Physics graduate destinations

Physics graduates move into a variety of fields where their combination of analytical, research, team working, problem solving, numerical, IT knowledge and communication skills are highly valued.

Data obtained from

  • Single and joint honours Physics courses (BSc and MSci), including those with industrial experience or study abroad
  • Graduates from the UK 

Responses were received from 120 UK graduates from 2016/17; this is a response rate of 81.6%


Most important activityPercentage of graduates
Full-time work 44%
Part-time work 10%
Due to start work 1%
Full-time study 31%
Part-time study 1%
Travel 5%
Something else 1%
Unemployed 8%

Sector information

Examples of regular recruitment sectors include actuarial work, operational research, government statistical and security services, engineering, management consultancy, IT, investment banking, financial modelling, accountancy and teaching.

Around 70% of all graduate vacancies don't ask for specific degree subjects and Physics graduates will also therefore find openings in fields unrelated to their degree. Bristol Physics graduates have entered a whole spectrum of careers from filmmaking and journalism to marketing and the civil service.

Employment sectorNumber of graduates
I.T. 10
Education 9
Manufacturing 8
Public sector 4
Finance and insurance 4
Other sectors (21 sectors) 32

Employers and occupations

Examples of employers

  • BAE Systems
  • Canada Life
  • Babcock International
  • National Physical Laboratory
  • KPMG

Examples of occupations

  • Graduate Software Engineer
  • Graduate Engineer
  • Assistant Research Scientist
  • Strategy Analyst
  • Research Scientist

Further study

Higher degrees undertaken by 2016/17 graduates include Physics (MSc), Nuclear Science and Engineering (MSc) and International Development (MSc). In addition, three graduates were undertaking study towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Qualification typeNumber of graduates
Postgraduate research degree 14
Postgraduate taught degree 16
Postgraduate certificate 4
First degree 0
Other certificate 0
Professional qualification 0
Other qualification 1
No qualification aim 0

Explore your career options

You can explore specific sectors and career options on the Prospects website: What can I do with my degree?

Information request

If you need more information about our graduate destinations please fill out our information request form.

While my current position isn't directly linked to my degree, I gained many transferable skills and would not have been able to get the job without it. The reputation of Bristol is also a plus as I think many employers do consider where you studied after you have met the mandatory grade they expect.

Kit, Cost Transformation Analyst, BT plc (BSc Physics, 2011)

Connect with alumni

Use Bristol Connects and LinkedIn to find out what others from your course are doing now and how they can help you.

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