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Mathematical Physics - MSc

Course Description

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 up to half of the taught course element.


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 in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable to a wide range of research areas and sectors including academia, industry, education and finance.

Visit the Mathematical Physics - MSc page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in physics or mathematics with sufficient theoretical physics content. All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.

Last Updated

02 May 2017

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