Studying at the Department of Physics could potentially be quite different to what you are used to so here we give you an insight into what to expect as an undergraduate in the department.

How the course is taught

A typical week for an undergraduate student in the Department of Physics consists of:

  • 8-10 hours in lectures
  • 6 hours in labs, plus writing-up time
  • 2 hours of tutorials
  • 20 hours of independent study (in preparation for tutorials)

Practical work is compulsory for the first three years and you will spend on average one day a week in the laboratories. Some transferable skills training will also be included in years two and three.

Our teaching labs provide about 80 separate experiments that cater for the needs of around 600 undergraduates doing on average one day in the lab every week, plus project work.

Teaching labs

The Department of Physics’ teaching labs are where undergraduates come to carry out experimental work as part of their degree courses and we have some ten specialist laboratories, dedicated computer rooms and workshops. Our subject-specific labs teach physics students to develop the basic experimental skills that are the building blocks of becoming a professional physicist. Physicists who ultimately end up working on more theoretical aspects of physics will learn to appreciate the importance of experiments in testing and validating scientific theories. All our students are trained in valuable transferable skills through practical work, such as team work, problem solving and verbal and written communication. These are vital for any career, whether in science or elsewhere.

Hire our laboratories

Our teaching laboratories can be hired for educational activities or for training purposes. Please send enquiries to Hannah Glanville: