George Grey Centre Physics lab

Department of Physics and Mathematics

About the department

Physics and Astrophysics at Hull is ranked 7th in the UK.* We have an exceptionally vibrant learning community taught by members of staff who are international experts in areas ranging from astrophysics, nanophysics, lasers and computational and theoretical physics.

Mathematics at Hull is led by renowned academics whose work underpin the modules you'll study. Their specialisms include fluid dynamics, mathematical biology, financial mathematics and industrial mathematics. All taught within our close-knit mathematical community.

A degree in Physics or Mathematics is highly valued by employers and opens doors to varied and rewarding careers. Our graduates progress into areas such as research & development, teaching, banking and finance, information and communications technology (ICT), accountancy, insurance, the Civil Service, HM Revenue and Customs and management.

First for academic support

Our latest National Student Survey scores show that our Astronomy course is best in class for student satisfaction and academic support**.

Top for employability

Over 90% of our students go into graduate-level roles within 15 months of graduating*. This is further facilitated by our employability focussed project 'WRIPA+'; funded by an Office for Students grant and led by Hull as part of our partnership with the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy (WRIPA).

We are passionate

Our 'Changing face of physics' campaign was named 'Best practice in the UK' by the Equality Challenge Unit and resulted in an Athena Swan award.

Groundbreaking research

We've authored over 700 papers – gathering more than 30,000 citations over the years – in the fields of nanotechnology, laser physics and astrophysics.

Head of department

Professor Brad Gibson

Professor Brad Gibson


IIraj Vaezzadeh, Astrophysics

Our facilities

Take a 360-degree look at our physics laboratory where you'll have access to the tools for a broad understanding of modern physics, including high performance computers and industry standard equipment.

Our community

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Hands-on experience

We lead a £5.6 million Office for Students grant to deliver fantastic work experience opportunities for physics students. This includes access to an extensive range of work-based learning opportunities.


Viper, our leading high-performance computing centres are the highest rated in the north of England. This significant research investment provides a vital requirement to meet the ever growing demands of the University’s research community.

Find out more about Viper

Try for yourself

Watch: join Professor Brad Gibson and John Elliott for a virtual Mathematics taster session

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Groundbreaking research

Professor Ronald Shaw, who joined our team in Hull directly after completing his PhD at Cambridge, is one of the authors of the Yang-Mills-Shaw theory which is central to particle physics.

"It was a definite 'yes' for Hull"

Watch: find out why Katie Smith chose to study Mathematics at Hull 

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Events for all

We run over 100 events a year. These span a range of widening participation, diversity in STEM, continuing professional development for teachers and curriculum-enhancing support.

Using Mathematics to explore the galaxy

We develop essential tools for simulations to probe the formation of elements in the Universe, like our unprecedented simulation of the Universe spanning its first 8 billion years of existence.


Our research is at the frontier of physics and mathematics; stretching across the breadth of topics that are embedded in the department's activity. Hull's physics and mathematics research is included in the top quartile of research volume growth in Nature Index 2020.

1 Astrophysics is ranked #1 in the UK for overall satisfaction with a score of 100%*
Students have access to Viper, one of the UK's most powerful super computers
In 1969 when we tested samples gathered from the Moon by Neil Armstrong’s historic Apollo 11 mission
IMA Mathematics is accredited by The Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications
The world's leading experts, contributing to world class research
8 Physics is ranked 8th in the UK for overall satisfaction*


* Guardian League Table 2022

** National Student Survey (NSS) 2020, HEIs only.