Physics and Astronomy

Final-year projects

Through your final-year project you have the chance to put your studies into practice and experience academic research. The final-year project is undertaken by all students, so even if you don't take the research placement or apply for the Junior Research Associate Scheme, you can still get involved.

UG female student in labs

How does the final project work?

The final-year project is an important part of your degree. It is in the project where you have a chance to put your studies into practice and experience academic research. 

You will be closely supervised by a faculty member and in many cases you will interact with postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.

Projects vary from the purely experimental, including numerical projects using a supercomputer, to theoretical projects.

Choosing your project

You will be given a list of ongoing projects with information about the type of skills you need to be accepted on to the project (for example, experimental, numerical, theoretical).

You will then select a number of projects you are interested in and give your project preference. You will then be matched to a project taking into account your preference.

You can see some of the past final-year projects below. Because we are always up-to-date with the latest research, these projects are subject to change, and may not be available when you reach your final year.

MSc student Violetta Korbina

"My final-year project focussed on analysing and collating available data about the Magnificent Seven stars, and then using the developed code to analyse their spectra. I worked with a team on the XMM Cluster Survey (XCS), developing a new Python module, X-ray: Generate and Analyse (XGA) to provide interactive and automated analyses of X-ray emitting sources observed by the XMM-Newton space telescope."

"It was an opportunity to get involved in writing a module in Python, which helped with my BSc project. This was one of the first times ever that my contribution actually had the potential to help other researchers, which felt amazing. I am eternally grateful to the whole of XCS, and especially to David Turner, for such an opportunity and for the support throughout my degree."

Violetta Korbina (pictured above)
Physics with Astrophysics BSc graduate and currently studying for an MSc in Astronomy

Violetta's work features in a published paper

Graduate James Coleman SmithJames Coleman Smith

"As my final-year project during my last year of my Physics BSc, I took on research commissioned to Sussex by the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) – a vast international experiment involving over 1000 scientists from over 30 countries.

DUNE aims to determine the hierarchy of neutrino mass states, and ultimately help shed light on the mystery behind the matter-antimatter imbalance of the universe."

Read about James' final-year project

A selection of potential final-year project subjects by research group:

Astronomy Centre

Dependence of galaxy properties on halo mass

Exploring the distant Universe with the Webb telescope

FLARES: The First Light and Reionisation Epoch Simulation

Is the Universe weird?

Testing models of the early universe

Weak gravitational lensing

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Acoustic-optic modulator

Development of a quantum microwave microscope

Experimental Particle Physics

Atomic magnetometry development for the neutron EDM experiment

Prospects for dark matter discovery at LHC

Materials Physics

3-dimensional graphene foams for tissue engineering

Nanostructured heterojunctions of silver nanowires and layered nano materials

Theoretical Particle Physics

Fixed points and phase transitions in quantum field theory

Quantum effects in general relativity

Supersymmetric quantum theory

Theoretical aspects of black holes

DISCUS - The Date Intensive Science Centre

Applying machine-learning and other data science techniques to Earth observations

Find out about our research centres and groups


You might also be interested in:

Contact us

Physics and Astronomy