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This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in physics. The programme is designed to satisfy the need, both nationally and internationally, for well-qualified postgraduates who will be able to respond to the challenges that arise from future developments in this field.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£23,020 (FT) £11,460 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in physics or electrical engineering from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

Students develop insights into the techniques used in current projects, and gain in-depth experience of a particular specialised research area, through project work as a member of a research team. The programme provides the professional skills necessary to play a meaningful role in industrial or academic life.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a choice of four core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Advanced Quantum Theory
  • Particle Physics
  • Atom and Photon Physics
  • Quantum Computation and Communication
  • Order and Excitations in Condensed Matter
  • Mathematics for General Relativity
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
  • Molecular Physics
  • Please note: students choose four of the above.


  • Astrophysics MSc Core Modules
  • Space and Climate Science MSc Core Modules
  • Medical Physics MSc Core Modules
  • Intercollegiate fourth-year courses
  • Physics and Astrophysics MSci fourth-year courses
  • Physics and Astrophysics MSci third-year courses
  • Plastic and Molecular (Opto)electronics


All students submit a critical research essay and MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation and oral presentation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical, laboratory and computer-based classes. Student performance is assessed through coursework and written examination. The research project is assessed by literature survey, oral presentation and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Physics MSc


Candidates may be eligible for a Santander scholarship. For further details please visit:


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

£15,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

Summer Scholarship in Condensed Matter Physics

Variable (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


Physics-based careers embrace a broad range of areas e.g. information technology, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • PhD in Physics, University of Cambridge (2011)
  • Software Engineer, NDS (2011)
  • Research Assistant, Cambridge Display Technology (2012)
  • PhD in Space Climate Physics, UCL (2011)
  • Analyst, Barclays Capital (2011)


A Master's degree in Physics is highly regarded by employers. Students gain a deep understanding of both basic phenomena underpinning a range of technologies with huge potential for future development (e.g. quantum information) as well as direct knowledge of cutting-edge technologies likely to play a major role in short to medium term industrial development while addressing key societal challenges (from energy, to water sanitisation).

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Physics & Astronomy is among the top departments in the UK for graduate study.

The department's participation in many international collaborations means we provide exceptional opportunities to work as part of an international team. Examples include work at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, and at the EISCAT radar instruments in Scandinavia for studying the Earth's upper atmosphere.

For students whose interests tend towards the theoretical, the department is involved in many international projects, some aimed at development of future quantum technologies, others at fundamental atomic and molecular physics. In some cases, opportunities exist for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.

Student / staff ratios › 230 staff › 30 taught students › 200 research students

Department: Physics & Astronomy

Degree reviews

Staff review

"Finding out new things no one ever knew before, and (as a head of department) helping others do the same seems like a good use of time! I do particle physics, which is the study of the fundamental constituents of nature, and how they interact. Understanding nature better is always beneficial in the end, but there are also numerous technological spin-offs too. UCL is amazingly well connected – which given that I spend a lot of time in CERN, Geneva, is very important. Also, having the media and political power centres nearby is very exciting and sometimes useful. "

Professor Jon Butterworth

Physics and Astronomy MPhil/PhD, Physics MSc
Professor of Physics

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This programme is particularly suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in physics, astronomy, astrophysics or related discipline, who wish to develop a career in physics and related fields. This MSc provides an ideal foundation for further research and entry onto the PhD programme.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Physics at graduate level
  • why you want to study Physics at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact Information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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