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    Faculty of Physics & Chemistry Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Physics

  • Start Date

    October

  • Course Duration

    9 months

  • Course Type

    Other

  • Course Fees

    website

  • Last Updated

    04 September 2019

The MASt in Physics is a taught master's-level course which is designed to act as a top-up course for students who already hold a three-year undergraduate degree in physics (or an equivalent subject with similar physics content) and who are likely to wish to subsequently pursue research in physics, either within the Department or elsewhere.

The course aims to bring students close to the boundaries of current research and is thus somewhat linked to the expertise from within the specific research groups in the Department of Physics. Candidates make a series of choices as the year proceeds which allow them to select a bias towards particular broad areas of physics such as condensed matter physics, particle physics, astrophysics, biophysics, or semiconductor physics. The emphasis can range over the spectrum from strongly experimental to highly theoretical physics, and a range of specialist options are available.

All students also undertake a substantial research project, which is expected to take up one-third of their time for the year. MASt students study alongside the fourth-year students taking the physics part of the integrated Cambridge Natural Science course, commonly referred to as Part III physics. Details of the current Part III physics course can be found on the Department of Physics website. Please note that the courses available to students may change from year to year (especially the Minor Topic courses taken in the Lent term) and so this year's course listing should only be used as a guide to what courses might be available in future.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have:

  • reinforced their broad understanding of physics across the core areas studied in the Cambridge bachelors physics programme;
  • developed their knowledge in specialised areas of physics, bringing them close to the boundaries of current research;
  • developed an understanding of the techniques and literature associated with the project area on which they have focused;
  • demonstrated the application of knowledge in a research context and become familiar with the methods of research and enquiry used to further that knowledge;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of knowledge; and
  • demonstrated some level of self-direction and originality in tackling and solving research problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and execution of research.

Teaching

The course begins with taught courses offered in around seven core areas: these "Major Topics" are lectured in the Michaelmas term and cover substantial areas of physics. Students may choose to attend three or more of these for examination in the Lent term. In the Lent term, students take three or more shorter specialised "Minor Topic" courses (from about 12) for examination in the Easter term. Substitutes for Major and Minor Topic courses are available from a small subset of courses taught by or shared with other departments. Throughout the year students also work on an assessed research project that contributes to roughly one-third of their mark and at the end of the year sit a three-hour unseen paper on General Physics.

Feedback

Depending on the lecturer for each course, students may be expected to submit work (i.e. problem sets) in advance of the small-group sessions for scrutiny or to present their work to those attending the sessions.

It is not usual for submitted work to be returned with detailed annotations. Rather, feedback will be predominantly oral, but lecturers are expected to submit a short written supervision report at the end of each term for each of their students.

Feedback on the research project will be primarily oral and provided during the supervisions, though a short written supervision report at the end of the Lent term will be provided by the project supervisor.


Visit the MASt in Physics page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

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