Clifton’s physicists develop highly marketable and transferable skills, such as the ability to model new situations, think in a disciplined but critically minded manner, and plan practical work. The department prides itself on the quality of practical work at all levels.


Our teaching is academically rigorous, but with a focus on finding new ways of inspiring pupils at all levels and abilities. Many adults remember physics as dry or baffling at school but at Clifton, physics is immediately recognisable as a creative, thriving and successful subject.

We have a dedicated Sixth Form project lab, access to the Stone Library’s collection of more than 5,000 books and journals, a set of ipads, a wide range of data-logging equipment, a computer suite with in-house software simulations, department-wide WiFi, and two dedicated physics technicians.

Why Study At Clifton College?

Physics at Clifton is all about engagement, humour and a healthy respect for the details. To be a physics teacher is to be a magician who explains his or her tricks. At Clifton, the aim is to communicate a sense of wonder at the beauty and simplicity of the universe to our pupils.  

We work closely with the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education and the Institute of Physics.

We also arrange educational visits for students where possible. Previous trips have included: the famous particle physics project, CERN, in Geneva; the planetarium in Bristol; and A-Level science live lectures in where students hear from scientists at the forefront of their research. 

There is an Astronomy and Scientific Society open to all pupils of the Upper School. Another club the physics department offers is 'Stretchy Physics' in which Sixth Form students are set challenging problems to solve either individually or in teams - excellent preparation for Oxbridge applicants. For those students interested specifically in engineering, there is a STEM club which meets weekly; this year's project has involved designing, building and testing a model rocket which should reach heights of 260m!