New Physics degrees launched by Aberystwyth University
07 April 2017
Aberystwyth University is launching new Engineering Physics degrees as a report published by the Institute of Physics (IoP) shows that physics-based industries contribute more than £10.7bn annually to the Welsh economy.
From September 2017, students at the Department of Physics at Aberystwyth will be able to opt for three or four year BEng or five year MEng degrees in Engineering Physics.
Currently the Department offers three and four year degrees in Physics; Physics with Planetary and Space Physics; Astrophysics; Space Science and Robotics; and Mathematical and Theoretical Physics.
Focusing on the engineering of new materials, space technology and new generation quantum computers, the new programmes will build on the Department’s research expertise in these areas.
Professor Andrew Evans, Chair of the Institute of Physics in Wales and Head of the Department of Physics at Aberystwyth University, said: “The new Engineering Physics degrees are designed to provide our graduates with a sound physics grounding combined with excellent engineering skills and has been developed with the requirements of prospective employers in mind.
“Students opting to study Physics at Aberystwyth University are able to draw on the experience of researchers working directly on ground breaking space missions to Mars in 2020 (ExoMars) and Jupiter in 2023 (JUICE), the physics of new materials such as graphene and the development of quantum computers.”
Details of the new degrees follow the launch of a report by the Institute of Physics on ‘The role of physics in supporting economic growth and national productivity in Wales’ at the National Assembly of Wales on Monday 3 April 2017.
Based on research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the report highlights physics-based industries are worth more than £10.7bn annually to the Welsh economy and employ 6.4% of the workforce.
In 2013 physics-based industries in Wales accounted directly for £5.2bn gross value added, which represents a 10% share of the Welsh economy.
In 2015 the sector employed almost 84,000 people directly, and around 200,000 indirectly.
Writing the foreword to the report, Professor Evans said: “Wales is home to many internationally leading researchers with key roles in major international collaborations and it serves as a base for many businesses that have built significant success on physics-based knowledge and technologies.
“For Wales to continue to benefit from a high-technology, high-productivity economy in the future, it must continue to invest in physics today – in schools, in higher and further education, in research and in the businesses that thrive on the fruits of physics.
“The IOP is working with communities and stakeholders across the country to ensure that the benefits of physics are recognised and that the investment necessary for prosperity is secured.”