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(Original post by rainbowsss)
Reading around, appears that quite a few studying physics have said that the course is not living up to it's reputation/ loss of enthusiasm for the subject, is this true?
(I'm fully aware that this is only a small sample of students, likely to be hearsay, and tbh - am pretty much hoping this is the case...)
I'm a third year on the MPhys course - most of my friends have definitely lost enthusiasm for the subject, although I think this may just be what happens to people after two and a half years of reading a degree, given that I can't really think of many who are particularly enthusiastic about their subject...
I don't know a single 3rd year who still feels the way about their course that they did as a fresher. However I find if you take a step back from all the tedious maths and look at the meaning of the stupid calculation your trying to do things look pretty cool.
Also by 3rd year most people will have decided what they are doing after uni, which in most cases isnt physics, so they now just need to 'get through' the rest of their degree before pursuing the career they want. This leads to a lot of apathy.
Finally, the majority of students will only ever experience one course at one university, so making comparisons with other unis is basically impossible.
I'm still in Freshers year studying Physics, so can say I am still interested in it! Although I do agree from what I have heard from students in higher years, those that decide not to pursue Physics as a career tend to find it less interesting as time goes on, but necessary.
I would warn you though even in first year most people found the end of first term hard to deal with - it will be interesting to see if they structure the course in the same way next year actually - as I don't know anyone who can actually say they felt a burning desire to do any more mechanics for quite a while. 2 months of solid Mech was pretty intense - although having Signer as a lecturer made up for it!
According to HESA statistics, and physics world magazine (March 2011), about 60% of physics graduates (all universities) go into something comletely different to straight physics: Law, finance, chemistry, engineering, unemployment, general office jobs, etc.
Some people just have enough of physics, and rightly so in some cases. The use of Quantum ElectroDynamics or theoretical physics, are niches for instance.
I know a fair amount of people that have lost enthusiasm but as said before, that's simply because they know that they don't want to go into Physics. However, I also know some that absolutely love it and want to keep doing it as well as some that aren't planning on going into Physics at all and like it. Generally, I don't think there are any complaints about the department or how the course is run/the quality of the teaching, it's simply losing interest after a couple of years and the fact that it's quite hard and a lot of work.