Queen’s is the only University in Northern Ireland providing Honours degrees in Physics. Physics at Queen’s obtained an excellent grade in the Teaching Quality Assessment exercise in April 2000 and an excellent grade of 5 was obtained in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.
Students enjoy the benefits of modern practical laboratories, extensive computer facilities, and a programme for the development of personal skills, such as computation, information processing, problem solving and written and oral communication. Each student is assigned an Adviser of Studies and there is close monitoring of progress and needs.
Research Groups within the Department work in Atomic and Molecular Physics, Laser and Plasma Physics, Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Nanostructured Media, and the Theory and Simulation of Liquids and Solids. The high level of research in the Department feeds through to making the undergraduate courses up-to-date, relevant and interesting.
The modular teaching structure can allow students to transfer between different physics degree programmes at the end of the first year. It is also possible to switch from a 3-year BSc to a 4-year MSci programme if sufficient academic promise is demonstrated. Similarly students who register on an MSci programme may later transfer to the BSc equivalent.
Pathways in Physics cover courses across a wide range of areas within the subject. They also include extensive practical and project work, and a very wide range of skills leading to very many careers options.
PESE students require a reasonable knowledge of French or Spanish on entry. During Stage 1 they take 2 modules of their foreign language, and they take a further module at Stage 2. They then spend a year abroad studying Physics in a foreign University before returning to complete their BSc in one further year, or their MSci in 2 years .
Pathways in Physics with Astrophysics contain all the elements of the Physics Pathways. In addition students study one module of Astrophysics in each of Stages 2, 3 and, for MSci students, 4, and engage in substantial project work in Astrophysics.
Applied Mathematics and Physics is a very popular combination of subjects. In Stage 1, students must study the core modules from both Pathways, but at later Stages they have a practically free choice across the modules of both subjects. Of the 6 modules taken each year, 3 may be taken in each discipline, or alternatively 4 may be from one discipline and 2 from the other.
In early Stages this Pathway is very similar to Applied Mathematics and Physics, but in later Stages course choice is strongly biased towards modules of Theoretical Physics.
As with the combination with Applied Mathematics above, in Stage 1 the basic modules from each area are taken, but in later Stages there is a very high degree of choice.