Undergraduates and research

As a member of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Birmingham, you will be part of a large research-intensive school. You will join a long history of world-leading research starting with our founding Head of School, Professor Poynting, who is known for weighing the Earth and deriving the Poynting vector in the study of electromagnetism. 

Our accomplishments continued through the 20th century, including the development of the cavity magnetron in the 1940s, work on topological states of matter in the 1970s (which won the Nobel prize in 2016) and measurements of the elementary W and Z particles in the 1980s. In the last decade, we’ve continued to contribute to new exciting discoveries which have shaped our intrinsic view of the Universe, including the discovery of the Higgs boson and gravitational waves. As a student at Birmingham, you will learn from these inspirational scientists and can even get involved in the research yourself. Working together, we can look forward to the next scientific leaps forward, like the applications of quantum mechanics to new technologies or the search for life outside our solar system.

Our internationally leading research expertise means you will always be able to find an expert to answer your questions and you will work alongside those pushing the frontiers of scientific knowledge. The researchers will teach your lectures, lead your labs, act as your personal tutors and supervise your projects. Each summer, there are a small number of research internships offered within the school to students finishing their second or third years of undergraduate study. If you study for an MSci, a large part of your time in the fourth year will be devoted to an independent research project, with one of our research groups. As well as learning great details about the area of Physics you have chosen, you will also learn vital project management and communication skills, essential for your future career.