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Physics is the area of science concerned with the study of all physical processes, including forces, energy, electricity, the nature of particles, the working of stars and the evolution of the entire Universe.

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Where can physics take you?

A physics education shows the ability for analytical thought and leads to more careers than perhaps you’d at first think. Take a look at some of the ideas at physics.org.

Girls!

Girls are every bit as able to do well in physics as boys are, and yet too many choose other subjects. Why?! Read the Institute of Physics’ Women in Physics booklet to see if it can convince you to study Physics. Or watch these female physicists tell you why they love physics.

Contemporary physicists

Books about physics are full of the names of scientists of the past, but who are the great names of today? Watch these interviews to find out.

Join the Institute of Physics

Did you know you can join the Institute of Physics as a Student Member for free? Loads of useful freebies!

Measurement

Units are a fundamental part of physics. Take a look at The National Physical Laboratory to learn a little more about them.

Year 13 Geneva trip

Every October, the Year 13 Physics students spend a long weekend in Geneva. The highlight of the trip is visiting the world-renowned European Laboratory for Particle Physics, CERN. However, the trip also includes the United Nations, the Red Cross, the sights of Geneva and, sometimes, a trip up a mountain! It’s great fun and something to definitely look forward to if you choose to study A Level Physics.

Choosing a Physics-based degree course

All Physics-based degree courses are listed on myphysicscourse.org, which is maintained by the Institute of Physics.

The “best” universities for academic study are as follows, grouped a little by geography, but in no particular order otherwise.

England

  • The North: Durham, York, Lancaster, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester
  • The Midlands: Nottingham, Loughborough, Birmingham, Warwick
  • Oxbridge: Oxford, Cambridge
  • London: UCL, Imperial, King’s College, Royal Holloway
  • The South: Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton, Sussex

Wales

  • Cardiff
  • Swansea

Scotland

  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • St Andrews

All have good reputations, so best to choose between them by location, by city vs campus and, finally, by your impressions when you visit.

If you think you might be serious about continuing on to an MSc and/or PhD after your degree, you might also like to visit their Physics Department web pages to see what areas of physics their lecturers are researching within. If you are thinking this way, you should probably also at least consider the 4-year MPhys courses when making your choice.

Common joint-honours courses are Physics with Maths and Physics with Astrophysics. Other options are Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, but be sure before specialising in this way before you’ve even begun! Good Phys, Phys/Maths or Phys/Astro will be just as good but leave more options open to you.

Beware other combinations. You need to be very sure of your career path before choosing something less “mainstream” (e.g. Physics with Geography, etc).