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How much coding/programming is there in a physics degree? Watch

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    I was thinking of doing an online course on coding to write about in my personal statement as I've never done anything like it before but would it be worth it? Does a significant part of a physics undergrad degree take up coding and programming skills? Will an admissions tutor think it is valuable? I know it probably varies between universities but on average is it important enough to include?
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    I was thinking the same thing. I may do one over the summer in preparation for university though. It'll never hinder you and even if it's not something they consider it may benefit you whilst at University.
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    (Original post by alwaysfergy)
    I was thinking the same thing. I may do one over the summer in preparation for university though. It'll never hinder you and even if it's not something they consider it may benefit you whilst at University.
    Yeah it does look interesting and been wanting to teach myself for a while now but was wondering whether it should go on my PS or not. When looking at the modules of the universities I'm applying to it's not very clear how much if any coding is included. Also watched some You Tube videos and from what I gathered coding is a far bigger part of studying physics in the US than in the UK
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    About 1 module a year for years 1/2, with 50% of the module being programming. Plenty of opportunity to use programming on 3rd/4th year projects/experiments but no requirement to learn programming.
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    (Original post by G.Y)
    I was thinking of doing an online course on coding to write about in my personal statement as I've never done anything like it before but would it be worth it? Does a significant part of a physics undergrad degree take up coding and programming skills? Will an admissions tutor think it is valuable? I know it probably varies between universities but on average is it important enough to include?
    There are 1-2 coding modules across the first 2 years of a physics degree normally then you can do a computational project if you choose to for your final year. No coding language is assumed and I dont think having prior experience would give you any advantage over someone that doesnt.

    Things that matter for applying to a physics degree

    1. grades (especially your maths grade)
    2. reference
    3. personal statement showing interest in physics, read a couple of books/articles (though not massively important)
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    (Original post by G.Y)
    I was thinking of doing an online course on coding to write about in my personal statement as I've never done anything like it before but would it be worth it? Does a significant part of a physics undergrad degree take up coding and programming skills? Will an admissions tutor think it is valuable? I know it probably varies between universities but on average is it important enough to include?
    Good answer from madmadmax321!

    I'll add that on the physics courses at UH, we have a programming module each year of Uni, each 15 credits (so one semester long). The languages we use are Matlab and Python (using the Anaconda Spyder IDE); though each module assumes that no one has done programming before. In your third year you can of course choose a dissertation/project that involves more programming in which case you'd be doing it for another semester or two!

    I would say coding/programming is really only useful for employability afterwards (this level of usefulness depending on the sector; but if you want to know more about which would require more programming do ask!), or if you want to go into research. I really only truly learned programming myself whilst I was doing summer research projects in astrophysics!

    If you do want to go into learning more programming, my top tip would be to forgo formal learning methods and instead find a project--something you really want to create (maybe a budgeting program?). Then learn the language by doing!

    Good luck and feel free to ask any further questions!
 
 
 
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