Hands-on learning

Years 1 and 2

student working at a computer

Year 1

The first year of all of our physics courses introduces you to university-level experimental physics through laboratory classes. Lab classes bring the theory you’re learning in lectures to life; experiments are drawn from atomic physics, optics, thermal physics, and electromagnetism.

In addition to the practical physics skills that you’ll develop from these classes, you’ll start building up transferable skills that will be essential for you in the workplace. You’ll improve your communication skills through presentations and group work.

Computer programming is a crucial part of physics. Programming skills are also highly sought after by graduate employers. Physics, Physics with Astrophysics, and Theoretical Physics students will be introduced to Python, a general-purpose programming language with many applications. You’ll look at basic syntax and programming logic.

Year 2

Physics and Physics with Astrophysics students continue with lab classes in their second year. You’ll undertake investigations across a wide-range of areas of physics, including computer interfacing, electronics and mechanical workshop practice. Students on a Physics with Astrophysics course will utilise our observatory and state-of-the-art equipment to produce a colour image of an object.

Computational physics is a compulsory aspect of the second year of our Physics and Physics with Astrophysics courses, and is an option for Theoretical Physics students to choose. Building on what you learnt in year 1, you’ll focus on using Python as a tool for plotting, non-linear curve fitting and file handling.