Applications for 2022 are now closed! We will contact all applicants by 07 JAN 2022!

About the Physics | Mathematics Experience Week

21st -25th February 2022

Every February half term, NUSTEM coordinates an “Experience Week” for a limited number of  Y12 students from local schools keen to get a flavour of what it is like to study at university.
This year we will be offering two different strands of the Experience Week: the Physics strand and the Mathematics strand.
Throughout the Experience Week, participants will:
    • Attend a first year university lecture of our physics/mathematics undergraduate programmes;
    • Interview an academic researcher or postgraduate student;
    • Create and showcase a research poster;
    • Visit laboratories, specialist facilities and get a guided tour of our campus;
    • Experience student life at university.
Participants will engage with academic researchers and postgraduate students from the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering (MPEE), learning about current research carried in areas like:
    • Applied Statistics
    • Quantum and Molecular Photonics
    • Mathematics of Complex and Nonlinear Phenomena
    • Solar Physics
    • Renewable Energy Technologies and Materials
    • Smart Materials & Surfaces
Staff at Northumbria University are often part of multidisciplinary research teams, and the Experience Week will draw from other disciplines such as Engineering and Geography.
By the end of the week participants will have completed a research poster to present to peers, staff and students in a showcase-style event. They will gain skills in research, problem solving and collaborative group work.
We take the safety of our visitors, students and staff seriously and we will follow the University and government COVID-19 guidelines. This means that, although we are aiming to run the Experience Week on campus, we may have to move it online or cancel it at short notice.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 10th of December 2021

Applications are now closed

Here are few tips and things to consider before applying:

  1. The Experience Week was designed for Y12 students from local schools with a genuine interest in understanding what it’s like to study Physics and/or Mathematics at University level.
  2. The Experience Week will take place from the 21st to 25th of February 2022.
  3. Make sure you provide us with an email address you check on a regular basis, as this is the only way we’ll have to get in touch with you.
  4. Provide us with the correct email address of your teacher. as this is the only way we’ll have to contact them to ask them to act as your referee.
  5. It is your responsibility to notify your teacher that you are using them as your referee.
  6. You can apply for both strands (Physics or Mathematics) of the Experience Week.
  7. You should write one application for each strand you apply for.
  8. If  are accepted in one strand, you will not be allowed to swap strands, sorry.
  9. We aim to deliver the Experience Week in person on campus. However COVID-19 guidelines might force us to move it online or to cancel it in a short notice.
  10. Application deadline: 10th December 2021.

Applications for 2022 are now closed. Please get in touch with Dr. Antonio Portas at to submit a late application

Your application will be assessed against the following assessment matrix

  1. Applications are ranked according to their scores and offers are made to applicants with the highest scores. The number of places per strand depends on several factors (e.g. staff & research projects available, room capacity, COVID-19 guidelines). We aim to offer 14 to 16 places per strand for the 2022 edition of the “Experience Week”. In case of a tie we will also take into consideration the reference provided by the applicant’s teacher.
  2. Remaining applicants are kept on a “waiting list,” and will be offered a place in case of any drop-outs.

Any queries regarding the assessment of applications should be sent to Dr. Antonio Portas at

  1. You will get a confirmation from this website acknowledging your application!
  2. Deadline for applications is 10th of December 2021. We may have mentioned that already.
  3. We will contact your referee during the week of 13th of December 2021. Please make sure that you notify them.
  4. We will inform you of the outcome of your application no later than 7th of January 2022.
  5. Between 10th of January 2022 and 21st of February 2022, successful applications will receive additional information regarding the Experience Week.

If you have any questions regarding your application, please email contact Dr. Antonio Portas on

Experience Week 2021

Last year (2021) we ran Physics Experience Week online.

We had 22 participants from various schools around the UK working on 10 different projects.

Below are what some of our participants had to say about their experience:

“I wasn’t sure about how the week was going to be at first. However, after first meeting the NUSTEM team, I knew it was going to be entertaining, as well as educational. Working with other students across the country on a project was great fun, and I would definitely recommend it to someone else who may be unsure on whether to do it”

“A fantastic experience that anyone with a science head should get involved with. The experience week has truly inspired me to get more involved with science

“The week has been absolutely amazing and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The lectures and individual webinars gave me a greater understanding of physics as a whole, as well as physics at university. The project I worked on was an eye-opener and a very good one as well. I had never learnt anything of my project beforehand and learning something new really added to the experience as a whole. Overall a fantastic opportunity (whether it being virtual or face to face) that I would recommend to anyone with even the slightest interest in studying physics.”

Below you can find some of the research posters produced last year.

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