Research projects

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.

2D materials laboratory

Third year options

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.

Extended Project

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
  • 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
Connor, Matthew and Jordan

We used our computer programming skills to help tackle unemployment

Connor, Matthew and Jordan BSc Physics

Areas of unemployment exist in any city. For their third year industrial group project, Connor Sheppard, Matthew Rowland and Jordan Foster worked with the Sheffield City Region local government institution to use their computer programming skills to identify the best sites to create low-skilled jobs.

Fourth year projects

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.

Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

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.

Adam Threlfall

I spent my summer studying neutrinos with professional researchers

Adam Threlfall MPhys Theoretical Physics

Adam spent a summer on the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme — a six-to-eight week project that allows undergraduate students to conduct their own research.

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