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Study with us


We are a vibrant and friendly academic department set in a beautiful campus who are dedicated to delivering world-class teaching and research and we would love to welcome you into our community.

Whether you are passionate about astrophysics, excited by theoretical physics, or intrigued by biophysics, we will provide you with a stimulating and supportive environment that uses research-led teaching to expose you to ideas at the cutting edge of our subject and allows you to develop your own interests in physics. Physics is a global activity that cuts across both academia and business, and we have programmes that reflect this, enabling you to also study abroad or gain valuable experience by undertaking a professional placement.

While you are with us you will have the opportunity to find out more about our research, working with academics on your final year project. Our research encompasses a broad range of experimental, computational, and theoretical physics and ranges from the study of thermodynamics in the quantum regime, to the atmospheres of exoplanets and the diagnosis and treatment of cancer using nanoparticles. We also work closely with non-academic partners, including the electronics and defence industries, as well as the Met Office and NHS Trusts.

Professor Tim Harries, Head of Physics and Astronomy

Physics seeks to answer the biggest questions the human race has ever asked, and provides much of the knowledge and technology that underpins our civilisation – from spectroscopy used in healthcare to mapping our planet’s position in the universe.

We focus upon research-led learning, exposing you to cutting-edge ideas and encompassing a broad range of experimental, computational, and theoretical physics.

We’ll help you to thrive in our department, offering guidance throughout your degree and providing a stimulating and supportive environment for you to develop the investigative and problem-solving skills that characterise a scientific mind.

Our programmes

Supported by our world-leading physics research, our MSc programme will give you the opportunity to broaden and deepen your knowledge through studying a range of topics taught by internationally leading researchers who are actively working in your chosen field.

The programme will allow you to gain both advanced core physics knowledge and in your chosen more specialised areas of physics. You have the option to choose from pre-selected pathways aligned with the departments research groups, or to build your own bespoke pathway through a range of taught modules.

The programme will provide you with the essential skills required to become a professional physicist and to lead naturally on to PhD-level research. By attending research seminars given by leading international researchers you will develop an appreciation of the frontiers of knowledge and understanding in your chosen area of Physics. You will develop skills to critically review scientific literature and to prepare a research proposal for a project in your chosen area of physics.

Approximately half of your time on the programme will be spent working on a research project in one of our internationally recognised research groups. You will develop skills in research planning, execution, and reporting, possibly leading to publication of your work in an international journal and prepare you to progress to PhD study.

At Exeter, you can study for a PhD in Physics within the following academic groups: Astrophysics; Biomedical physics; Electromagnetic and acoustic materials (EMAG); Quantum systems and nanomaterials (QSN), or for a PhD in Physics/Engineering as part of the CDT in Metamaterials, the Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation's doctoral training programme.

Exeter Women in Physics Network Science Essay Competition 2023

The Exeter Women in Physics network is delighted to be welcoming entries to our first ever essay competition to encourage more women to learn about and be involved in physics.

The competition is open to all girls in UK sixth form schools or colleges aged 16-18. We encourage entries from students keen to showcase curiosity, science knowledge and writing skills.

Find out more about how to enter »

I chose Exeter because of the fantastic astrophysics department, and the university is well connected in a great location with beaches and Dartmoor nearby.

I have particularly enjoyed the astrophysics modules, and love hearing about the fascinating research the academics do. I once found a lecturer quoted in a national newspaper discussing a recently discovered exoplanet! Having access to such knowledgeable people is very inspiring, and they are always happy to help students.

I am excited to have been given the opportunity to do a summer project investigating stellar discs after the lecturer I approached enthusiastically agreed to let me do an internship with her.

The degree is well structured and gives a broad overview of physics, allowing students to specialise more in the later years in areas such as biophysics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics.

Almudena studying MPhys Physics with Astrophysics

Physics is our chance to touch the hidden beauty of the world and its mechanism, studying physics can be compared to reading detailed description of a painting written in the universal language – math.

I really enjoy my time in Exeter. University provides great facilities and study ambience, along with a huge support in building your future career. The course material itself is nicely structured and being taught by wonderful people. I really like group tutorials, where I get to practice my skills and learn from dedicated research scientists.

Apart from main studies, physics breakfasts are amazing opportunity to gather with professors, possible supervisors, students of all years of study and have a nice chat over the cup of coffee, everybody loves physics breakfasts! The campus is very green and peaceful, it’s easy to find a great spot to take a break in between hard work. I enjoy the area a lot! I want to advise future students to make the most of being in Devon; join societies, travel, meet interesting people, have fun and, of course, master your studies.

Aleksandr studying BSc Physics and Astrophysics