Physics is a study of the universe and how it behaves. It aims to makes sense of the ‘big questions’ like how things move, what time is, how useable energy is produced and how the universe became to be as it is today.

As well as answering the big questions about our universe and natural habitat, physicists also contribute to major scientific advances. For example, within nuclear physics, the development of nuclear knowledge has provided new energy sources, and contributed to weapon design and function. Other technology has developed from physics knowledge, such as television, computers and many other domestic appliances. Physics requires an inquisitive mind. If you like to know how things work, have a scientific interest and want to be part of a team that produces technological advances, a degree in physics could be for you.

What will I study?

Primarily, students study the broad concepts of what physics is,  including current theories of motion, energy and the universe. Students also develop the skills needed by physicists, including the mathematic requirement, and how to apply mathematical solutions to physical problems.

Later, students will focus on specific areas of physics and its application to the world, spending time in labs learning different techniques and using some of the School’s well-equipped facilities. At Cardiff, students can choose to specialise in Astrophysics, Theoretical and Computational Physics, Medical Physics or Astronomy. In your final year you will engage in a research project , contributing to a team supervised by leading-researchers in the field.


Many Physics graduates remain in research, taking roles as lecturers and researchers within universities.

Other employers include Atomic Weapons Establishment, the Ministry of Defence and technology companies. The NHS also employs medical physicists to help with different areas of medicine. The skills acquired through a Physics degree also allow graduates to go onto design and development work for various companies and can also be translated to assist meteorological offices.

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