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Masters Degrees (Synchrotron)

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We offer postgraduate research degrees in Physics at the MPhil and PhD level in all of our major research areas such as Emerging Technology and Materials, Applied Mathematics, and Photoelectron Spectroscopy. Read more
We offer postgraduate research degrees in Physics at the MPhil and PhD level in all of our major research areas such as Emerging Technology and Materials, Applied Mathematics, and Photoelectron Spectroscopy.

We supervise MPhil students whose interests match the expertise we have in our four main research themes.

Condensed matter and nanoscale physics

We research electronic, optical, structural and magnetic properties of novel solid-state materials, particularly novel semi-conductor structures and nanostructured materials such as nanocrystals and nanowires. Theoretical studies use quantum mechanical approaches and involve massively parallel supercomputing.

Our development of new approaches to quantum modelling is changing the size and complexity of systems that can be modelled. Experimental work takes place at synchrotron facilities in Europe and America and related work takes place with colleagues in the Emerging Technology and Materials (ETM) Group in the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering.

Biophysics

Our research in biophysics explores the structure and function of cells with the aim of creating artificial life and building machines based on biological parts. Projects include protocell development and the construction of a cyborg robot. An understanding of biological physics is needed that uses techniques including single molecule manipulation, atomic force microscopy and scanning tunnelling microscopy.

Astrophysics

Galaxies and the interstellar medium, the source of the galactic magnetic field and its influence on the structure of the galaxy form the focus of our research in astrophysics. There is also interest in cosmology, particularly the early universe and its origin in the big bang.

Ultrafast optics

Our research focuses on coherent optical control of atomic collisions in ultracold gases by femtosecond laser light for studies of problems in fundamental physics, such as the measurement of time dependence of the fundamental constants of nature. We also research metrological protocols for characterisation of broadband light, specifically those relating to foundational aspects of quantum mechanics and its application.

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This course is ideal both for graduates who would like to undertake original research without committing themselves to a three-year PhD, and for students who want to gain a research-based Master's before embarking on their PhD. Read more
This course is ideal both for graduates who would like to undertake original research without committing themselves to a three-year PhD, and for students who want to gain a research-based Master's before embarking on their PhD.

The major element of this course is a research project which is carried out under supervision. There is also a minor taught element, with classes covering a wide range of generic research-related topics.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/physics/coursefinder/mscphysicsbyresearch.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The Department of Physics is known internationally for its top-class research. Our staff carry out research at the cutting edge of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Experimental Quantum Computing, Quantum Matter at Low Temperatures, Theoretical Physics, and
Biophysics, as well as other areas.

- We offer exceptional teaching quality and are consistently near the top of the league tables.

- Our Masters courses are taught in collaboration with other University of London Colleges, providing a wide range of options.

Department research and industry highlights

The Physics Department at Royal Holloway is one of the major centres for physics research within the University of London and has research expertise in the following areas:
- Particle physics experiments at Large Hadron Collider
- Neutron and synchrotron x-ray scattering at ISIS and Diamond
- London Low Temperature Laboratory
- Centre for Nanophysics and Nanotechnology

Recent projects that the Department has worked on include:
- The ATLAS project at the LHC
- Thermoelectrics for conversion of waste heat into electrical power
- Quantum criticality in helium films
- Studies of nanostructures for quantum computing

Course content and structure

This courses consists of the major research element and a minor taught element:

- Major Project:
An original research project in one of the research areas of the Department, carried out under supervision. Makes up 75% of total mark.

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- developed research skills using a mix of experimental, theoretical and computational techniques

- developed communication skills through the writing of the project report and the presentation of an oral report at the viva

- transferable skills suitable for both continued research or the workplace.

Assessment

This course is assessed by the completion of a major research project (75% of the final mark) as well as other coursework assignments (25% of the final mark).

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different areas, including careers in industry, information technology and finance. This course also equips you with the subject knowledge and a solid foundation for continued studies in physics; around 50% of the graduates of this course progress onto PhD study at Royal Holloway.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Thesis-based research on Heavy Metal Complex Formation with Biomolecules, using different spectroscopic techniques, including multinuclear NMR, vibrational spectroscopy and synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Read more
Thesis-based research on Heavy Metal Complex Formation with Biomolecules, using different spectroscopic techniques, including multinuclear NMR, vibrational spectroscopy and synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Successful candidates may take the Qualifying Exam within 22 months of their M.Sc. program to be transferred to Ph.D.

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. Research profile. Pursuing a research degree at the School of Chemistry could be one of the best experiences of your life. Read more

Research profile

Pursuing a research degree at the School of Chemistry could be one of the best experiences of your life.

In addition to gaining research skills, making friends, meeting eminent researchers and being part of the research community, a research degree will help you to develop invaluable transferable skills which you can apply to academic life or a variety of professions outside of academia.

The Chemistry/Biology Interface

This is a broad area, with particular strengths in the areas of protein structure and function, mechanistic enzymology, proteomics, peptide and protein synthesis, protein folding, recombinant and synthetic DNA methodology, biologically targeted synthesis and the application of high throughput and combinatorial approaches. We also focus on biophysical chemistry, the development and application of physicochemical techniques to biological systems. This includes mass spectrometry, advanced spectroscopy and microscopy, as applied to proteins, enzymes, DNA, membranes and biosensors.

Experimental & Theoretical Chemical Physics

This is the fundamental study of molecular properties and processes. Areas of expertise include probing molecular structure in the gas phase, clusters and nanoparticles, the development and application of physicochemical techniques such as mass spectoscropy to molecular systems and the EaStCHEM surface science group, who study complex molecules on surfaces, probing the structure property-relationships employed in heterogeneous catalysis. A major feature is in Silico Scotland, a world-class research computing facility.

Synthesis

This research area encompasses the synthesis and characterisation of organic and inorganic compounds, including those with application in homogeneous catalysis, nanotechnology, coordination chemistry, ligand design and supramolecular chemistry, asymmetric catalysis, heterocyclic chemistry and the development of synthetic methods and strategies leading to the synthesis of biologically important molecules (including drug discovery). The development of innovative synthetic and characterisation methodologies (particularly in structural chemistry) is a key feature, and we specialise in structural chemistry at extremely high pressures.

Materials Chemistry

The EaStCHEM Materials group is one of the largest in the UK. Areas of strength include the design, synthesis and characterisation of functional (for example magnetic, superconducting and electronic) materials; strongly correlated electronic materials, battery and fuel cell materials and devices, porous solids, fundamental and applied electrochemistry polymer microarray technologies and technique development for materials and nanomaterials analysis.

Training and support

Students attend regular research talks, visiting speaker symposia, an annual residential meeting in the Scottish Highlands, and lecture courses on specialised techniques and safety. Students are encouraged to participate in transferable skills and computing courses, public awareness of science activities, undergraduate teaching and to represent the School at national and international conferences.

Facilities

Our facilities are among the best in the world, offering an outstanding range of capabilities. You’ll be working in recently refurbished laboratories that meet the highest possible standards, packed with state-of-the-art equipment for both analysis and synthesis.

For NMR in the solution and solid state, we have 10 spectrometers at field strengths from 200-800 MHz; mass spectrometry utilises EI, ESI, APCI, MALDI and FAB instrumentation, including LC and GC interfaces. New combinatorial chemistry laboratories, equipped with a modern fermentation unit, are available. We have excellent facilities for the synthesis and characterisation of bio-molecules, including advanced mass spectrometry and NMR stopped-flow spectrometers, EPR, HPLC, FPLC, AA.

World-class facilities are available for small molecule and macromolecular X-ray diffraction, utilising both single crystal and powder methods. Application of diffraction methods at high pressures is a particular strength, and we enjoy strong links to central facilities for neutron, muon and synchrotron science in the UK and further afield. We are one of the world's leading centres for gas-phase electron diffraction.

Also available are instruments for magnetic and electronic characterisation of materials (SQUID), electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), force-probe microscopy, high-resolution FTRaman and FT-IR, XPS and thermal analysis. We have also recently installed a new 1,000- tonne pressure chamber, to be used for the synthesis of materials at high pressures and temperatures. Fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy instruments are available within the COSMIC Centre. Dedicated computational infrastructure is available, and we benefit from close links with the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre.



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A master of excellence. Mamaself is a two year European Master program in Materials science, a program of excellence build in the framework of the Erasmus Mundus program. Read more

A master of excellence

Mamaself is a two year European Master program in Materials science, a program of excellence build in the framework of the Erasmus Mundus program. One specific aim of the Mamaself program is to teach the application of "Large scale facilities" for the characterisation and development of materials.

Modern life and globalisation imply new and additional exigencies for scientists and scientific engineers in the field of scientific and industrial competitiveness. This holds specifically for the development of new technologies and new materials which are important key-products and which contribute to the technological and scientific competitiveness of highly industrialized countries. The characterisation of these materials and also the optimising of technologies strongly demand sophisticated methods, some of them uniquely available at "Large scale facilities” using neutrons or synchrotron radiation.

The Master Mamaself’s objective is to train in a very multidisciplinary and international approach high-level students who will manage perfectly the scientific and technological aspects of the elaboration, the implementation, the control and the follow-up of materials, capable of fitting into the industrial environment as well as continuing with a PhD.

A consortium of five universities

The Mamaself Consortium includes 5 primary European Universities in the field of Materials sciences, Engineering Physics, Chemistry :

The partners have a large background in materials science and a long collaboration with Large Scale Facilities. They are located in culturally and historically rich European towns. Through full integration of teaching and research, the consortium universities have managed to bring together different specializations in a unique course programme.

Erasmus Mundus programme

The Erasmus Mundus programme is a co-operation and mobility programme in higher education. It aims to enhance quality in European higher education and to promote intercultural understanding through co-operation with third countries. 

The programme is intended to strengthen European co-operation and international links in higher education by supporting high-quality European Masters Courses, enabling students from around the world to engage in postgraduate study at European higher education institutions, as well as encouraging the outgoing mobility of European students and scholars towards third countries.

Structure of the program

The program is organized as a pedagogic continuum:

The course begins in September (semester 1) of each year, including lectures, tutorials, seminars and a work-based research project

Students can start Year 1 of their studies at any of the five partner universities. Semester 3 is offered at one the other 4 partner universities, while semester 4 can be undertaken in industry, at one of the consortium universities, at LSF or at any of the partner universities. 

In each semester, students take 30 ECTS credits.

The duration of the Mamaself Masters course is two years (120 ECTS credits). The academic program is split into two years with 60 ECTS credits for each. The language of instruction and examination is English. The student will stay one year in one institution and a second second in another institution. In respect of the Erasmus Mundus mobility rules, students must change country between Yea 1 and Year 2. It is not possible to stay the two years at the same site in Munich. It is possible to go back to one of the two first institutions for the 4th semester.

Year 1

The first year consists of lectures and practicals at one out of the five universities yielding 60 ECTS. This part of teaching will take place at one of the 5 leading European universities belonging to the consortium.

At the end of the first year, student must change country and join a second institution.

Students will receive at least 2 European Master diploma , one for each institution.

Year 2

  • Summerschool

The second academic year will start with a summer school of two weeks, where both lectures and practicals (comprehensively corresponding to 7 ECTS) will offer an excellent introduction into the use of “Large Scale Facilities”. The core of the lectures will all be given by the scientists responsible of the Master in each of the four universities (W. Paulus, P. Rabiller, W. Petry and W. Schmahl, C. Lamberti), exhibiting a huge background in this area. Each year the core lectures will be supported by specific seminars given by other university colleagues and by researchers directly coming from national or European Large Scale Facilities centers.

During these two weeks, the topic of the Master thesis will be chosen by the student out of a list of subjects proposed by the staff of the institutions.

  • Year 2

During the first semester of the second year each student has to shift to one out of the four other universities. The first semester consists in lectures and practicals (30 ects, cf programme in each university of the consortium). During the second semester of the second year the student has to undergo the Master thesis work which will also yield 30 ECTS. The thesis work will take six months and is generally in strong relation with the use of ”Large Scale Facilities” for applied or academic research problem.

The research topic can be supervised and located at large Scale Facilities, but will then be jointly supervised by an advisor of one of the consortium institutions. The research work is finalised by a written dissertation, wich must be defended in front of a comittee.

Students may undergo their master thesis at another partner institution in Japan (Kyoto University, Tokyo Institite of Technology) Switzerland (PSI / ETH Zurich) or India (IIT Madras), Univeristy Cornell (USA), University of Connecticut (USA).

Find out about the Study Program - https://www.mamaself.eu/study-program

Find out about the Master Thesis - https://www.mamaself.eu/master-thesis

Application

Students must apply online on the Mamaself application site:

http://application.mamaself.eu

-Fill the online form

-Add the requested documents;

  • Transcripts
  • English level certificate
  • Bachelor degree (or certificate of third Bachelor year)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Passport
  • Picture

Practical information can be found here - https://www.mamaself.eu/practical-information



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Solve the mysteries of living organisms. Biochemists help to solve the mysteries of living organisms including the genome, its organisation and expression and how genes interact with the environment. Read more

Solve the mysteries of living organisms

Biochemists help to solve the mysteries of living organisms including the genome, its organisation and expression and how genes interact with the environment

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

In Massey University’s Master of Science (Biochemistry) you will undertake enquiry-based course work and a unique research project under the guidance of experts in their respective fields.

Intellectually-challenging

It is an intensive, intellectually-challenging programme where time management is critical and where you can expect to acquire many transferable skills, sought after by employers. 

Biochemistry focuses on the structure and function of proteins, the intricacies of cellular metabolism and communication and information transfer from nucleic acids to improve our knowledge and understanding of biomedical science, biotechnology and biological chemistry.

World-leading facilities and equipment

Massey University is well supported with specialist equipment to carry out biochemistry research. In addition to a dedicated tissue culture facility, real-time PCR instruments, specialised fluorescence microscopes and plate readers, the Manawatu Microscopy Center is housed within the Institute. Confocal, and scanning, transmission and epifluorescence microscopy services and expertise are therefore on site. 

Genome sequencing services are also readily accessible with both the Massey Sequencing Service and a New Zealand Genome Limited laboratory housed on the university’s Manawatu campus. This service center is equipped with ABI3730 and Illumina MiSeq instruments and associated expertise. A group of dedicated bioinformatics experts support this service. We house a full suite of protein purification, separation and analysis equipment, including DIGE imaging and access to mass spectrometers. There is also an X-ray diffraction laboratory and access to the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne.

Friendly environment - passionate scientists

There is a well-established community of fundamental scientists and students at Massey. We have a large active student group - the Fundamental Science Students Association (FUSSTA) - where we work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research. You need to be prepared to take responsibility for the direction of your research, always supported by experienced mentors.



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Best of all worlds. Biological sciences gives you expertise in a broad range of biological and fundamental sciences. Find out more about the . Read more

Best of all worlds

Biological sciences gives you expertise in a broad range of biological and fundamental sciences.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

When you study Massey’s Master of Science with a major in biological sciences you don’t have to focus on one particular type of science, but will gain expertise across a range of your interests.

If you are interested in subjects like microbiology, genetics and biochemistry, but don’t have all the prerequisites you need to specialise, or you want to open the door to a broader range of careers, a major in biological sciences gives you a broad-based degree that keeps your options open.

Within the degree you can focus on one particular area of science, or keep your study broad - the choice is yours!

Flexibility and industry links

At Massey you have the flexibility to choose from different locations for your study - either Manawatu or the Auckland campuses - as well as other research institutes such as AgResearch, Scion, and Plant & Food Research. This flexibility provides a great deal of project choice, as well as providing important industry linkages that enhance job prospects.

World-class facilities

Whether you study on the Auckland or Palmerston North campuses, you will have access to world-class facilities. These include the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre and the Massey Genome Service (part of New Zealand Genomics Limited), our controlled environment plant growth facilities, the unique and extensive university orchards and state-of-the-art plant physiology and biology equipment. We have large animal units and there are extensive Massey farms that operate as commercial beef, dairy and sheep farms. 

Massey has a dedicated tissue culture facility, real-time PCR instruments, specialised fluorescence microscopes and plate readers, as well as a microscopy centre, offering confocal, and scanning, transmission and epifluorescence microscopy services.

Genome sequencing services are also readily accessible with both the Massey Sequencing Service and a New Zealand Genome Limited laboratory housed on the university’s Manawatu campus. This service center is equipped with ABI3730 and Illumina MiSeq instruments and associated expertise. We house a full suite of protein purification, separation and analysis equipment, including DIGE imaging and access to mass spectrometers. There is also an X-ray diffraction laboratory and access to the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne.

Make our expertise yours

Massey offers a very broad range of research areas in chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology and all the biological sciences, Genetics ranges from classical through molecular, biomedical, genomic and computational projects. These utilise a wide range of biological systems including microbial, plant, animal and human species.

You will also be able to utilise Massey’s broad range of expertise in the sciences, working with other departments and experts as you need to for your research.

Friendly environment - passionate scientists

A critical part of the postgraduate experience at Massey is being part of the vibrant, well-established community of fundamental scientists and students. We have active student groups where we work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning, time management, setting goals and milestones and undertaking research.



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It is an exciting time to be studying physics in the 21st century. it is an enabling science that expands our knowledge of the universe and underpins new technologies that benefit our society. Read more

It is an exciting time to be studying physics in the 21st century: it is an enabling science that expands our knowledge of the universe and underpins new technologies that benefit our society. The School of Physics is well established and is internationally respected for its research excellence, broad-based undergraduate courses, and a challenging and rewarding postgraduate experience.

Our programs in astrophysics, theoretical particle and experimental particle physics explore questions relating to the origin, evolution and fate of our universe, addressing some of the most important and fundamental problems of our age. Research collaborations include the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, the LIGO gravitational wave detector, and the MWA low frequency radio telescope.

The School has strengths in the exploration of matter and light interactions, particularly in advanced materials utilising diamond and silicon, quantum information science, photonics, advanced electron microscopy, nanoscale imaging, nanoelectronics, all the way down to the single atom and photon. Working closely with the Australian Synchrotron, the School hosts the Centre for Coherent X-Ray Science, and the Victorian node of the Centre for Quantum Computer Technology.

Students in the Master of Science (Physics) who have a weighted average mark of 80% or higher in the prerequisite undergraduate major, are eligible for consideration for the Graduate Research Program in Science. This is a five-year course of study comprising the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)Find out more.

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Analyse how to solve a problem by applying simple fundamental laws to more complicated situations;
  • Apply abstract concepts to real-world situations;
  • Manage time effectively in order to be prepared for group discussions and undertake the assignments and examinations.

CAREER OUTCOMES

As a graduate, you may find a rewarding career in:

  • Research and development – as a scientist, software engineer, technical manager and informatics statistician; or in public health, meteorology and climate change
  • Government – in policy advising, budget forecasting, research, or defence
  • Business – in IT, sales, financial modelling and services, as a management consultant, or business analyst
  • Manufacturing – in engineering, forecasting, logistics, or demand management
  • Science communications – in publishing, editing, writing, or marketing
  • Education – as a teacher or trainer


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