Physics Student Graduation, Lake view

Careers and Employability

Physics graduates are highly sought after by employers across a range of disciplines. A high proportion of graduates go on to careers that use their knowledge and expertise in physics. However as physics is so central in the span of scientific subjects, physicists are readily employed in other disciplines such as computing, electronics, chemistry and mathematics.

"A Physics degree is greatly valued by employers because it contains IT and numerical skills, teaches a logical approach to problem solving, and many other valuable skills. Many graduates use their degrees in a Physics related area such as optics, solid state devices, lasers, the nuclear power industry or medical physics. Others move into areas suchas the IT or financial sector."

Dr Phil Lightfoot, Senior Lecturer and Physics Careers Liaison Officer 

Our graduates enter into a number of various pathways, given their advanced numeracy and problem solving skills many enter into graduate schemes and occupations such as management, communications. accountancy, broadcasting and law.

Physics Careers Support

Our dedicated department careers officer guides students through a range of activities and workshops designed to support and prepare students for the next steps in their career path. Each year group conducts a range of activities including:

  • Application Writing
  • Development of Employability Plan and tutorial review sessions
  • Preparing your next career steps workshops
  • Careers Fairs
  • Enhancing your employability and careers options workshops
  • Physics careers day
  • Career development activities
  • Interview training
  • Leadership and teamwork


Developing Employability Skills

The department is committed to developing and supporting our student’s career development and employability which is embedded within our core teaching:

Self Management 

  • Deadline and project management
  • Independent learning

Communication and Literacy

  • Scientific report writing
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Report writing to specific audiences
  • Research talk and conference analysis

Team Working

  • Technical group exercises
  • Parried lab work 
  • Physics practice question prompts and discussion
  • ‘Thinking like a Physicist’ group discussion with academic supervisors

Problem Solving

  • Physics problem questions
  • Modules assignments and reports
  • Lab based projects and analysis

Creativity and Innovation

  • Observing and evaluating data trends to formulate strategies and generate ideas

Social, Cultural and Global Awareness

  • Commercial, industrial and domestic application research and presentations
  • Development of employability plan and assessment of skills

Application of IT and Numeracy

  • Laboratory and project reports
  • Use of specialist software
  • Introduction to programming languages
  • Use of Maths in Physics

Languages for All

  • Start a new language with, or brush up on language skills with Languages for All
  • Prepare for studying or working abroad

Employability Tutorial

The Employability Tutorial, accessibly via Yorkshare, has been developed to maximise the skills and opportunities students have to enhance their employability. The online tool allows students to investigate pathways supporting them through their decision process as they plan their future career.

What do York Graduates do?

Most of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating working in a variety of sectors.

Graduate Destinations

Opportunities for Physics Graduates are diverse and substantial, our programmes equip students with scientific knowledge and practical skills for progression into varied and wide ranging career pathways.

Further Study

Many of our recent graduates have gone onto further academic study. University of York offers many graduate opportunities including graduate study within the Deparment of Physics.

Careers Service

The University Careers Service provides a wealth of opportunities from internships and voluntary programmes to enterprise support. Careers are committed to helping students develop the skills employers are looking for and prepare for their future career.

Work Experience

Gaining work experience can help increase your employability, developing and enhancing vital skill such as planning and teamwork. Careers advertises hundreds of vacancies and internships to enhance your studies and gain valuable paid opportunities.


Placements are a valuable way to enable students to gain practical experience in the work place and put knowledge gained through their studies into practice. Enhancing your CV and building industry contacts, placements can be taken as an integrated placement year or via a dedicated research project.


Volunteering is an excellent way of supporting the local community as well as developing valuable transferable skills and knowledge. There are many exciting opportunities and projects for students to get involved in.