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Why Study Physics?

Why Study Physics?

Physics is fundamental to our understanding of how the universe works. By choosing to take a degree in Physics, you choose to study an enormously stimulating subject that also sits right at the heart of technology development. Physics today is a very rewarding and exciting field with new discoveries occurring at the frontiers of human knowledge. Its methods and insights are widely applicable and its practitioners widely sought. 

The Department of Physics offers the highest quality physics education in a leading research environment. An enthusiasm for teaching and an excellent staff-student rapport ensure a extremely supportive atmosphere.

Now is an exciting time to join our rapidly expanding department. New facilities have recently opened, including a new Astrocampus and the York Plasma Institute and will help enhance what is already a highly regarded UK Physics department. Our department is driven by excellence in both research and teaching. We offer a variety of flexible degree courses from single subject programmes such as Physics or Physics with Astrophysics, through to joint subjects with the departments of Mathematics and Philosophy.

We believe that undergraduate Physics students should experience both the breadth and depth of what is a highly complex subject. This is why we offer a number of different Physics degree courses that cover the range of approaches all of which have the same physics core. To see our available courses vist our Undergraduate Degree Courses, or find out more about our Department Scholarships and Master Class Research Placements.

Why Study Physics at York?

Why Study Physics at York?

Here are just some of the many reasons why you should choose York to study a degree in Physics:

  • Our flexible programmes allow students to maintain a wide ranging approach to physics or to specialise in a particular area. Students are able to further tailor their course to their interests by studying abroad or by conducting a research placement
  • All our programmes are accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and are structured around core teaching which ensures that students have a solid grounding in the key concepts of physics (
  • You will be taught by world leading academics at the cutting edge of their research field who posses an enthusiasm for teaching. This fosters excellent staff-student rapport and ensures an extremely friendly and supportive atmosphere for you. Regular supervisions meetings, small group tutorials and our ‘open door’ policy for approaching our academic staff are distinctive in our teaching approach and enable students to share their insights and develop a deeper understand of their subject
  • Our department is rapidly expanding with world leading research programmes in several areas of physics including Condensed Matter Physics, Nuclear Physics, Plasma Physics, Quantum Computing, Nanophysics, Nuclear Astrophysics and Fusion. There has recently been significant major investment in our laboratories and facilities including the York-JEOL Nanocentre, York Plasma Institute and our Astrocampus
  • We regularly achieve high student satisfaction and maintained excellence in our teaching quality achieving the maximum of 24/24 in our most recent Teaching Quality Assurance assessment
  • You will have excellent career prospects with over 80% of graduates in employment or further study after six months after graduating. We pride ourselves on being a friendly and supportive department, helping students to unlock their academic potential and develop skills that are highly sought after by employers
  • We are one of only nine Physics departments to achieve the Juno Champion Award for support of women in physics and have achieved a Silver Athena SWAN accreditation for our ongoing support of women in science
  • Our students run popular and lively Physics and Astro Societies with many events and activities throughout the year
  • The Department of Physics has received 100% “Overall Satisfaction” for Astronomy in the 2020 National Student Survey (NSS)

Find out what students in the Department of Physics really think about studying at York.

Choosing Your Degree

Three or Four Years?

Our degree programmes are offered as a four year Masters course (MPhys) or a three year Bachelors (BSc), both have proven extremely popular with both students and employers. The BSc course content is identical to the first three years of the Masters course and covers a broad ranging physics curriculum. The BSc provides an excellent pathway into a range of graduate level careers or continue your studies at postgraduate level.

The integrated Masters programmes provide the opportunity to include additional physics material and further training in communication skills for students to undertake a major research project extending over the year. The course enables students to study Physics in greater depth and is tailored for those looking to enter an academic or industry led research career.

Our courses are structured to be flexible allowing students not only to transfer between programmes but also between the Bachelors and Masters courses. Transfers are normally considered at the end of the first and second year, subject to satisfactory performance and in some cases appropriate choice of optional components.  

Further information

Teaching Education Framework -GOLD