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Dr Peter Swift

Associate Professor (Teaching)


AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Associate Professor (Teaching) in the Department of Physics120+44 (0) 191 33 43518
Vice-Principal of Grey College +44 (0) 191 33 45630
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing College: 45630 / Department: 43518


Since October 2011, Peter has worked in the Department of Physics, currently as an Associate Professor (Education), which he has held jointly with the positon of Vice-Master of Grey College since January 2014. Since July 2021 he has been Acting Master of Grey College.

Prior to this, Peter graduated with first class honours in Maths and Physics from Durham University. He then undertook a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Martyn Chamberlain and sponsored by HMGCC in the terahertz group at Durham, which he completed in 2008. This was followed by a period working for a University spin-out, Durham Photonics Ltd, where he developed terahertz instrumentation, and then as a Post-Doc on the ROBUST project (Regeneration Of Brownfield Using Sustainable Technology), investigating the applicability of terahertz radiation as a sensor for organic molecules.

College Responsibilities

As Acting Master of Grey College, I have overall responsibiltiy for the life of the College. This includes aspects of the Wider Student Experience and student development, Student Support and Alumni Relations.

Within the Colleges Division I am the Chair of the Welcome and Orientation Week group, and sit on a number of other working groups.

Department Responsibilities

Teaching Activity

Since 2020 I have been the overall module leader for Discovery Skills in Physics, the first year Laboratory Module. In addition, I have led the Epiphany Term practical sesisons since 2013, and still demonstrate on the module.

I run Level 4 projects in the areas of Pedagogy and SoTL and organise the Physics Department Welcome Week Group Activity.

I sit on the department's Education Committee as both Education Track Representative and Outreach co-ordinator; in this role I sit on the Science Faculty Outreach Management Group.

Since 2014, I have had overall responsibility for coordinating the department's particpation and provision for both the Supported Progression and Sutton Trust Summer Schools as part of the Univeristy's Widening Participation initiatives. In addiiton, I am the department coordindator for the recently commenced Levelling-up, Aspire Higher project

From 2011 - 2021 I lectured the Level 2 course, Thermodyanmics and Statistical Physics, which forms part of the module Foundations of Physics 2B. This included giving lectures and producing associated materials, providing weekly problems with solutions, and setting and marking examinations.

Research Interests

My main interests now lie in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learnign (SoTL) in Physics. In particular, how students learn physics (pedagogy), and how we can improve our teaching methods for this.

I am involved in a vareity of projects, including looking at the COVID impact on student's practical skills on the transition to HE.

Research groups

  • Terahertz Photonics