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  • Start date: September 2016

Physics MSci

This four-year programme offers an additional year of study on top of the Physics BSc, during which students have the opportunity to specialise further by taking advanced optional courses, and undertaking a research project.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Physics MSci
UCAS code
F303
Duration
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Physics and Astrophysics
Total intake (by subject area)
142 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
11 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
90% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades
AAA
Subjects
Mathematics and Physics required.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points
38
Subjects
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics and Physics at grade 6, with no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Edexcel Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF), or Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Diploma (NQF) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the credits in the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including Mathematics and Physics.

AAA at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher), including Mathematics and Physics at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma, plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*A, including Mathematics and Physics.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • A science degree from UCL is a strong asset across the whole range of careers where basic scientific skills are required, from accountancy to astrophysics, and computing to cryogenics.
  • The programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and includes the very latest developments and discoveries in the field, based on our highly rated research.
  • Collaborative links with both industry and international research laboratories provide insight into the practical application of your studies.
  • A wide range of optional courses are available, including courses from other University of London colleges, which allows for individual preferences and specialisations within your degree.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Core courses in the first year provide a firm foundation in quantum and classical physics, underpinned by mathematics and a practical skills course which includes computing skills training.

The second year includes core courses in quantum physics and its application to atoms and molecules, in statistical thermodynamics and in electromagnetic theory, along with further mathematics. The quantum and condensed matter elements of the core are completed in the third year. The second and third year also include practical laboratory and project courses, and optional courses to develop further and enhance knowledge of a range of physics topics.

The fourth year comprises a compulsory research project, and a further five half-credit courses, generally chosen from subjects in the relevant degree specialty. A wide range of courses is available, including some taught by staff from other University of London colleges.

This programme is offered both as a three-year BSc and a four-year MSci, with common structures and subjects for the first two years. However, the additional fourth year of the MSci programme allows for a greater depth of study and we recommend you apply for an MSci initially, as this keeps more options open.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Classical Mechanics
Mathematical Methods I
Mathematical Methods II
Physics of the Universe
Practical Skills 1C
Practical Skills 1P
Thermal Physics
Waves, Optics and Acoustics

Optional courses

All first year courses are compulsory.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Atomic and Molecular Physics
Electricity and Magnetism
Mathematical Methods III
Practical Physics 2A
Practical Physics 2B
Quantum Physics
Statistical Thermodynamics

Optional courses

One optional course from the following:

Environmental Physics
Mathematics for Physics and Astronomy
Physics of the Solar System

Year Three

Compulsory courses

Electromagnetic Theory
Experimental Physics
Group Project
Nuclear and Particle Physics
Quantum Mechanics
Solid State Physics

Optional courses

You will select your remaining 1.0 credit from a wide range of Physics options. Options may include:

Energy and Climate
Lasers and Modern Optics
Materials and Nanomaterials
Physical Cosmology
Physics of Oceans, Ice Sheets and Climate (1.0 credits)
Physics of the Earth
Scientific Computing Using Object Oriented Languages
Theory of Dynamical Systems

Final Year

Compulsory course

Physics Project

Optional courses

You will select 2.5 credits from a wide range of optional courses.

Your learning

Teaching is undertaken through lectures, laboratory (and as appropriate, observatory) practical sessions, and supervised problem-solving tutorials. These tutorials are designed to deal with lecture-based questions, enlarge on topics addressed in lectures, and allow clarification and in-depth discussion of new concepts.

Assessment

Assessment will normally involve end-of-year examinations, and an element of assessed coursework. For practical work you will be continuously assessed.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Physics MSci.

Careers

Your scientific training will equip you with an understanding of mathematics, and of physical principles and techniques, as well as transferable skills in analysis, rational argument and innovative problem solving. Surveys by the IOP indicate that physicists' versatility is welcomed by a wider range of professions than any other subject.

Around half our graduates choose to pursue further study for an MSc or PhD. A PhD opens up the possibility of an academic or research career in a university or research institute. Alternatively, like many of our graduates, you may consider employment in research, design, development, computing, finance, marketing and teaching, among others.

Destinations

First career destinations of recent graduates (2011-2013) of this programme include:

  • Risk Analyst, UBS (2013)
  • Full-time student, PhD in High Energy Physics at UCL (2013)
  • Full-time student, PhD in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge
  • Technical Consultant, BAE Systems (2012)
  • Full-time student, PGCE Science (Physics) at Institute of Education (2011)

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Student view

The equipment that you get to use is expensive and therefore gives you accurate readings. Also you get to know your fellow course-mates as you all cluster around fume cupboards and bond over the hunt for chemicals. Charlotte Holmes - Chemistry MSci (Fourth year)

Fees and funding

Fees

UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2015/16)
Overseas fee
£20,700 (2015/16)

Funding

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

Scholarships

Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.

Dean's Summer Student Scholarships

Value
Variable
Eligibility
Overseas
Criteria
Based on academic merit

Kaziewicz Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

Value
8,000
Eligibility
UK, EU
Criteria
Based on financial need

The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

Application and next steps

Your application

In addition to the subjects and grades specified in the qualifying examinations, we are also looking for evidence of self-motivation and an enthusiastic interest in the subject. This may be demonstrated through paid or voluntary work experience, academic project work, or your interests and hobbies beyond the school curriculum.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016



Selection

If you are based in the UK within a reasonable travelling distance of UCL, and your application demonstrates your suitability for the programme, you will be invited to a compulsory applicant open day. This will include presentations, a tour of facilities and an opportunity to meet current students and staff members.

If you are based outside the UK, or not within reasonable travelling distance of UCL, we will decide whether to make you an offer on the basis of your UCAS application and reference; a telephone interview may be offered.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students