Physics graduate destinations

Physics graduates move into a variety of fields where their combination of analytical, research, team working, problem solving, numerical, IT knowledge and communication skills are highly valued.

Data obtained from

  • Single and joint honours Physics courses (BSc and MSci), including those with industrial experience or study abroad
  • Graduates from the UK 

Responses were received from 85 UK graduates from 2018/19; this is a response rate of 70%


Most important activityPercentage of graduates
Paid work for an employer 61%
Self-employment/freelancing 1%
Running my own business 0%
Developing a creative, artistic or professional portfolio 4%
Voluntary/unpaid work for an employer 0%
Engaged in a course of study, training or research 25%
Taking time out to travel 1%
Caring for someone 0%
Retired 0%
Unemployed and looking for work 7%
Doing something else 1%

Sector information

Examples of regular recruitment sectors include actuarial work, operational research, government statistical and security services, engineering, management consultancy, IT, investment banking, financial modelling, accountancy and teaching.

Around 70% of all graduate vacancies don't ask for specific degree subjects and Physics graduates will also therefore find openings in fields unrelated to their degree. Bristol Physics graduates have entered a whole spectrum of careers from filmmaking and journalism to marketing and the civil service.

Employment sectorNumber of graduates
Information technology consultancy activities 6
Engineering activities and related technical consultancy 4
Accounting, bookkeeping and auditing activities; tax consultancy 4
Other sectors (21 sectors) 26

Employers and occupations

Examples of employers

  • Advanced Fibreoptic Engineering
  • NatWest
  • Renishaw plc
  • UK Government
  • Defence Science and Technology Lab

Examples of occupations

  • Software Developer
  • Operational Research Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Assurance Associate
  • Science Communicator

Further study

Qualification typePercentage of graduates

Higher degree, mainly by research (e.g. PhD, DPhil, MPhil, MRes)


Higher degree, mainly by taught course (e.g. MA, MSc, MBA)


Postgraduate diploma or certificate (including PGCE/PGDE)


Professional qualification


Undergraduate degree (including integrated master’s degrees) (e.g. BA, BSc, MBChB, MEng)

Other undergraduate diploma or certificate not specified above 0%
Other qualification 4%
Not aiming for a formal qualification 7%

While my current position isn't directly linked to my degree, I gained many transferable skills and would not have been able to get the job without it. The reputation of Bristol is also a plus as I think many employers do consider where you studied after you have met the mandatory grade they expect.

Kit, Cost Transformation Analyst, BT plc (BSc Physics, 2011)

Connect with alumni

Use Bristol Connects and LinkedIn to find out what others from your course are doing now and how they can help you.

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