The Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department has a 50-year track record of internationally renowned research and teaching.

dept.jpgThe Department of Physics and Astronomy has 46 full-time academic staff (including 22 Professors), supported by over 120 research, technical and clerical staff.

We also host around 250 undergraduate students, following either BSc (3 year) or MPhys (4 year) degree courses, and over 70 postgraduate students registered for a higher degree.

Our undergraduate physics degrees are available in three 'flavours': physics, physics with astrophysics, and physics with space science. The 2011 National Student Survey showed 93% of students were satisfied with their course.

The main Physics building accommodates several research groups - Radio and Space Plasma Physics (RSPP), X-ray and Observational Astronomy (XROA), Condensed Matter Physics (CMP) and Theoretical Astrophysics (AG) - as well as centres for supercomputing, microscopy, Gamma and X-ray astronomy, radar sounding, and the Swift UK Data Centre.src-plan.jpg

Our purpose built Space Research Centre houses the Space Projects and Instrumentation (SPI) group and provides laboratories, clean rooms and other facilities for instrumentation research, Earth Observation Science (EOS) and the Bio-imaging Unit.



The department is home to the University's ALICE 2048 core supercomputer and is a member of the UK's DiRAC (DiStributed Research utilising Advanced Computing) consortium. DiRAC is the integrated supercomputing facility for theoretical modelling and HPC-based research in particle physics, astronomy and cosmology. We host the complexity node of DiRAC (4000+ cores).

The mechanical workshop in the department provides technical support to staff and students.

We also run the University of Leicester Observatory in Manor Road, Oadby. With a 20 inch telescope it is one of the UK's largest and most advanced astronomical teaching facilities.

The department has close involvement with the National Space Centre also located in Leicester.

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Contact Details

Tel.: +44 (0)116 252 3506
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 2770

Department of Physics & Astronomy,
University of Leicester,
University Road,
Leicester, LE1 7RH,
United Kingdom.


For current students and general enquiries within UoL:

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Student complaints procedure


DisabledGo logo

The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has a detailed accessibility guide for the Physics and Astronomy Building.


The 2018 Ernest Rutherford Fellowships round is now open for applications. Further details on the process of applying for an ERF in the Department of Physics and Astronomy can be found here.

Mars Science Laboratory Blog

Find out the latest news about Mars Science Laboratory in Professor John Bridges' Mars Science Laboratory Blog.