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UK physics degree life

  1. Dec 28, 2014 #1
    I started my undergraduate physics degree in September, and having been enjoying it a lot so far. As I'm sure any student does - I am aiming for a First.

    I was wondering if any graduates would be able to help me out by answering a few questions for me on their experience:

    Are there any things that you wish you knew when you were first-year?
    How did you find each year? Modules, exams, etc.
    What would you say is the best route to help with getting a first?
    Any other recommendations? Books, websites, etc.

    I read the "So You Want To Be A Physicist" thread on here which was very beneficial, in particular about trying to do excellently in the first two years as these are going to be a lot easier than the third year (which somehow I hadn't quite thought about).
    Please go into as much detail as you can, and feel free to go beyond the questions that I have asked.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2014 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Some of senior folks went though school before the internet, and probably most of us wish we could have known then what we know now.

    My first year was interesting, but manageable. I did a hybrid program that involved nuclear and space (astro) physics, before I migrated to nuclear engineering. Most common recommendation was about 3 hours of study for each hour of class. Some courses didn't require that level of effort, and some required more. Try to balance the studying, take good notes, ask questions, and prepare for class and recitation.

    Many universities now have pretty good websites, and many faculty publish their class notes on-line.

    Hyperphysics (US) is a good site for an overview of physics. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html

    Most professional societies have memberships for students. I'm not sure what the practice is in the UK, but perhaps one can inquire through the physics department, or contact the Royal Society - https://royalsociety.org/education/students-advice/

    There is also the European Physical Society
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