Companies and research departments generally offer work placements or experience to students who are aged 16 and over. To find out more about local opportunities contact either your local STEMNET contract holder, Education Business Partnership or University.
You are advised to make contact with companies well in advance of your intended period of work experience, as placements are in high demand.Ideally you should start applying for work experience as early as possible.
For example, if you wish to do a placement during your summer vacation period, you should start looking near the start of the academic year i.e. during the autumn term before the summer you wish to do your work experience.
Applying for a Nuffield Science Bursary Scheme would give you the opportunity to work alongside scientists or engineers on physics-based projects.
Physics Taster Courses (for 16-18 year olds)
The National Particle Physics Masterclass is a series of one day events run by practicing particle physics researchers at various institutes all over the country.
Various university departments also offer their own Summer Schools, to find out more, take a look at each university's own physics department's homepage.
The Institute arranges Physics in Perspective - an enrichment course for sixth formers and college students every spring term in London:
Work Experience before or while at university
If you are keen to gain experience in the workplace then a degree with a placement in industry might be for you. Take a look at myPhysicsCourse.org - a site which lists a physics degrees in the UK and Ireland including those that offer a year in industry.
Ideally you would start applying for work experience as soon as possible and at least during the autumn term before the summer vacation you wish to do it in.
The Year in Industry scheme looks to introduce students to the world of work and opportunities are available within a wide range of industries. Placements last one academic year and can be taken as a gap year, before university, or as a sandwich year during undergraduate studies.
The STEP programme places second year and penultimate year undergraduates within small and medium sized companies to work on projects and gain work experience.
Sponsorships for Physics Degrees
The Scholarship Search website is a good first place to start. You could also try your local library for a wider range of grant directories.
Also, contact your university department directly to find out about any sponsorship and scholarship opportunities they have available specifically for their own students.