What is physics?
Perhaps the most fundamental of the sciences, physics interacts strongly with all the other science subjects and is particularly attractive to those of you who want to really find out how our world and universe work. Physics is a fascinating and rewarding subject that affords entry into a wide range of prestigious careers.
How will I study?
Our degree structure provides great flexibility for choosing or changing between different courses. In addition to lectures and laboratory work, you will participate in tutorials and problem classes, which offer the opportunity to practise solving physics problems in a less formal environment. The teaching structure culminates in the final year of the MSci degree, where you will use your scientific skills for an original research project.
Our courses offer a number of unique opportunities, such as undertaking research in a low-temperature physics laboratory, working together with industry to solve a physics problem, or even visiting China for three months in a collaborative project.
The 'synoptic' aspects of our courses will help you understand how the diverse areas of physics fit together, and you will undertake small-group projects and short dissertations to develop scientific skills. Another unique feature is the MSci project, providing the option to undertake cutting-edge research projects or to act as consultants to industry.
BSc or MSci?
A BSc degree will give you an excellent grounding in physics and prepare you for a wide range of careers. An MSci degree will teach you a broader range of high-level skills: the final year of the course is different in that the emphasis will be on student-centred learning and assessment is by coursework rather than exams.
Nottingham was ranked joint second out of 42 university physics departments in the recent national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). This confirms the world-class status of its research across a very broad spectrum of physics activity. The prominence of the School's research was underlined by the award of a Nobel Prize in 2003 to Sir Peter Mansfield for his work in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). You will be taught by the School's internationally leading researchers and have the opportunity to get involved in their research activities.
The Physics with a European Language degree allows you to spend a year at a university in Europe. For other students we have arranged an exchange programme with the University of Toronto, Canada. As well as other universities through Universitas 21. Options also exist for shorter periods abroad, such as a research project in China.
Further information can be found on our study abroad web pages.
Career prospects and employability
A number of our graduates remain in higher education, with many taking PhDs. Many embark on careers in financial services or information technology, or in industry, as engineers or scientific researchers. The remainder enter a wide array of careers ranging from meteorology to the media.
The average starting salary for 2010/11 full-time graduates of the School of Physics and Astronomy was £21,708.*
* Average starting salary from known destinations of first-degree leavers who studied full-time.
Application and interview
Offers are usually made without interview. Students with non-standard entry qualifications, including mature students, may be invited for an interview.
Visit days for students offered a place are held between November and March. You are welcome to visit at other times – please see www.nottingham.ac.uk/opendays