Careers from Physics

A physics qualification opens the doors to all sorts of jobs and courses. All the technology that surrounds us is based on the principles of physics, so if you are considering working in any area related to technology from music to medicine, or lasers to law – studying physics is an essential first step.

So….Do you want to investigate the limits of space, the beginning of time and everything in between?

How about understanding how the technology around you works? Want to save the planet or maybe just help people get better when they are ill? Or maybe you don’t care about any of this and just want to earn lots of money?

Well it doesn’t really matter. Whatever you do the knowledge and skills you gain by studying physics will be useful. Physics is more than a subject – it trains your brain to think beyond boundaries.

“There are millions of students in the world, but to get a job you have to stand out from the crowd. Physics will help to give you that edge; people are always impressed by a qualification in physics.” [Steff, weather forecaster]

What’s physics like at A-level or Higher grade?

You will already have come across some of the concepts of physics at GCSE or standard Grade: forces, energy, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism. At A-level and Higher Grade you will start to see how these ideas work together, and begin to grasp the universal principles that apply to everything from the smallest atoms to the largest galaxies. You will also be able to impress your mates by knowing how things like MP3 players and plasma screen TVs work.

“It’s a bit of a jump from GCSE to A-level physics. But by the end of my A-level physics I started understanding the links between different areas and it really changed my outlook on the world.” [David, renewable energy manager]

“You study things in much more depth at Higher Grade, but the experiments and practicals really help to understand the science” [Annie, radar project manager]

What subjects should I choose?

Physics at A-level or Higher Grade can be a bit mathematical at times, and so it is best to take maths as well (at least to AS/H).

“For me maths is the language through which you do physics. It helps if you do maths at A-level [or Highers]. Others in my class didn’t do maths and they did okay, they just had to work a bit harder.” [David]

Many students choose to combine physics with one of the other sciences such as chemistry or biology, while others who are thinking of becoming an engineer or architect combine physics with design-technology or art.

” I knew I wanted to be an engineer, but I wasn’t sure which type. That’s why I chose physics; you pretty much need physics to do any engineering degree.”[Naomi]

But there is no need to follow the crowd. Physics and maths can be combined with just about anything.

Other useful websites

Institute of Physics
Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

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