Leicester builds launchpad for industry ready physics graduates

Physics students are putting theory into practice in a new Skills Elective that has seen them work with industry on projects such as decommissioning satellites and helping to diagnose breast cancer cases.

The new module has been created for the University's Undergraduate degrees in Physics offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The module provides students with an insight into a sector of their choice through applied research into problems relevant to industry, business, research or education – giving the students valuable skills to launch themselves onto their chosen career path.

It equips students with an array of highly desirable skills in today's job market, whether those are practical in the form of advanced programming, astrodynamics and electronics, or theoretical such as pedagogy and project management.

Dr Mervyn Roy, the module leader, said: “Our aim is to maximize the students’ employability, to help both employers and our graduates by making sure students are ‘industry ready’ and able to hit the ground running when starting a career. The module is not just about in-demand skills like programming, but crucially allows students to pick up invaluable project, budget, and team management experience in a workplace environment.”

Dr Graham Wynn, the Director of Teaching and Learning in the department, said: “Essentially we have set a module in which students select a mini-internship in their chosen career area. The most important development is the much broader range of careers involved from previous attempts, which is crucial for a subject like physics. We believe the Skills Electives module is unique in the sheer scope of its activities and is the first to encompass entrepreneurship and innovation directly."