School of Physics and Astronomy

Welcome to the School of Physics and Astronomy. On this page you’ll find everything you need to know about starting or returning to your studies.

Make sure you read the ‘all students’ information first – this covers things like safety procedures on your course and where to go for more information or support.

Then scroll to the section that applies to you – new student or returning student. We’ve also included some helpful links at the end of the page to direct you to anything else you might need.

If you’re a postgraduate researcher, find your faculty welcome and induction information to help you get started

All students

Will I be required to attend face-to-face sessions?

We are expecting all students to attend timetabled face-to-face sessions. If you have concerns about being able to attend, either due to health reasons, or because you are still overseas, please email the Student Information Service at as soon as possible so we can work with you to support your learning.

How will tutorials/seminars, practical or lab sessions be managed?

Practical sessions will be in person in our new laboratories. All tutorials/seminars, lectures and group sessions will also be face-to-face and on campus.

Where can I go for support? 

Help and support are always available – please get in touch if you are unsure about anything relating to your course, support, or general university life.The first port of call for most students is the Student Information Service (SIS). You can email the Student Information Service at, or telephone the Student Information Service on 0800 915 0402. If you are outside of the UK, you can telephone the Student Information Service on +44 (0)113 343 7000. You can also visit a Student Information Point at various locations across the campus. 

If you need academic support you can contact your personal tutor. 

Director of Student Education – Email Dr Robert Purdy at Samantha is our Director of Student Education (DSE) within the school and oversees all students.

First year convenor – Email Dr Thomas Moore at Tom oversees first year studies.

Programme leaders:

How will I find out more about my programme?

Students will find out more about their programme and their programme structure during induction week. This includes what the compulsory and optional modules are, what discovery modules students can study and the overall programme structure for their degree. Students can also view further information online on the programme and module catalogues.

The first lecture for each module will also cover what the content of that module will be and how it fits into the degree programme. Physics with Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics students will also have a dedicated induction session. We will have year group meeting at the start of each semester and also at the end of the academic year in which we will discuss your programme and future module choices.

How will I get to know other students?

In the School of Physics and Astronomy, this includes induction week activities, Physics Society (Physoc) social events, tutorial group activities, group-based learning in labs and problems classes, peer assisted learning (PAL) mentors and social spaces in the School.

Are there any specialist software or systems that I need for my programme and where do I find out information about them?

No, you do not need any specialist software.

Do I need to provide my core reading texts?  

No, any books are available either from the library or as ebooks through the library website.

What is the role of course representatives and how do I volunteer?

Each University course, including undergraduate and postgraduate courses, has course representatives. Course representatives are expected to collect feedback from students on their course and present this feedback to members of staff in the school at Student:Staff Forum meetings throughout the academic year.

To find out more about becoming a course rep and to volunteer please visit the Physics and Astronomy Minerva organisation. Students can volunteer at any time during the year. A list of course reps for each course and year will also be kept up-to-date once teaching commences.

Are there any societies I can join for the school/programme?

Leeds University Union offer many societies that cover a wide range of subjects and interests and we would recommend all students to have a look and see if there is a society right for you. Within the School of Physics and Astronomy there is the Physics Society (Physoc). This is run by students for students. Physoc organise regular events and socials. The best way to keep up to date with Physoc events and news is by joining the society.

Are there any peer mentoring schemes operating in my school?

We have a system of Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) in the School. You will be introduced to our PAL mentors during induction. They are students in higher years of study who are happy to help and advise you with both academic and social aspects of studying and living as a student in Leeds.

How does assessment work on my programme?

There is a mid-term assessment week for all students. During this week (week 6) you will have short assessments/tests for each of your modules to check on your progress. During this week, regular lectures for modules with assessments will not take place, to give you time to prepare for the tests. In most cases the tests will be electronic and you will be provided with timely feedback about your progress. 

For most modules, there will be an end of module online, time-limited assessment (OTLA) that will be open book. Typically you will have two hours to complete the assessment  and you will submit your work online. This will happen during the ‘examination period’ at the end of the semester (January and May/June). You can see the range of assessment types for each of your modules by looking in the module catalogue.

I’m a new student

What do I need to do before I arrive? 

New students will need to register and ensure they have IT access. We advise that you do this as soon as possible. Students should also make their optional and discovery module choices (depending on their programme).

Students wishing to refresh their Physics knowledge prior to the start of term may wish to use Isaac Physics. Further details on Isaac Physics can be found on the Flying Start website. It would also be worth revisiting your A-Level Maths knowledge – particularly calculus, trigonometry and mechanics, as this will really help you during the first few weeks.

You should also view and know your induction timetable ahead of induction week which starts on Monday 26 September.

What does my induction timetable look like?

Timetables will be on the Flying Start website when it becomes available. Sessions will be clearly labelled as either online or face to face. Any changes will be communicated to you clearly.

The induction timetable will also contain brief instructions for joining sessions.

How will I meet my academic personal tutor? How will academic personal tutoring work? (undergraduate students)

Your personal tutor is an academic that will support your progress throughout your entire degree. Students will meet their personal tutor and tutor group (other first year students who have the same personal tutor) during induction week. Students will also have the chance to meet their tutor in a one-to-one meeting at the start of term. There are weekly group tutorials that last approximately one hour and focus on solving physics problems related to the course.

You can approach your personal tutor if you have questions about the course, your module choices or would like to discuss your academic progress. You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor and your tutor group throughout first year.

What welcome activities do you have planned to welcome me to Physics and Astronomy?

We have a diverse range of activities planned to welcome you to the School of Physics and Astronomy. Our induction activities will help you understand your course, meet the academics and your personal tutor as well as other students on your course.

We hope that you will find induction week informative and useful as well as fun and engaging. We would also encourage you to check out the Leeds University Union schedule and get involved with the many events happening as part of induction wee

I’m a returning student

What do I need to do before I arrive?

You should register, make your module choices and book an appointment to meet with your personal tutor during induction week to discuss progress and the year ahead.

Students who will be undertaking a project this year will be sent more details including project choices at the start of September.

You will be able to view your induction schedule on your timetable and it will also be emailed to you.

Links to additional schools resources 

Other useful links