Welcome to the Department of Physics. The Department of Physics at the University of Surrey was founded in 1906 as part of the Battersea Polytechnic Institute. In 1966, the University of Surrey was granted its Royal Charter and the physics department moved to the Stag Hill Campus in Guildford. The department is home to 35 academic staff, 14 professional service staff, 13 research fellows, 500 undergraduate and postgraduate taught students, and over 60 postgraduate research students.


Research excellence

REF 2014 logo

Our research is focussed in five key areas: Astrophysics, Nuclear Physics, Photonics & Quantum Sciences (part of the Advanced Technology Institute), Radiation & Medical Physics, and Soft Matter. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) 84 per cent of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the Physics category.

Our strengths

A key strength is our long-running placement programme. All BSc students have the opportunity to spend a paid year at one of our 2,300+ industry partners as part of their degree programme, providing an invaluable experience that strengthens their CV.

Our MPhys students have a similar opportunity to spend a year embedded in an internationally leading research group where they undertake original research that often leads to publication in a professional journal.

Alongside these opportunities, our programme is bolstered by our national and international partnerships, including the South East Physics Network (SEPnet), though which we offer paid summer placement opportunities, and the National Physical Laboratory for which we are one of two strategic partners.

Radiation and medical physics equipment in lab


We have multiple laboratories and equipment to assist with our soft matter, radiation and medical physics, photonics and quantum sciences and experimental nuclear physics research.

What we offer

We are very focused on equality and diversity here in the Department and host various outreach activities for school children and adults alike.


Wellbeing logo

We are committed to improving the wellbeing of our staff and students. We want to help embed wellbeing into the fabric of the University and support our staff and students throughout their time at Surrey.

We are taking part in the University-wide Wellbeing Champion initiative, encouraging everyone to look after their mental health and promoting the services offered at Surrey to help them do so.

Student using physics equipment


Our research spans the breadth of modern physics and is supported by high-quality facilities. Activities include both pure research, such as work on understanding nuclear structure, and more applied research, such as photonics.


We collaborate with a variety of partners across the academic, industry and public communities, including:

  • SEPnet, a consortium of nine partner universities working together to advance and sustain physics within the UK economy
  • GRADnet, a graduate school for PhD students, which offers cooperative outreach activities, and a regional employer engagement programme
  • The National Physical Laboratory who are a world-leading measurement solutions laboratory
  • The Advanced Technology Institute here at Surrey, bringing together researchers with an international outlook in quantum information, nanotechnology, energy and advanced materials.