General questions

Where do I select my options?
For options to be taken during the 2020-21 academic year, students will be asked to email a dedicated email account in May.

I'm unable to select the option I want to do because it is "full". What can I do?
Some options are very popular. If the option you want to take is full, your name will be added to a waiting list. We review numbers on each course in September and early October. We try our best to allow everyone to take the courses they want.

options questions

Year 1

What are the differences between degree programmes in Year 1?
Students on the standard MSci (F303) and BSc (F300) physics programmes have a choice between Maths Analysis and Advanced Electronics. Students on the MSci (F390) and BSc (F325) with Theoretical Physics programmes must take Mathematical Analysis.
Students on the Year Abroad (F309) programme who are fluent in the language of their intended host country have the choice of Advanced Electronics or Maths Analysis. Most other Year in Europe students will be doing a language course and therefore do not have a choice of option course.
Students on the BSc Physics and Music Performance (F3W3) must do their Music courses.

What happens if I fail the Advanced Electronics course?
You will have one opportunity to resubmit any assessments that were failed. If you fail the module you will fail the year and be withdrawn from college.

Where can I get more information about Imperial Horizons?
Imperial Horizons were introduced in 2012 as non-compulsory courses in a varirty of subjects. Horizons classes for Year 1 students take place 4-6pm on a Tuesday. Full details can be found on the Imperial Horizons website. Horizons courses will appear on your transcript if you pass. Failures are not recorded.

Year 2

What are the choices are available in Year 2?
Students on the F300 and F303 degree programmes have a choice from Maths Methods, Communicating Physics, Environmental Physics, and Sun, Stars and Planets. Students on these degree programmes must select two options.
Students on the F325 and F390 degree programmes must choose Maths Methods and one other.
Students on the F309 degree programme must select the language for their planned host university unless they are fluent. Any fluent students are free to choose from the standard FHEQ 5 Physics options.

All students in Year 2 have to complete two terms of laboratory work unless they are on the Music degree programme (F3W3).
All students in Year 2 have to take an iExplore module unless they are on the Music degree programme (F3W3).

When do Year 2 students select their options?
The option talk takes place in May during Term 3 of Year 1. Students will then have a couple of weeks after this talk to select an option.

Can a student on the F300 or F303 degree take a language course in Year 2 and then do a Business option in the third year?
Yes, this is possible. 

How do I apply for the Communicating Physics course?
Students who wish to take the Communicating Physics course are required to submit an application form (the deadline for submitting the form varies year to year but is usually the end of May). Application forms are available at the options fair and online. Please e-mail Kayleigh Murphy for details on applying including application deadlines. Once applications have been considered, selected students are then invited to a brief interview usually held in June. In exceptional circumstances, late applications will be considered from any student who has certified mitigation which has prevented him/her from applying for the course by the published deadline. Please note that all students who are accepted onto the Communicating Physics course are required to complete a DBS check.  Late applications can only be considered if there is enough time for a DBS check to be processed prior to the commencement of the course.

I have not achieved the required mark of 60% or more to stay on a MSci degree programme. Do I have to change my options?
Possibly. If you are auto-transferred at the end of your second year, you'll be contacted and asked to check and confirm your third year options


Year 3

When do I pick my options for Year 3?
The options selection process for the following academic year starts in May. There is a deadline to select your options. This is usually a couple of weeks after the Options Fair.

One of the options I'd like to study in Year 3 is full. What do I do?
Some of the more popular courses are capped for health and safety reasons. A list of capped courses is on the options page. We do run a waiting list for the capped courses as people do change their minds. Please email Derryck Stewart to get added to a waiting list.

What if I wish to drop a Business School Options?
If a Business School option (‘BPES’) has been chosen and you wish to discontinue it and study a Physics option instead, both the Physics Department and Business School need to be informed of this by the third Friday of Term 1.

Questions about the ‘BPES’ modules, including notification of changes, should be directed to:

I had a place confirmed on a BPES course in May, but now when I look on DSS I'm not registered at all. What has happened?
If you change degree programme after you have selected your BPES course via DSS, you can sometimes be removed from the BPES option when DSS is updated with your new programme code (e.g F303>F300). If you are taking a BPES course and change degree programme, you should contact the Business School ( to confirm your option choice.

I want to take a language course for non-credit, do I have to inform the department of this?
No. Only courses that will count to your degree are entered on the Physics option form. You apply to take non-credit language course at the CLCC.

What if I wish to drop an Imperial Horizons Option?
If an Imperial Horizons option has been chosen and you wish to discontinue it and study a Physics option instead, both the Physics Department and Centre for Co-Curricular Studies need to be informed of this by the third Friday of Term 1.

Questions about the Imperial Horizons courses should be directed to: or to withdraw please go to

I've selected to do an essay project in Year 3, when are these allocated?
These are allocated after the summer. Students are emailed by the head of Essay Projects in September. Students are then to contact the lecturer to confirm the project is still available.

Year 4

I'd like to take a FHEQ 5 course in Year 4. Is this possible?
This is only possible for Year Abroad students (F309). Students on other degrees must take FHEQ 5 courses in Year 2 or Year 3.

I'd like to take a FHEQ 5 Language course in my 4th Year. Is this possible?
This is not possible. Our external examiners insist that courses taken in the 4th Year are of a certain standard of difficulty due to the overall weighting of Year 4.


I'm in the third year of a BSc degree and I plan to take a MSc next year. Is it possible to take a Business School/Humanities/Language course for credit as part of my MSc?
No. This is not possible.