About the Department of Physics

We are proud of our reputation as a friendly Department, and of the supportive environment that we provide for our students. We have 24 academic staff, 47 research and support staff and about 400 students at all levels from undergraduate (BSc / MPhys) to postgraduate (MSc / PhD). Our undergraduate degrees offer a fully integrated year of professional or research training which provides our students with an excellent foundation for both employment and further study.

Our undergraduate Physics degree programmes reflect the diversity of modern Physics. The course has modules ranging from General Relativity to Medical Imaging to Spacecraft Dynamics. We prize our flexibility which allows you to switch between any of the specialist Physics degrees during the first year. The Department also has 3 taught MSc courses.Our graduates have gone on to careers in the space, energy, and medical sectors amongst many others.

See the Research page for details of our research. Our research activities include both pure research, such as work on understanding nuclear structure, and more applied research, such as photonics.The Department's research groups are  the Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics (CNRP), the Photonics and Theory and Computation groups that are both within the Advanced Technology Institute, and the Soft Matter physics group.

There is an annual Departmental seminar, the Lewis Elton Lecture, named after Prof Lewis Elton, a former head of the Department. The 2012 Lewis Elton Lecture was given by Prof Sir Roger Penrose. The complete lecture is available to view on the University's YouTube channel.

Our reputation for success is evidenced by the awards and honours made to our staff and students. Surrey students have twice won and twice been runner-up for the National Physics Student of the Year while recent graduate Matt Reed won the 2012 Institute of Physics Nuclear Physics group's Early Career Researcher award.


Advancing Physics

Our department is part of the SEPnet consortium of six partner universities working together to advance and sustain Physics within the South East Region of England.

Stay informed

See our blog and twitter sites


We form part of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS), more details can be found on the Faculty pages.

Innovative Research


Keddie's IR patterned surface


A surface patterned using infra-red light, via a method invented by Joe Keddie's group in Surrey's Soft Matter labs. The bumps are millimetre sized and the surface is plastic. The hope is that "bumpy" surfaces like this could be used to reduce the drag on ships or planes, and so save fuel and produce less CO2.

Institute of Physics Project Juno Support

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