Opening image of University logo and Danny Steeghs.
I’m Dr Danny Steeghs, I’m an Associate Professor at the Department of Physics here at Warwick.
Hopefully Physics at A-Level gives people a flavour of what science can be, but really Physics at a University level is quite different in many ways too. It’s challenging but exciting. Physics at schools gives you a little bit of a flavour about what Physics may be about but really at University level, we really go a lot deeper but the underlying idea is that we really step up the methodology and the complexity of things, and we really teach you to be a scientist, a physicist, how do you solve these complicated problems? What are some of the theories that people have developed, and where are the gaps in our understanding, so I think it really is very different but hopefully for those that find Physics at schools appealing, you know Physics at University is something that is definitely very well suited for them.
One of the nice things about the Warwick Physics programme is that it of course starts with a very important core programme which really gets you the fundamentals and key mathematical tools and the key physical theories. But around that core, there is a lot of flexibility and that’s matched by the fact we have quite a varied range of academics in the department, and that we try to tie what they teach to what they research in, and the idea is that some of their enthusiasm and passion for their work comes across in their teaching as well because we try to link these two things together.
Of course you learn a lot of Physics, and a lot of Mathematics but Physics graduate students are really, are very versatile and we see that when we look at where our graduate students end up. Because really what we focus in on when we teach them Physics is the sort of problem solving skills and that makes Physics graduates quite attractive to a wide range of industry, and even what might seem non-scientific jobs, it's because of that problem solving, tackling complicated things, looking across the box kind of methodology that we really try to bring that to our students.
My own research areas is Astrophysics, so I do one of the larger modules which is the first year module Introduction to Astronomy, which is attended by a lot of students and gives a flavour for what you can do in Physics in the setting of Astronomy, Astrophysics, and connected already a little bit with the ongoing problems and research areas that astronomers work in.
There’s obviously, these days a lot of information online but nonetheless the best way to get a feel for the department and people is to come and visit during one of the open days. There’s a lot of demos, a lot of academics are available to talk, you can ask any questions you have on admissions procedures but also on course content so we get a lot of positive feedback from people that actually come to an open day, and the nice thing is they usually leave quite pleased and quite impressed, and obviously that’s good for us too.
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