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Careers and employability

Physics and Astronomy graduates group shot
Our alumni are highly valued by employers around the world.

The work ethic and adaptability of our physics graduates makes them popular with employees in diverse sectors such as industry, research, education, commerce and finance.

  • Ranked 34th in The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Institute of Physics (IOP) accreditation

All of our degree programmes are accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

Choosing an accredited degree will make it easier to obtain professional awards such as Chartered Physicist (CPhys) later in your career.

Career options

In the latest HESA Destination of Leavers of Higher Education survey, 93% of our graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduating.

Employers include organisations such as Rolls Royce, Bank of England, EDF Energy and GCHQ, as well as UK and international universities.

Career paths include:

  • research science
  • teaching
  • medical physics
  • banking and accountancy
  • intellectual property
  • operational research
  • airline pilot
  • government intelligence services
  • police and armed forces
  • power distribution.

There are very roles from research and development (R&D) to management in industries such as nuclear power, optoelectronics, automotive, aerospace, utilities and computer games.

The skills and knowledge gained in this course has allowed me to progress and achieve a job as a Graduate Process Design Engineer.

Zoe, MSc Biophotonics, 2011-12

Professional placement

We offer a number of degree programmes with a professional placement during the third year in industry, commerce, government or some other institution.

The placement year is designed to help you further develop your problem-solving skills and encourage the use of initiative, to acquire a professional work methodology and experience some degree of professional responsibility.

We offer students the exciting opportunity to spend a summer working with our staff on a real-life project with our summer research placements.

Personal Development Planning (PDP)

Personal Development planning (PDP) aims to improve your ability to understand what and how you are learning, and to review, plan and take responsibility for your own education.

Through participating in the PDP process you will be expected to complete a number of exercises relating to academic study, personal and graduate skills as well as completing career related activities.

It will help you to get the most out of your student experience by helping you to reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses and plan for your academic, personal and career development. It will help you to prove and document your personal and professional development and develop the confidence and ability to articulate your skills and qualities to a wide range of employers and other professional bodies.