Physics with Scientific Computing

Combine the latest ideas in physics with cutting-edge techniques in computing in our world-class physics department.

Career advantage

Gain a firm grounding in physics, combined with specialised computing and data science skills valued by employers in research and industry.

Apply your knowledge

Gain expertise and practical skills in programming, data science, machine learning and more alongside innovative and research-intensive physics teaching.

Friendly community

Chaos, our vibrant and award-winning physics society, organises social and educational activities, trips, and a 'parenting' scheme to help new students feel welcome.

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Physics with Scientific Computing at Bristol

Computing skills are essential in all areas of physics, whether experimental or theoretical. Computers control advanced instrumentation, and computer simulations make predictions from the properties of sub-atomic particles to the formation of stars and galaxies.

Scientific computing is an interdisciplinary field that uses computer science, data science and digital technology for state-of-the-art scientific problem solving. To study this subject you do not need any prior computing experience.

You will be taught by experts in both physics and computing drawn from every research area of the School of Physics, as well as computing experts from across the Faculty of Science.

You'll also have the opportunity to join Chaos, the nation's best student society (National Societies Awards 2019), to get the most out of your time at Bristol.

We also offer Physics.

Bristol is unique in its ability to be a place where you are accepted for every aspect of yourself, students are uplifted and motivated by the amazing staff and students around all the time, and you are always put to the challenge of pushing yourself to do your best.

Bethan, MSci Physics

Career prospects

Graduates of these degrees are well placed to follow careers in a diverse range of areas, from physics research to computing and data science.

These courses address the demand for skilled practitioners in research and industry by developing strong computing skills with a solid foundation in physics and, above all, an understanding of how to combine these areas to best effect.

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.

Career opportunities may include:

  • scientific research
  • chemical industry
  • engineering industry
  • computing
  • data science
  • finance.

Course structure

You will gain a comprehensive grounding in classical and quantum physics and will develop the mathematical and computational skills needed to solve problems ranging from the quantum realm to galaxy formation.

Physics with scientific computing courses cover the same core content as other physics degrees, but they also have a significant emphasis on computing.

We will introduce you to:

  • coding
  • data analysis and visualisation
  • high-performance computing
  • machine learning
  • modern hardware and computing methods
  • programming
  • software engineering
  • virtual/augmented reality.

You will have plenty of opportunities to apply this knowledge to problems in physics.

For those wanting to gain more applied computing experience during their degree, we offer an MSci degree with industrial experience.

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.

Our student spaces also include Physbar, an entirely student-run café provided by Chaos, our award-winning physics society. Bristol is also home to the pioneering Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information.

Physics with Scientific Computing

Study for a degree combining the latest ideas in physics with leading techniques in computing, including machine learning, artificial intelligence and data science, at a world-class and friendly physics department with an award-winning student society.

Why study Physics with Scientific Computing at Bristol?

The Physics with Scientific Computing courses cover the same core physics as other physics degrees but, unlike other degrees, have a significant emphasis on computing. 

Computing skills are essential in all areas of physics, whether experimental or theoretical. Computers control advanced instrumentation and computer simulations make predictions from the properties of sub-atomic particles to the formation of stars and galaxies.

The computing techniques required to study modern physics overlap significantly with current computer science and graduating with one of these degrees will make you well placed to follow careers in a diverse range of areas from physics research to computing and data science.

You will be taught by experts in both physics and computing drawn from every research area of the School of Physics, as well as from Bristol Scientific Computing (BriSC), which brings together computing experts from across the Faculty of Science.

For those wanting to gain more applied computing experience during their degree, we offer the MSci Physics with Scientific Computing with Industrial Experience

What kind of student would this course suit?

If you love both physics and computing and don’t want to choose between the subjects, these courses allow you to combine them in an integrated degree. We will introduce you to programming, software engineering, data analysis and visualisation as well as modern hardware and computing methods, with plenty of opportunities to apply this knowledge to problems in physics. No prior computing experience is needed.

How is this course taught and assessed?

The physics aspect of our courses will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and group work.

The scientific computing units will be taught through a mixture of lectures, workshops and self-paced, continuously assessed material, supported by group work and projects.

What are my career prospects?

Modern physics increasingly depends on computers. This course addresses the demand for skilled practitioners in research and industry by developing strong computing skills with a solid foundation in physics and, above all, an understanding of how to combine these areas to best effect. Our graduates can expect to follow careers in scientific research, applied physics, computing or data science.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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