Our degree programmes include a wide range of options, allowing you to develop your own particular interests.

All our MPhys and Single Honours BSc degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics. Accredited MPhys degrees fully satisfy the educational requirements of the Chartered Physicist (CPhys) professional qualification.

Professor Tim Naylor on 'Why choose Physics?'

Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy

The study of Physics is both stimulating and thought provoking, and requires commitment. At the University of Exeter you will discover a very well-equipped department of Physics, staffed by academics dedicated to their research and teaching. Set in a beautiful location, our department provides an inspiring environment for you to address the intellectual challenges that arise as part of your scientific training.

Our research is highly rated, which has enormous benefits for you as a student. Lectures are illustrated with in-depth descriptions of recent discoveries and many of our option modules reflect our research interests. You can obtain first-hand experience of what it is like to conduct research by undertaking a project in one of our research groups. In some cases such project work has led to published research papers.

The department is well equipped with a variety of modern apparatus in the undergraduate laboratories and extensive IT facilities for you to use. Besides the main University library, we also have our own dedicated physics library.

Our degree programmes include a wide range of options, allowing you to develop your own particular interests. The options within physics range from cosmology and biophysics to quantum devices, and you can also take options in certain other subjects such as a modern language.

We firmly believe in individual attention, and you will meet the academic staff in tutorials, in problem-solving classes, in the laboratories and when you undertake project and research work. There is an active and effective Staff/Student Consultative Committee where suggestions and problems can be discussed and resolved. You will feel part of a department that is enthusiastic about physics and wants you to succeed.


Why study Physics and Astronomy at the University of Exeter?

  • 8th in the UK for world leading and internationally excellent research1
  • 92% in professional-level employment or graduate-level study within six months of graduating4
  • £3 million renovation of the Physics building, including teaching laboratories and study environments
  • Weekly, small group tutorials with academic staff
  • An experimental or theoretical project of up to 2 academic years duration on the MPhys degrees
  • Multi-million pound investment in electromagnetism, biomedical, astronomy and quantum materials research, plus a Centre for Graphene science
  • Opportunities to study abroad or take a salaried industrial placement year


We welcome enquiries regarding admissions and hope to make the process as easy as possible for you. Visit the University Applications pages for full details on how to apply, including advice on writing your personal statement and information for mature students. If you have any questions about any of our degree programmes, please contact:

Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy admissions

Tel: +44 (0)1392 725349
Email: ug-ad-phys@exeter.ac.uk

It's great to have small group tutorials with a member of staff active in research as we get to hear about their research and get an idea of how "real" science works.

Physics undergraduate

What I enjoy about teaching the course is opening students' eyes to the way the universe works, and then that moment when you have to say "no - we don't understand that", and the students begin to see the challenges for the next generation of physicists and astronomers.

Professor Tim Naylor
Head of Physics, Norman Lockyer Professor of Astrophysics

Physics students at Exeter are taught and inspired by leading scientists; academics who are passionate about their subject and dedicated to providing excellence in teaching.  Our internationally excellent research, as recognised in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, spans condensed-matter and materials physics, biomedical physics, electromagnetics and astrophysics. Alongside funding from government sources, many leading global companies support our work including Hewlett Packard, QinetiQ, BAE Systems, Hitachi GST and Sharp UK. Our students benefit directly from our continued research success because they will be taught by academics who are active researchers themselves – having  dedicated their careers to their specialist fields. 

Our undergraduates will also work undertake their own original research projects in our laboratories fitted with the latest equipment, including nanofabrication facilities and clean rooms, amplified ultra fast laser systems, microwave labs, a suite of instruments for imaging biological materials, a state of the art supercomputer, a helium liquefier, and a research grade telescope.  The results of some of most successful undergraduate research projects have been published in international physics journals. Small-group tutorials with an academic member of staff take place weekly, and we pride ourselves with the friendliness of the department as a whole.  Our building has recently received a major refurbishment including enhancement of our teaching laboratories and extension of our student study areas.  We strive for our students to be inspired by the latest developments in Physics, through our teaching and actively participate in research themselves.

Dr Alastair Hibbins

1 Research Assessment Exercise 2008 based on percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*

2 Physical Science includes all subjects classified with an ‘F’ JACS code: for Exeter these are Physics and Geology

3 Percentage of Physics students who agreed they were satisfied

4 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2011/12