Physics

Address questions at the frontiers of research, with experts bringing the latest innovations into the teaching lab at a world-class physics department with an award- winning student society.

Supportive community

A close-knit school with friendly, expert staff and the nation’s best student society, Chaos (National Societies Awards, 2019).

Highly ranked

Bristol is ranked in the UK top five for Physics research (THE analysis of REF 2021).

Learn with experts

Study with renowned experts whose research brings your degree right to the cutting edge.

Physics at Bristol

Bristol's School of Physics provides an exciting and challenging environment with new, high-specification laboratories and teaching facilities.

Our courses are designed to challenge you and develop your abilities as a critical thinker. You will learn from internationally-recognised experts bringing the latest research into the teaching lab. Your lectures might be with a particle physicist analysing the latest data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider, or with an astrophysicist looking at data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Be part of a friendly department and dynamic research community. Our physicists are pioneers in their fields, working alongside industry leaders in areas such as medical physics, communications, IT, energy and defence to develop innovative technologies. Their research feeds directly into your teaching, placing you at the cutting edge of scientific developments.

We also offer Physics with Computing.

Think Big bursaries of £3,000 are available to support first-year international undergraduate students in this subject area.

I love the historical buildings, for example the Physics Library with all its wooden shelves – it’s the best library! I also like the fact that Bristol has so many student societies: everything from magic to martial arts.

Nikita, MSci Theoretical Physics

Career prospects

The exterior of a large, grand stone building.

Our graduates are highly sought after and find employment as physicists in research and industry settings, and a whole spectrum of other careers such as data analytics, software development, charities, sport and science media.

Physics-specific employability sessions will give you valuable experience in communication and presentation skills, interviews and networking.

We work closely with our Industrial Advisory Board to understand the needs of industry, and shape our courses to boost our graduates' employability. Our curriculum is designed to help you develop important scientific and technical skills including coding and data analysis combined with transferable skills such as problem solving, presenting, communicating, numeracy, creativity and resilience.

Around half of our MSci graduates pursue a higher degree in physics or related disciplines leading to careers in research and teaching.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

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You will build a solid foundation of skills and knowledge over your first and second years. In your final year you will join a research group and undertake an independent, novel research project or its equivalent in one of our research areas.

Your degree will include lectures, individual computational work and laboratory work in pairs. Smaller group activities include tutorials, workshops and problem classes which help to consolidate your learning.

You can choose to spend a year in industry working on a challenging project or to study physics at a partner university in Europe or beyond.

Advanced facilities

A person points at the a large satellite dish on the roof of a building.

Physics is based at the heart of our campus in the beautiful environment of Green Flag Award-winning gardens. Within the Gothic architecture of our Grade II-listed Physics Building are exceptional modern facilities, including state-of-the-art teaching labs, a dedicated physics library and a six-metre radio telescope. Bristol is also home to the pioneering Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information.

Physics

Bristol's School of Physics provides an exciting and challenging learning environment with new, high-specification laboratories and teaching facilities. You will be taught by experts who are recognised internationally for their innovative research.

From particle physics and quantum information to cosmology and astrophysics, our physicists are pioneers in their fields, working alongside industry leaders in areas such as medical physics, communications, IT, energy and defence to develop innovative technologies.

Within the beautiful Gothic architecture of the Physics building are exceptional modern facilities, including state-of-the-art teaching labs, a dedicated physics library, well-equipped lecture theatres and a six-metre radio telescope, integral to our astrophysics teaching and research.

Why study Physics at Bristol?

Our courses are designed to challenge you and develop your abilities as a critical thinker. A thorough grounding in physics will equip you well whichever degree you choose.

You can choose to spend a year in industry working on a challenging project or to study physics at a partner university in Europe or beyond. In addition to your degree you can get involved in communicating science via Discover Science days and school visits.

Many of our physics degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics who have awarded us Juno status in recognition of our contribution to the representation of women in physics.

CHAOS, the very active, award-winning physics students' society, organises social and educational activities, visits and trips and a 'parenting' scheme to help our new students feel welcome.

See the School of Physics on film.

What kind of student would this course suit?

You will join a friendly department with a very active, award-winning student society. Bristol physics students come from a range of backgrounds and share a keen interest in physics and astrophysics. You will need strong ability in mathematics, a lively and enquiring mind, commitment and a willingness to contribute.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Your degree will include lectures, individual computational work and laboratory work in pairs. Smaller group activities include tutorials, workshops and problem classes which help to consolidate your learning.

Your personal tutor will follow your progress and advise you throughout your degree.

Assessment is by written examinations, assignments and written reports and interviews for computational and lab work.

In your final year you will undertake a novel research project or its equivalent in one of our research areas.

What are my career prospects?

Our graduates are much sought after and find employment in physics and other areas, including IT, health, management, finance, international charities, sport and science media.

Around half of our MSci graduates pursue a higher degree in physics or related disciplines leading to careers in research and teaching.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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