Our Physics MSc is highly flexible, giving you the opportunity to structure your course to meet your individual career aspirations.
The course gives you the opportunity to broaden and deepen your knowledge and skills in physics, at the forefront of research in the area. This will help to prepare you to progress to PhD study, or to work in an industrial or other business related area.
A key feature of the course is that you can choose to study a wide range of optional modules or focus on a particular area of research expertise according to your interests and future career aspirations.
Under the umbrella of an MSc in physics, you can specialise in astrophysics, bionanophysics, soft matter physics, condensed matter physics, quantum technology, optical materials or medical imaging. Or you can take a diverse range of modules to suit your interests and keep their options open.
The course offers you a very wide range of optional modules, giving you the opportunity to specialise in areas such as astrophysics, bionanophysics, soft matter physics, condensed matter physics, quantum technology, optical materials or medical imaging.
Modules studied may include: quantum field theory; superconductivity; general relativity; medical image analysis; cosmology; bionanophysics; magnetism in condensed matter; statistical mechanics; star and planet formation; elementary particle physics; quantum matter; and photonics.
Alongside your optional modules, you will undertake an advanced and extensive research project in one of the School of Physics and Astronomy’s internationally recognised research groups. This will enable you to develop advanced skills in research planning, execution and reporting, possibly leading to publication of your work in an international journal.
Teaching methods include a combination of lectures, seminars, supervisions, problem solving, presentation of work, independent research, and group work (depending on the modules you choose to study).
Assessment of modules are by problem solving exams and research assignments. The project is assessed on the ability to plan and conduct research and communicate the results in written and oral format.
The specialist pathways offered by this course (in astrophysics, bionanophysics, soft matter physics, condensed matter physics, quantum technology, optical materials or medical imaging) allow you to tailor your course and focus on a particular area of research expertise according to your interests and future career aspirations.
Physicists are highly employable due to their high level of numeracy and mathematical competence, their computer skills, and their high level of technical academic scientific knowledge. They are employed by: industry, financial sector, defence, education, and more.
This course is also a clear route to PhD level study.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
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:
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:
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.