Physics is an exciting subject which seeks answers to the biggest questions, covering everything in our universe, from the building blocks of matter to the vastness of the cosmos.
As a student on the four-year BSc Theoretical Physics with a Year in Industry degree you will be joining the UK's top department for satisfaction with teaching and organisation & management (National Student Survey 2017) and will be taught by world-leading scientists in our state-of-the-art facilities including a new £4.2m suite of science laboratories. Physics at Swansea is also ranked 13th in The Guardian University Guide 2019. Swansea University is also ranked Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework, the highest rank for teaching in universities.
Physics graduates are highly employable with starting salaries above the national average, and 82.5% of our graduates are in graduate employment or further study six months after leaving University (DHLE Survey 2016).
Employers seeking physics graduates include academic institutions, government research organisations and industry, including aerospace and defence, education, energy, engineering, instrumentation, manufacturing, oil and gas, science, communication, space exploration and telecommunications. Many physics graduates pursue a career outside physics, for instance in consultancy, IT, the environmental industry, financial services, the legal sector, transport and utilities.
Our degrees reflect our cutting-edge research – we are top in the UK for research intensity (Complete University Guide 2018) and the Swansea Physics group achieved the trapping of anti-matter. Studying in this dynamic research-led environment will help you learn how fundamental physics is applied across disciplines and is contributing to advances in fields such as engineering, medicine and mathematics.
Based at our superb seafront campus close to the magnificent Gower Peninsula, you will have the opportunity to study an exciting and flexible range of modules which could include astronomy and cosmology, electromagnetism, atomic physics, the frontiers of nuclear physics, the quantum world and climate physics.
In addition to the new laboratories, the facilities include IT and teaching rooms; scanning probe microscopy (SPM) systems; scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) systems; laser spectroscopy systems based upon fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy; atomic force microscopes (AFM); and Beowulf computer cluster, with 130 CPU cores connected by a low-latency infiniband network.
You will spend the third of your four years on a paid industrial placement, putting your skills into practice and greatly enhancing your employability.
We are in the top five in the UK for student satisfaction (97% National Student Survey 2017) and our Physics Society is the best in the UK (University Student Networks Annual Societies Forum 2017). All of our Physics degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics.
As a Theoretical Physics student, you will also benefit from exceptional project supervision, small group teaching, and opportunities to visit the CERN Particle Physics Laboratory.
Our notable Physics alumni include Professor Lyn Evans, leader of the Large Hadron Collider project at CERN, while Professor Peter Higgs, Swansea University Honorary Fellow and Physics Nobel Prize winner, proposed the Boson particle, and has strong links with the department.
'€œThe Physics staff were always very supportive; the lecturers enthusiastic and are good at explaining difficult concepts eloquently. There was a real sense that they thoroughly enjoyed teaching us. Through my degree, I was able to successfully apply to the NHS Scientist Training Programme, a highly competitive graduate scheme through which I will eventually become a fully qualified Medical Physicist.'€
Guy Drabble, Physics graduate
In Year 1 your modules may include Dynamics, Oscillations and Waves; Astronomy and Cosmology; Physics of Fields and Matter; Essential Skills for Physicists; the Quantum World; Mathematics for Physicists; and Laboratory Physics, which can be studied in English or Welsh.
In Year 2, modules may include Statistical Physics; Physics Simulation; Quantum Mechanics; Mathematical Methods in Physics; Condensed Matter Physics; Electromagneticism and Special Relativity; Particle Physics; Introduction to Astrophysics; Probing the Nano-scale; and Laboratory Group Projects, which can be undertaken in English or Welsh.
You will spend Year 3 on a paid industrial placement, putting your skills into practice and greatly enhancing your employability.
In Year 4, you will study modules covering Quantum Mechanics; Atomic Physics; Condensed Matter Physics; Theoretical Physics; General Relativity; Atomic Physics and Quantum Optics; Particle Physics; Frontiers of Nuclear Physics; and Climate Physics. You will also have options to study Teaching Physics via a School Placement, and Advanced Research in Physics, both of which can be undertaken in English or Welsh.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, laboratory work, examples classes and weekly small group classes. You will be assessed through regular problem solving in small groups and individual study, online assessment custom designed for each lecture module, keeping a laboratory diary and preparing scientific reports in practical modules. Final year projects are assessed through the preparation of a dissertation and presentation of your research, either as a poster in a conference-like forum or an oral presentation. Your Year in Industry will be assessed through visits by an Academic mentor from Swansea, the preparation of a report and presentations detailing your role.
Application deadline details:
I loved Swansea so much – I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the place blew me away. Wind Street is the best! There are so many things to do, although my favourite was talking the walk along the coast to Mumbles, a tiny fishing village, getting a cup of tea in the local café and getting away from it all for a while. Everyone was incredible open and welcoming, the beach was stunning and host to some very good memories, the course was amazing and my tutors were so inspiring. Everyone’s been so friendly and supportive.
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