Science is making a comeback in academia, and The Independent partially credits film industry trends for the change.

Blockbusters like Interstellar, Gravity and The Theory of Everything, as well as high-profile and well publicized projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the Mars Rover are creating excitement around science programs.

The number of physics degree applicants to the Institute of Physics in the UK has risen 40% over four years, and the number of students seeking to study physics at A-level have grown by 3% from 2012 to 2013.

Likewise, Oxford's applicants for its undergraduate physics program have grown by a third over the last five years.

“The easiest way to convey how cool a subject is, is to make it into a huge blockbuster," Laura Prichard, 23, the first recipient of a Hintze Foundation grant and an astrophysics PhD student at Oxford, tells The Independent. “The easiest way to convey how cool a subject is, is to make it into a huge blockbuster."

She says that there's a much greater interest these days when she goes to outreach events: "There is a buzz about physics and it’s very exciting to be in this field when interest from the general public is increasing."