The University of Southampton

Flagship degrees

We offer a range of flagship degrees aimed at our top first-class students. These four year programmes allow you to pursue a cutting-edge research project here or abroad, or with a local industrial partner. Places are limited and you can compete for a position at the end of your second year. Read on to find out more about the degree options available and hear from our recent graduates about their experiences.

MPhys Astrophysics with a Year Abroad

Relocating in your final year to the world renowned Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in Boston, USA, you will be partnered with a CFA staff member to work on an exciting project.  The CFA combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to pursue studies of the basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. Broad programmes of astrophysical research touch on almost all major topics in astronomy including: star and planet formation, cosmology and extreme astronomical objects.

Nedzinskas Sarunas

"I learned many important things whilst at Harvard but most importantly, I got to appreciate how real research works"

Kate Hotton

“In terms of the work, it’s more like being a PhD student or researcher, rather than a typical university student”

Alex Harding

"This is a once in a life time opportunity to both get first-hand experience in academic study and to spend a year in a lovely city"

Joyce Lee

"I enjoyed my project hugely, and am grateful to my supervisors for their work ethic and passion”

MPhys Particle Physics with a Research Year Abroad

Probe the fundamental structure of the universe at CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research. This is a unique opportunity to join the research teams based in Switzerland and contribute to work on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment - helping build detectors and analyse their data. The LHC is the highest energy proton collider ever constructed and results from the programme are expected to revolutionise our understanding of physics.

Ali Farzaneh Far

“Working at CERN has been extremely exciting. It has been quite challenging and requires hard work but has definitely been worth it.”

Declan Millar

"The highlight of my degree has to be the time I spent at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research –CERN – in Switzerland"

James Pillow

"The year at CERN was an incredible insight into professional experimental physics, and has prepared me for my PhD"

William Smith

"My time at CERN was incredibly exciting, challenging and busy."

MPhys Physics with a Year of Experimental Research

Interested in lab, hands-on experimental work? Join our research experts here at Southampton and immerse yourself world-class research materials and photonics laboratories. You will have the opportunity to work on any of our areas of expertise, from photonics to nanotechnology to the quantum properties of matter.

Tom Crane

"Working within a research group has given me the skills to write my first scientific paper and present at a conference"

MPhys Physics with Industrial Placement

For students interested in making strong links with industry we have created a new degree programme. Selected top-performing students will enter the programme at the end of year two from our MPhys programmes. The Industrial Placement will be in a local company such as Merck and will last for six months. The placement period occurs over the summer between the third and fourth year and continues through the first semester of year four.

Connor Penfold

"I spent my 6-month industrial placement at NKT Photonics, which gave me industry experience that will set me aside from other students, and a valuable insight to how physics is used in industry."

Sheona Day

"The placement has been a great opportunity to experience working in a research and development company, and has also provided me with a great topic for my Masters report. It has encouraged me to pursue a future in research physics."