MSc Quantum Technologies

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • 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

  • You will develop theoretical and practical skills in fundamentals of quantum physics and their applications to quantum technologies
  • You will put this knowledge into use in a cutting-edge experimental, theoretical or computational research project in a topic of your interest within the broad quantum technology research portfolio of the department.
  • It will prepare you for further postgraduate study and industrial R&D in quantum technologies.
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Why this course?

The so-called “2nd Quantum Revolution” promises novel, revolutionary approaches to sensing, metrology, computation, cryptography and communication by not only utilising but tailoring quantum dynamics. The importance is recognised by all major global funders who have set up dedicated programmes to support this rapidly evolving field and there is a fast industrial uptake.

The UK has invested £1 billion since 2014 in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme in a collaboration between industry, academia and government. The Department of Physics is involved in all four UK Quantum Hubs and numerous UKRI and Innovate UK grants. As a result, we cover a wide range of quantum technologies based on cold atoms, photonic devices and semiconductor structures.

Quantum computing and simulation aims to transform the way that calculations are performed across many areas of science and industry. We do internationally leading research to develop quantum algorithms for real-world applications, and we lead national networks and projects closely aligned with local and national high-performance computing clusters, and with Strathclyde experiments building next-generation prototypes for neutral atom quantum computers and simulators developed through an EPSRC Prosperity Partnership with M Squared Lasers. 

This programme provides you with the skills to participate in the second quantum revolution with control of quantum features enabling novel functionalities for industrial products and advanced research. 

NPL Quantum Technologies

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

Semester 1 contains a transferable skills module providing you with the necessary study, IT and literature skills. A module in advanced theoretical quantum physics provides you with a solid base in quantum mechanical formalism. A module in Photonics provides the necessary experimental background. In semester 2 you will study experimental and theoretical quantum technologies and advanced quantum optics. Depending on your interest, you can decide to delve into atomic physics and related trapping technology, nanoscience and related characterization concepts or acquire additional practical skills in experimental laboratories. In the summer, you will undertake an open-ended research project.

Major projects

You will undertake one major open-ended research project. This will be in one of our research labs or in an industrial placement.  If you would like to do your research project outside of an academic lab at Strathclyde, we will work with you to explore options for an academic or industrial placement. Students with sufficient qualification will be supported in finding a placement with a programme-relevant industrial collaborator in Scotland or the wider UK but no assurances on obtaining a place can be given. Financial arrangements vary but will cover at least the extra costs involved with the placement.

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.

Research Groups

  • The Experimental Quantum Optics and Photonics (EQOP) group runs bosonic and fermionic quantum gas microscopes with single-site resolution for quantum simulation of advanced materials. Activities in magnetometry, atom interferometry and atomic clocks are supported by state-of-the-art laser and optical systems, test and measurement equipment and micro fabrication facilities. It is closely linked to National Physics Laboratory (NPL) Scotland, building up a unique timing infrastructure including a clock, that is never out by more than 10 nsec from Universal Time.
  • EQOP hosts also the UK’s first large-scale neutral atom quantum computing platform, developed through an EPSRC Prosperity Partnership with M Squared Lasers. This experiment utilises individually trapped neutral atoms as quantum-bits (qubits) to store and process information, engineering long-range interactions via excitation to highly excited Rydberg states.
  • The Computational Nonlinear and Quantum Optics (CNQO) groups are utilizing local and national high-performance computing clusters for fundamental and applied quantum simulation and information.
  • Academics of CNQO lead the EPSRC International Network in Space Quantum Technologies and have expertise in design, modelling, analysis, and the development of quantum space missions. It works closely with UK & international partners to perform in-orbit demonstrations of satellite quantum payloads, including SpooQy-1, ReFQ/QEYSSat, and the UK Quantum Communications Hub CubeSat mission. The department has links with large and small space companies, the Satellite Applications Catapult, and has funding from the UK Space Agency and ESA to develop advanced space quantum technologies.
  • The Semiconductor Quantum Electronics (SEQUEL) team focuses on semiconductor nanoscale systems for applications in quantum computing and quantum electrical metrology. Our state-of-the-art facilities allow us to manufacture and characterise quantum systems at millikelvin temperature. We work with several companies that are keen to commercialise quantum systems and render their benefits available to the wider society. These include British Telecom, Hitachi, Quantum Motion Technologies and the UK National Physical Laboratory (NPL).
  • The Institute of Photonics (IoP) leads the development of advanced lasers for quantum technologies and integrated photonics platforms for quantum technologies.

My ambitions are to work in Quantum computing industry, as a researcher/developer. Through Strathclyde, I have gained a deeper understanding of the processes and methodologies behind the whole industry, and I feel I will be better equipped for entering it and later, a PhD in the same field.

- Siddharth Rangnekar, MSc Advanced Physics graduate (with project in quantum computation)

Strathclyde Crest cold atoms

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Science student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

Chat now!

Our Experimental Quantum Optics and Photonics (EQOP) Group is leading in the development of the next generation of sensing and timing devices based on some of the subtle effects of quantum physics. By bringing together specialised laser systems and novel fabrication techniques for e.g. vacuum systems or atomic vapour cells we are developing compact and portable systems and demonstrating their operation in a field environment. An example of this is magnetic field sensing, where laser-driven atomic magnetometers are developed for applications ranging from geomagnetic surveying and space weather monitoring to biomedical imaging. Another example is accurate atomic clocks based on laser cooled atoms and a unique design of miniaturized magneto-optical traps driven by a single beam.  Great opportunities for Master projects are in all areas.

Prof Erling Riis, Head of Experimental Quantum Optics and Photonics Group

The QuForce project on cloning-based attacks on B84 mentored by Dr Daniel Oi enabled me to have a broad understanding of the quantum cryptography landscape and techniques on solving problems using quantum computers. In addition, running the circuits on a real quantum hardware allowed me to have a better understanding of the approaches to counter the effects of noise in quantum computation. 

- Nizar Lethif, MSc Advanced Physics graduate

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Course content

For full-time study, you will be required to choose 3 modules per semester.

If you would like to study the course part-time, you can choose 1 or 2 modules per semester.

Compulsory modules

Physics Skills (20 credits)

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

Topics in Quantum Physics (20 credits)

You will learn advanced quantum physics concepts: mixed states and density matrix, perturbation and scattering theory, quantization of the electromagnetic field, many particle systems and the Dirac equation.

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

You will study laser physics, laser optics and nonlinear optics as required for the work in many photonic labs and to enable quantum technologies based on photons, cold atoms and solid-state devices.

Compulsory modules

Advanced Topics in Quantum Physics – Quantum Technologies (20 credits)

You will study modern concepts of quantum optics and quantum information: Photon correlation, EPR paradox, entanglement and resulting applications in quantum cryptography, communication and quantum simulation. You will also study: Quantization of the electromagnetic field, behaviour on beam splitters and Hong-Ou Mandel experiment, quantized light-matter interaction and Jaynes-Cummings Hamiltonian, quantum q-bits, quantum gates and basics of quantum algorithms. You will also have an introduction to realisations of quantum computing with trapped ions and with ultracold atoms in optical lattices.

Advanced Topics in Quantum Optics (20 credits)

You will study the interaction of two-level media with laser light and the solution of the Bloch equations. This will be extended to three-level media with exciting phenomena like electromagnetically induced transparency and sub-natural linewidths. We will explore quantum optics in cavities, parametric down-conversion and collective atom-light interactions leading to phenomena like superradiance. The module closes with an introduction to continuous measurement quantum stochastic Schrodinger equations and the orbital angular momentum of light.

Elective modules

Advanced Nanoscience 1: Imaging & Microscopy (20 credits)

You will 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

These characterisation concepts are also essential for quantum technologies.

Experimental Laboratories (20 credits)

You will carry out open-ended practical work in the laboratory conveying the basic skills of instrument handling, data management, record keeping, and you’ll develop report-writing and oral presentation skills. You will be required to complete two quantum optical experiments.

Topics in Atomic, Molecular and Nuclear Physics (20 credits)

You will learn about fundamentals of atomic physics, including the hydrogen atom, optical selection rules, fine-structure and hyperfine-structure; Zeeman effect; two-electron atoms (Helium) and singlet-triplet states, LS and JJ coupling in multi-electron atoms, DC and AC Stark shift, atom-light interactions and Doppler free spectroscopy. You will study applications of atomic physics for quantum technologies: atomic clocks, laser cooling, ion traps, magnetic and optical trapping, quantum degenerate gases and atom interferometry, laser frequency calibration and combs. An introduction to Molecular Physics includes diatomic molecules and their rotational and vibrational modes and the relevance of symmetries and selection rules.


Project (60 credits)

You will 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. You will have the opportunity for research in experimental, theoretical or computational quantum technologies within the research portfolio of the department depending on your interest and ambition. 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 project is normally carried out in the research laboratories under the individual supervision of an experienced researcher.

Learning & teaching

Our teaching is based on lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory experiments and research projects. We have a weekly Information and Support Session where the whole cohort meets with the MSc coordinator to discuss experiences, develop skills and have the opportunity to get to know students and staff across the Department.


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 predominantly 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.

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-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde.

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

Please note: Previous Maths & English qualifications and your undergraduate degree must meet GTCS minimum entry requirements as well as the pre-Masters course and an interview will be conducted before an offer can be made.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Minimum second-class (2.2) Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in Physics (including Mathematics and Physics, Theoretical Physics).

Applicants from an engineering discipline, computer science or engineering physics must have had sufficient exposure to courses in quantum mechanics. Contact us about your application 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.

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.

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Fees & funding

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland




Available scholarships
  • Scholarships of £6,000 are available to new international students joining a postgraduate taught masters degree in the Department of Physics in the 2024/2025 academic year
  • Scholarships of £1,400 are available to new UK fee-paying students joining a postgraduate taught masters degree in the Department of Physics in the 2024/2025 academic year

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.

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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. With this MSc you will be especially prepared to drive the quantum concepts taken up rapidly by industry.

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

  • Quantum Physicist and Quantum Engineer
  • Senior Engineer
  • Professor
  • Systems Engineer
  • Consultant
  • Patent Attorneys
  • Software Engineer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Training Provider for Quantum Workforce
  • Spacecraft Project Manager
  • Defence Scientist
  • Procurement Manager

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 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

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Part time study and Pg Diploma options are available. Please contact for more information.

Start date: Sep 2024

Quantum Technologies

Start date: Sep 2024

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 553 6023


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