Physics

Address questions at the frontiers of research, with experts bringing the latest innovations into the teaching lab at a world-class physics department with an award- winning student society.

Supportive community

A close-knit school with friendly, expert staff and the nation’s best student society, Chaos (National Societies Awards, 2019).

Outstanding reputation

Bristol is ranked 11th in the UK and top 100 in the world for physics (QS World University Rankings by subject, 2021).

Learn with experts

Study with renowned experts whose research brings your degree right to the cutting edge.

Virtual open week 2021

Watch recordings and view resources from our September virtual open week.

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Physics at Bristol

Bristol's School of Physics provides an exciting and challenging environment with new, high-specification laboratories and teaching facilities.

Our courses are designed to challenge you and develop your abilities as a critical thinker. You will learn from internationally-recognised experts bringing the latest research into the teaching lab. Your lectures might be with a particle physicist analysing the latest data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider, or with an astrophysicist looking at data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Be part of a friendly department and dynamic research community. Our physicists are pioneers in their fields, working alongside industry leaders in areas such as medical physics, communications, IT, energy and defence to develop innovative technologies. Their research feeds directly into your teaching, placing you at the cutting edge of scientific developments.

We also offer Physics with Scientific Computing.

I love the historical buildings, for example the Physics Library with all its wooden shelves – it’s the best library! I also like the fact that Bristol has so many student societies: everything from magic to martial arts.

Nikita, MSci Theoretical Physics

Career prospects

Our graduates are highly sought after and find employment as physicists in research and industry settings, and a whole spectrum of other careers such as data analytics, software development, charities, sport and science media.

Physics-specific employability sessions will give you valuable experience in communication and presentation skills, interviews and networking.

We work closely with our Industrial Advisory Board to understand the needs of industry, and shape our courses to boost our graduates' employability. Our curriculum is designed to help you develop important scientific and technical skills including coding and data analysis combined with transferable skills such as problem solving, presenting, communicating, numeracy, creativity and resilience.

Around half of our MSci graduates pursue a higher degree in physics or related disciplines leading to careers in research and teaching.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

You will build a solid foundation of skills and knowledge over your first and second years. In your final year you will join a research group and undertake an independent, novel research project or its equivalent in one of our research areas.

Your degree will include lectures, individual computational work and laboratory work in pairs. Smaller group activities include tutorials, workshops and problem classes which help to consolidate your learning.

You can choose to spend a year in industry working on a challenging project or to study physics at a partner university in Europe or beyond.

Advanced facilities

Physics is based at the heart of our campus in the beautiful environment of Green Flag Award-winning gardens. Within the Gothic architecture of our Grade II-listed Physics Building are exceptional modern facilities, including state-of-the-art teaching labs, a dedicated physics library and a six-metre radio telescope. Bristol is also home to the pioneering Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information.

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