From physics degree to work: developing work mobility and career readiness

Actions and Detail Panel

Sales Ended

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Online Event

Event description
Webinar to discuss how university physics departments address skills needs & support all students to attain their career potential

About this Event

From physics degree to work: developing work mobility and career readiness

Chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham

SEPnet / WRIPA joint webinar supported by Institute of Physics

In the current economic climate there is all the more need for undergraduates, including physicists to gain work experience and access to employers to accelerate the development of ‘work-ready skills’ and enhance their ‘employability’ in what will be an increasingly competitive job market.

Employer engagement through curricular and extra-curricular activities is key to the way both physics departments and careers & employability services create opportunities for students to develop transferable skills. However, this approach is predicated on students being ‘work mobile’ with a high level of social capital and the awareness to ‘fit’ their degree programme into the context of the world of work. Evidence suggests that many physics students self-select out of work experience and placements for several reasons including lack of confidence; lack of awareness of their own skills and career opportunities; or a so-called ‘science ego’.

The current crisis will lead to new ways of working for universities and business and may lead to different opportunities. However, the key factors underpinning physics graduate outcomes remain largely influenced by students’ access to ‘employability capital’, engagement with careers advice and their career decision-making ability. These challenges now sit in the context of a fluid and uncertain regional labour market and university physics departments have an even greater responsibility to prepare students for the changing world of work.

This event is for heads of physics departments, academics responsible for employability, programme managers, heads of teaching and learning, industry representatives, careers and employability advisers and anyone with responsibility for developing physics students’ employability skills.


09.00 – 09.10: Chair’s Introduction – Professor Sir William Wakeham

09.10 – 09.35: Graduate Employability and Student Outcomes - Dr Brooke Storer-Church - Skills and Industrial Strategy Manager, Office for Students

09.35 – 10.00: An economic overview by region on skills shortages and what employers are looking for - Charlie Ball, Head of Higher Education Intelligence, Graduate Prospects

10.00 – 10.25: How mobile are physics students? And how does it affect their prospects? - Dr Alastair Buckley, Senior Lecturer, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Sheffield

10.25 – 10.45: Discussion

10.45 – 11.00: Break

11.00 – 11.25: Tackling career-readiness via a physics-specific careers App - Dr Samantha Pugh, Director of Student Education, Dr Alison Voice, Head of Physics Education Research Group, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds and Dr Sinéad D’Silva, Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa

11.25 – 11.50: How courses can be adapted to address skills’ needs – learning from another STEM discipline - Dr Mike Edwards, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Keele University

11.50 – 12.15: Employer panel – 4 employers (AWE, Ultra, BAE Systems and MeVitae) - share their views on embedding employability in courses, recruitment in the current climate and addressing skills needs

12.15 – 12.45: Group discussion

12.45- 13.00: Summary and close of proceedings

For more information on the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy (WRIPA) or South East Physics Network (SEPNet), please go to: www. and

Date and Time


Online Event

Save This Event

Event Saved