Highfield / Highfield - Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy

Channel your curiosity and investigate the beautiful concepts that underpin our understanding of space, time and matter. Our physics and astronomy degrees offer a rigorous scientific training based on the latest research.

You’ll be prepared to go onto do almost anything when you graduate, whether that’s a role in industry, academia or a completely different field.

Southampton is a great place to study physics and astronomy; we’re ranked 6th in the UK for physics by the Guardian University Guide 2019. And, we’re top in the Russell Group for student satisfaction, according to the latest National Student Survey (2017).

BSc Physics

MPhys Physics

MPhys Physics with Astronomy

MPhys Physics with Space Science

MPhys Physics with Mathematics

MPhys Physics with Nanotechnology

MPhys Physics with Photonics

Flagship degrees

MPhys Astrophysics with a Year Abroad

MPhys Particle Physics with a Research Year Abroad

MPhys Physics with a Year of Experimental Research

MPhys Physics with Industrial Placement

Physics and Astronomy - taught courses

Southampton is among the top five universities for physics in the UK, with over half of our work judged to be world leading or internationally excellent in the last two Research Assessment Exercises.

MSc Photonic Technologies
Many of the major developments in today’s technology were pioneered by our researchers, including the optical fibres and amplifiers that form the hardware backbone of the internet and the fibre laser which is used for a variety of applications ranging from manufacturing to defence.

Our world-leading research centre is a hive of activity with over 200 staff and students working on cutting-edge research to provide innovative solutions for real life problems in manufacturing, communication technology, defence, healthcare, renewable energy and the environment.

Physics and Astronomy - research

Southampton is among the top five universities for physics in the UK, with over half of our work judged to be world leading or internationally excellent in the last two Research Assessment Exercises.

Research areas:

The Astronomy Group, are world experts in the study of compact stellar objects. They observe x-ray and gamma-ray sources and are leaders in the Integral space mission. The Space Environment Physics Group within the Astronomy Group, study the Earth's upper atmosphere and magnetosphere and its interaction with the Sun.

The Quantum, Light & Matter Group explores how matter interacts at the smallest and fastest scales, and is partnered with two major internationally renowned centres: the UK NanoPhotonics Centre, and the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC).

The Theoretical Particle Physics Group's work on fundamental physics was particularly highlighted in our 5* RAE report. The group studies the strong and weak nuclear forces, and the origin of particles' masses. The group is a leading player in the large UK Lattice QCD computer collaboration

Optoelectronics (ORC) - taught courses

The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) is one of the world’s leading research institutes in photonics and laser technology. Led by Professor David Payne, its roots date to the birth of lasers and optical communications, nearly 50 years ago.

New MSc degree in Photonic Technologies
This MSc is the first Masters programme within the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). It offers students access to an excellent range of photonics equipment and materials technologies within a vibrant community of researchers, led by some of the leading figures in the field of photonics. The new MSc lasts one year and will be delivered within Physical and Applied Sciences at the university’s main campus at Highfield.