Physics at Manchester appealed to me because the department is one of the largest in the country, and world-class research is carried out across a range of subjects.
After my A-levels I knew that I wanted my career to be in science, but I was undecided about which field to specialise in. Physics at Manchester appealed to me because the department is one of the largest in the country, and world-class research is carried out across a range of subjects.
The best thing about the undergraduate courses is the laboratory work. No matter what you are interested in, there is real research to be done even at this level. Many of the projects end up being preliminary work for a full PhD project, which gives you a chance to impress your supervisors and go part of the way towards earning yourself a place on a PhD.
I felt very well looked after in the first couple of years, during which I built confidence learning basic theory and laboratory skills; in the latter years, I followed a path more of my own choosing. I now feel confident working either alone or as part of a collaborative team. I am proficient in several computing languages, and the analytical problem solving skills I have developed are highly transferable to many jobs in business and industry.
My PhD project involved working at CERN in Switzerland, and so I spent a year living near the French-Swiss border. Working in such a large research facility and living in such a beautiful part of Europe was a great experience.
I came to Manchester for a few days to attend the undergraduate interview and get a feel for the city. I immediately warmed to the place and it quickly felt like home.
The city has a very simple layout, with easy access between the main student accommodation areas, the University, and the city centre. It’s a fun city to go out in, and with a little common sense it’s also very safe.
Thinking of choosing Physics at Manchester?
The main bit of advice I would give to an undergraduate physics student is to form some kind of study group; there is rarely a problem that can’t be worked out between a group of six or more.
Don't be afraid to ask for help if you are stuck; just go and knock on someone's door. The academics are very approachable, and if they see an enthusiastic student they will always be willing to help.