 7,6,6 are required in three Higher Level subjects including at least 6 in both Mathematics and Physics, and a minimum of 40 points overall. For the English language requirements please see below.
Distinction grades of D2,D2,D3 are required in three principal subjects including D2 in Mathematics and D3 in Physics.
Scottish Advanced Highers
We require an A grade in Mathematics, A in Physics and A in any third subject. A grade of 2 in Standard Grade English Language will satisfy the College English language requirements (see below).
Irish Leaving Certificate
A grades are required in six subjects including A1 in Mathematics and A1 in Physics at higher level and a further 2 subjects with H1 and 2 other subjects with H2. A grade B in English Language in the Irish Junior Certificate will satisfy the College English language requirements (see below).
Additional requirements for the MSci Physics with a Year Abroad (F309)
A grade B/6 at GCSE in a modern European language (French, German, Italian or Spanish) is required, or in an equivalent qualification, such as Scottish Standard Grade. Fluent speakers of these languages are exempt from this requirement but may require to be assessed at the start of the course to confirm their exemption from the language classes.
English language requirements for all applicants
All applicants, including native speakers, are required to hold an accepted English language qualification. For full details of qualifications that we accept see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/requirements/english/
For the majority of UK applicants this is satisfied by already holding at least a grade B or 6 in GCSE English Language.
Selection for Offers
Entry to study physics at Imperial is highly competitive. We look at all aspects of applications including predicted grades, results already achieved at GCSE and AS Level, personal statement and school reference. We will also ask all applicants to take an online Admissions Test in February 2022.
When will offers be made?
You will be notified of your offer through the UCAS Track by the end of March 2022. No offers will be made before the Admissions Test, which takes place in February 2022 after the UCAS application deadline. The Admissions Tutor’s decision on offers is final.
Where do documents and certificates need to be sent?
For most applicants taking A Levels and IB courses we will be able to confirm your examination results in the summer through UCAS. However, if your offer asks you to send certificates for A levels already completed or you are taking qualifications that cannot be verified through UCAS then you may need to submit your certificate electronically. These need to be sent to Registry and NOT to the Physics Department. The address to send them to is: Natural Sciences Admissions - email@example.com. For more details, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/after-you-apply/conditions/.
All applicants will be required to take an online Admissions Test in February 2022, after the UCAS applications deadline. The test will cover basic school physics and mathematics. Its results will be used along with all other application information in the selection for offers. Details of the test and the instructions for taking it will be sent directly to applicants.