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What are the best universities for Physics?

If you want to follow in the footsteps of famous physicists such as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, the ideal place to start is with a degree from one of the best universities for Physics in the USA or UK.

So, what are the best universities for Physics?

Kaplan works with top UK universities with excellent rankings for Physics, and all of them are members of the elite Russell Group. In the USA, we can help you apply to a Physics degree at leading institutions.

University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is another great choice for students wishing to study a physics degree abroad. Founded in 1451, it’s one of Scotland’s 4 ‘ancient’ universities. It also has a long history of excellence in the field of Physics!

This is demonstrated by the University’s impressive position in the university league tables. Glasgow ranks 8th in the UK for Physics and Astronomy (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024).

Exterior of Glasgow University Main building

The University of Glasgow offers Physics degrees at both bachelor’s and master’s level, including subjects such as Astrophysics, Mathematics and Physics & Theoretical Physics.

You can also choose to specialise your research by studying a more focused physics degree. Physics (Advanced Materials), Physics (Energy and Environment) or Physics (Nuclear Technology) are just some of your options.

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham offers exceptional facilities for Physics students, and places great importance on the subject. Birmingham has a long history of achievement in Physics. Some Physicists linked to the university are even Nobel Prize winners!

University of Birmingham's main red brick building

Birmingham also ranks a fantastic 4th in the UK for Physics and Astronomy (Complete University Guide 2024).

An exciting range of Physics degrees is available at the University, including Physics and Astrophysics & Physics with Particle Physics and Cosmology. All of these degrees are available at undergraduate or postgraduate level. You can even customise some with an optional year of study abroad!

This makes Birmingham an ideal choice for international students wanting to explore another country as part of their study experience. It’s also a great option if you want to expand your subject knowledge by undertaking postgraduate studies.

University of York

Finally, the University of York has a strong Physics department where you’ll benefit from a collaborative environment. This is because the department works on research with other institutions around the world, as well as working closely with industry partners.

Ron Cooke Hub

The University of York ranks 19th in the UK for Physics and Astronomy (Complete University Guide 2024).

At York, international students can access Physics degrees like Mathematics and Physics, Physics with Astrophysics and even Physics with Philosophy. You can study many of these subjects with an optional study abroad year, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

University of Bristol

The physics department at Bristol University

The University of Bristol is well known for its pioneering research in the field of Physics. In fact, it was researchers at the University of Bristol that developed the remote mapping technology that is used all over the world!

Plus, it ranks 11th in the UK for Physics and Astronomy, according to the Complete University Guide 2024!

The University also stands out due to the wide range of Physics degrees it offers to international students. You could study Geophysics, Physics, or Theoretical Physics, or study Physics alongside a related subject like Mathematics or Scientific Computing.

Bristol also offers the option to do a voluntary industrial placement. This allows you to graduate with relevant skills and experience that will make you stand out among other graduates.

University of Nottingham

Similarly, the University of Nottingham also enjoys a place in the UK top 20 for the subject. Nottingham ranks 14th in the UK for Physics and Astronomy (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024), making it a great choice for Physics students.

A lake view and extensive greenery at University of Nottingham

The very best experts in the field teach at Nottingham. In fact, its School of Physics and Astronomy ranks 3rd in the UK for research (Times Higher Education interpretation of Research Excellence Framework).

At Nottingham, you can enrol on a Physics degree such as Mathematical Physics, Physics with Medical Physics or Physics with Nanoscience.

University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool also has an excellent physics department. In fact, one of its researchers recently won an Innovator of the Year award at the 2019 RNIB awards!

The Victoria gallery museum at the University of Liverpool

Dr Chris Edmonds was part of a team that worked on Tactile Collider, a project that aims to enhance scientific learning for blind and vision-impaired students. It’s no surprise then, that the University of Liverpool ranks 28th in the UK for Physics (Complete Good University Guide 2024).

At Liverpool, you’ll have a great choice of Physics degrees, whether you want to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. For example, you could study Astrophysics, Geology and Geophysics or Theoretical Physics. You could also add depth to your degree by studying Physics with a concentration in astronomy, medical applications or nuclear science.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University has 4 locations in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Phoenix’s warm climate makes it popular with students and tourists alike. It’s the 2nd sunniest city in the world!

ASU is also ranked in the top 125 universities in the USA for Physics and Astronomy, out of 100s of universities (Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2023).

At ASU, you can study Physics degrees like Applied Physics, Biophysics and Astrophysics. If you’d like to teach Physics one day, you can study a degree in Physics (Secondary Education). This will set you on the path to becoming a certified teacher!

You can be sure you’ll receive a warm welcome from Arizona’s large international community. In fact, ASU is a top 10 university chosen by international students (Institute of International Education 2020).

How to study Physics in the UK or USA

You have some fantastic options for studying Physics abroad with Kaplan. Our pathway courses prepare you for your university-level study and can help you to gain entry to a degree at one of the best universities for Physics, even if you don’t currently meet the entry requirements.

For some universities, we can help you with applying directly to a degree if you do meet the entry requirements.

To get started, use the degree finder below to search all the Physics degrees you can study with at our partner universities in the UK and USA.

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