Physics and Astronomy are a dynamic department, achieving national and international recognition for both teaching and research in Physics, Astrophysics and Space Science. State-of-the-art facilities, inspirational teaching and great graduate prospects combine to create an excellent student experience.

The School of Physics and Astronomy scored 93% for thier research outputs in the Research Excellence Framework 2021, making them 'internationally excellent' or 'world-leading'.

87% of final-year Physics students were satisfied with the quality of the teaching on their course in the Guardian University Guide of 2022.

Our vision

In Physics and Astronomy 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 department 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. 

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 Beacon Observatory. The subjects have achieved national and international recognition for providing high-quality teaching and all our degrees are accredited by the relevant professional bodies, ensuring you have excellent job prospects.  

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 Physics and Astrophysics 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 subjects, 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.

Anthony Quinlan

Every day I just look around and think I'm so lucky to be here.

Anthony Quinlan Physics MPhys

Support for equality and diversity

In Physics and Astronomy, we are working hard to create a welcoming, supportive and diverse community for all our staff and students. The subjects are proud to 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.

Research excellence

The School of Physics and Astronomy scored 93% for thier research outputs in the Research Excellence Framework 2021, making them 'internationally excellent' or 'world-leading'.

Professional accreditation

Our Physics degrees are accredited by Institute of Physics (IOP).


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 subjects have 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.

I would like to do a PhD after my Master’s and go into research. It’s the astrophysics element that I would like to research more – stars, galaxies, the cosmos, that sort of thing.

State-of-the-art facilities

Our newly refurbished labs are well equipped for synthetic and analytical techniques ranging from soft organic polymers to nanoparticles to highly sensitive organometallic species. 

In addition to conventional synthetic laboratories, we have:

  • glove-boxes for both air-sensitive sample storage and preparation
  • Schlenk lines for the handling of highly reactive chemicals
  • a CEM microwave reactor with autosampler for high-temperature microwave-assisted synthetic procedures
  • high-velocity light-gas gun and impact laboratory. 
Students working on equipment in the labs

Great location

Physics and Astronomy are 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. 

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