Have you ever wanted to get the low-down on our Physics course – whether it’s what modules are available or what our students get up to? Then you’ll enjoy this interview with one of our third year students Georgia Bradshaw. Georgia talked to me about her course as well as being a part of the Salford University Physics Society.

Hi Georgia, what course are you doing?

I’m currently in my 3rd year of my physics degree. It covers a wide range of skills from lab work, coding and research projects to math, quantum and theoretical physics. 

What made you choose Salford?

The Physics department has such a friendly atmosphere with both lecturers and different levels on the course all mingling. I think it’s quite important to have your lecturers treat you like peers rather than just students and that’s definitely what it’s like here at Salford. I know people at different universities and they only tend to know people in their classes, whereas with Salford Physics everyone just knows everybody.

What sort of modules are you doing in your current year?

The module titles in my current year are Theoretical Physics, 3rd year project, Quantum mechanics, Maxwell Equations and Wave Optics, Photonics and Nanotechnology, and Nuclear and Particle Physics.

The Theoretical Physics module is split with coding in semester 1, then learning the theory behind the systems you simulate in semester 2.
3rd year project runs for the whole year until a few weeks before final exams. You choose your own project and academic supervisor to keep you on track, and basically run it yourself. It’s a really rewarding experience if you put the work in.

Three people stood outside the Newton Building on the Main University of Salford campus.

How is your course structured?

The amount of contact hours decreases as you progress into higher years to make more room for gradually more intensive projects. In 3rd year I currently have 15 contact hours split with 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorials for each module per week. The majority of the course is based in Newton building, however some lectures/tutorials are also in other buildings spread across the Peel Park campus.

As well as studying you are the president of the Physics society, how has that experience been?

It’s been a great experience – so much so that this year is my second year as president!

Salford University Physics Society (Photo by Georgia Bradshaw)

What kind of things does the society take part in and get up to?

The society is mainly the social side of the department, however you don’t have to do Physics to join.
We have a society tradition of Cheese and Wine events for Halloween and Christmas, however there’s sometimes a few more thrown in, along with a trip to somewhere in Europe with a physics attraction at the start of the summer. Previously we’ve been to Geneva for CERN, Brussels for the Atomium and planetarium, and this year we’re off to Berlin to visit The Archenhold Observatory! We also havme other events throughout the year such as quiz nights, movie nights, games nights, trips to comedy clubs and more.

For the actual physics side of things we sometimes have guest speakers from the industry in to talk to students about different fields in physics and what it’s like day-to-day working in that particular field.

Any great memories from your course?

There have been a lot! Most of them are either when we all go out as a society or just relaxing in the department’s student room in between lectures joking around with everyone.

Salford University Physics Society (Photo by Georgia Bradshaw)

How is student life treating you?

I live in a student house near the university and I love it. The facilities on campus are great – with an onsite gym and a swimming pool, library with laptops you can borrow if you haven’t got your own, café, bank, shop and student bar, I can’t think of anything else we’d need.
I tend to spend a lot of my spare time just socialising either in the Students’ Union bar or at a friend’s flat. There’s always something going on to wind down after study!

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

What do you aspire to be doing once you graduate from university?

I’m not 100% certain but from my experience on the course so far, I’d love to go into some kind of coding job. The great thing about Physics is how many doors it opens for you after university – there’s so much you can do with a Physics degree. Salford also has a lot of industry links so I don’t think I’ll be struggling to find a job when I do graduate.

In the background is the Maxwell Building with each 2018 open day written alongside the windows. In the foreground is a plant and a spinning sign that reads 'University of Salford Manchester'

Would you recommend the University of Salford to anybody considering a Physics degree?

Definitely. It’s such a great university to study Physics at. I’ve made a lot of friends in years above and below me that I think I’ll be keeping for life thanks to the atmosphere the Physics department has. Also with it being such a small department (each year averaging around 40 students), the lecturers have a lot of time for you if you need extra support with a module, are struggling in your personal life, or if you just want a general chat and a laugh.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Thank you to Georgia for answering our questions! On our Applying for University 2019 Facebook Group we have an upcoming Facebook Q&A for Physics and Maths applicants to ask staff and current students any questions they wish! Find out how to join the group here or otherwise book yourself onto our next open day to take your next step into your University journey.