"If you’re interested in pursuing an academic career, the MPhys is the perfect course because the research year allows you to experience the real world research environment."
I chose to study for my masters at Surrey because it’s one of the few universities that offers the opportunity to do a research year and has connections all around the world. It is also the only university which has an MPhys Physics with Nuclear Astrophysics course which looked intriguing to me.
While my course specialises in a particular area of physics, its structure also allows you to cover other fields. The academic staff are really friendly: if you have any problems you can ask your lecturers without hesitation and they will gladly help you.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to do my research year at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canaries, in Tenerife, because it is one of the world’s best-known research institutes in astrophysics and is regularly visited by world leading experts. I also wanted to experience a different culture and start learning another language.
On placement I’ve been able to apply various skills I gained while studying at Surrey such as coding in FORTRAN90 and Python. I’m part of a research team which investigates the nearby globular cluster using a technique that has not been done before. Visiting Teide Observatory, situated on Mount Teide, has been one of the highlights of my placement.
Through my research tasks, I’ve definitely been able to develop my analysis and research skills and – by being part of a research group – I’ve improved my communication skills. Throughout my placement I’ve had to give several verbal presentations which have enhanced my public speaking skills.
I would definitely recommend doing an MPhys because when you graduate you already have a masters degree. If you’re interested in pursuing an academic career, the MPhys is the perfect course because the research year allows you to experience the real world research environment, helping you to decide whether it’s something you’d like to do in the future. As a result of my placement, I am now considering applying for a PhD after my masters.