School of Physics & Astronomy

Welcome to the School of Physics & Astronomy

We run one of the most popular undergraduate physics programmes in the country. Our teaching has been rated 'excellent' and in the recent Research Excellence Framework  (REF2014), in which the research quality of all UK higher education institutions has been assessed, we have been placed joint 3rd of all the Physics departments in the country. We pride ourselves on being a centre that is internationally recognised for the quality of our teaching and research and hope that you will enjoy learning a little more about us through this site.

We publish an annual newsletter, particularly aimed at prospective students, which highlights some of the exciting activities undertaken by our current undergraduates.

Physics Foundation Programme - Have you decided you would like to study physics but don't think you have the right qualifications? Check out our Foundation Programme.

Research Excellence Framework 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, assesses all subjects in all universities across the UK, based on submissions describing their research and the wider societal impact that it has had. We are delighted to announce that the latest such assessment, REF2014, placed the School of Physics and Astronomy in 3rd place of all the physics departments in the country. It is also notable that we provided the only physics submissions that were placed in the top 5 in both REF2014 and the previous implementation of this process in 2008, making us the consistently best physics department in the entire country!

In addition to being delighted that our research and the associated societal impact has been recognized in this way, we take pride in the close link that we make between the research and the teaching that we undertake at all levels, from outreach activities in schools to the advanced research projects that our undergraduates carry out as part of their courses. Indeed, one of the “impact case studies” that we included as a key part of our submission for REF2014 described the work we have undertaken explaining physics research on the Sixty Symbols YouTube channel.

Excellent performance in NSS (National Student Survey): We are delighted that our graduating students rated us at 95% for ‘overall satisfaction’ with their physics degree course. This is reflected in our high position (5th) in the recently published Times national league table for Physics.


School Colloquium

Prof Wilson Poon, University of Edinburgh. Talk title: 'The Universe in a Bacterial Colony - An Introduction to Bacteria as Active Matter'.

Astronomy Seminar

B13 Physics Building
Wilson Poon (Edinburgh)

Nottingham Physics Centre

C4 Physics Building
Professor John A Wilson, Birmingham University. The LHC - a long view

Latest News

School Physicist wins IoP Maxwell Medal

The School is thrilled to announce that Dr Clare Burrage has been awarded the prestigious Maxwell Medal by the Institute of Physics for her work on Dark Energy. Well done Clare!

School Staff Win Guardian University Award

The School is proud to announce that a support staff team led by John Middleton and Chris Pallender has been awarded a Guardian Newspaper University 2015 Award. The award was in the Sustainability category for recycling of helium.

Physicists win UoN Staff Oscars

The School is delighted to announce that two members of School staff have won University of Nottingham Staff Oscars. Professor Philip Moriarty won Best All-Rounder in the Teaching category and Dr Meghan Gray was runner up for Best Use of Technology. Both awards richly deserved.

New Graphene Growth MBE Facility Opens

The School's new MBE facility for graphene growth has opened. The facility, lead by Prof Sergei Novikov, will help to unlock the full potential of graphene in electronics and optoelectronics.

Quick Links



Marie Curie Initial Training Networks

Oxford-Nottingham Biomedical Imaging MRC/EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training

Project Juno - advancing the careers of women in Physics.

Midlands Physics Alliance Graduate School

Athena Swan Silver-Award



School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 [0]115 951 5183
fax: +44 [0]115 951 5180