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MSc/PgDip Applied Physics

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: Institute of Physics
  • Study mode and duration: MSc: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
    PgDip: 9 months full-time, 21 months part-time

Study with us

  • acquire knowledge of the techniques, practices and theoretical background within applied physics and its interdisciplinary applications
  • specialise in subjects such as microwave technology, laser-based acceleration and applied solid-state physics
  • vocational course for anyone with a background in the physical sciences or engineering
  • our students are a mix of recent graduates and early-career professionals from the UK, Europe and overseas ensuring a rich cultural learning experience
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Why this course?

The course gives you the opportunity to explore and master a wide range of applied physics skills. It also teaches you transferable, problem-solving and numeracy skills that are widely sought after across the commercial sector.

On the MSc programme, you'll acquire:

  • in-depth knowledge of current and emerging theories, techniques and practices within the field of physics and the life sciences and the ability to apply these theories in a professional setting
  • problem-solving and high numeracy skills that are widely sought-after across the commercial sector skills required to use high-power microwave technology in an industrial environment
  • professional abilities in applying laser-based particle acceleration and enabled applications
  • in-depth knowledge of materials and solid state physics, photonics & quantum optics and quantum information technology.

You'll put the knowledge gained in the taught classes to use on a research project. You can design the project to fit in with your interests and career plans.

Adjusting physics laboratory equipment

 

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

Two semesters of taught classes are made up of compulsory and optional modules. MSc students also undertake a three-month research project. You can choose classes relevant to your career interests from a wide range of topics including:

  • high-power microwave technology
  • laser-based particle acceleration and enabled applications
  • physics and the life sciences
  • materials and solid state physics
  • photonics
  • quantum optics and quantum information technology

You'll put the knowledge gained in the taught classes to use on a research project. You can design the project to fit in with your interests and career plans.

Learning & teaching

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

Assessment

The assessment of most taught modules is based on a written examination and continuous coursework (about 20%), and, in some modules, an oral examination. The final project is assessed mainly by a report supplemented by a talk, an oral examination (viva) and an assessment of the performance and engagement during the project by the supervisor.

Student competitions

The Department of Physics MSc Excellence Prize

This will be awarded to a meritorious student of at least distinction level on any MSc course offered by the Department. It will be awarded to the student who achieves the highest credit weighted average over the whole course portfolio.

The Department of Physics MSc Prize

This will be awarded to a meritorious student of at least distinction level on any MSc course offered by the Department. It will be awarded to the student who achieves the highest mark for the MSc Project.

Facilities

This course is run by our Department of Physics. Departmental facilities include:

  • cutting-edge high-power laser and particle acceleration research with SCAPA, enabling generation of radiation from the terahertz to the X-ray region, and biomedical applications
  • the Ultrafast Chemical Physics lab with state-of-the-art femtosecond laser systems for multi-dimensional IR spectroscopy
  • a scanning electron microscopy suite for analysis of hard and soft matter
  • access to top-of-the-range high-performance and parallel computer facilities
  • state-of-the-art high-power microwave research facility in the Technology & Innovation Centre
  • advanced quantum optics and quantum information labs
  • several labs researching optical spectroscopy and sensing
The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.
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Course content

If you'd like to study the course part-time, you can choose one or two modules per semester. For full-time study, you'll be required to choose three modules per semester.

Compulsory modules

Semester 1

Physics Skills (20 credits)

You'll gain necessary skills in IT, working with literature, data analysis, and written and oral communication to support a great learning experience in your programme.

Summer

Project (60 credits)

You'll gain experience of research techniques by performing an open-ended cutting-edge research project that runs over summer after the taught component of the MSc. The topic may be from a programme relevant field in physics or its interdisciplinary applications. Students with the corresponding ambition and relevant qualification will be supported to find an alternative placement in chemistry or an industrial placement but this depends on availability. The work is normally carried out in the research laboratories under the individual supervision of an experienced researcher.

Elective modules

Semester 1

Research Skills (20 credits)

You'll gain core skills needed to obtain research funding and successfully manage the resulting research in both an academic and a commercial environment.

Introductory Nanoscience (20 credits)

You'll learn basic concepts relating to nanoscale physics and techniques associated with production and characterisation of nanomaterials/nanostructures, as well as their potential impact in engineering, energy and healthcare.

Topics in Photonics: Laser & Nonlinear Optics (20 credits)

You'll study laser physics, laser optics and nonlinear optics as required for the work in many photonic labs.

Photonics Materials & Devices (topics in solid state physics) (20 credits)

You'll study semiconductor physics, semiconductor electronics and semiconductor photonics with an outlook on micro and nano-structures and current hot topics.

Semester 1 & 2

Optical Communication (Photonic Systems) (20 credits)

You'll develop a basic conceptual understanding and working knowledge of fibre optic communications systems and their component parts. We'll address basic principles, engineering, design and performance limits.

Control Principles (20 credits)

You'll study the basic concepts, mathematical tools and design methods of classical control theory. This course enables you to analyse and design closed loop control system specifically using industrial three term (PID) controllers and to appreciate the application of control theory in industrial applications.

Computational Physics (20 credits)

You'll study Python programming and its application to solve physics-problems as curve fitting, Fourier transforms, solving ordinary differential equations, etc.

Semester 2

Advanced Nanoscience 1: Imaging & Microscopy (20 credits)

You'll study 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 (20 credits)

You'll learn advanced key concepts in modern nano-scale condensed matter physics and optics, as well as modern computational methods to investigate these systems. The module will illustrate methods of applying these concepts to realistic nanosystems.

Advanced Topics in Photonics: Ultrafast Physics & Plasmas (20 credits)

You'll study 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.

Advanced Photonics Devices (20 credits)

You'll study advanced photonics devices including their principles and applications (quantum confinement, waveguide optics, photonic and electronic bandgaps, photonic crystals).

Advanced Topics In Electromagnetism And Plasma Physics (20 credits)

You'll study primary methods for transmitting, storing and manipulating electromagnetic waves and the interaction of these waves with plasmas and plasma physics. The module will look at both theoretical and practical considerations for a range of applications. 

Optical Design (20 credits)

You'll study lens design, the characterisation and optimisation of system performance including practical exercises with Oslo software. (The course might not run every year depending on interest by a sufficient number of students).

Experimental Laboratories (20 credits)

You'll carry out open-ended practical work in the laboratory conveying the basic skills of instrument handling, data management, record keeping, and develop report-writing and oral presentation skills. You're required to complete two experiments selected from a range of topics.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Minimum second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in physics or a related subject, eg Engineering Physics, Chemistry, Material Science, Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

Applicants from an engineering discipline need to have had sufficient exposure to quantum mechanics and solid state physics, eg by semiconductor technology courses, or need to demonstrate that they can acquire the necessary background. Contact us about your case and the possibility of conversion courses.

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with no component below 5.5).

We offer comprehensive English language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.0. Please see ELTD for full details.

As a university, we now accept many more English language tests other than IELTS for overseas applicants, for example, TOEFL and PTE Cambridge. View the full list of accepted English language tests here.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

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

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Scotland

£9,050

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,050

International

£21,850

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Careers

What kind of jobs do Strathclyde Physics graduates get?

To answer this question we contacted some of our Physics graduates from all courses to find out what jobs they have. They are working across the world in a number of different roles including:

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

Success story: Iain Neil, Oscar winner

Iain Neil graduated from Strathclyde in Applied Physics and is an optical consultant, specialising in the design of zoom lenses for the film industry. He has received a record 12 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards, the most for any living person.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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Apply

Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5147

Email: science-masters@strath.ac.uk

Have you considered?

We've a range of postgraduate taught and Masters courses similar to this one which may also be of interest.