Third year student Callum shares his experiences studying BSc (Hons) Mathematical Physics at the University of Central Lancashire.
For Callum, there were plenty of reasons UCLan became his top choice to study at. “I decided to study at UCLan because I looked at the rankings compared to other universities for its physics program, and it was ranked very high. I liked the facilities when I came to an open day and thought that Preston would be a nice place to move. It is an hour away from home, so far enough to have an independent university life but also close enough to home for me to visit whenever I wanted.”
Since joining the Mathematical Physics course, Callum has enjoyed the breadth of topics taught in the modules and their real-world applications. “The course covers a wide variety of areas of physics, including nuclear and quantum physics, advanced calculus and electromagnetism to name a few. I personally enjoy nuclear physics and waves because these topics break down the science behind how things that I can observe in my life work.”
As part of the Astrophysics offering on the course, time is spent at UCLan’s Alston Observatory to put learnt theory into practice. “This was really interesting as I got to go and see a real telescope and learn about how they are used to observe effects that I’d been taught about in lectures.” And this wasn’t the only facility Callum found great benefit in utilising, he also worked in the physics laboratories. “I completed experiments using many common physics laboratory apparatuses such as electron diffraction tubes, spectrometers and electromagnets.”
Alongside the facilities, the tutors stand out to Callum as one of best parts of the course. “My tutors have been extremely helpful throughout my time at UCLan, both in person and remotely during COVID restrictions. I feel that whenever I’ve needed to, I have been able to contact my tutors for extra support and guidance to help me keep on track. The staff are very involved in my progression”
"I feel that whenever I’ve needed to, I have been able to contact my tutors for extra support and guidance to help me keep on track. The staff are very involved in my progression"— Callum discussing the support he receives from his tutors.
To gain industry experience and apply his knowledge, Callum took the optional placement year opportunity, working for 12 months with Westinghouse Electric UK at their Springfields Fuels Ltd site in Preston. “My role was as an intern in the waste management team, mainly focusing on the disposal/processing assessment of nuclear material stored on site. I enjoyed being able to work practically, I was really able to integrate myself into the company and experience what it’s like to work full-time in an industry related to my degree.”
Ultimately it proved to be a very beneficial time for Callum, especially for his career prospects. “After graduation I will be continuing working for Westinghouse in the nuclear waste management department. I hope to remain in the Nuclear industry but would like to try working in different areas if the opportunity arises.”