Published: 29 March 2021

A week in the life of a physics undergraduate

From lectures to laboratory-based practicals and personal tutorials, discover what a typical week looks like as a first-year BSc or MPhys physics student at Surrey.

How you'll learn

Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:

* Computer programming classes

* Group work

* Laboratory-based practicals

* Lectures

* Online learning

* Seminars

* Tutorials

Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, essays and reading.

“The academics on my programme know how to spark interest in students – even in an early morning lecture!”

Dimitar Mitev, Physics MPhys

We’ve also introduced hybrid learning, a mix of online and face-to-face sessions, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A typical week in your first year

In your first year, you'll receive approximately 22 contact hours each week.


9am-1pm – Scientific Investigation Skills – Laboratory Practical

2-4pm – Fundamentals of Physics – Lecture

4-5pm – Essential Mathematics – Lecture

5-6pm – Essential Mathematics – Computer Programming


11am-1pm – Scientific Investigation Skills – Lecture

2-3pm – Oscillations and Waves – Lecture

3-5pm – Fundamentals of Physics – Lecture with Class Tutorial

5-6pm – Oscillations and Waves – Class Tutorial


10am-12pm – Scientific Investigation Skills – Lecture

12-1pm – Head of Department – Drop-in Session

Please note, Wednesday afternoons are left free for sporting and other University society activities, such as PhySoc.


11am-1pm – Scientific Investigation Skills – Lecture

2-3pm – Oscillations and Waves – Lecture

5-6pm – Essential Mathematics – Computer Programming


10-11am – Small Group Problem Solving – Tutorial

2-3pm – Essential Maths – Lecture

3-4pm – Oscillations and Waves – Lecture

Find out more about undergraduate study in our Department of Physics.

Disclaimer: The timetable and modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication and may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps. Given the changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, our hybrid learning model is under continuous review. See the latest information on all changes.

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