Advances in physics lead to new technologies that change our world and forge a path to a brighter future.
Quantum theory (the study of the subatomic) and the theory of relativity (that space and time are connected) challenge our imaginations. On this physics degree course, you'll uncover an amazing world that lies beyond what we can see. You'll learn to question the impossible and develop the confidence to push against the boundaries of what we think we know.
You'll have the opportunity to study topics including health physics, the fabrication of new bulk and nano-materials, and the application of fundamental quantum effects in the development of quantum information processes. You’ll graduate with strong mathematical, analytical, problem-solving and computational abilities that are in high demand.
What you’ll experience
- See physics theory in practice through visits to companies such as BAE Systems, Airbus, QinetiQ, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and others
- Benefit from our links to industry through the Portsmouth Physics Industry Advisory Board, a collection of professionals in relevant industries who help shape our course content, identify the skills employers want, teach on modules and offer placements
- Have the chance to do an industrial-based research project under supervision of a leading physicist, such as researching physics for a defence company, working in radar for BAE Systems, or data engineering within the finance sector
- Attend a programme of guest lectures on topics such as material sciences and quantum technology hosted by industry experts, including speakers from the medical physics department at Queen Alexandra Hospital
- Investigate new technologies and theories alongside the University's physics research teams (and contribute to their work in your final project), whose research was ranked in the top 10 nationally for quality of research outputs
- Use advanced technical equipment with the help of expert technical staff, including x-ray diffraction, x-ray fluorescence, electron and atomic force microscopes, various types of spectroscopy and the SCIAMA supercomputer
Work experience and career planning
Get experience while you study with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work experience. Towards the end of your degree and after graduation, you'll get 1-to-1 support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to find your perfect role.
Placement year (optional)
Taking an optional placement year will give you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role after graduation.
We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.
Previous students have taken placement roles such as:
- science technician and classroom assistant
- industrial placement estimating
- technical industrial placement
They've completed placements at organisations including:
- Sandhurst School
- BAE Systems
You may be able to do a placement through the South East Physics Network (SEPnet) Bursary Scheme. This 8-week placement includes a £2000 bursary.
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional module may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- practical work
- field work
The focus of teaching on this course is on active learning, so you'll have the practical skills you need to succeed in your career.
You’ll be assessed through:
- practical work (both laboratory and field based)
- production of posters and portfolios
- a research based final-year project
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
- Year 1 students: 28% by written exams and 72% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 55% by written exams and 45% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 45% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 43% by coursework
This physics degree will give you strong mathematical, analytical, problem-solving and computational abilities that are in high demand in sectors like financial services, aerospace development and publishing. Physics graduates are earning an average of £33,500 5 years after graduation, while the UK government puts your earning potential as high as £50,000.
After the course you could also continue your studies to a PhD or other postgraduate qualification. Discover our world-leading physics research and Andrew's journey to a PhD in Physics.
Our graduates have worked for companies such as:
- Burohappold Engineering
- Tesla Engineering Ltd
- British Telecom
Our graduates now work in roles including:
- data analyst
- software engineer
- project engineer
- health physicist
- physic researcher in defense sector
You could apply your skills and knowledge in areas such as:
- medical instrumentation
- scientific journalism
- data science
- data engineering