An introduction to studying physics


A study of Physics sets out to answer some of the biggest questions imaginable: What happened at the Big Bang? Do we understand Quantum Mechanics? What happens when materials are cooled to near absolute zero? Why are quarks only to be found in particles? Is Einstein’s theory of general relativity correct?  As students of Physics, which is at the heart of all sciences, we find unending interest in working to understand these and many other questions. During the study of physics you will find some of these questions have widely accepted answers, some have been partially answered and some are open areas being researched by physicists today. If you have a curiosity for these big questions and the drive to find the answers based in scientific study, mathematics and experimental work then Physics is for you.


Many of our graduates go on to continue their study of Physics at a postgraduate level however our subject is the most fundamental of all sciences and underpins all the major technological advances in our society. This means that graduates of physics are highly sought after in many areas of industry. Additionally the mathematics, computational and problem solving skills that a degree in physics develops means there is no other degree which provides such a varied opportunity for employment. Where else can you get training that allows you to both work in the financial market or design and build space hardware?


The School has a distinguished history of important discoveries in its 100 year life. The Research Excellence Framework, the system for assessing the quality of research in the UK higher education institutions, has highlighted that 90% of research outputs in the School were rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.  We’ve been happy many recent discoveries or awards have been based on research carried out in this department, some highlights include the detection of gravitational waves, the discovery of the Higgs Boson and the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics. The spirit of high quality research continues in the research activities of our staff and infuses our undergraduate teaching.