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Masters Degrees (Relativity)

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The Department of Philosophy has exceptional research strength in philosophy of physics, and very strong links with the School of Physics. Read more
The Department of Philosophy has exceptional research strength in philosophy of physics, and very strong links with the School of Physics. Our MA draws on these strengths. It is intended both for students who wish to specialise in philosophy of physics at a higher level, and for individuals with a background in physics or mathematics who wish to make a transition to philosophy and foundations of physics. The course consists of five taught units in philosophy, two taught master's units in physics, and a 15,000-word dissertation.

As a postgraduate student, you will be an active member of the department’s flourishing research culture. You will be encouraged to attend and participate in both the weekly departmental research seminar and in the Philosophy and History of Science seminars, which often feature well-known scholars in the field, from Bristol and beyond. There is also a weekly postgraduate seminar, where you may present your own work before your peers and learn to develop your argumentative strategies in a supportive environment.

Programme structure

The MA consists of taught components in philosophy and physics, as well as a dissertation.

Core units
- Philosophical Writing and Research Methods (Philosophy, 20-credit unit)
- A mandatory, two-hour weekly seminar developing ideas, bibliographical and writing skills necessary for philosophical research. The unit is assessed by seminar contributions and presentations.
- Scientific Methodology and Epistemology (Philosophy, 20-credit unit)
This unit concerns core topics in scientific epistemology and metaphysics. The unit is examined on the basis of an essay of 5,000-6,000 words. As with all assessed essays, you may meet with a supervisor to discuss your work and to receive feedback on a draft essay.
- Philosophy of Physics (Philosophy, 20-credit unit)
This unit covers philosophical issues related to basic physical theories, focusing on conceptual issues in the foundations of quantum theory and special relativity. We will cover topics such as the relativity of simultaneity; geometry and the causal structure of relativity physics; the conceptual structure of quantum mechanics, the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen argument; the measurement problem and Schrödinger’s cat paradox of; locality and action-at-a-distance.
- Advanced Philosophy of Physics (Philosophy, 20-credit unit)
This unit will examine a selection of conceptual issues in the foundations of physical theory with particular focus on the physics of the mid-to-late 20th century. We cover topics such as: the arrow of time in thermal physics; the interpretation of quantum field theory; emergence and universality in condensed matter physics; fine tuning problems and inflationary cosmology; spontaneous symmetry breaking and the Higgs mechanism; and time in quantum gravity.
- Foundations of Modern Physics (Physics, 10-credit unit)
Emphasis is placed on students developing an appreciation of the foundations of different areas of physics, and the unit assessment involves students writing an essay whose detailed subject is partly decided by the student. The lectures are divided into Classical, Spacetime and Quantum Physics.
- Relativistic Field Theory (Physics, 10-credit unit)
This course will give an account of the modern approach to special relativity and Lagrangian field theory, and their role in the covariant description of the classical electromagnetic field, and the relativistic quantum Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations. Formative assessment is through problem sheets discussed in problems classes. Summative assessment is through a 2 hour written examination

Optional units (all Philosophy 20-credit units)
- History of Science
- Logic
- Philosophy and History of Mathematics
- Philosophy and History of Medicine
- Philosophy of Biology
- Philosophy of Psychology
- An individual, supervised research project

Please be aware that optional units may vary from year to year.

Careers

The MA in Philosophy of Physics is an ideal platform for further studies in Philosophy or Foundations of Physics. This course will also provide students with Maths and Physics backgrounds with an opportunity to develop verbal, written and argumentative skills that are highly valued by employers.

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The Masters in Astrophysics gives you an understanding of the principles and methods of modern astrophysics at a level appropriate for a professional physicist. Read more

The Masters in Astrophysics gives you an understanding of the principles and methods of modern astrophysics at a level appropriate for a professional physicist.

Why this programme

  • The School has a major role in the award winning NASA RHESSI X-ray mission studying solar flares and in several other forthcoming international space missions such as ESA’s Solar Orbiter.
  • The School plays a world-leading role in the design and operation of the worldwide network of laser interferometers leading the search for gravitational waves.
  • Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow is ranked 3rd in Scotland (Complete University Guide 2017).
  • You will gain the theoretical, observational and computational skills necessary to analyse and solve advanced astrophysics problems, providing you with an excellent foundation for a career of scientific leadership in academia or industry.
  • You will develop transferable skills that will improve your career prospects, such as project management, team-working, advanced data analysis, problem-solving, critical evaluation of scientific literature, advanced laboratory and computing skills, and how to effectively communicate with different audiences.
  • You will benefit from direct contact with our group of international experts who will teach you cutting-edge physics and supervise your projects.
  • With a 93% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016, Physics and Astronomy at Glasgow continues to meet student expectations combining both teaching excellence and a supportive learning environment.

Programme Structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Astrophysics include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work.

The programme draws upon a wide range of advanced Masters-level courses. You will have the flexibility to tailor your choice of optional courses and project work to a variety of specific research topics and their applications in the area of astrophysics.

Core courses include

  • Advanced data analysis
  • General relativity and gravitation (alternate years, starting 2018–19)
  • Gravitational wave detection
  • Plasma theory and diagnostics (alternate years, starting 2017–18)
  • Pulsars and supernovae (alternate years, starting 2018–19)
  • Research skills
  • Statistical astronomy (alternate years, starting 2017–18)
  • The Sun's Atmosphere
  • Extended project

Optional courses include

  • Advanced electromagnetic theory
  • Applied optics
  • Circumstellar matter (alternate years, starting 2017-18)
  • Cosmology (alternate years, starting 2018–19)
  • Dynamics, electrodynamics and relativity
  • Exploring planetary systems (alternate years, starting 2018-19)
  • Galaxies (alternate years, starting 2017-18)
  • Instruments for optical and radio astronomy (alternate years, starting 2018-19)
  • Statistical mechanics
  • Stellar astrophysics (alternate years, starting 2017–18)

Career prospects

Career opportunities include academic research, based in universities, research institutes, observatories and laboratory facilities; industrial research in a wide range of fields including energy and the environmental sector, IT and semiconductors, optics and lasers, materials science, telecommunications, engineering; banking and commerce; higher education.



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The Masters in Theoretical Physics provides an understanding of the principles and methods of modern physics, with particular emphasis on the theoretical aspects of the subject, and at a level appropriate for a professional physicist. Read more

The Masters in Theoretical Physics provides an understanding of the principles and methods of modern physics, with particular emphasis on the theoretical aspects of the subject, and at a level appropriate for a professional physicist.

Why this programme

  • Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow is ranked 3rd in Scotland (Complete University Guide 2017).
  • The School plays a leading role in the exploitation of data from the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator at CERN.
  • You will gain the theoretical and computational skills necessary to analyse and solve a range of advanced physics problems, providing an excellent foundation for a career of scientific leadership in academia or industry.
  • You will develop transferable skills that will improve your career prospects, such as project management, team-working, advanced data analysis, problem-solving, critical evaluation of scientific literature, advanced laboratory and computing skills, and how to effectively communicate with different audiences.
  • You will benefit from direct contact with our group of international experts who will teach you cutting-edge physics and supervise your projects.
  • With a 93% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016, Physics and Astronomy at Glasgow continues to meet student expectations combining both teaching excellence and a supportive learning environment.
  • This programme has a September and January intake*. 

*For suitably qualified candidates

Programme structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Theoretical Physics include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work.

The programme draws upon a wide range of advanced Masters-level courses. You will have the flexibility to tailor your choice of optional lecture courses and project work to a wide variety of specific research topics and their applications in the area of theoretical physics.

Core courses include

  • Advanced data analysis
  • Quantum information
  • Quantum theory
  • Research skills
  • Extended project

Optional courses include

  • Advanced electromagnetic theory
  • Advanced mathematical methods
  • Applied optics
  • Dynamics, electrodynamics and relativity
  • General relativity and gravitation (alternate years, starting 2018-19)
  • Plasma theory and diagnostics (alternate years, starting 2017-18)
  • Relativistic quantum fields
  • Statistical mechanics
  • The sun's atmosphere

Career prospects

Career opportunities include academic research, based in universities, research institutes, observatories and laboratory facilities; industrial research in a wide range of fields including energy and the environmental sector, IT and semiconductors, optics and lasers, materials science, telecommunications, engineering; banking and commerce; higher education.



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Our MSc Theoretical Physics programme will provide you with exposure to a very wide range of world-leading teaching and research skills. Read more

Our MSc Theoretical Physics programme will provide you with exposure to a very wide range of world-leading teaching and research skills. As well as the wide range of modules offered by the Department of Mathematics, many optional modules are available from across the University of London, subject to approval. King's will offer you a unique module in 'General Research Techniques' which will prepare you for life as a research scientist. You will also undertake an extended research project supervised by one of our academic staff.

Key benefits

  • This intensive programme covers basic topics in theoretical and mathematical physics such as general relativity and quantum field theory, and leads to advanced topics such as string theory, supersymmetry and integrable quantum field theory.
  • Intimate class environment with small class sizes (typically fewer than 30 students per module) allows good student-lecturer interactions.
  • A full 12-month course with a three-month supervised summer project to give a real introduction to research.

Description

This programme covers topics like string theory, quantum field theory, supersymmetry, general relativity, and conformal and integrable field theory. Students gain a coherent, comprehensive introduction to the building blocks of modern theoretical physics. Students study at least eight taught modules and develop individual projects in areas of current research. The programme ideally prepares students for active research.

Course purpose

The MSc Theoretical Physics programme provides experience of research in rapidly developing areas of theoretical and mathematical physics and related disciplines. The programme provides experience of the planning, administration, execution and dissemination of research, and will equip you with the background knowledge and transferable and generic skills required to become an effective researcher.

Course format and assessment

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

Each module in your degree is worth a number of credits: you are expected to spend approximately 10 hours of effort for each credit (so for a typical module of 15 credits this means 150 hours of effort). These hours cover every aspect of the module: lectures, tutorials, labs (if any), independent study based on lecture notes, tutorial preparation and extension, lab preparation and extension, coursework preparation and submission, examination revision and preparation, and examinations. 

Assessment

Assessment methods will depend on the modules selected. The primary method of assessment for this course is written examination. You may also be assessed by class tests, essays, assessment reports and oral presentations.



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his is a one year advanced taught course. The aim of this course is to bring students in twelve months to the frontier of elementary particle theory. Read more
his is a one year advanced taught course. The aim of this course is to bring students in twelve months to the frontier of elementary particle theory. This course is intended for students who have already obtained a good first degree in either physics or mathematics, including in the latter case courses in quantum mechanics and relativity.

The course consists of three modules: the first two are the Michaelmas and Epiphany graduate lecture courses, which are assessed by examinations in January and March. The third module is a dissertation on a topic of current research, prepared under the guidance of a supervisor with expertise in the area. We offer a wide variety of possible dissertation topics. The dissertation must be submitted by September 15th, the end of the twelve month course period.

Course Structure
The main group of lectures are given in the first two terms of the academic year (Michaelmas and Epiphany). This part of the lecture course is assessed by examinations. In each term there are two teaching periods of 4 weeks, with a week's break in the middle of the term in which students will be able to revise the material. most courses are either 8 lectures or 16 lectures in length. There are 14 lectures/week in the Michaelmas term and 14 lectures/week in Epiphany term.

Core Modules
- Introductory Field Theory
- Group Theory
- Standard Model
- General Relativity
- Quantum Electrodynamics
- Quantum Field Theory
- Conformal Field Theory
- Supersymmetry
- Anomalies
- Strong Interaction Physics
- Cosmology
- Superstrings and D-branes
- Non-Perturbative Physics
- Euclidean Field Theory
- Flavour Physics and Effective Field Theory
- Neutrinos and Astroparticle Physics
- 2d Quantum Field Theory
- Optional Modules
- Differential Geometry for Physicists
- Boundaries and Defects in Integrable Field Theory
- Computing for Physicists.

For further information on this course, please visit the Centre for Particle Theory website (http://www.cpt.dur.ac.uk/GraduateStudies)

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This is a one year advanced taught course. The aim of this course is to bring students in 12 months to the frontier of elementary particle theory. Read more

This is a one year advanced taught course. The aim of this course is to bring students in 12 months to the frontier of elementary particle theory. This course is intended for students who have already obtained a good first degree in either physics or mathematics, including in the latter case courses in quantum mechanics and relativity.

The course consists of three modules: the first two are the Michaelmas and Epiphany graduate lecture courses, which are assessed by examinations in January and March. The third module is a dissertation on a topic of current research, prepared under the guidance of a supervisor with expertise in the area. We offer a wide variety of possible dissertation topics. The dissertation must be submitted by September 15th, the end of the twelve month course period.

Course Structure

The main group of lectures are given in the first two terms of the academic year (Michaelmas and Epiphany). This part of the lecture course is assessed by examinations. In each term there are two teaching periods of four weeks, with a week's break in the middle of the term in which students will be able to revise the material. Most courses are either eight lectures or 16 lectures in length. There are 14 lectures/week in the Michaelmas term and 14 lectures/week in Epiphany term.

Core Modules

  • Introductory Field Theory
  • Group Theory
  • Standard Model
  • General Relativity
  • Quantum Electrodynamics
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Conformal Field Theory
  • Supersymmetry
  • Anomalies
  • Strong Interaction Physics
  • Cosmology
  • Superstrings and D-branes
  • Non-Perturbative Physics
  • Euclidean Field Theory
  • Flavour Physics and Effective Field Theory
  • Neutrinos and Astroparticle Physics
  • 2d Quantum Field Theory.

Optional Modules available in previous years included:

  • Differential Geometry for Physicists
  • Boundaries and Defects in Integrable Field Theory
  • Computing for Physicists.

Course Learning and Teaching

This is a full-year degree course, starting early October and finishing in the middle of the subsequent September. The aim of the course is to bring students to the frontier of research in elementary particle theory.

The course consists of three modules: the first two are the Michaelmas and Epiphany graduate lecture courses. The third module is a dissertation on a topic of current research, prepared under the guidance of a supervisor with expertise in the area. We offer a wide variety of possible dissertation topics.

The lectures begin with a general survey of particle physics and introductory courses on quantum field theory and group theory. These lead on to more specialised topics, amongst others in string theory, cosmology, supersymmetry and more detailed aspects of the standard model.

The main group of lectures is given in the first two terms of the academic year (Michaelmas and Epiphany). This part of the lecture course is assessed by examinations. In each term there are two teaching periods of 4 weeks, with a week's break in the middle of the term in which students will be able to revise the material. Most courses are either 8 lectures or 16 lectures in length. There are 14 lectures/week in the Michaelmas term and 14 lectures/week in Epiphany term they are supported by weekly tutorials. In addition lecturers also set a number of homework assignments which give the student a chance to test his or her understanding of the material.

There are additional optional lectures in the third term. These introduce advanced topics and are intended as preparation for research in these areas.

The dissertation must be submitted by mid-September, the end of the twelve month course period.



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Why Surrey?. The MSc Physics offers you the flexibility to tailor your studies according to your interests, building on the research strengths of our friendly Department, and the supportive environment that we provide for our students. Read more

Why Surrey?

The MSc Physics offers you the flexibility to tailor your studies according to your interests, building on the research strengths of our friendly Department, and the supportive environment that we provide for our students.

We collaborate with a variety of partners across the academic, public and industry communities, including the National Physical Laboratory.

Programme overview

You will select modules from a wide range of fundamental and applied physics topics. The application-focused modules are co-taught by practitioners in public service and industry to ensure that students gain real-world insight.

A module in research skills will prepare you to apply your new knowledge and skills in an eleven-week research project undertaken during the summer.

Your chosen research projects can open the door to many careers, not just further research. They will give you tangible experience of working independently and communicating your work effectively and efficiently in written form: key requirements in many professions.

Why not discover more about the subject in our video?

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. Part-time students take the same content over 2 academic years.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

The primary aim of the programme is to provide a flexible high quality postgraduate level qualification in physics. It integrates the acquisition of core scientific knowledge with the development of key practical skills in the student’s chosen area of specialisation.

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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The course provides an introduction to the physical principles and mathematical techniques of current research in general relativity, quantum gravity, particle physics, quantum field theory, quantum information theory, cosmology and the early universe. Read more

Overview

The course provides an introduction to the physical principles and mathematical techniques of current research in general relativity, quantum gravity, particle physics, quantum field theory, quantum information theory, cosmology and the early universe.

The programme of study includes a taught component of closely-related modules in this popular area of mathematical physics. The course also includes a substantial project that will allow students to develop their interest and expertise in a specific topic at the frontier of current research, and develop their skills in writing a full scientific report.

The course will provide training in advanced methods in mathematics and physics which have applications in a wide variety of scientific careers and provide students with enhanced employability compared with undergraduate Bachelors degrees. In particular, it will provide training appropriate for students preparing to study for a PhD in the research areas listed above. For those currently in employment, the course will provide a route back to academic study.

Key facts:

- The course is taught jointly by the School of Mathematical Sciences and the School of Physics and Astronomy.

- Dissertation topics are chosen from among active research themes of the Particle Theory group, the Quantum Gravity group and the Quantum Information group.

- In addition to the lectures there are several related series of research-level seminars to which masters students are welcomed.

- The University of Nottingham is ranked in the top 1% of all universities worldwide.

Module details

Advanced Gravity

Black Holes

Differential Geometry

Gravity

Gravity, Particles and Fields Dissertation

Introduction to Quantum Information Science

Modern Cosmology

Quantum Field Theory

English language requirements for international students

IELTS: 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in any element)

Further information



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A LONG-TERM PERSPECTIVE ON SCIENCE AND SOCIETY. The Master’s programme in the. History and Philosophy of Science. (HPS) offers a unique opportunity to study the foundations, practices, and culture of the sciences and humanities from a historical and philosophical perspective. Read more

A LONG-TERM PERSPECTIVE ON SCIENCE AND SOCIETY

The Master’s programme in the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) offers a unique opportunity to study the foundations, practices, and culture of the sciences and humanities from a historical and philosophical perspective. Our two-year research programme addresses the historical development of scientific thought and practice with a broad approach that investigates the interplay of science or the humanitites with cultural, social, and institutional factors. Students will also learn to analyse the structure and concepts of theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution, and modern genetics.

HPS has twice been judged ´best in category´ by the national Master guide (Keuzegids Masters): in the category ‘Science and Policy’ (Bèta en Beleid, 2012) and in the category ‘Philosophy’ (Wijsbegeerte, 2013).

CURRICULUM

The curriculum covers courses on selected subjects in:

  • History of Science or the Humanities
  • Philosophy of Science or the Humanities
  • Foundations of Physics
  • Foundations of Mathematics and Logic

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE

The general aim of the Master’s programme HPS is to offer you a thorough training in the history and/or philosophy or foundations of the sciences and humanities. You'll learn to develop and research historical or philosophical research questions. You will be educated in developing a professional attitude which enables you to enroll in a PhD programme in the HPS field, or start (on the job training) for a career in science education and communication, in museums, in science policy or science management.



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If you are interested in the possibility of a research degree (PhD or Research Masters) in the School of Mathematical Sciences, we encourage you to become familiar with the range of research activity and expertise in the School. Read more
If you are interested in the possibility of a research degree (PhD or Research Masters) in the School of Mathematical Sciences, we encourage you to become familiar with the range of research activity and expertise in the School. In particular, we would encourage you to approach or contact members of the academic staff whose research area may be of particular interest.

The research of the School covers a wide range of areas including:

Analysis (Infinite-dimensional analysis, Functional Analysis, Potential Theory)
Algebra (Matrix Theory, K-theory, Quadratic and Hermitian Forms)
Discrete Mathematics (Coding, Cryptography, Number Theory)
Applied Mathematics (Fluid Dynamics, Computational Science, Meteorology, Biomathematics, Information Theory)
Theoretical Physics (Astrophysics, General Relativity, Quantum Gravity, Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory)
Statistics (Bayesian Statistics, Pharmaceutical, Medical and Educational Statistics, Environmental and ecological modelling, Epidemiology, Econometrics).

Please see our School Website for more details:
http://www.ucd.ie/mathstat

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The Masters in Mathematics/Applied Mathematics offers courses, taught by experts, across a wide range. Mathematics is highly developed yet continually growing, providing new insights and applications. Read more

The Masters in Mathematics/Applied Mathematics offers courses, taught by experts, across a wide range. Mathematics is highly developed yet continually growing, providing new insights and applications. It is the medium for expressing knowledge about many physical phenomena and is concerned with patterns, systems, and structures unrestricted by any specific application, but also allows for applications across many disciplines.

Why this programme

  • Mathematics at the University of Glasgow is ranked 3rd in Scotland (Complete University Guide 2017).
  • The School has a strong international reputation in pure and applied mathematics research and our PGT programmes in Mathematics offer a large range of courses ranging from pure algebra and analysis to courses on mathematical biology and fluids.
  • You will be taught by experts across a wide range of pure and applied mathematics and you will develop a mature understanding of fundamental theories and analytical skills applicable to many situations.
  • You will participate in an extensive and varied seminar programme, are taught by internationally renowned lecturers and experience a wide variety of projects.
  • Our students graduate with a varied skill set, including core professional skills, and a portfolio of substantive applied and practical work.

Programme structure

Modes of delivery of the Masters in Mathematics/Applied Mathematics include lectures, laboratory classes, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in project work.

If you are studying for the MSc you will take a total of 120 credits from a mixture of Level-4 Honours courses, Level-M courses and courses delivered by the Scottish Mathematical Sciences Training Centre (SMSTC).

You will take courses worth a minimum of 90 credits from Level-M courses and those delivered by the SMSTC. The remaining 30 credits may be chosen from final-year Level-H courses. The Level-M courses offered in a particular session will depend on student demand. Below are courses currently offered at these levels, but the options may vary from year to year.

Level-H courses (10 or 20 credits)

  • Algebraic & geometric topology
  • Continuum mechanics & elasticity
  • Differential geometry
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Functional analysis
  • Further complex analysis
  • Galois theory
  • Mathematical biology
  • Mathematical physics
  • Numerical methods
  • Number theory
  • Partial differential equations
  • Topics in algebra.

Level-M courses (20 credits)

  • Advanced algebraic & geometric topology
  • Advanced differential geometry & topology
  • Advanced functional analysis
  • Advanced methods in differential equations
  • Advanced numerical methods
  • Biological & physiological fluid mechanics
  • Commutative algebra & algebraic geometry
  • Elasticity
  • Further topics in group theory
  • Lie groups, lie algebras & their representations
  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Operator algebras 
  • Solitons
  • Special relativity & classical field theory.

SMSTC courses (20 credits)

  • Advanced Functional Analysis
  • Advanced Mathematical Methods

The project titles are offered each year by academic staff and so change annually.

Career prospects

Career opportunities are diverse and varied and include academia, teaching, industry and finance.

Graduates of this programme have gone on to positions such as:

Maths Tutor at a university.



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This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in astrophysics. The programme is designed to satisfy the need, both nationally and internationally, for well-qualified postgraduates who will be able to respond to the challenges that arise from future developments in this field. Read more

This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in astrophysics. The programme is designed to satisfy the need, both nationally and internationally, for well-qualified postgraduates who will be able to respond to the challenges that arise from future developments in this field.

About this degree

Students develop insights into the techniques used in current astrophysics projects, and gain in-depth experience of a particular specialised research area, through project work, as a member of a research team. The programme provides the professional skills necessary to play a meaningful role in industrial or academic life.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a choice of six optional modules (90 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

Optional modules 1 (15 credits each)

Students choose four of the following:

  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Solar Physics
  • High-energy Astrophysics
  • Stellar Atmospheres and Stellar Winds
  • Galaxy and Cluster Dynamics
  • Cosmology
  • Mathematics for General Relativity
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics

Optional modules 2 (15 credits each)

Students choose two of the following:

  • Physics MSc core modules
  • Space and Climate Science MSc core modules
  • Medical Physics MSc core modules
  • Intercollegiate fourth year modules
  • Physics and Astrophysics MSc fourth-year modules
  • Plastic and Molecular (Opto)electronics

Dissertation/report

Students submit a critical research essay of approximately 8,000 words and undertake an in-depth research project which culminates in a formal report and oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical, laboratory and computer-based classes. Student performance is assessed through coursework and written examination. The research project is assessed by literature survey, oral presentation and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Astrophysics MSc

Careers

Astrophysics-based careers embrace a broad range of areas, for example information technology, Large Data science, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics. Employers regard a physics degree as flexible and highly desirable university training.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • PhD in Astrophysics, Universiteit Leiden (Leiden University)
  • Research Assistant, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (Nuclear Physics)
  • PhD in Astrophysics, University of Crete
  • Research Assistant, UCL

Employability

Astrophysics opens up many avenues to employment through the skills acquired: problem-solving; the training of a logical and numerate mind; computation skills; modelling and material analysis; and the ability to think laterally. In addition, work vision and enthusiasm make physics graduates highly desirable members of all dynamic companies.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Physics & Astronomy is among the top departments in the UK for this subject area.

The department's participation in many international collaborations means we provide exceptional opportunities to work as part of an international team. Examples include the Dark Energy Survey - investigating the origin of the accelerating universe and the nature of dark matter - the Hubble Telescope and the Cassini project.

In some cases, opportunities exist for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Physics & Astronomy

90% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in physics. The programme is designed to satisfy the need, both nationally and internationally, for well-qualified postgraduates who will be able to respond to the challenges that arise from future developments in this field. Read more

This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in physics. The programme is designed to satisfy the need, both nationally and internationally, for well-qualified postgraduates who will be able to respond to the challenges that arise from future developments in this field.

About this degree

Students develop insights into the techniques used in current projects, and gain in-depth experience of a particular specialised research area, through project work as a member of a research team. The programme provides the professional skills necessary to play a meaningful role in industrial or academic life.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a choice of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

Core modules

  • Advanced Quantum Theory
  • Particle Physics
  • Atom and Photon Physics
  • Order and Excitations in Condensed Matter
  • Mathematics for General Relativity
  • Climate and Energy
  • Molecular Physics
  • Please note: students choose three of the above.

Optional modules

Students choose three from the following:

  • Astrophysics MSc Core Modules
  • Space and Climate Science MSc Core Modules
  • Medical Physics MSc Core Modules
  • Intercollegiate fourth-year courses
  • Physics and Astrophysics MSci fourth-year courses
  • Selected Physics and Astrophysics MSci third-year courses
  • Plastic and Molecular (Opto)electronics
  • Biophysics MSc Core Modules

Dissertation/report

All students submit a critical research essay and MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation and oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical, laboratory and computer-based classes. Student performance is assessed through coursework and written examination. The research project is assessed by literature survey, oral presentation and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Physics MSc

Funding

Candidates may be eligible for a Santander scholarship.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Physics-based careers embrace a broad range of areas e.g. information technology, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Management Consultant, OpenSymmetry
  • Management Consultant, PwC

Employability

A Master's degree in Physics is highly regarded by employers. Students gain a deep understanding of both basic phenomena underpinning a range of technologies with huge potential for future development, e.g. quantum information, as well as direct knowledge of cutting-edge technologies likely to play a major role in short to medium term industrial development while addressing key societal challenges such as energy supply or water sanitisation.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Physics & Astronomy is among the top departments in the UK for this subject area.

The department's participation in many international collaborations means we provide exceptional opportunities to work as part of an international team. Examples include work at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, and at the EISCAT radar instruments in Scandinavia for studying the Earth's upper atmosphere.

For students whose interests tend towards the theoretical, the department is involved in many international projects, some aimed at the development of future quantum technologies, others at fundamental atomic and molecular physics. In some cases, opportunities exist for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.



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This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts. Read more

This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts.

The MSc programme is a core part of the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics, which has been created to mark the start of a new era in theoretical physics research, following the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN. You will take part in the centre’s activities, including weekly seminars, colloquia and workshops involving physicists from around the world, and you will be involved in research-level projects as part of your dissertation.

The partnership between mathematics and physics is an essential one. In theoretical physics we attempt to build abstract constructs that rationalise, explain and predict physical phenomena. To do this we need mathematics: the language of physics. The underlying structure of the physical world can be understood in great detail using mathematics; this is a never-ending source of fascination to theoretical physicists.

Programme structure

Taught courses

You will take two compulsory courses plus a selection of courses that will bring you to an advanced level in subjects such as general relativity, cosmology, statistical physics, condensed matter physics, quantum field theory and the standard model of particle physics. You may also take courses drawn from a wider pool including specialist courses in mathematics, computing and climate science.

Dissertation

Following the taught component of the programme, you will undertake a three-month research project, which leads to a dissertation.

Learning outcomes

By engaging with and completing the MSc in Theoretical Physics, graduates will acquire core knowledge of theoretical physics subjects and the research methodologies of modern theoretical and mathematical physics. The programme aims to develop research skills and problem solving skills, especially in mathematics. It also aims to develop an attitude of mind conductive to critical questioning and creative thinking and the capacity to formulate ideas mathematically.

Career opportunities

These degrees are designed to prepare you for a research career by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable to a wide range of research areas and sectors including academia, industry, education and finance.

Scholarships and funding

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:



Read less
This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts. Read more

This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts.

The MSc programme is a core part of the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics, which has been created to mark the start of a new era in theoretical physics research, following the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN. You will take part in the centre’s activities, including weekly seminars, colloquia and workshops involving physicists from around the world, and you will be involved in research-level projects as part of your dissertation.

The partnership between mathematics and physics is an essential one. In theoretical physics we attempt to build abstract constructs that rationalise, explain and predict physical phenomena. To do this we need mathematics: the language of physics. The underlying structure of the physical world can be understood in great detail using mathematics; this is a never-ending source of fascination to theoretical physicists.

Programme structure

Taught courses

You will take two compulsory courses plus a selection of courses that will bring you to an advanced level in subjects such as general relativity, cosmology, statistical physics, condensed matter physics, quantum field theory and the standard model of particle physics. You may also take courses drawn from a wider pool including specialist courses in mathematics, computing and climate science. For the MSc in Mathematical Physics, mathematics courses can account for almost half of the taught course element.

Dissertation

Following the taught component of the programme, you will undertake a three-month research project, which leads to a dissertation.

Learning outcomes

By engaging with and completing the MSc in Mathematical Physics, graduates will acquire core knowledge of theoretical physics subjects and the research methodologies of modern theoretical and mathematical physics.

The programme aims to develop research skills and problem solving skills, especially in mathematics. It also aims to develop an attitude of mind conductive to critical questioning and creative thinking and the capacity to formulate ideas mathematically.

Career opportunities

These degrees are designed to prepare you for a research career by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable to a wide range of research areas and sectors including academia, industry, education and finance.

Scholarships and funding

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:



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