- Computer labs
- Lab sessions
About Physics at the University of Nottingham
We have a proud history of learning and innovation. Research undertaken within the School of Physics and Astronomy, by Professor Sir Peter Mansfield, was recognised with a 2003 Nobel Prize for the invention of Magnetic Resonance Imaging body scanners. This technology has already helped more than half a billion people worldwide. More recently, our use of quantum technologies to understand how the brain works is changing the way that neurological conditions are detected and treated.
Our research activities cover cutting-edge topics ranging from probing quantum mechanics at ultralow temperatures to understanding the largest structures in the Universe.
Our courses offer a wide range of optional modules, so you can explore new areas of physics and specialise in the ones that interest you the most. You can study topics as diverse as cosmology, nanoscience, and medical imaging and learn from experts in those fields. What’s more, there is flexibility to transfer between most physics courses after the first year.
Some of our teaching staff share their love of physics with budding scientists worldwide through the popular Sixty Symbols YouTube channel. Our unique, student centred MSci course offers innovative teaching methods, with few to no exams in the final year.
We encourage students to share their fascination with physics with the wider community through our outreach programme. This programme can help you further develop skills such as organisation, communication and team working. We also have an active student society, PhysSoc, which organises social events throughout the year. Our mentoring scheme gives new starters the opportunity to connect with more experienced physics students, helping you settle into university life.
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. This content was last updated on Friday 10 March 2023.
For a typical core module the examination carries a weight of 80%, the remaining 20% usually being allocated for regular coursework and workshop assignments throughout the year.
Experimental and other practical work is continually assessed through laboratory notebooks and formal reports.
Typically in the first year, there are 10 lectures per week including problem sheets and directed reading. Some modules are supplemented by additional workshops where you will have the opportunity to put your learning into practice.
You will take part in weekly small group tutorials (typically five students), where your tutor will provide support and guidance.
The practical modules involve working between three and six hours per week in laboratories. Subsequent years will vary with the largest change being no more weekly tutorials.
You will be assigned a tutor who will guide your studies and take an interest in your academic progress and personal well-being. You will meet your tutor each week in year one, to review your work and answer questions on your lectures.
Studying advanced physics will enable you to become more adaptable and better at problem solving. These are invaluable traits for any career. Our students go on to work in a variety of industries, including engineering, aerospace, IT, and finance, as well as academic research. Others use their training in communication skills to enter teaching or science communication careers.
Employers of our graduates include Accenture, BBC, EDF Energy, Jaguar Land Rover, and various NHS Trusts. Roles include Trainee Clinical Scientist, Medical Physicist, Systems Engineer, Data Analyst and Software Development Engineer.
73.9% of undergraduates from the School of Physics & Astronomy secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £27,714.*
*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.
Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.
Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.
The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).