Foundation Year option led to First Class Physics degree for Ian

Twenty-two year-old Ian Harvey, from Gunnislake in Cornwall, celebrated the award of a First Class BSc Theoretical Physics from Swansea University today (Friday, July 24).

Ian Harvey Ian received his award at the Summer Degree and Award Congregation for the College of Science, at the City and County of Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall, cheered on by his proud parents.

And it was a double celebration for Ian, who also received the BSc Theoretical Physics course’s final year prize for the ‘Best Student Performance in Physics’.

Ian began his studies at Swansea University’s Department of Physics in 2011.  He enrolled on the full time four-year BSc Physics degree with Integrated Foundation Year, after not achieving the A-level grades he had initially hoped for.

Ian said: “I decided that Swansea’s Physics programme with an integrated foundation year was the best option for me after I received my A-level results.  Swansea Department of Physics’ good reputation, my lack of desire to repeat a year of sixth form, and not wanting to apply to a University lower down the rankings, were my key considerations.

“The course’s foundation year was excellent preparation for the following three years of degree study, filling the gaps between the A-level Physics curriculum and the first year of a Bachelor’s degree. 

“The foundation year gave me confidence in meeting the demands of studying at degree level and took a different approach compared to my sixth form studies, especially through encouraging a more mathematical approach to physics.”

Ian now plans to take a well-deserved break and spend some time travelling before beginning his job search.

Professor Peter Dunstan, Programme Director for Physics, said: “We have seen a record graduating class this academic year, with 71 degrees being awarded across our Physics programmes.

“This year marks a particularly fine year for 12 graduating students, including Ian, who started with us back in 2011 on our four-year BSc Physics Degree with Integrated Foundation Year. 

“Ian’s story is not untypical for students attempting to study Physics, with the entry demands on good A-levels including Physics and Maths.  Ian is to be congratulated for his motivation, desire to learn, and overall achievement.

“It's been a pleasure to see the success of our Physics widening access programme – the highlights of which included top performing students such as Ian, along with four other students from this programme, who have achieved First Class awards.

“We wish Ian every success in his future endeavours.”