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Physics

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Benefit from our Institute of Physics accredited courses, state-of-the-art physics teaching laboratories and our observatory - one of the largest, best-equipped teaching observatories in the UK enabling you to make real astronomical observations.

Physics and astronomy have been taught in Preston for over 190 years. We trace our heritage back to Jeremiah Horrocks in 1639. He made the first successful prediction and observation of a Transit of Venus from central Lancashire. These all make us one of the best universities for physics in the UK.

Our Physics and Astrophysics degree courses provide a thorough education in the subject. We explore everything from nanophysics to lasers, from the wonders of the cosmos to new horizons in quantum mechanics, and beyond. You’ll improve your mathematical skills with practical laboratory experience. You'll gain an in-depth knowledge of the laws of physics, and how they apply to real situations. A common first year enables you to change course as your interests and aspirations develop.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be taught by a passionate team of experienced research-active lecturers. They have interests ranging from areas such as Nanophysics to Star Formation. You will become an active part of our vibrant research culture – through research projects and funded internships. These are carried out in active experimental research laboratories with postgraduate research students. The opportunity to undertake placements enables you to put your knowledge into practice ready for a rewarding career

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Study Physics

Why study Physics at university?

  • Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) - graduates can use their course to contribute to Chartered Physicist status at Bachelors or Master’s level.
  • Benefit from Alston Observatory - one of the largest, best-equipped teaching observatories with £200,000 recent investment in the most powerful modern telescope available in the UK. The observatory’s 20+ telescopes are used weekly by Year 1 students on all degrees.
  • Physics and Astronomy is ranked 2nd in the North West for research intensity (CUG, 2022). Research intensity is a measure of the amount of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

Explore our campuses

Explore our fantastic campuses and discover what life is like here at the University of Central Lancashire.

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Careers in Physics and Astronomy

Graduates of physics and astrophysics are amongst the most employable in the world and are in particularly high demand for technical and business sectors, where analytical and mathematical skills are at a premium. Graduates have found employment in industry, government research institutes, overseas laboratories and observatories, financial institutions, teaching and scientific journalism.

Need help applying for university?

Apply to study one of our courses and take the next step towards your future career. When you're ready to apply, read our guidance to help you with your university application.

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Explore physics and astronomy facilities

Gain practical skills in our specialist laboratory facilities including nuclear physics, optics, quantum physics, laser physics, spectroscopy and astrophysics, and much more. Explore the cosmos from our very own teaching observatory Alston Observatory - one of the largest, best equipped in the UK.

Meet the team