The University of Southampton

William Smith MPhys Particle Physics with a Research Year Abroad, 2019

I chose to study at Southampton because I liked the campus and the physics course has a good reputation. Specifically, Southampton offers a flagship degree course for top performers to spend a year abroad at CERN, which as a young physicist interested me. I’m pleased to say that I did go onto study this programme and spend my final year at CERN (MPhys Particle Physics with a Research Year Abroad).  

My time at CERN was incredibly exciting, challenging and busy.

My time at CERN was incredibly exciting, challenging and busy. After a steep learning curve, I became immersed in the research and I was quickly able to make valuable and novel contributions. I’ve enjoyed working at such a scientifically significant place, which has a uniquely collaborative and intellectual atmosphere.

Outside of work, I found time to explore Switzerland by bike and train, and more importantly, go skiing a fair few times.

Developing academic, social and transferable skills at Southampton

Studying here is very rewarding. The physics course is well designed and the lecturers are excellent. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with things you enjoy, or to learn something new. You get out what you put in!

Throughout my time at Southampton, I’ve become more confident in both my academic and social ability. Aside from the vast number of skills I’ve learnt from my Physics degree, taking part in music and sport has ensured I’ve developed a wide range of transferable skills.

What’s next after graduating?

I took part in the Business Innovation Programme, which helped me combine the problem solving from my physics degree with the commercial aspects of business. This was an eight-week scheme where I worked in and led a small group of students to help a local business with a commercial problem. In my case it was a local cabling manufacturer trying to break into new markets. We produced a proposal to accomplish this and presented our ideas to the business. They were thrilled with it and happily I was later nominated for the business innovation award at the Southampton Employability awards evening.

Ultimately, this helped me get the job I wanted. I’m going to be training to become a patent attorney at a law firm in London.