In third year, you'll complete a research project in an area of physics that interests you. If you do one of our MPhys courses, you'll do a more advanced research project in your final year.
You can either do a Physics Research Project over one semester, or an Extended Project over the whole of your third year. This gives you lots of options, from experimental science to computing, microscopy and science communication. You can even work on a real-world problem set by one of our collaborators in industry.
Physics Research Project
If you decide to do the Physics Research Project, the subject is up to you. Students choose from a list of more than 60 project topics, from high energy cosmic rays, to atomic force microscopy, to the physics of scuba diving. You'll be supervised by one of our academic staff, who will help you design your experiments, analyse your results and present your findings.
If you decide to do an Extended Project, there are several types for you to choose from. Students work on these projects throughout their third year.
- Industrial Group Project: work in a team using your experimental or computational skills to solve a problem for one of our industrial collaborators
- Quantum Information Laboratory: complete lab-based quantum optics experiments and study the relevant theory as you learn cutting-edge techniques used in the quantum technology industry
- Physical Computing Laboratory: learn to program single-board computers and programmable logic devices called Field Programmable Gate Arrays, for real-time data acquisition
- Microscopy and Spectroscopy Laboratory: learn and apply sophisticated techniques such as atomic force microscopy and optical and gamma-ray spectroscopies
- Physics Education and Outreach: take part in schools and outreach activities – this is a great way to get experience if you're interested in a career in teaching or science communication
If you do one of our MPhys courses, you'll do a more advanced research project in your fourth year.
You'll be based in one of our research laboratories, working alongside professional scientists and with access to state-of-the-art equipment. You'll get extra training for a career in research and get to choose from a wider range of advanced lecture modules.
Each year undergraduates can apply to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience scheme. This gives you a bursary to spend around 10 weeks working with one of our department's research groups over summer. You'll be able to get first-hand experience of major research projects and can even lead to your name appearing in an academic journal.
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