Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

University to Bring Back Its Physics Degree after 10-Year Gap

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

University to Bring Back Its Physics Degree after 10-Year Gap

Article excerpt

Byline: Linda Cameron Reporter

PHYSICS is returning to Newcastle University's curriculum after a decade-long break.

The university, which is a lead partner in the Newcastle Science Central project currently being built, is re-introducing its pure physics undergraduate degree programmes next year.

Bosses said it was "in response to rising demand from students to study science and engineering at university". Newcastle sparked controversy when it stopped offering physics in its pure form in 2004, following a drop in popularity of the subject in schools and a decline in the number of students wanting to study it beyond A level.

But nationally over the past eight years the number of students taking degrees in physics has increased by 50% and the number applying far exceeds the number of available places.

The increase has sparked a u-turn for the Russell Group university, and the new physics degree will start in 2015. It will be led jointly by the Schools of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Maths and Statistics.

Newcastle University's Professor Nick Wright, pro-vice-chancellor for research and innovation and himself a physicist, said: "Physics is the most fundamental science and crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us.

"The world needs more physicists and it is wonderful to see this revived enthusiasm for the subject and for science and technology generally.

"Newcastle has a long tradition and a world-leading reputation in physicsrelated research" He added: "The decision to stop the pure degree a decade ago was not taken lightly but at the time it was felt our resources would be better deployed elsewhere in the university.

"Being able to re-launch the programmes with a clear and confident strategic plan to grow physics over the next few years is very exciting. …

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