6 reasons why you should study physics post-16

  • Helena Kudiabor
  • Aug 09 2022

Studying physics allows you to challenge yourself, and opens up a wide range of career options. Here are six reasons why you should study physics post-16.


1. Gain a better understanding of the world

Much of modern society would not be possible without physics. The invention of mobile phones, aircrafts and televisions are just a few examples of things physics helped create. Without physics we wouldn’t have telecommunications, electricity or magnetism, three things that are essential to modern society. Studying physics will allow you to gain a greater understanding of how the world works, and why things happen the way they do.

2. Foundation for such a broad range of undergraduate degree courses

From physics to mechanical engineering, completing a physics post-16 will give you a greater understanding of a range of undergraduate degree subjects. This allows you entry to a number of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, such as computer science, general engineering, and physics itself. Even if you decide not to pursue a physics-related degree, a post-16 physics qualification will be regarded highly by universities.

3. Challenge yourself

Completing physics post-16 is enjoyable, but just like any other subject, it can be sometimes challenging. Don’t let the fear of not understanding something put you off – the satisfaction you get when you finally master a confusing topic is immense. It will also teach you perseverance, and equip you with the tools to handle difficult situations in the future. Furthermore, physics takes the maths equations you’ve learnt and applies them to real-life situations. Thus, you’ll gain a greater understanding of maths in general.

4. Equip yourself with incredibly useful skills

Although studying physics at a higher level will greatly enhance your physics knowledge, you’ll also gain a number of transferable skills. Skills you’ll gain while studying physics include: analysis, organisation, problem-solving, research and numeracy. These skills are highly valued by employers, and will assist you in your professional and personal ventures. Thus, even if you decide not to pursue a career in physics, the skills you gain will be transferable to a range of industries.

5. Wide range of job opportunities

One of the best things about studying physics is that it allows you to unlock a range of career options. Interested in engineering? Studying physics gives you the skills necessary to become an AI engineer (designing and implementing artificial intelligence) or a renewable energy engineer (producing renewable energy to combat climate change). Or, if you’re an avid gamer, there are opportunities within VFX, game design and game development. Physics graduates are also sought after within the legal industry, especially as patent attorneys.

6. Buck the trend

Even though physics is essential for many careers, there are disparities within who chooses to study physics. In 2016, just 1.9% of girls chose to study physics, compared to 6.5% of boys. Even though there’s no evidence to show girls are less interested or not as good as physics, only 23% of physics A-level entrants were female in 2021. 

The limited mention of black or female physicists within the curriculum makes women and ethnic minorities feel as though they would not fit in within the physics world. Studying physics at a higher level allows you to challenge stereotypes and show that it’s possible for anyone to succeed in physics!