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Masters Degrees (Theoretical Physics)

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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:



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The course is run jointly by the. Mathematical Institute. and the. Department of Physics. It provides a high-level, internationally competitive training in mathematical and theoretical physics, right up to the level of modern research. Read more

The course is run jointly by the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Physics. It provides a high-level, internationally competitive training in mathematical and theoretical physics, right up to the level of modern research. It covers the following main areas:

  • quantum field theory, particle physics and string theory
  • theoretical condensed matter physics,
  • theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and physics of continuous media
  • mathematical foundations of theoretical physics

The course concentrates on the main areas of modern mathematical and theoretical physics: elementary-particle theory, including string theory, condensed matter theory (both quantum and soft matter), theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and the physics of continuous media (including fluid dynamics and related areas usually associated with courses in applied mathematics in the UK system). If you are a physics student with a strong interest in theoretical physics or a mathematics student keen to apply high-level mathematics to physical systems, this is a course for you.

The course offers considerable flexibility and choice; you will be able to choose a path reflecting your intellectual tastes or career choices. This arrangement caters to you if you prefer a broad theoretical education across subject areas or if you have already firmly set your sights on one of the subject areas, although you are encouraged to explore across sub-field boundaries.

You will have to attend at least ten units' worth of courses, with one unit corresponding to a 16-hour lecture course or equivalent. You can opt to offer a dissertation as part of your ten units. Your performance will be assessed by one or several of the following means: 

  • invigilated written exams
  • course work marked on a pass/fail basis
  • take-home exams
  • mini-projects due shortly after the end of the lecture course.

The modes of assessment for a given course are decided by the course lecturer and will be published at the beginning of each academic year. As a general rule, foundational courses will be offered with an invigilated exam while some of the more advanced courses will typically be relying on the other assessment methods mentioned above. In addition, you will be required to give an oral presentation towards the end of the academic year which will cover a more specialised and advanced topic related to one of the subject areas of the course. At least four of the ten units must be assessed by an invigilated exam and, therefore, have to be taken from lecture courses which provide this type of assessment. A further three units must be assessed by invigilated written exam, take-home exam or mini-project. Apart from these restrictions, you are free to choose from the available programme of lecture courses.

The course offers a substantial opportunity for independent study and research in the form of an optional dissertation (worth at least one unit). The dissertation is undertaken under the guidance of a member of staff and will typically involve investigating and write in a particular area of theoretical physics or mathematics, without the requirement (while not excluding the possibility) of obtaining original results.



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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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THE FASCINATING WORLD OF PHYSICS. The research Master’s degree programme in Theoretical Physics is your gateway to understanding the fascinating world of physics, ranging from the unimaginably small scales of elementary particles to the vast dimensions of our universe. Read more

THE FASCINATING WORLD OF PHYSICS

The research Master’s degree programme in Theoretical Physics is your gateway to understanding the fascinating world of physics, ranging from the unimaginably small scales of elementary particles to the vast dimensions of our universe. Our highly rated research programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to describe space-time and elementary particles as well as macroscopic and microscopic phenomena in quantum and soft matter.

The Dutch Master's Selection Guide (Keuzegids Masters 2017) ranked this programme as the best in the field of Physics in the Netherlands.

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE 

The MSc programme in Theoretical Physics provides students with a broad overview of methods and topics in theoretical physics and teaches them to work independently in a specific sub-discipline of the field. Students also learn to present and discuss their work both orally and in writing, and to take a critical attitude towards the existing literature.

Future prospects

Our programme offers excellent preparation for further research studies in physics or careers in the international job market. Two-thirds of our graduates continue on to conduct PhD-level research either at Utrecht University or at other prestigious institutions around the world.



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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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The Physics master’s programme offers you a research intensive tailor-made study path on current topics in experimental and theoretical physics at an institute of international renown. Read more

The Physics master’s programme offers you a research intensive tailor-made study path on current topics in experimental and theoretical physics at an institute of international renown.

What does this master’s programme entail?

The Physics master’s programme is intimately related to the scientific research carried out at the Leiden Institute of Physics. You will spend approximately 50% of your programme on research, as a member of one of our top-level international research groups. We offer five research specialisations, with emphasis on either experimental or theoretical physics, which train you as an independent researcher. We also offer three specialisations that put Physics in broader societal contexts and train you for careers where a Physics background is an asset. Each of these specialisations aims at providing a combination of research independence and content proficiency that fully prepares you for a successful professional development for your professional development.

Learn more about the Physics programme.

Why study Physics at Leiden University?

  • The programme offers a wide choice of individual study paths that take into account individual needs and interests. You can either build a purely academic profile, or you may combine physics research with education, business studies or science communication.
  • You will carry out at least one research project with one of the research groups of the Leiden Institute of Physics. Research at the department is at the forefront of fundamental modern Physics at an internationally competitive level.
  • At the Leiden Institute of Physics you experience an open, inclusive, and collegial atmosphere. Your weekly routine includes attending colloquia of international speakers, partaking in symposia and participating in lively scientific discussions.

Find more reasons to choose Physics at Leiden University.

Physics: the right master’s programme for you?

Are you looking into furthering your education in fundamental questions in physics? Then our Physics master’s programme is the right choice. Whether you are interested in experimental or theoretical research, or cosmology, we offer it all. You will be trained for a career in research within or outside academia. You can also choose for a more practical-oriented specialisation where you combine one year of Physics research with one year of training in business, communication or education.

Read more about the entry requirements for Physics.

Specialisations



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Program highlights. The recent progress in several fields of theoretical physics (such as high energy physics, astrophysics, quantum and nonlinear optics or condensed matter physics) required numerous very sophisticated mathematical tools. Read more

Program highlights

The recent progress in several fields of theoretical physics (such as high energy physics, astrophysics, quantum and nonlinear optics or condensed matter physics) required numerous very sophisticated mathematical tools. In these frontline research fields, it became clear that a new understanding of physical systems going from cold atom gases to black holes is impossible without a new insight into underlying mathematical structures. This kind of problems requires a new interdisciplinary approach and specialists with double competence: in Physics and in different fields of modern Mathematics.

The main aim of the Master Program In Mathematical Physics (Math4Phys) is to provide advanced lectures on the mathematical methods of modern theoretical physics in the framework of a mathematical curriculum. Such an offer exists in France only in Dijon as the Mathematical Physics group of the IMB (Burgundy Mathematical Institute) provides a unique environment for a program requiring a double competence in Mathematics and Physics. The Mathematical Physics group of the IMB laboratory in Dijon is a unique research team in France with a capacity to provide advanced lectures in mathematical problems of modern physics. It permits to create a scientific environment for a master program focused on the most important problems of modern Physics from the mathematical perspective.

We offer lecture courses for the students with background in mathematics or mathematical physics giving an introduction to the mathematical methods used for such branches of theoretical physics as quantum field theory, statistical mechanics, general relativity, gauge theories, string theory, etc. The coursework covers different fields of mathematics (algebra, geometry, analysis) and highlights their applications to the problems of modern theoretical physics. The students are integrated from the very beginning into the mathematical physics group of the IMB and have to prepare by the end of each year a master dissertation.

The first year (M1) of the program is designed to provide the necessary background courses (mostly in mathematics but also in physics) to comply with the coursework of the more advanced second year. In particular, the M1 program includes the following subjects:

1.  Differential geometry

2.  Fourier analysis

3.  Functional analysis

4.  Groups and representations

5.  Mathematical methods of classical mechanics

6.  Partial differential equations

7.  Quantum physics

8.  Numerical methods

The second year lecture coursework includes the following lecture courses:

1.  Mathematical methods of quantum physics

2.  Riemann geometry and integrable systems

3.  Lie groups and Lie algebras

4.  Cohomological field theories

5.  Quantum groups

6.  Geometry and physics of blackhole spacetimes

We will also provide several mini courses by the research visitors of IMB. More detailed program of the second year courses can be found on the program webpage

Graduate destinations

The main aim of the master program is to provide sufficient training to start a PhD preparation.

Application

Maximum enrolment 20 in M1 and 15 in M2

To apply for the Master program in Mathematical Physics students should send a CV, a short description of their previous coursework (in Mathematics and Physics) and eventually a motivation letter to the program coordinator:

For M1: Giuseppe Dito ()

For M2: Nikolai Kitanine ()

Accepted students should proceed with the formal application procedure available here.

Requirements

The students applying for the M1 have to complete their undergraduate studies with major in Mathematics or Physics. The students can apply directly for the second year (M2) if they have completed at least one year of graduate courses in Mathematics or Mathematical Physics.

To follow the program the students should have a sufficient proficiency in English (we don’t require TOEFFL or an equivalent certificate but we can suggest an online interview to candidates). 

Grants

Several fellowship grants (600 € per month, during up to 9 months) will be awarded each year to high quality foreign students,



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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. 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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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Theoretical Particle Physics at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Theoretical Particle Physics at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

The MSc by Research Theoretical Particle Physics enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The Theoretical Particle Physics programme would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree.

As a student of Theoretical Particle Physics programme you will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work.

Key Features

Swansea is a research led University to which the Physics department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a postgraduate Physics student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.

The Department received top ratings of 4* and 3* in the 2008 RAE, which classified our research as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of its originality, significance and rigour.

Links with Industry

Our two research groups, Particle Physics Theory (PPT) and Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics (AMQP), deliver impact with commercial benefits both nationally and internationally, complemented by a public engagement programme with a global reach.

Economic impacts are realised by the Department’s Analytical Laser Spectroscopy Unit (ALSU) which, since 1993, has worked with companies developing products eventually sold to customers in the nuclear power industry and military, both in the UK and overseas, and in the global aerospace industry. Computational particle physics work performed by the PPT group has spun-off a computer benchmarking tool, BSMBench, used by several leading software outfits, and has led to the establishment of a start-up company.

The AMQP group’s work on trapping and investigating antihydrogen has generated great media interest and building on this we have developed a significant and on-going programme of public engagement. Activities include the development of a bespoke software simulator (Hands on Antihydrogen) of the antimatter experiment for school students.

Facilities

As a postgraduate student in the Department of Physics you will have access to the following Specialist Facilities:

Low-energy positron beam with a high field superconducting magnet for the study of

positronium

CW and pulsed laser systems

Scanning tunnelling electron and nearfield optical microscopes

Raman microscope

CPU parallel cluster

Access to the IBM-built ‘Blue C’ Super computer at Swansea University and is part of the shared use of the teraflop QCDOC facility based in Edinburgh

Research

The Physics Department carries out world-leading research in experimental and theoretical physics.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that over 80% of the research outputs from both the experimental and theoretical groups were judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Research groups include:

AMQP Group

The Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group comprises academic staff, postdoctoral officers and postgraduate research students. Its work is supported by grants from EPSRC, the EU, The Royal Society, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and various industrial and government sources. There are two main fields of research: Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics and Nanoscale Physics.

PPT Group

The Particle Physics Theory Group has fourteen members of staff, in addition to postdoctoral officers and research students. It is the fourth largest particle physics theory group in the UK, and is supported mainly by STFC, but also has grants from EPSRC, the EU, Royal Society and Leverhulme Trust. The group recently expanded by hiring two theoretical cosmologists (Ivonne Zavala and Gianmassimo Tasinato). There are five main fields of research: Quantum Field Theory, Strings, Lattice Field Theory, Beyond the Standard Model Physics and Theoretical Cosmology.



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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Laser Physics at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Laser Physics at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

The MSc by Research Laser Physics enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The Laser Physics programme would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree.

You will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work.

Key Features

Swansea is a research led University to which the Physics department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a postgraduate Physics student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.

The Department received top ratings of 4* and 3* in the 2008 RAE, which classified our research as World-leading or Internationally excellent in terms of its originality, significance and rigour.

The two main research groups within the Department of Physics currently focus on the following areas of research:

Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group

Fundamental Atomic Physics

Condensed Matter and Material Physics

Analytical Laser Spectroscopy

Particle Physics Theory Group

String theory, quantum gravity and the AdS/CFT correspondence

Lattice gauge theories, QCD

Supersymmetric field theory, perturbative gauge theory

Field Theory in curved spacetime

Physics beyond the standard model

Links with Industry

Our two research groups, Particle Physics Theory (PPT) and Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics (AMQP), deliver impact with commercial benefits both nationally and internationally, complemented by a public engagement programme with a global reach.

Economic impacts are realised by the Department’s Analytical Laser Spectroscopy Unit (ALSU) which, since 1993, has worked with companies developing products eventually sold to customers in the nuclear power industry and military, both in the UK and overseas, and in the global aerospace industry. Computational particle physics work performed by the PPT group has spun-off a computer benchmarking tool, BSMBench, used by several leading software outfits, and has led to the establishment of a start-up company.

The AMQP group’s work on trapping and investigating antihydrogen has generated great media interest and building on this we have developed a significant and on-going programme of public engagement. Activities include the development of a bespoke software simulator (Hands on Antihydrogen) of the antimatter experiment for school students.

Facilities

As a student of the Laser Physics programme in the Department of Physics you will have access to the following Specialist Facilities:

Low-energy positron beam with a high field superconducting magnet for the study of

positronium

CW and pulsed laser systems

Scanning tunnelling electron and nearfield optical microscopes

Raman microscope

CPU parallel cluster

Access to the IBM-built ‘Blue C’ Super computer at Swansea University and is part of the shared use of the teraflop QCDOC facility based in Edinburgh

Research

The Physics Department carries out world-leading research in experimental and theoretical physics.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that over 80% of the research outputs from both the experimental and theoretical groups were judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Research groups include:

AMQP Group

The Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group comprises academic staff, postdoctoral officers and postgraduate research students. Its work is supported by grants from EPSRC, the EU, The Royal Society, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and various industrial and government sources. There are two main fields of research: Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics and Nanoscale Physics.

PPT Group

The Particle Physics Theory Group has fourteen members of staff, in addition to postdoctoral officers and research students. It is the fourth largest particle physics theory group in the UK, and is supported mainly by STFC, but also has grants from EPSRC, the EU, Royal Society and Leverhulme Trust. The group recently expanded by hiring two theoretical cosmologists (Ivonne Zavala and Gianmassimo Tasinato). There are five main fields of research: Quantum Field Theory, Strings, Lattice Field Theory, Beyond the Standard Model Physics and Theoretical Cosmology.



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Do you want to contribute to an area of cutting-edge research in an awe-inspiring subject? Do you want to delve deeper into advanced topics in physics or… Read more
Do you want to contribute to an area of cutting-edge research in an awe-inspiring subject? Do you want to delve deeper into advanced topics in physics or astronomy? Develop valuable new knowledge and skills? Prepare for a research career, or embark on a completely new path? Whatever your motivation, a postgraduate degree from the School of Physics and Astronomy can help you achieve your ambitions.

The MSc Physics is available in three different pathways: Particle Physic, Theoretical Physics and Condensed Matter Physics. The School of Physics and Astronomy also offers an MSc in Astrophysics and a PGCert in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Programme outcomes

The aim of the programme is to deepen your understanding of contemporary theoretical physics, covering advanced concepts and techniques, leaving you well prepared for further doctoral level study and research. The programme will also enable you to develop skills transferable to a wide range of other careers.

This programme will:

Teach you the fundamental laws and physical principles, along with their applications, in your chosen area of physics.
Introduce you to research methodology, and how to manage your own research, making use of journal articles and other primary sources.
Allow you to communicate complex scientific ideas, concisely, accurately and informatively.
Instruct you how to use mathematical analysis to model physical behaviour and interpret the mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena.

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Master's specialisation in Particle and Astrophysics. A physics programme that covers the inner workings of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale. Read more

Master's specialisation in Particle and Astrophysics

A physics programme that covers the inner workings of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale

Although Particle Physics and Astrophysics act on a completely different scale, they both use the laws of physics to study the universe. In this Master’s specialisation you’ll dive into these extreme worlds and unravel questions like: What did our universe look like in the earliest stages of its existence? What are the most elementary particles that the universe consists of? And how will it evolve?

If you are fascinated by the extreme densities, gravities, and magnetic fields that can be found only in space, or by the formation, evolution, and composition of astrophysical objects, you can focus on the Astrophysics branch within this specialisation. Would you rather study particle interactions and take part in the search for new particles – for example during an internship at CERN - then you can choose a programme full of High Energy Physics. And for students with a major interest in the theories and predictions underlying all experimental work, we offer an extensive programme in mathematical or theoretical physics.

Whatever direction you choose, you’ll learn to solve complex problems and think in an abstract way. This means that you’ll be highly appealing to employers in academia and business. Previous students have, for example, found jobs at Shell, ASML, Philips and space research institute SRON.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/particle

Why study Particle and Astrophysics at Radboud University?

- This Master’s specialisation provides you with a thorough background in High Energy Physics, Astrophysics, and Mathematical Physics and the interface between them.

- Apart from the mandatory programme, there’s plenty of room to adapt the programme to your specific interests.

- The programme offers the opportunity to perform theoretical or experimental research.

- During this specialisation it is possible to participate in large-scale research projects, like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN or the LOFAR telescope.

Career prospects

This Master’s specialisation is an excellent preparation for a career in research, either at a university, at an institute (think of ESA and CERN) or at a company. However, many of our students end up in other business or government positions as well. Whatever job you aspire, you can certainly make use of the fact that you have learned:

- Thinking in an abstract way

- Solving complex problems

- Using statistics

- Computer programming

- Giving presentations

Some of our alumni now work as:

- National project manager at EU Universe Awareness

- Actuarial trainee at Talent & Pro

- Associate Private Equity at HAL Investments

- Consultant at Accenture

- ECO Operations Manager at Ofgem

- Scientist at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

- Technology strategy Manager at Accenture

Working at a company

Other previous students have found jobs at for example:

- Shell

- KNMI

- Liander

- NXP

- ASML

- Philips

- McKinsey

- DSM

- Solvay

- Unilever

- AkzoNobel

Researchers in the field of Particle and Astrophysics develop advanced detector techniques that are often also useful for other applications. This resulted in numerous spin-off companies in for example medical equipment and detectors for industrial processes:

- Medipix

- Amsterdam Scientific Instruments

- Omics2Image

- InnoSeis

PhD positions

At Radboud University, there are typically a few PhD positions per year available in the field of Particle and Astrophysics. Many of our students attained a PhD position, not just at Radboud University, but at universities all over the world.

Our approach to this field

In the Particle and Astrophysics specialisation, you’ll discover both the largest and the smallest scales in the universe. Apart from Astrophysics and High Energy Physics, this specialisation is also aimed at the interface between them: experiments and theory related to the Big Bang, general relativity, dark matter, etc. As all relevant research departments are present at Radboud University – and closely work together – you’re free to choose any focus within this specialisation. For example:

- High energy physics

You’ll dive into particle physics and answer questions about the most fundamental building blocks of matter: leptons and quarks. The goal is to understand particle interactions and look for signs of physics beyond the standard model by confronting theoretical predictions with experimental observations.

- Astrophysics

The Astrophysics department concentrates on the physics of compact objects, such as neutron stars and black holes, and the environments in which they occur. This includes understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. While galaxies may contain of up to a hundred billion stars, most of their mass actually appears to be in the form of unseen ‘dark matter’, whose nature remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics.

- Mathematical physics

Research often starts with predictions, based on mathematical models. That’s why we’ll provide you with a theoretical background, including topics such as the properties of our space-time, quantum gravity and noncommutative geometry.

- Observations and theory

The Universe is an excellent laboratory: it tells us how the physical laws work under conditions of ultra-high temperature, pressure, magnetic fields, and gravity. In this specialisation you’ll learn how to decode that information, making use of advanced telescopes and observatories. Moreover, we’ll provide you with a thorough theoretical background in particle and astrophysics. After you’ve got acquainted with both methods, you can choose to focus more on theoretical physics or experimental physics.

- Personal approach

If you’re not yet sure what focus within this specialisation would best fit your interests, you can always ask one of the teachers to help you during your Master’s. Based on the courses that you like and your research ambitions, they can provide you with advice about electives and the internship(s).

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/particle

Radboud University Master's Open Day 10 March 2018



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This renowned MSc course is designed to prepare students for PhD study in fundamental theoretical physics by bridging the gap between an undergraduate course in physics or mathematics and the research frontier. Read more
This renowned MSc course is designed to prepare students for PhD study in fundamental theoretical physics by bridging the gap between an undergraduate course in physics or mathematics and the research frontier.

The Theoretical Physics Group is internationally recognised for its contribution to our understanding of the unification of fundamental forces, the early universe, quantum gravity, supersymmetry, string theory, and quantum field theory.

The origins of the MSc course date back to the founding of the Theoretical Physics Group by Abdus Salam, one of Imperial’s Nobel Laureates.

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This two-year MSc is offered by Royal Holloway as part of its South East Physics Network Partnership (SEPnet). SEPnet is a consortium of six universities. Read more

This two-year MSc is offered by Royal Holloway as part of its South East Physics Network Partnership (SEPnet). SEPnet is a consortium of six universities: University of Kent, Queen Mary University of London, Royal Holloway University of London, University of Southampton, University of Surrey, and University of Sussex. This consortium consists of around 160 academics, with an exceptionally wide range of expertise linked with world-leading research.

The first year consists mainly of taught courses in the University of London; the second research year can be at Royal Holloway or one of the other consortium members. This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with physics research groups and partner institutions in both the UK and Europe. You will benefit from consortium led events as well as state of the art video conferencing. 

The Department of Physics at Royal Holloway 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.

With access to some of the leading physics departments in the world, there is a wide choice of accommodation options, sporting facilities, international student organisations and careers services. South East England, with its close connections to continental Europe by air, Eurotunnel, and cross channel ferries, is an ideal environment for international students.

  • The course offers an incomparably wide range of options.
  • Royal Holloway's Physics Department has strong links with leading international facilities, including Rutherford Appleton and National Physical Laboratory, Oxford Instruments, CERN, ISIS and Diamond. 
  • We hold a regular series of colloquia and seminars on important research topics and host a number of guest lectures from external organisations.

Course structure

Year 1

All modules are optional

Year 2

  • Major Project

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

You will take six from the following:

  • Lie Groups and Lie Algebras
  • Quantum Theory
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Phase Transitions
  • Advanced Quantum Theory
  • Advanced Topics in Statistical Mechanics
  • Relativistic Waves and Quantum Fields
  • Advanced Quantum Field Theory
  • Functional Methods in Quantum Field Theory
  • Advanced Topics in Classical Field Theory
  • Formation and Evolution of Stellar Clusters
  • Advanced Physical Cosmology
  • Atom and Photon Physics
  • Advanced Photonics
  • Quantum Computation and Communication
  • Quantum Electronics of Nanostructures
  • Molecular Physics
  • Particle Physics
  • Particle Accelerator Physics
  • Modelling Quantum Many-Body Systems
  • Order and Excitations in Condensed Matter
  • Theoretical Treatments of Nano-Systems
  • Physics at the Nanoscale
  • Electronic Structure Methods
  • Computer Simulation in Condensed Matter
  • Superfluids, Condensates and Superconductors
  • Advanced Condensed Matter
  • Standard Model Physics and Beyond
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • Statistical Data Analysis
  • String Theory and Branes
  • Supersymmetry
  • Stellar Structure and Evolution
  • Cosmology
  • Relativity and Gravitation
  • Astroparticle Cosmology
  • Electromagnetic Radiation in Astrophysics
  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Solar Physics
  • Solar System
  • The Galaxy
  • Astrophysical Plasmas
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
  • Extrasolar Planets and Astrophysical Discs
  • Environmental Remote Sensing
  • Molecular Biophysics
  • Cellular Biophysics
  • Theory of Complex Networks
  • Equilibrium Analysis of Complex Systems
  • Dynamical Analysis of Complex Systems
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Elements of Statistical Learning

Year 2

Only core modules are taken.

Teaching & assessment

This high quality European Masters programme follows the European method of study and involves a year of research working on pioneering projects.

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.

Your future career

This course equips you with the subject knowledge and a solid foundation for continued studies in physics, and many of our graduates have gone on to study for a PhD. 

On completion of the course graduates will have a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of the discipline a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different physics-related areas, including careers in industry, information technology and finance.



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The program deepens the knowledge of basic elements of modern physics (atomic and molecular physics, solid state physics, nuclear and particle physics, astrophysics) and of theoretical physics (analytical mechanics, quantum mechanics, mathematical and numerical methods). Read more

The program deepens the knowledge of basic elements of modern physics (atomic and molecular physics, solid state physics, nuclear and particle physics, astrophysics) and of theoretical physics (analytical mechanics, quantum mechanics, mathematical and numerical methods). It is possible to strengthen the knowledge of specific fields like biophysics, nanoscience, physics of matter, nuclear and particle physics, physics of the fundamental interactions, astrophysics. Finally, the program provides direct experience of the laboratory techniques and computer calculation techniques and data analysis.

The graduate in Physics will know and understand the most relevant phenomena of the physical world at different scales, starting from the macroscopic world down to the atomic physics, the physics of condensed matter, nuclear and subnuclear physics up to the physics of the universe. The understanding of the physical world will be based on experimental evidence and a proper use of the theoretical modelling and its mathematical instruments, including numerical techniques.

Course structure

The second-cycle degree in Physics is divided in three curricula to be chosen by the student: Physics of the fundamental interactions, Physics of matter and Physics of the universe. For further information please check: http://en.didattica.unipd.it

Career opportunities

The graduate in Physics can have jobs opportunities in Italy and abroad in industries involving new technologies regardless of the final products, in service companies aiming to innovation and, more generally, in all activities requiring understanding and modelling of processes and ability in analysis and testing. These include startups and high tech industries, software and consulting companies, research centers and public administration. They can also teach physics and mathematics in schools of different levels.

Scholarships and Fee Waivers

The University of Padova, the Veneto Region and other organisations offer various scholarship schemes to support students. Below is a list of the funding opportunities that are most often used by international students in Padova.

You can find more information below and on our website here: http://www.unipd.it/en/studying-padova/funding-and-fees/scholarships

You can find more information on fee waivers here: http://www.unipd.it/en/fee-waivers



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