MScAdvanced Physics

Why this course?

The course gives you the opportunity to explore and master theoretical, computational and experimental physics skills with wide application.

Our four divisions – Nanoscience, Optics, Plasmas and the Institute of Photonics – all contribute research-based teaching expertise to the course. You can choose taught elements relevant to your career interests from a wide range of topics, including:

  • theoretical & computational physics
  • quantum optics and quantum information
  • complexity science
  • physics and the life sciences
  • solid-state physics
  • plasma physics

The knowledge you gain in the taught components is then put to use in a cutting-edge research project, which can be theoretical, computational or experimental.

You’ll study

You’ll have two semesters of taught classes made up of compulsory and optional modules. This is followed by a three-month research project. 


This course is run by the Department of Physics. The department’s facilities include:

  • cutting-edge high-power laser research with SCAPA, researching the future of particle accelerators via laser-based acceleration
  • the Ultrafast Chemical Physics lab with state-of-the-art femtosecond laser systems for multi-dimensional IR spectroscopy
  • access to the top-of-the-range high performance and parallel computer facilities of ARCHIE-WeSt
  • a scanning electron microscopy suite for analysis of hard and soft matter
  • new high-power microwave research facility in the Technology & Innovation Centre
  • advanced quantum optics and quantum information labs

Course content

Research Skills

This course introduces core skills needed to obtain research funding and successfully manage the resulting research in both an academic and a commercial environment.

Project Training

This course develops your transferable skills (communication skills, literature survey)´╗┐ in preparation for the project undertaken on the course.

It also helps you in developing an understanding of the management of projects in an industrial setting and preparation for successful working in technological industries.


You'll undertake a cutting edge research project in either one of the research groups of the Department of Physics or with collaborating departments and institutions (Chemistry, Institute of Photonics, Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Centre for Biophotonics).

Introductory Nanoscience

The course addresses basic concepts relating to nanoscale physics before progressing to the techniques associated with production and characterisation of nanomaterials/nanostructures, and their potential impact in engineering, energy and healthcare.

Advanced Nanoscience 1: Imaging & Microscopy

The aim of this course is to introduce the spectroscopy, imaging and microscopy techniques associated with modern nanoscience such as:

  • Fluorescence methods
  • Single molecule imaging and microscopic techniques
  • Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • Electron microscopy´╗┐
Advanced Nanoscience 2: Solid State Nanoscience

This course introduces advanced key concepts in modern nano-scale condensed matter physics and optics.

Modern computational methods to investigate these systems will then be introduced to illustrate methods of applying these concepts to realistic nanosystems.

Topics in Photonics: Laser & Nonlinear Optics

The course provides an introduction to laser physics, laser optics and nonlinear optics as required for the work in many photonic labs.

Optical Design

The course provides an introduction to lens design and the characterisation and optimisation of system performance including practical exercises with Oslo software.

Experimental Quantum & Atom Optics

The course provides an introduction to basic phenomena and experimental techniques in quantum and atom optics with a focus on laser cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation.

Advanced Topics in Photonics: Ultrafast Physics & Plasmas

The course provides an introduction to laser-plasma interaction, in particular with very high power and ultrashort pulses, and the resulting applications in radiation sources from the terahertz to the X-ray region, laser fusion and laser-based particle acceleration.

Device Microfabrication-Principle & Practice

This course introduces the principles, facilities and processes for device fabrication and cleanroom operation underpinning modern semiconductor photonics and other optical technologies.

Photonics Materials & Devices (topics in solid state physics)

The course provides an introduction into semiconductor physics, semiconductor electronics and semiconductor photonics with an outlook on micro and nano-structures and current hot topics.

Advanced Photonics Devices

This introduces advanced photonics devices including their principles and applications (quantum confinement, waveguide optics, photonic and electronic bandgaps, photonic crystals).

Theoretical Quantum Information

The course provides an introduction to the basic concepts and theoretical ideas of quantum information processing.

Quantum Optics, Nonlinearity & Open Quantum Systems

The course provides an introduction to the basic concepts and theoretical ideas of quantum optics, open quantum systems and nonlinear optics.

Advanced Topics in Complex Systems

The course introduces concepts of complexity science as the synchronisation of nonlinear oscillators, nonlinear waves and solitons and self-organisation and pattern formation in spatially extended nonlinear systems.

Advanced Topics In Theoretical Physics

The class covers topics in advanced mechanics both classical and quantum by introducing you to the concepts of Lagrangians, Hamiltonians and more in depth study of fields.

Advanced Topics In Electromagnetism And Plasma Physics

The class introduces you to the primary methods for transmitting, storing and manipulating electromagnetic waves and the interaction of these waves with plasmas and plasma physics. It will look at both theoretical and practical considerations for a range of applications. 

Learning & teaching

Our teaching is based on lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory experiments, and research projects.


The final assessment will be based on your performance in examinations, coursework, a research project and, if required, in an oral examination.

Entry requirements


First or second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in physics or a related subject.

English language

IELTS 6.0 is required for all non-English speakers.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • 2017/18 - £5,000

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - £6,000


  • 2017/18 - £18,000

How can I fund my course?

Scottish students

Students living in Scotland can find out more about funding from the Student Awards Agency Scotland.

English students

Students ordinarily resident in England may be eligible to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover their tuition fees and living costs.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


A Masters degree in physics prepares you for a wide and versatile range of careers in science and engineering as well as all areas of management, financial services, etc. Many graduates proceed to a PhD.

Strathclyde physics graduates are working across the world in a number of different roles including:

  • Medical Physicist
  • Senior Engineer
  • Professor
  • Systems Engineer
  • Treasury Analyst
  • Patent Attorneys
  • Software Engineer
  • Teacher
  • Spacecraft Project Manager
  • Defence Scientist
  • Procurement Manager
  • Oscar winner

Contact us


Advanced Physics

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Advanced Physics

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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