Physics and Astronomy

  • 90.9% Overall student satisfaction in the 2019 National Student Survey
  • 80% of graduates in graduate-level employment or further study within six months of graduating
  • Combine your degree with a salaried research placement at companies such as Renishaw, the Home Office, and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories
  • Close-knit society with great social events throughout the year
  • Supportive community characterised by genuine student-staff relationships and small tutorial groups, typically made up of five students

Physics and Astronomy at a glance

Studying Physics at Exeter is a challenging, stimulating, thought-provoking and rewarding experience.

Our department is based in a purpose-built building that is the centre of our academic and student community.

We’ve recently completed a multi-million pound investment programme, filling our teaching laboratories and computer suites with new equipment and creating new student study areas.

Advanced research facilities that you will have access to include clean-rooms for photo and nanolithography, a helium liquefier for low temperature experiments, a water tank for acoustic experiments (SONAR), amplified ultra-fast laser systems for the study of ultra-high speed phenomena, and a suite of instruments for imaging biological materials.

Our degree programmes include a wide range of topics, both applied and theoretical. Many of these are directly developed from research taking place at Exeter. Topics range from cosmology and biophysics to many-body theory, exoplanets, and programming.

You can also take options in other subjects such as a modern language, Philosophy or Mathematics.

One of the greatest things about a Physics degree is the range of work you can undertake during your studies. We are training you, essentially, in how to solve and approach complex problems. Physics as a discipline allows people with a range of skills and preferences to excel and, as your degree progresses, you’ll be increasingly encouraged to pursue your interests, for example, proposing and completing your own research project.

Professor Matthew Bate and Dr Jude Meakin, Admissions Tutors

What our students say


“One of the best things about Physics at Exeter is our close-knit society and the events put on throughout the term. The teaching is thorough, well organised and friendly, with lecturers being approachable and helpful. I am so happy I chose the University of Exeter; it has been the perfect fit for me.”


“The ethos cultivated by Exeter University was what ultimately won me over to come here. The department clearly not only cared about the college, but about the students as individuals.”


“Studying at Exeter has been very enjoyable. The lecturers have been great and my personal tutor has also been fantastic. 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.”

The Exeter Observatory

We maintain an on-site observatory for undergraduate teaching purposes. The observatory is a robotic facility with a computer-controlled mount and dome, 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain, CCD and filters. You can read more about the observatory here.

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.