School of Physical Sciences

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    Graduates from the School have an excellent employment record with 85% of them employed or in education 6 months after graduation.
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    The School ensures that key elements of taught and examined modules are relevant to the transferable skills that are required in today's job market.
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    Each student is also provided with a dedicated careers talk in the early part of the second stage of their course to ensure they understand the services the University offers on this important subject.

Employability

The School of Physical Sciences has a strong commitment to ensuring we provide courses that offer students employability once they have completed their studies.

All our programmes now offer the chance to study with a Year in Industry. Completing a placement year can boost your employability prospects by offering you the chance to put your learning into practice and giving you the chance to make contacts in industry.

The School’s Forensic Science programmes are taught not only by in-house academic lecturers, but also by expert practitioner lecturers from industry. Our Physics and Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics programmes include the opportunity to spend a Year in the USA and our collaborations with SEPnet include a significant element of employer engagement, making our Physics provision particularly attractive.

We are continuing to enhance this by constantly reviewing the learning outcomes and objectives of our courses. All of our degrees are also accredited by their relevant professional bodies.

 

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South East Physics Network (SEPnet)

Steph Astro, our Employer Engagement Officer, works for South East Physics Network in SPS to provide students with industrial opportunities throughout their time at the University of Kent.
This means that our graduates are in a strong position to enter the workforce in their chosen career, upon completion of their degree or doctorate.

SEPnet Summer placements

The University of Kent are proud to invite physics students to participate in a SEPnet funded summer placement scheme.
Find out more about the schemes offered by SEPnet and the benefits acquired by those who participate.

It’s not just a great way to make an early start on your career; it is also a fabulous way to see your physics in action. Find out what it’s really like to spend some of your summer making use of your physics degree.

 

 

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Steph Astro - Employer Engagement Officer
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Alumni Profiles

We have provided some profiles below of students that have now left the University and gone on to enjoy success in their chosen career path:

Thomas Hayes - Forensic Science (with a year industry), Year of Graduation: 2017

What made you decide to study/work at Kent?:
First of all, it was the course that really caught my attention on my first visit to the university. The lecturers all seemed very entertaining and friendly and just leaked knowledge. The course also appealed to me as it was very chemistry based as well as having a variety of forensic modules. I thought having a solid science support would help me in future to get more job opportunities.  But most courses are similar, it was the campus and town that really got me. The spread out campus and the greenery as well as Canterbury still being my favourite city. It's got great history as well as having everything you need all in a compact place.

What are you doing now?:
I managed to secure a job in forensics before I graduated from university as a DNA analyst with the help of the ever-helpful Bob Green. I was at this job for 7 months before I managed to get offered my dream job as a forensic toxicologist.

How has your time at Kent helped you since graduation?:
A great deal. The amazing diversity of the course helped me stand out in the initial CV application. The huge experience and topics covered in lectures gave me great confidence in interviews, allowing my true self to come through. After securing a job, fitting into industrial life was made easier by the help of the advanced topics course to give me a better understanding of quality and overall forensic knowledge such as CAI. Also, the lectures in DNA interpretation and analytical chemistry are of an extremely high standard, it may even over prepare me for my current work. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?:
Other than "don't do a doctorate unless you definitely need to", it would have to be the following. During my final year, during the expert witness exam, I had the following advice given "from the heart to the heart". It was an old drama saying for getting across the character to your audience so if you believe you are an expert, you'll come across as one. Or if you believe you can get a first, you will.

What advice would you give a new student at Kent?:
My advice to new students would be the same that I got on my first day of university and that is to treat a degree like a job. That is what I did. I would work 9am-5pm and give myself an hour lunch with a couple of breaks here and there. If I had no assignments I would revise. It's amazing how much this helps come exam time and do assignments as soon as you get them so you have more time to tweak them later. By doing this a putting in some minor organisation, you will actually end up having more free time to enjoy your university life.

What advice would you give to a new graduate embarking on a career?:                             
I would say be patient and that although forensics is a tough field to get into, it is definitely worth it and be patient. You have a fantastic degree and with the wonderful staff at Kent, once you get an interview, a job is almost guaranteed. In the meantime, do look for lab experience as that is the best way to get into jobs. For those who are considering a forensics career, you need to do it solely for the pride of work and there's limited salaries for it but I enjoy every day I work.

What is your favourite memory of Kent?:
I feel like no one will agree with my honest answer of exams. There are literally so many to choose from - from the university lifestyle of societies and socialising; to all the new skills I've learnt; to the friends I've made; and who could forget graduating in England's best cathedral. My favourite memory would be the 10 dreaded minutes of third doing expert witness. Most people would call me daft but it was so fun to be up there and having performing in the mini play with all the hours and effort put into that report, you feel as if you're defending your baby.

Would you recommend Kent to prospective students? Why?:
I cannot stress how much you should consider Kent if not for any of my previous answers. I'm not a huge fan of getting absorbed in things but Kent is one of the true things I am passionate about which is why I became an ambassador in my final year to encourage students then. Every time I mention Kent, I gleam a little with pride and treasure every second spent there as it not only gave me a degree but improved my confidence greatly and learnt so much more than just forensics.

Cameron McNair - Forensic Science with a Year in Industry, Year of Graduation: 2017

What made you decide to study/work at Kent?:
I really wanted to study forensics and had a look at a few unis that did the course. I liked Kent the best because it was more lab/chemistry based. It was less of trying to appeal to the CSI fans by showing you bones and talking about body farms, it actually talked about the science.

What are you doing now?:
Having spent my year in industry in a lab and not enjoying the repetitive nature of the work I have changed my career, for now, to more of technology (IT) role. I am working at Arqiva in the IT and Networks business unit on a two year graduate programme with the aim to learn more about web development and user experience.

How has your time at Kent helped you since graduation?:
Having a degree helped me because I learned skills that made me employable and also showed that I can commit myself to something so highly theory based when I consider myself more of a practical learner. 

Whats the best piece of advice you've ever been given?:
Don’t think that you have to stick to the industry that your degree is in and know that a degree will still set you up.

What advice would you give a new student at Kent?:
If you change your mind, finish your degree and do a graduate scheme. They are a great way to change industry while still getting paid well and not starting from square one.

What advice would you give to a new graduate embarking on a career?:                             
Cast your net wide. Don’t think you know exactly what you want to do before you’ve tried it. Like me, you might have been wrong.

What is your favourite memory of Kent?:
The day I walked out of my court assessment (which I had been dreading for 3 years) and knew that it had gone better than I could have hoped. I was waiting to be terrorised when Chris said “no further questions” and that I could leave. He didn’t have to tell me twice.

Would you recommend Kent to prospective students? Why?:
Yes. Because I had the best 3 years of my life at Kent and I wish I could go back (if I didn’t much prefer earning money to being in debt all the time).

Caitlin Gilroy - Physics BSc, Year of Graduation: 2015

What made you decide to study/work at Kent?:
Canterbury is a lovely small historic city, with plenty to see and do. The campus itself is very green and beautiful and there is a large number of activities to get involved in at Kent, as well as a great employability team.

What are you doing now?:
I am in my second year of doing a PhD in Shock Physics at Cranfield University.

How has your time at Kent helped you since graduation?:
Kent provided me with the tools to be both resourceful and resilient, giving me an excellent foundation in Physics for continuing further study, especially at PhD level. Kent also has an excellent employability team, which can help guide you into a successful career after your degree.  

Whats the best piece of advice you've ever been given?:
Feel the fear and do it anyway.

What advice would you give a new student at Kent?:
Embrace everything; study hard, get involved in societies but most of all enjoy what you do.

What advice would you give to a new graduate embarking on a career?:                             
Don't be afraid to apply for opportunities that you're interested in even if it seems impossible that you'll ever get the position; you can't get it if you don't try. Ask questions and be enthusiastic about whatever you choose to do.

What is your favourite memory of Kent?:
There are a number of good memories that I have from trying belly dancing and yoga to Geekfest to my first 'real lab' but I would have to say that I remember standing outside of the sports hall before my last ever exam on a beautiful summers day with my friends really happy to be finishing my degree and very content with everything, of course the celebrations afterwards were great too!

Would you recommend Kent to prospective students? Why?:
I would recommend Kent to prospective students. I think there are plenty of opportunities available, whatever your interests. The campus is really beautiful and the staff and students are friendly and helpful.

Connor Breckenfield - Masters of Physics with a year in USA, Year of Graduation: 2016

What made you decide to study/work at Kent?:
The foundation year and the year in the USA were attractive. Also the facilities of the university and general feeling I had were both good.

What are you doing now?:
I have worked on MRI systems and I am currently a software tester.

How has your time at Kent helped you since graduation?:
Knowledge and skills from my course. Being part of several societies and running some has helped me develop as a person.

Whats the best piece of advice youve ever been given?:
Learn from your mistakes

What advice would you give a new student at Kent?:
Join as many societies and sports teams as you can. Make friends and do new things.

What advice would you give to a new graduate embarking on a career?:                             
Don't worry about the future, find a job you enjoy and can teach you new things. Once you have found your feet then start thinking about the future.

What is your favourite memory of Kent?:
Too many to count - but honestly all my time at Kent. But it's because I tried everything and met a lot of great people.

Would you recommend Kent to prospective students? Why?:
Yes, great location, good courses, fun societies and nice people.

Rachel Staines - Forensic Science with a Year in Industry, Year of Graduation: 2016

What made you decide to study/work at Kent?:
I was offered the course through clearing.

What are you doing now?:
QC Analyst specialising in electrophoresis at GSK.

How has your time at Kent helped you since graduation?:
My year in industry massively helped me get a job. The course in general was extremely varied so I have been able to secure a job in Biopharmaceuticals without a biology degree. My employer has said that studying forensics prepares people well for working in a GMP or other regulated environment. The expert witness module provided me with good experience to maintain composure in stressful situations, such as a recent audit of one of my experiments at work.

Whats the best piece of advice youve ever been given?:
Always try your best.

What advice would you give a new student at Kent?:
Do work experience (paid or unpaid). This makes your CV stand out during the recruitment process.

What advice would you give to a new graduate embarking on a career?:                             
Don't be disheartened if you don't get a job straight away, all interview practice is good practice. I did 8 interviews before getting a job after university.

What is your favourite memory of Kent?:
Freshers week in my first year, making lots of new friends.

Would you recommend Kent to prospective students? Why?:
Yes, there is so much going on on campus, with the Gulbenkian and societies and bars that it's like its own town, with a great community atmosphere. It's also conveniently positioned within walking distance of Canterbury centre which is a lovely city.

 

School of Physical Sciences, Ingram Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NH

Enquiries: contact us

Last Updated: 09/01/2018