Undergraduate study


Physics study area


Ranked 4th for Graduate Prospects in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017

Why choose Physics at Loughborough?

From the description of everyday and exotic natural phenomena to generating almost all of today’s technologies, physics has had the most transformative effect of any discipline. A physics degree provides the necessary foundation to understand the world around us from fundamental particles, all aspects of the modern smartphone to the behaviour of black holes.

At Loughborough you will join a community of physicists who are deeply involved in both fundamental research and in shaping the next generation of technologies that will transform the world around us. We are passionate about instilling within our students the physical insight and confidence to shape tomorrow’s world.

We are also creating STEMLab, a state-of-the-art learning facility for our students covering most of our science and engineering disciplines on campus.

MPhys and BSc

All our courses include BSc and MPhys options and an advanced research project. The MPhys courses may be taken in four or five years. The five-year version of the course includes either a sandwich year of employment in industry or a year of study abroad between the second and the third or the third and the fourth year of study.

You can change the shape of your studies as your interests evolve. Many transfer possibilities exist. You can delay the choice between MPhys and BSc course until the end of Year 2.

Career Prospects

As a physicist you will be highly numerate, analytical, logical and a creative problem solver – skills valued by employers in all sectors, including commerce. 95% of our employed graduates were in professional or managerial roles six months after graduating. The average starting salary, after six months, was over £24,000.

Industrial placement or European study

The year out can be spent working in paid employment as a scientist in industry (in the UK or abroad) where you are supervised jointly by a local industrial supervisor and a member of the University academic staff. Satisfactory completion of such a 'sandwich' work placement leads to the award of a Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS).

Recent industrial placements have included fibre-optic oil well monitoring and applications of high temperature superconductors and have involved companies and research facilities such as IBM (UK) Ltd, British Gas, Siemens AG (Germany) Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, FZ Jülich (Germany), Institut Laue Langevin Grenoble (France), etc.

About a third of our recent industrial placements have been abroad, principally in Western Europe. It is often not necessary to be fluent in the local language, although familiarity with the language is always an advantage and you are encouraged to take the appropriate language modules. The Department has contacts with a wide variety of employers and most students arrange their employment with one of these.

The average salary of our students in industrial placements in Britain is approximately £14,000 pa.

Alternatively, the year can be spent studying at a university abroad. Loughborough currently has partnerships with universities in Australia, Germany, Austria, Poland, Japan, USA and Canada. German language modules can be taken in the second year (Physics Programme only) to prepare for the year abroad.

OpenPlus in partnership with the Open University

Loughborough University, in partnership with the Open University, offers a flexible route to a degree in physics for those without the traditional entry requirements.

In the first stage you will gain a thorough grounding in physics and mathematics through two or three years of part-time study with the Open University, while living at home. Course material will be delivered by post and electronically and you will have the support from a tutor and other Open University staff. The modules you will study are:

  • Essential mathematics 1
  • Skills for Practical Science (residential school)
  • The Physical World
  • Practical science: Physics and Astronomy (with optional residential school)

On successful completion of the above you will be able to transfer into the second year of the Physics, Engineering Physics or Physics with Astrophysics and Cosmology courses at Loughborough, and will expect to graduate with a Loughborough BSc (or MPhys) degree after a further two (or three) years of full-time study.