Our unique Nuclear Science and Materials BSc degree programme was designed in response to demand from industry for a new generation of graduates with the knowledge to build the nuclear power plants of the future.

Nuclear Science and Materials BSc

This unique Nuclear Science and Materials BSc degree course is designed to develop the skills and understanding required to prepare you for the Nuclear Sector. One of the major challenges the UK faces is reshaping how it generates electricity as there is a move away from fossil fuels. The Government are investing in the construction of a suite of new nuclear power stations to deliver 20-40% of the UK’s electricity, both to replace retiring plants and for increased capacity. There is a significant demand for graduates to work in this rapidly growing sector.

With more than 60 years’ experience in teaching the physics of nuclear reactors and more than 100 years’ experience of teaching materials science, Newcastle is one of the best places to study nuclear science. You will be taught by experts in the field enabling you to gain strong theoretical and practical skills in the subject. 

Our multidisciplinary Newcastle Centre for Nuclear Education and Research boasts world-leading research and facilities and has strong links with the nuclear industry, which recruits extensively from our educational programmes.

On the course – a joint programme delivered between the School of Metallurgy and Materials and the School of Physics and Astronomy – you will develop engineering skills alongside fundamental science principles, which includes linking the behaviour and properties of materials to fundamental knowledge of their atomic structure. By the time you graduate, you’ll have a detailed understanding of nuclear reactor physics, materials, nuclear science and nuclear radiation.


Why study Nuclear Science and Materials BSc at Newcastle?

  • University active in graduating students for the nuclear industry uninterruptedly for the past 60+ years
  • Course focuses on the fundamental physics and engineering challenges facing the industry, resulting in graduates with the knowledge and skills required to both work on decommissioning, current nuclear projects, research, and future developments
  • Students get hands-on practice using different types of radiation detectors and handling radioactive sources
  • World-leading facilities including two particle accelerators which can be used to simulate the effect of radiation on power plant components

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

Nuclear Science and Materials BSc

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Single Honours





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (3 Years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Year 1

  • Fundamentals of Materials Science – 20 credits
  • Design for Structural Applications – 20 credits
  • Physics Laboratory 1A – 10 credits
  • Physics Laboratory 1B – 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Physicists 1A – 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Physicists 1B – 10 credits
  • Electromagnetism and Temperature and Matter – 20 credits
  • Classical Mechanics and Relativity 1 – 10 credits
  • Physics and Communication Skills (Nuclear) – 10 credits


Year 2

In your second year you will study subjects including Nuclear Physics and Fracture, Fatigue and Corrosion.

  • Classical Mechanics and Relativity 2 – 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Physicists 2A – 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Physicists 2B – 10 credits
  • Physics Laboratory 2 – 10 credits
  • Nuclear Skills – 10 credits
  • Statistical Physics and Entropy – 10 credits
  • Fracture, Fatigue and Degradation A – 10 credits
  • Fracture, Fatigue and Degradation B – 10 credits
  • Physical Materials Science A – 10 credits
  • Physical Materials Science B – 10 credits
  • Nuclear Physics and Nuclear Power – 10 credits
  • Quantum Mechanics 2 – 10 credits


Year 3

In your final year you will study a range of highly specialised topics developed in conjunction with our partners in industry.

  • Fission and Fusion – 10 credits
  • Radiation Protection, Dosimetry and Shielding – 10 credits
  • High-performance Materials and Advanced Manufacturing – 20  credits   
  • Advanced Failure Analysis and Characterisation – 20  credits
  • Group project – 20  credits   
  • Materials for Challenging Environments – 20  credits   
  • Nuclear Physics – 10 credits
  • Nuclear Physics Laboratory for Nuclear Engineers – 10 credits

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.

See further details of our English Language requirement

USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

There is a high and increasing demand for the next generation of professional nuclear engineers and scientists, providing impetus for the UK economy through continuous innovation. Newcastle graduates are highly sought-after by the nuclear industry as well as by a wide range of other industrial and commercial sectors.


Graduates who have studied our courses:


Example employers

  • Rolls-Royce
  • EDF Energy
  • Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
  • National Nuclear Laboratory
  • Atkins
  • Frazer-Nash
  • PWC
  • Deloitte
  • KPMG


Example careers

  • Nuclear waste decommissioning engineer
  • Nuclear power generation engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Engineering research consultant
  • Financial consultant