Physics and Astronomy

Student perspectives on life in the Department

Sussex Physics is a friendly, supportive department with a welcoming atmosphere. But don't just take our word for it, hear what our Physics students - past and present - have to say about their time at Sussex:

Francis' perspective

Francis Jans'Even before starting my degree I was made to feel welcome by both faculty and the students. There is such a friendly atmosphere within the department and I knew I wanted to study here. I began with a foundation year as I had not gained all the necessary qualifications at 6th form. This prepared me for the following year giving me a healthy work ethic for a physics degree and a greater understanding of physics than I had obtained from my International Baccalaureate education.

I have joined in as many activities relating to the department as possible, from the outreach program to our own physics society and have made many friends. The outreach program has allowed me to teach physics in schools and has developed my interest in teaching as a viable career.

I was a student rep during the foundation year and am currently a first year rep. This role has been fun and has allowed me to get to know physics as well as maths students in other years.

I personally wouldn't want to go anywhere else to study physics.

Francis Jans
BSc Physics with Astrophysics

Laura's perspective

Laura Tong'My time at Sussex has been very unique and highlights the true quality of the physics department. The foundation year gave me a great understanding of core physics concepts and allowed me to progress into the first year with good study skills. Through great teaching and some determination I progressed onto the MPhys programme at the end of the first year and was fortunate to do a research project during the summer break. This work is now displayed in the department, which I feel is an amazing achievement for a student without an A-level in physics. This was thanks to faculty recognising potential in their students and treating each one as an individual.

During my second year, the department was incredibly supportive. Following a serious accident, both students and members of faculty visited me in hospital, keeping me up to date with course resources. They have continued to support me and I have now been offered the opportunity to work as a lab assistant. Physics faculty at Sussex really interact with their students, recognising ability and giving students the opportunity to showcase their talent and enthusiasm.'

Laura Tong
MPhys Physics with a research placement

Richard's perspective
Richard Eggleston

'The social side of the Physics Department is fantastic; being a small department, nearly everyone knows everyone else, including across the years and members of staff. We're very lucky to have been given a kitchen, where we get free tea, coffee and toast, which makes for a great social hotspot. There are also plenty of outside activities organised by the Departmental Joint Committee and Q-Soc, the Physics society. We've had Physics Balls, been to Chessington World of Adventures and had many trips into Brighton. When first joining everyone is made to feel very welcome and you will soon have some very close friends.'

Richard Eggleston
Physics BSc

Niall's perspective

Niall Fealty'The physics department at Sussex has an extraordinary atmosphere. I settled in very quickly and have come to feel that not only am I a part of the department, but that it is a part of me. I have gained many friends in both students and faculty, many of whom I will remain in contact with.

My route to higher education was unconventional as I was a mature student without the normal set of qualifications, but Sussex was very welcoming and understanding. I am now heading into my fourth and final year, and I have successfully been awarded funding to do research in the department during the summer. Thanks to both the lecturers and my fellow students I have learned more than I thought possible about the world around me and how it works, which I continue to build upon daily. My time at Sussex has also encouraged me to pursue further study in particle theory, to take what I have learned to the next stage.'

Niall Fealty
MPhys Theoretical Physics and PhD at Sussex

Jessica's perspective

Jessica Collier'Studying Physics at Sussex was the best decision I have ever made. Meeting up with other students in the study areas to talk about Physics is fun and I enjoyed being on hand to help the younger students. This is the friendliest department anyone could wish for, with staff and postgraduates who always have time for us. The content can be challenging at times, but the support network is excellent, from peers to the helpdesk of postgraduates who provide assistance on problem sheets. Student mentors also offer wonderful support - I became a student mentor myself. Mentors make the transition from school to university easier and run workshops and one-to-one sessions to improve your study skills.

If you are considering studying Physics at Sussex, it is a decision you will not regret; the degree is difficult but the rewards are truly astronomical.'

Jessica Collier
MPhys Physics

Talitha's perspective

Talitha Bromwich'The department has such a cosy, friendly feel with group study spaces, workshops and help desks, so you are never at a loss for someone to ask for help with tricky questions. The modules themselves are challenging, but the international lecturing team are both inspiring and super approachable, so if you’re keen to learn more or need extra help, they will always go above and beyond to make the time for you.

The extra-curricular opportunities are fantastic: the student physics society arrange incredible trips (this year to NASA) and fun events, there are open lectures on more advanced subjects and, most importantly for me, the chance to get research experience at a very early stage in your academic career. The trust, enthusiasm and opportunities on offer to physics students at Sussex are simply unparalleled.'

Talitha Bromwich
 MPhys Physics with a research placement