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Course content

How can atomic nuclei provide us with energy, help us monitor the environment, benefit medicine, and more?

Our new and innovative MSc in Nuclear Science and Applications is taught by a combination of inspired nuclear physics academics from Surrey’s Department of Physics and forward-looking experts from the UK’s nuclear industries. The Surrey academics are part of the Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics which houses the largest academic nuclear physics research group in the UK.

What you will study

Drawing upon our thorough expertise and excellent research, our course will give you a deep knowledge of nuclear science and its applications.

The substantial practical element of this course enables you to relate taught material to real-world applications. Formal lectures are complemented with work in specialist radiation laboratories that were recently refurbished as part of a £1m upgrade to our facilities. In these facilities you will work with a wide range of radioactive sources and radiation detectors.

There is also an extended project in the spring and an 11-week MSc dissertation project in the summer, and students will have the opportunity to complete their dissertation on a topic specialising in nuclear research.

Academic year structure

Our course consists of eight taught modules and a summer dissertation. If you study with us full time, you’ll complete four modules per semester, whereas part-time study typically involves you needing to do two modules per semester. Dissertation topics are normally allocated towards the end of the Spring Semester. Your project work for the latter will be carried out during the summer period. If you’re part time, you will work on your dissertation during the summer of your second year.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

Study and work abroad

There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.

Research-led teaching

In addition to the formal lectures for taught modules, our course provides a wide range of experimental hands-on training. This includes an eight-week radiation physics laboratory which takes place in the specialist radiation laboratories within the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey. Within the Department, we also have a common room and a departmental library, which contains copies of earlier MSc dissertations.

As well as the laboratory training, you will also carry out a research group project at the beginning of the Spring semester as a precursor to the 11-week research dissertation project which makes up the final part of the MSc.

There are many opportunities for the summer dissertation project to be taken in an external industrial environment.


As a graduate of this course, you will have job opportunities in the nuclear industry, a growing international industry.

The course will also naturally lead into further study, such as completion of a PhD.

Visit the Nuclear Science and Applications (MSc) page on the University of Surrey website for more details!




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