Why study here
There are so many reasons to choose physics and astronomy at Cardiff University.
- Our students scored their satisfaction 100% in astronomy and 93% in physics.
- 93% of our students agree that their course is intellectually stimulating.
- 90% said they have access to the resources and facilities that support their learning. (National Student Survey 2022).
- 95.7% of our graduates were in employment and / or further study, due to start a new job or course, or doing other activities such as travelling, 15 months after the end of their course. Higher Education Statistics agency. Latest graduate outcomes survey (2019/20)
- The School of Physics and Astronomy is ranked in the top 20 (UK) QS World University Rankings 2022 and 9th in the UK for physics degrees (Guardian University Guide 2023)
We are accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP), meaning your degree will be highly valued by employers around the world.
Our degrees have a common framework in the first year, meaning you can swap your degree right up until the start of your second year.
Cutting-edge scientific research
- 99% of the research we submitted was judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (Research Excellence Framework 2021).
Following our £300 million investment, our state-of-the-art facilities provide a superb environment, where research meets industry to inspire innovation. Here you can benefit from well-equipped teaching laboratories, recently refurbished lecture theatres, and libraries offering great opportunities for both group and individual study.
What is more, we're undertaking our biggest campus upgrade for a generation - a £600m investment in our future. This major upgrade will transform the campus for the 21st Century.
Within a short walk of the School of Physics and Astronomy, you’ll discover a city widely renowned for being one of the friendliest in the UK. Perfect for students, it’s easily accessible from University residences and within walking distance of the Students’ Union – voted 2nd place in the UK in the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2023 for best Students’ Union (SU) and consistently graded in the top 5 for student satisfaction in the UK by students. Cardiff offers so many great places to eat, drink, socialise, sightsee, and spend your leisure time; you’ll be spoilt for choice with something to suit every taste! Don't just take our word for it, the Natwest Student Living Index 2023 said Cardiff is one of the most affordable cities in the UK.
Our teaching staff are internationally-renowned academics who are passionate about educating the next generation of physicists.
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.
Practical classes of four-hours per week form a key part of all our courses, where you will learn how to use the latest software, develop computational models and to analyse data.
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.
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. This project gives you the opportunity to engage in deeper learning about exciting areas of physics and astronomy, like the discovery of gravitational waves.
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. This year is designed to help you further develop your problem-solving skills, your use of initiative, and to gain a professional work methodology by experiencing some degree of professional responsibility.
Summer research placements
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.
Get involved in Outreach
There are lots of opportunities for you to engage with schools and with the general public through exciting events, helping to inspire the next generation of scientists.
We listen to our students
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.
Our staff-student panel has both student representatives and is chaired by an elected student, and students are encouraged to provide feedback through their student representatives and questionnaires issued at the end of each module.
We offer support
You’ll join a friendly and approachable School, where staff will always do their very best to help you.
We offer a Personal Tutor, Student Mentors, and operate an 'open door' policy at the School, meaning staff are always on hand.
We also have a dedicated careers advisor, who organises events and offers excellent guidance to help you identify and achieve your career aspirations. Likewise, the University runs a comprehensive student support programme, covering all aspects of student life.
Find out more on our YouTube channel
Head to our YouTube channel, packed with lots of videos by our staff and students to give you a flavour for life at our School!
View full details for all our courses, including entry requirements, modules and career prospects.