What our students say
Current students and alumni share their experiences of studying Physics at Exeter
I've thoroughly enjoyed my three years studying at the University of Exeter and was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to study abroad. The life experiences and knowledge that I have gained here at Exeter have been valuable to my personal and professional growth.
I particularly enjoyed working with my supervisor throughout my Masters projects. It was a great experience to be able to work professors who are fronting the field of their research.
I was surprised at how social the physics department is. I have joined the Physics society, which has allowed me to make a diverse range of friends who have now become my closest friends at university.
I will greatly miss Exeter when I graduate and I will cherish my memories from the past four years forever!
BSc Physics, 2018
The best part about studying at Exeter is the variety of modules on my course. The campus is also very nice and extremely central to the city.
I really enjoyed the optional modules on my course. The lecturers always have an open door policy so you can drop in and chat to them whenever you need to.
Links with industry are great. There’s careers fayres twice a year which enable to you get some good links with potential employers.
If I could offer one piece of advice to anyone looking to study Physics, it would be to do the modules you want to do, not the ones people say are easy.
Studying at Exeter has been very enjoyable. I really like the campus and how green it is. The lecturers have been great and my personal tutor has also been fantastic helping me through my Masters.
My favourite thing about Physics with study abroad is definitely my Masters project, studying as part of the exoplanets group doing a lot of really cool research.
The study abroad option was perfect for what I wanted to get out of university. I really liked my time abroad, the opportunity I got to go to Australia and the things I learned whilst studying there.
I chose Exeter primarily because the Physics course looked great and it allowed me to study part of my degree in Australia. In my fourth year I've had a fascinating time studying exoplanet atmospheres for my Master's project. In addition to my studies in Physics I've also had a huge amount of support from the University in setting up my own company which I will launch when I graduate.
I decided to study at Exeter after the interview process; its relaxed nature made me feel that the University wanted me as a person rather than as a statistic. The course is challenging but enjoyable with the highlight being the MPhys project, which aided my decision to apply for a PhD. A Physics degree at Exeter provides wide ranging opportunities for summer research, allowing me to work in metamaterials, synthetic biology and climate science.
MPhys Physics, 2018
I have really loved my time at the University of Exeter. The campus is beautiful and it's set in a really wonderful place in the country. One of the best things about Physics at Exeter is our close knit society and the events put on throughout the term. I've made so many good friends here which have made the transition to university a smooth one.
The teaching within Physics is thorough, well organised and friendly, with lecturers being approachable and helpful. The course is continuously improved as there is a lot of opportunity to communicate with staff. I am so happy and glad that I choose the University of Exeter; it has been the perfect fit for me.
BSc Physics, 2018
At Exeter there are so many opportunities to meet new people and build friendships. I have met some amazing people.
There is a lot of work to do but I have also had a lot of freedom and flexibility at University, it is exciting to not have a rigid routine. You can be spontaneous, and rarely have to say no to things.
The aspect of the programme I enjoyed the most was doing experiments. You are given a lot of freedom to do essentially whatever it is you want if you ask for it. In my second year I asked to do an experiment that I saw on a YouTube video. I did two projects in my third year, one on Acoustic Levitation and the other mapping the Milky Way using the university’s radio telescope. They have all been really interesting and a lot of fun.
My advice to current and future students is that if you want to do well you just have to work hard and be organised. Being smart is only a small factor. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you shouldn’t feel scared to ask a “stupid” question. Prioritise and try to work efficiently so you can take advantage of all the other opportunities available to you.
I am excited to start a masters in Aerospace Dynamics at Cranfield University in October. In the meantime I plan to catch up with some friends and to do some travelling.
MPhys Physics, 2018
There have been many highlights of my time at Exeter. I have been a member of the academic change team and represented my year group, the Physics cohort and the college and gained valuable experiences, including chairing meetings and giving talks to academics on student opinions.
I loved studying Physics and pushing my mind to understand concepts that I never thought would be possible. The feeling of getting the right answer, having spent hours working on a problem is amazing. The success I have had whilst at Exeter is down to me loving what I have been doing and the quality of the teaching. There are such a range of modules, from astrophysics to biophysics, which gives you the opportunity to try several fields. I enjoy theoretical physics and the modules have allowed me to explore highly complex areas allowing me to develop a variety of techniques to solve problems.
I will miss the community feel at Exeter, which is particularly felt in the Physics building. There are always PhD students and academic staff around to speak to and they are often happy to answer questions on their work, or to give advice.
The best part of the MPhys programme is the Master’s project, a year and a half piece of research into an area at the forefront of Physics. This was an amazing opportunity to experience research in the real world and get a good understanding of how a scientific community works.
From September I will be studying for my PGCE in Physics. I would like the opportunity to make others as enthusiastic about Science. The intention is that from September 2019 I will work as a secondary school science teacher, specialising in Physics.
MPhys Physics, 2018
The highlights of my time at Exeter include finishing my dissertation and putting our Masters group project on the wall in the Physics building. It was great to see all the hard work pay off and be presented for others to see.
I will miss living in Exeter and being based on the Streatham campus. It’s a great place to be; the facilities, such as the gym, as well as the study spaces are exceptional.
The variety of modules offered gave me the chance to study a wide range of topics, from biophysics to quantum to astrophysics. The facilities within Physics are great, from the lab equipment to the resources available on ELE.
The Masters project allowed us to work within a small group over the course of a year to perform valuable scientific research. I felt that this gave a great chance to experience what a future in academia may entail and would be especially valuable if you were considering a PhD.
My advice to current and future students is be thoughtful with your module choices, making sure you don’t overwhelm yourself in an exam period by having too many exams in one go. If you’re doing a predominantly exam-based STEM degree, make sure you revise using past papers. Don’t be afraid to go and see your tutor if there is something you don’t understand.
Following graduation I hope to enjoy a long summer off, before starting work in the autumn at KPMG.
BSc Physics, 2017
The ethos cultivated by the University of Exeter was what ultimately won me over to come here. The department clearly not only cared about the college, but about the students as individuals.
The course is undoubtedly challenging and would be a whole lot harder if we didn’t have the resources we had and the support of our personal tutors. However, the course is also rewarding, before university I never thought I would have written my computer game or made a map of the milky way. As someone who just loves physics these are things I’ll be proud of and remember, when I graduate from here.
BSc Physics, 2011
Senior Research Fellow, IPPR; Founder, Bring Back the NHS
Physics has given me two crucial tools to help with my career: the first is the ability to approach problems dispassionately and with the recognition that parts of a system cannot be viewed in isolation; the second is a body of scientific knowledge that helps me understand everything from climate change to automation.
Younger generations are set to inherit problems of unprecedented scale – from the continued degradation of natural systems to the effects of the digital revolution. No natural law dictates how we should respond to these problems – that choice is, and will always be, political. Exeter will present you with the opportunities to learn about these problems and formulate our response. In choosing what to study, remember that we are called to be ‘the architects of the future, not its victims’.
My favourite things about studying at the University of Exeter were the beautiful campus, the close-knit community, and the lovely people of Exeter.
MPhys Physics with Australian Study, 2015
I began at Thorogood with a full training program in various technologies. Now, as a consultant, I work alongside clients with all the leading Business Intelligence system vendors to work out the most profitable ways to move forward. It’s not all about data, but about concepts and communication too. No two projects are the same, which means I’m constantly learning and gaining valuable experience.
A degree from the University of Exeter is great to have on your CV and can open a lot of doors. In my line of work, I constantly draw on my mathematical background and problem solving skills that I gained from my degree in Physics.
I would advise future students looking to study at the University of Exeter: do it! It's a great place to study and you'll meet some fantastic people. There is so much you can get involved in and the support you receive from the uni is great.
MPhys Physics with Professional Experience, 2014
Research Technologist at National Nuclear Laboratory.
I now apply my physics knowledge and skills into research that aims to solve some of the challenges faced by our major customers, across the UK and international nuclear industry. We then do further research that will support the future of the industry, looking at things such as advanced reactor fuels, new reactor designs and methods for handling the waste streams.
The physics programme at the University of Exeter gave me an opportunity to study and research a large range of different physics areas. Spending a year working in industrial research helped show me that applying physics to real world industrial challenges was something that particularly interested me.
I would advise future students to take all of the opportunities from the department and the university and get involved in societies. The physics programme at Exeter is flexible, so there is plenty of opportunity to get involved in other activities. Exeter itself is a beautiful city to live and study in.
Jordan Di Trapani
MPhys Physics with Australian Study, 2015
Transport Planner, Transport for London (TfL)
As a transport planner it is my responsibility to consider the transport requirements for London given the expected growth in population and jobs, as well as trying to stimulate growth in areas currently poorly served by the transport network. I use the analytical skill that I developed through studying Physics to assess the potential impact of transport schemes such as changes to rail capacity, construction of cycle superhighways and junction alterations.
Being a well respected, top ranking university, going to Exeter can assist in spring boarding yourself into any career. When it comes to making the decision on your life post-graduation the University can support you through the Career Zone, your personal tutor and even your fellow peers.
The international aspect of my degree added a completely different dimension. Experiencing a completely different culture and university on the other side of the world is an opportunity I would suggest anyone who can should do. You come back with a different look on life and a whole new set of friends ready to welcome you back whenever you like.
University is seen by many as some of the best years of your life and the University of Exeter does the most it can to facilitate that. Studying Physics is tough, hence its highly regarded status, but the non-curricular opportunities at the university give you unlimited ways of playing hard as well as working hard. This could be through the world-class sports facilities, the hundreds of societies or taking in the local area including some time on the beach. So my advice would be to make the most of this, go out and explore, join societies (not forgetting the best - PhySoc) and when the time comes to work make the most of your networks, your tutors and the facilities on offer in your own dedicated Physics building.
PhySoc - Physics Society
PhySoc gives you a fantastic chance to socialise with your fellow physicists away from lectures and labs.
We organise fortnightly socials, ranging from pub crawls and bowling to beach trips and karaoke. As well as competing with our own PhySoc sports teams in the Football, Netball, Badminton, Touch Rugby and Rounders intramural leagues.
Our two biggest events of the year are the Christmas Meal and Summer Ball and we also run a yearly trip abroad, previous locations including Paris, Prague and Budapest.