Meet our students

We asked some of our students to tell us about their experiences of studying in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Katherine ChapmanKatherine Chapman 

BSc Physics and Philosophy

"When I started my undergraduate in Physics and Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, I would not have believed that I would be working at CERN at the time of one of the most significant announcements for science in the century; the discovery of the Higgs-like-Boson. However, this is exactly where I have found myself this summer after completing two of my three years, I am spending four months over the summer working as Science Communication student in the EU projects group at CERN. I have had the opportunity to organise an event at CERN; the first ever CERN Tweetup, write published articles, make a presentation in the CERN auditorium and met many interesting and important people."

Read more

Isabelle GesseyIsabelle Gessey

MPhys Physics and Astrophysics

"The thing that attracted me most to Sheffield to study Physics and Astrophysics was the lively atmosphere in the department, particularly from the student tour guides! They were incredibly friendly and had a lot of enthusiasm and praise for the department. As someone who loved astro, the La Palma year placement was truly what sold it to me because I hadn't seen a single other university that offered that sort of opportunity - which really impressed me. Department aside, Sheffield seemed a really nice city that really cares about nature and the environment, and the first year accommodation is right next to the (free!) Botanical Gardens."

David Draper Physics studentDavid Draper 

MPhys Physics

"After first hearing about the department of Physics and Astronomy at Sheffield from a friend, I can honestly say that coming here was the best decision of my life. Upon visiting on one of the UCAS Open Days, I loved the friendly feel in the department, and especially how enthusiastic the lectures were about the research being carried out in areas including inorganic semiconductors and astronomy and astrophysics. The shear range of topics available makes it very easy to follow your own interests in later years. I am particularly looking forward to Astrobiology next year with Dr Simon Goodwin!"

Naveed ChoudhuryNaveed Choudhury, Bangladesh

BSc Physics

"From the moment I first started classes in Sheffield I knew that I would have no trouble fitting in. The initial scare of daunting lectures and coursework overload is quickly swept away by the welcoming atmosphere of the University and the helpful nature of all the teachers. I have achieved a much greater understanding and appreciation of the subject than I thought was possible by me, and this is mostly due to the enthusiasm and the patience of all the lecturers in the Physics and Astronomy department. I didn't take any time at all to settle in, and have enjoyed every year of university more than the last."

Ellie DoughertyEllie Dougherty

MPhys Physics and Astrophysics

"What stood out about Sheffield's physics department was how friendly the staff were compared to other universities I'd seen. It makes the whole environment very welcoming from the very first day. I'm about to start my Masters year and the thought of leaving Sheffield soon is sad but I'm so thankful I chose to study here because the last three years have been incredible. The projects I've done recently have really illuminated the variety of the research at Sheffield's physics department. I'm going to La Palma soon for my third year astronomy project and the idea of being on a professional astronomy site is very exciting. In contrast to that, my third year physics project was in biophysics and explored how physics can be used to maximise the efficiency of IVF. I'm not sure what I plan to do after graduating but the variety of projects and modules made available at Sheffield make me feel prepared for whatever I choose to do."

Andy FryAndy Fry

BSc Physics with Medical Physics

I have really enjoyed my time at Sheffield studying Physics with Medical Physics. Studying core physics modules gave me a broad grounding in physics, while the specific medical physics parts of the course allowed me to develop a specialism in an area which is of great interest to me. The medical physics group at Sheffield has the advantage of being based in a hospital environment ensuring that their research, and the teaching we receive, is always relevant and cutting edge. The opportunity to undertake two research projects with the group has been interesting and extremely valuable. The course has prepared me well for employment in a variety of physics roles. Now I have decided to continue with medical physics and will be joining the NHS on their Scientist Training Programme following graduation."

Sarah O'SullivanSarah O'Sullivan

BSc Physics

"As someone who spent a few years out of education before coming to uni, I've been very well supported in the physics department. It is a friendly department and it's easy to approach staff to ask for advice. The course has been suitably challenging but doesn't assume that everyone has remembered everything from their A-levels without needing a little reminder so there's been plenty of opportunity for me to recall forgotten topics. I've also found that the department is not so large that students feel lost in a mass of other undergraduates, which really helped me integrate back into education as a mature student."

Deli ZhangDeli Zhang, China

BSc Physics

"Studying at the University of Sheffield is enjoyable. The courses are diverse and in addition to my compulsory physics courses I still have the chance to select astronomy modules (or other subjects) that I am interested in. The academic staff are enthusiastic. Whenever I have questions they are happy to explain and discuss additional material. The life in Sheffield is comfortable and convenient. Most student accommodation is located near the campus and so only a few minutes walk to the departments. The transportation system is well developed and I can access everywhere easily. I especially like walking and spending time in the many parks that you can find in Sheffield. I would say I enjoy every second in this peaceful, warm, and quiet place."

Yannis PetridesYannis Petrides, Cyprus 

BSc Physics

"Being an international student, I was a bit shy at first. After spending some time in the department though, all my fears vanished. The warmth radiated by department’s friendly folks truly made me feel like home. Teachers were really amicable, always leaving their door open for students; whether it was about physics matters, or even for a friendly chat. The various topics covered throughout the degree made me realize that physics underlies almost every aspect of life. The vast choices I had and the variety of research being done in Sheffield gave me the opportunity to paddle in a sea of possibilities and ultimately find what best suits my interests. The world-class degree offered by Sheffield granted me the power to compete for a position at the world’s best universities. Eventually I was offered a place at ETH Zurich where I will continue my studies and seek the research career that I desire."

Ahmed Al ShukailiAhmed Al Shukaili, Oman

BSc Physics

"Whatever I write I cannot do justice to the City of Sheffield, the people and the university. I really had a fantastic time at Sheffield University and enjoyed working with all the great academic staff that I was proud to learn from. They made me feel welcome and always stressed the practical nature of the courses. Following my degree I returned to Oman where I am currently working as drilling engineer and supervisor for PDO (Petroleum Development Oman) a company that accounts for more than 90% of the country's crude-oil production and natural-gas supply."