Students at work in one of our teaching laboratories

Teaching

Our lecturers are experts in fields spanning particle physics, astrophysics, polymer and biophysics, semiconductor nanotechnology and medical physics. This range of expertise means our degrees have lots of module options, so you can focus on what interests you most.

You'll learn from us in lots of different ways. In lectures you'll study important theories, and in lab classes you'll see how they work in practice. We have modules dedicated to designing experiments and research training, so you'll learn how to collect data, analyse results and assess projects. Small group tutorials are a chance for you to work closely with our academic staff on scientific problems and get extra support with tricky subjects.

Practical teaching

Students have regular sessions in our teaching laboratories in your first and second years. These sessions are designed to train you in how to use essential scientific instrumentation and equipment in physics experiments. You'll learn to use the tools that physicists use to study topics including optics, electronics, waves, oscillations and atomic emissions. Students on our Physics and Astrophysics courses are trained to use the telescopes on the roof of our building.

Throughout this training, you'll learn how to use specialist computer software for collecting and analysing data. Experiments and projects get more advance as you progress through first and second year, until you're fully trained to complete an independent research project in third year.

Programming classes
Computer programming is an essential part of physics research, so we'll introduce you to Labview in first year and teach you Python in second year. Advanced programming is optional in later years.

Research projects

All of our students get to do research of their own. In your third year, you can take a semester-long Physics Research Project, or you choose one of our unique, year-long Extended Project options.

Our MPhys degrees have even more research training and a bigger research project in fourth year. They're great preparation for a career in research or academia.

Research projects

Core text books

All of our students are given text books on Introductory Physics, which includes access to online resources, and Mathematics for Physicists.

Students doing a Physics and Astrophysics course are also given a Contemporary Astrophysics text book.

Field trips

Our students get the chance to visit major research centres during their degrees. Previous visits include:

  • The ATLAS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, where the Higgs Boson discovery was made

  • The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma in the Canary Islands, situated nearly 8000ft above sea level for unique observation conditions

  • The Boulby Underground Laboratory, where scientists search for dark matter

Field trips

Lectures

In lectures, you'll learn fundamental physics concepts from the experts and hear about the latest research. We offer a huge range of lecture modules on topics that cover everything from electromagnetism and thermodynamics to the structure of galaxies and the physics of music.

Tutorials

You'll have regular meetings in a small group with an academic tutor. In these sessions you'll be able to look at subjects in more detail and develop your writing, analysis and presentation skills. You will also be assigned a personal tutor, who will help you with any issues you face during your studies and provide careers advice.