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Studying here

Our students benefit from a friendly and supportive environment with modern teaching laboratories.

Our students in the lab

We ranked 6th in the UK for quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

In the latest National Student Survey (2017), over 90% of our students agree that their course is intellectually stimulating and that they have access to the resources and facilities that support their learning.

All of our degree programmes are accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP). This is a sign of the quality of our programmes and means that your degree is highly valued by employers around the word. The contribution of physics to industry is so fundamental that graduates enjoy almost unrivalled job prospects in terms of variety and availability.

The Physics departmentis very student orientated and tries its best to make the teaching experience the best it can be for each student.

Peri Jones, BSc graduate

Our teaching

The range of modules offered in the first year is designed to stimulate your interest in physics and astronomy, whilst giving you a sound foundation to build upon in subsequent years.

Traditional lectures, tutorials and laboratory work are complemented by computer, project and skills-based modules.

Laboratory work

Practical classes of four-hours per week form a key part of all our courses.

In the first year, the emphasis is on basic techniques, simple but accurate recording of observations and re-enacting some classic physics experiments. In later years, you will progress to substantial experiments requiring planning, analysis and interpretation of results, and reporting to a professional standard.

We have undergraduate laboratories which will allow you to gain experience with a variety of experimental methods and equipment. You will learn how to use the latest software, develop computational models and to analyse data.

Final year project

In your final year, when undertaking an independent research project, you are encouraged to work with one of our research groups on a project of your choosing.

The final year project gives you the opportunity to engage in deeper learning about exciting areas of physics and astronomy, like the discovery of gravitational waves.

Recent projects have included:

  • ‘Extracting gravitational wave signals from noisy data’
  • ‘Measurement of radioactivity in small volume samples’
  • ‘Herschel observations of exploding stars’
  • ‘Electron states in a semiconductor super lattice (KronigPenny model)'.

Professional placements

If you choose one of our courses which includes a placement year, then your third year is spent on a professional placement in industry, commerce, government, or another relevant placement provider approved by the University.

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.

Find courses with a professional placement.

I cannot recommend the placement year experience enough. It is a fantastic learning experience, allowing insight into a working environment, developmentof communication skills, and the opportunity for applied problem solving. A placement will make you stand out from the crowd to employers, and stand you in good stead for later graduate life.

Matt Hutchinson, BSc graduate

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

Student Feedback

We try to ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to give their feedback on our teaching and their student experience as a whole.

The Staff-student panel is the liaison between our teaching staff and the undergraduate students.Each year, two undergraduate student representatives are appointed from each year group and each subject area. Staff representatives include the Director of Teaching and Learning, the Teaching and Quality Co-ordinator, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Year Tutors and a representative from the Library. It is chaired by an elected student.

Undergraduate students are encouraged to provide feedback through their student representatives and through questionnaires that are issued at the end of each module.

Funding

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries for students. There are options available to you regardless of situation, such as funding for part-time students, support for asylum seekers and a variety of additional financial assistance programmes.

Learn more about funding and fees, including how to apply.

Academic prizes

Prizes are awarded each year to outstanding undergraduate students. These are donated by past and present students and staff.

Prizes include:

  • most outstanding Year one and Year two performance
  • most outstanding final year performance
  • graduating with the highest academic standing
  • commitment to outreach activities.