At Birmingham, you will you benefit from our national and internationally leading expertise in a broad range of physics areas. Our researchers will teach your lectures, lead your labs, act as your personal tutors and supervise your projects. That means you’ll be working alongside renowned academics who are pushing the frontiers of scientific knowledge.
How you will learn
Most modules are delivered in the form of traditional lectures given by active physics researchers. You will also learn through tutorials, examples classes and guided study, laboratory practicals and project work – group projects in the third year and individual projects in the fourth year. Lab work is an integral part of most of our degree courses, and while computing and transferrable skills are also interwoven into your studies.
How you will be assessed
Modules are assessed in a variety of ways: exams, class tests, lab assignments and project reports. There is a strong emphasis on project work in the final year/s of your degree course. Lab work is assessed continuously through the term.
Your personal tutor
When you arrive, you’ll be assigned a personal tutor for each of the first two years. You’ll meet them once a week, in a group of no more than four students. Personal tutors are also your first point of call for pastoral support, although we also have a wellbeing officer if you want to chat to someone else about issues that are troubling you. Weekly tutorials are not held in the third year due to the increasing specialism of your work, so you will talk to specific lecturers about your modules, as necessary. In year four, your project supervisor will take on the role of personal tutor.
Seminars and tutorials
Hour-long, weekly tutorials, in a group of no more than four students, give you the chance to chat through any areas of confusion from the previous week’s studies and an opportunity to review feedback on marked assessed work.
Lecturers and world-leading researchers
You will be taught by
lecturers and researchers who are world leaders in their fields; several have been part of some of the most celebrated scientific ‘finds’ in recent years – the direct detection of gravitational waves and the discovery of the Higgs boson – and many more are at the forefront of research into cold atoms, molecular physics, metamaterials, atomic architecture and nuclear physics, to name but a few. As well as being world-renowned for their research, our academics are passionate about passing on their knowledge and expertise.
Resources and facilities
Our world-class teaching and laboratory facilities include state-of-the-art study spaces and computing suites, as well as our own particle accelerator, the MC40 cyclotron, and laboratories used for the construction of the detectors and electronics used in the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. We are home to one of the four UK quantum technology hubs, which at Birmingham is developing quantum sensors. We also have our own observatory.
University of Birmingham Astronomical Society (AstroSoc) organises sessions to view the night sky through the society’s telescopes and puts on talks by experts from all aspects of astronomical-based backgrounds. AstroSoc also runs regular events aimed at the local community.
Throughout your Physics programmes you can expect an average of about 20 hours of contact time per week comprising of lectures, laboratory based activity and tutorials. These figures may vary due to module choice and progression.
Programmes including a Year in International Study or a Year in Computer Science may include a different amount of contact hours during that year. This figure may also vary on The Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics programmes due to the teaching of the School of Mathematics modules.