What to do with a Physics and Astronomy degree
Explore the careers you might be interested in going into after studying a Physics and Astronomy degree.
What can you do with an undergraduate Physics and Astronomy degree?
A degree in Physics and Astronomy from Sussex will equip you with a wide range of skills. With our specialist support throughout your degree, you’ll be well prepared for your future career.
As a Physics and Astronomy graduate, you’ll have the skills and knowledge for a wide range of careers. This includes:
- becoming a professional scientist in industry, government or academia
- working in the financial sector, where physicists’ ability to handle complex abstract models is particularly valued
- pursuing careers in law, consultancy and business management.
If you haven’t studied a degree yet and you’re considering a Physics and Astronomy course, you may want to browse our:
What do our Physics and Astronomy graduates do?
Recent Physics and Astronomy graduates from Sussex have started working in jobs including:
- associate technologist, KLDiscovery
- business analyst, Aviva
- business consultant, IBM
- business technologies associate, Accenture
- data analyst, iProov
- data engineer, Quantexa
- development engineer, Torr Scientific
- geophysicist, CGG
- graduate financial software developer, AquaQ Analytics
- industry data analyst, OVO Energy
- instrumentation researcher and developer, Pall Life Sciences
- MWM consultant, CPS
- performance analyst, South East Water
- software developer, Arm
- systems engineer, Mass
- technical director, BuilderStorm
- trainee project manager, GHC
- trainee solutions developer, JHC.
Some of our graduates have also gone on to study for a PhD or teaching qualification, or to pursue a career in academia.
(Department of Physics and Astronomy career database)
I got my first job because of the C programming skills I gained in my third-year module. My degree has given me the skills to come up with robust solutions and the mindset to handle challenges across different disciplines.”DOMINIC ORME
Theoretical Physics BSc graduate
Technical Director, BuilderStorm
You’ll develop knowledge and skills highly valued by employers:
- an understanding of fundamental physics laws and principals, and the ability to apply them
- an analytical approach to problem-solving
- effective use of IT for analysing data
- working independently and to tight deadlines
- the ability to clearly communicate scientific information
- research skills to help you prepare you for a career in research.
At Sussex, you can further develop your study skills by signing up for a range of workshops, tutorials and online resources.
Picking things up quickly and sorting through information efficiently are skills I gained on my course that have helped me succeed in my career. My experience at Sussex has given me the confidence to do my technically and logistically challenging job.”SAM RASON
Physics with Astrophysics MPhys graduate
Senior Radiation Environments Engineer, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd
Work experience and placements
You can gain work experience by doing a placement with an organisation.
At Sussex, during your degree, you can choose to apply for one of the below:
- a professional placement
- a research placement (you may be able to do a research placement if you are a high-performing student on a selected science course)
- an integrated placement if it is a requirement for a course.
This may help you gain skills and work experience before you graduate. You’ll be responsible for applying for and securing your placement. Find out more about placements and internships at Sussex.
You may also want to look for work experience opportunities at organisations, in areas such as:
- aerospace and defence
- energy and renewable energy
- health and medicine
- meteorology and climate change
- oil and gas
- science and telecommunications.
Employer Programme opportunities
We are a core part of the SEPnet (South East Physics Network) consortium, which gives us links to universities and industries across the region. SEPnet’s Employer Programme creates opportunities for our Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy students to apply for eight-week funded summer placements.
Learn more about the opportunities offered by the Employer Programme.
You might want to pursue a career in any of the above jobs. Or you could think about continuing your education further.
At Sussex, we offer research (PhD) degrees in the following subject areas:
You may then be able to go into an academic career, including roles such as:
- higher education lecturer
For more information about what to do after a Mathematics degree, see the Prospects website.
If you’re a current student, see more advice from our careers section.