Physics is the study of matter and motion, what the world is made of and how it works. Physicists study everything from the smallest particles to the structure of the universe. Astrophysics introduces you to the basics of physics and demonstrates how this knowledge can be applied to the physics of astronomy. Recent astronomical discoveries have made it an increasingly popular area of study. We have close links with the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, one of the UK's major centres of astronomical research. The core skills you learn, such as how to assemble data by experiment, study or calculation and how to draw conclusions from your observations, will prepare you for a range of careers or for further study and research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 96 per cent of our research was rated 4* or 3*, world-leading or internationally excellent, in a joint collaboration with the University of St Andrews. We were ranked fourth in the UK for research and third for our performance on quality. The School is home to the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics. The discovery in July 2012 of a candidate Higgs boson at CERN, almost half a century after Peter Higgs' prediction in 1964 and for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2013, is a milestone in the history of theoretical physics. Rarely in the history of physics has a theoretical prediction been confirmed so spectacularly, so long after it was originally made. This marks the start of a new era in theoretical physics.