Published: 25 January 2022

Top jobs with a physics degree

Find out what you could do with a degree in physics, and discover some of the jobs Surrey physics graduates have secured over the past few years.

At the University of Surrey, our distinct physics degrees put you at the heart of the 21st century and are among the very best in the UK. Our graduates benefit from one of the best employability rates in the country and attractive career prospects. 92 per cent of our physics graduates are in work or further education 15 months after graduating (Graduate Outcomes report 2021). This was a key factor in Surrey being named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Many of our students choose to take an integrated Research Year or a Professional Training placement giving them the opportunity to experience a real working environment as an integral part of their degree. This enables students to gain invaluable work and research experience, and a real head-start whether they enter the job market or pursue their passion further with postgraduate study.

Our students enjoy a range of Professional Training placement opportunities and close links to industry, including our partnership with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

"My programme at Surrey has allowed me to study a subject I’ve always been fascinated by – astrophysics – and to consolidate my understanding of core concepts in physics. The Professional Training year was a big factor in my decision to study at Surrey and I would recommend taking up this option to anyone looking to study my subject. Getting a taste of the graduate world whilst you are still a student is so worthwhile." 

– Gayathri Eknath, BSc Physics with Nuclear Astrophysics

Careers with a physics degree

A degree in physics, including a physics degree integrated with mathematics, astronomy, nuclear astrophysics or quantum technologies, can lead to a range of fulfilling and exciting careers. Physicists are highly sought after in a variety of fields. Our degrees will provide you with the analytical, experimental and computational skills valued in a wide range of careers.

Jobs directly related to an economics degree include:

  • Astronomer
  • Clinical scientist, medical physics
  • Lecturer
  • Nanotechnologist 
  • Radiation protection practitioner
  • Research scientist 
  • Teacher
  • Sound engineer.

However, a degree in physics will also enable you to gain skills that would be highly relevant in other, more unexpected roles. These includes:

  • Data analyst
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Operational researcher
  • Patent attorney
  • Software engineer
  • Telecommunications researcher.

"Physics at Surrey has helped me gain a greater understanding of the subject, and the Professional Training year has increased my employability and helped me test the waters so I know what career to pursue in the future."

Abigail Stone, BSc Physics

Physics graduate jobs

In recent years, our physics graduates have secured roles including:

  • Senior Development Engineer, Fourth State Medicine Ltd
  • Research Scientist RF and Microwave Metrologist, National Physical Laboratory
  • System Analyst, Raytheon Systems Ltd
  • Automation Tester, CGI
  • Graduate Physicist, DSTL
  • Graduate Engineer, Aktins
  • Trainee Clinical Scientist, NHS.

"Surrey has definitely encouraged me to take new opportunities that come my way. During my degree, I’ve completed two summer schools, in South Korea and Crete, as well as a placement in an industry that I had no idea existed before I started there. As a result of my placement at PGS, I’ve decided I want to pursue a career as a geophysicist in the petroleum industry."

Mahfuj Ali, BSc Physics

"My time at National Instruments was an invaluable aid to my career prospects. Having the job security provided by my placement experience made the rest of my time at university much more enjoyable and far less stressful."

Laurence Stant, BSc Physics with Nuclear Astrophysics

Discover more about our physics degrees, our award-winning Professional Training placement scheme and student life at Surrey.

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