Masters Degrees in Physics and Related Areas

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Masters Degrees in Physics

and Related Areas


This booklet has been produced to help graduate students who are seeking information on postgraduate but pre-doctoral courses in physics and cognate subjects in the United Kingdom and The Republic of Ireland. Most courses listed are at taught Masters level, a few are by research only, and many have postgraduate diploma and/or postgraduate certificate versions. The main designations listed are: MSc, MA, MRes, PgDip and PgCert.
This information has been compiled primarily from data provided by the departments themselves; where such information was not provided, the department’s website was consulted. Note, however, that you are strongly advised to contact the relevant department for the most up-to-date information because it can change quite frequently. This list is not exhaustive.

Length of courses

Entries in this column generally contain a number followed by a letter. These indicate a course’s duration and its mode of study, e.g., 1F = 1-year full-time, and 2-5P = 2-5 years part-time.


Courses are divided into four major geographical territories: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland & The Republic of Ireland. Within these regions, courses are listed by university in alphabetical order, apart from the institutions of the University of London which are grouped together, as are the universities at Central Lancashire and Lancaster.

Studentships and bursaries

Information has been included on the availability of studentships where known. A blank in the column does not necessarily imply that funding is not

available. Further information on studentships and bursaries can be obtained from the relevant departments and from the following organisations featured in the courses list:

Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB); Medical Research Council (MRC);

Department for International Development (DFID); National Health Service (NHS);

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);

Erasmus University Rotterdam; Socrates;

European Science Foundation (ESF); The Wellcome Trust;

European Union (EU);

Higher Education & Research Opportunities (HERO);
Entry requirements


1st or 2nd Class Honours degree in Physics or related discipline


Honours degree in Physics or related discipline where no particular class of honours is specified


3rd Class Honours degree in Physics or a related discipline may be accepted


Pass/ordinary degree in Physics or a related discipline may be accepted


Certain professional qualifications may be acceptable


Relevant experience preferred or specified


Qualifying examination/essays/oral test specified

Note 1

In certain cases, departments may specify combinations e.g. C+F.

Note 2

Occasionally, departments are prepared to accept qualifications which are “equivalent” to the degree specified in the table. Candidates should contact the department concerned if they are in any doubt.

Note 3

“Related discipline” normally refers to disciplines such as mathematics, chemistry, geology, electrical/electronic/chemical/mechanical engineering, biology, medical science, metallurgy, as appropriate to the degree concerned.

Note 4

Candidates holding certain overseas awards may be required to sit a qualifying examination. They may also need to satisfy the university of their proficiency in English, for example, by presenting a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) certificate or a similar qualification, i.e. International English Language Testing System (IELTS). At some universities, overseas students, of good potential but lacking in certain areas of necessary background, may be admitted to a preliminary year of training in the first instance.
Note 5

Some departments qualify Requirement A by requiring at least an Upper Second (2i) as an entry qualification. Please confirm with the appropriate department.

Classification of courses (Based on the Physics & Astronomy Classification Scheme (PACS) 2001)


Physics of Elementary Particles and Fields


Nuclear Physics


Atomic and Molecular Physics


Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics


Physics of Gases, Plasmas and Electric Discharges


Condensed Matter: Structure, Mechanical and Thermal Properties


Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties


Interdisciplinary Physics; also related areas of Science, Technology, History or Policy


Geophysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics



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