The School of Physical Sciences is a dynamic department, achieving national and international recognition for both teaching and research in Chemistry, Forensic Science and Physics. State-of-the-art facilities, inspirational teaching and great graduate prospects combine to create an excellent student experience.

Key facts


in the Teaching Excellence Framework*, the highest possible rating


overall for Forensic Science in The Complete University Guide 2019


overall satisfaction score for Chemistry in the National Student Survey 2018


of our Physics and Chemistry research overall judged to be of international quality in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF)  

Our vision

In the School of Physical Sciences we invest in our staff and facilities to provide our students with high-quality degrees and a wealth of opportunities. Based in the refurbished Ingram building, the School has benefited from over £8.5m in investment over the past few years.

We aim to develop international collaborative research links, as well as nurturing our enterprise activity, giving our students and staff access to excellent industry links. Through our outreach programme we are making science accessible to the wider community and inspiring the next generation of students. 

Inspirational teaching

Our world-leading research feeds directly into our teaching; our courses provide cutting-edge content and you learn about the latest breakthroughs in scientific research. We use a range of teaching methods, from traditional lectures and laboratory classes to hands-on work in our new crime scene house and Beacon Observatory. The School has achieved national and international recognition for providing high-quality teaching and all our degrees are accredited by the relevant professional bodies, giving you excellent job prospects.

Dr Rob Barker discusses his research in Chemistry and Forensics

Dr Rob Barker, Lecturer in Chemistry and Forensics, talks about his research and how he uses it in his teaching. 

View transcript (opens in a new tab)

Supportive student environment

In 2018 Kent won the Outstanding Support for Students category at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards – for the second year running. Here in the School of Physical Sciences we have our own student support team who are here to help you realise your potential, by offering advice on any pastoral, personal health and welfare concerns. You also have access to mentors and a personal academic adviser, and we can offer extra individual support by working closely with the central Student Support and Wellbeing team.

When you start at Kent, we hold ‘meet and mingle’ events within the School, which give you a chance to settle into life here and meet your new fellow students. You can also join – or even set up – a student-run society, which provides a great opportunity to meet up with those who share your passion for science.

Excellent career prospects

We are committed to helping you to make the best possible start in your career. All our programmes now offer you the opportunity to spend a year on a work placement – a great way to boost your employability prospects by putting your learning into practice and making contacts in industry. 

The School has a specialist employer engagement officer and through our membership of the South East Physics Network (SEPNet) we can help you with valuable internship and training opportunities. In previous years our students have trained at the European Space Agency and worked in engineering and research companies on summer placements. 

Rachel Staines, Forensic Science graduate

Employers told me that the work experience on my CV gave me an advantage in the application process.

Rachel Staines, MSc Forensic Science Quality Control Analyst, GSK Read more

Great location

The School of Physical Sciences is based on our Canterbury campus with its first-class academic and leisure facilities. We are equipped with the latest resources and our beautiful setting offers plenty of tranquil spaces to study and relax.

Everything you need on campus is within walking distance, including a general store, a bookshop, bank, cinema, theatre, a medical centre and a pharmacy. You can go off campus to explore the city's medieval buildings, historic pubs and an array of shops; visit the seaside towns of Whitstable, Margate or Broadstairs with their beautiful beaches, or head to London, just an hour away by high-speed train. 

Support for equality and diversity

In the School of Physical Sciences, we are working hard to create a welcoming, supportive and diverse community for all our staff and students. The School is proud  be recognised as a Juno Practitioner by the Institute of Physics. This initiative recognises the work that is being done to address issues relating to gender equality. We are committed to supporting all staff and students to develop their skills and realise their potential more effectively, to the benefit of everyone. 

You can find more information on the University Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity homepage.


Logo for Athena SWAN Bronze Award

*Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.