- UCAS Code: F303
- Accreditation: Institute of Physics
Study abroad: options include North America & Canada
Study with us
- develop skills that will enable you to become a successful physicist and maximise your career options
- computational physics is embedded in the first three years of the degree. Learn from academics at the forefront of their research field
- complete your training in laboratory work with a research project in one of the department’s research labs
- opportunity to undertake a summer industrial placement
Why this course?
The MPhys teaches physics in greater depth than the BSc Honours degree. It’s for those of you who want to pursue a professional career in physics, with classes designed to meet the needs of the professional physicist.
You’ll focus your studies on a specific area, such as theoretical and computational physics, plasma physics or laser physics. You’ll also undertake a project, supervised by a member of staff in their research labs.
There is a strong emphasis on laboratory work, which will help you develop a sound understanding of experimental physics and instrumentation.
You’ll complete your laboratory work training with a research project carried out in an up-to-date research lab, attached to one of the department’s research groups. This allows you to benefit from our lively and diverse research environment.
Accredited by the Institute of Physics for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.
What you’ll study
All classes are compulsory and you will study the foundations of physics. Classes will cover mathematics, mechanics and waves, electromagnetism and quantum physics. You'll undertake practical work in the teaching laboratory. In addition to this you will also be introduced to the programming language Python and start to learn the basis of computational physics.
All classes are compulsory and will increase your understanding of physics and mathematics topics developed in first year. You'll extended your knowledge of scientific computing and the laboratory work becomes more sophisticated, recognising your growing maturity as a physicist.
In addition to extending your study of quantum physics and electromagnetism you will be introduced to new topics centred on solid state physics, thermal and statistical mechanics. The laboratory work undertaken in Year 3 is aimed at further developing your laboratory skills in readiness for the fourth-year project. A key part of being a physicist is the communication of your understanding of the subject and in third year you will take classes designed to enhance the communication skills acquired in Years 1 and 2. You’ll also select elective classes.
You’ll undertake a project in research labs supervised by a member of staff in the department. You can select optional classes from topics as diverse as nanoscience, photonics through to quantum optics.
This year includes a further project, which follows on from the project work undertaken in fourth year together with a class that develops the skills to start successful research. These classes are taken in the first semester. In the second semester you can select classes from a range of optional classes which link to those taken in fourth year.
You'll have the opportunity to spend either a full year or a semester abroad studying under the Erasmus Programme, in the case of EU countries, or Student Exchange Programmes with many universities in North America, Canada and the rest of the world.
We recognise the key links between physics and industry and many start-up companies and SMEs in Scotland owe their existence to physics-based ideas.
This is why we offer our students the chance to undertake an industrial placement during the break between either Year 3 and Year 4 or Year 4 and Year 5.
These placements are offered on a competitive basis.
You'll undertake a year-long project with research groups within the Department of Physics in Year 4, and a semester-long project in Year 5.
This class is an introduction to working in a laboratory environment. You'll undertake experiments related to the taught components of the first year physics curriculum, learning how to use standard equipment and handle experimental uncertainties.
Mechanics & Waves
This class will provide you with an understanding of motion of simple mechanical systems, gravitation and simple harmonic motion. You'll also learn about the fundamentals of wave propagation and the superposition of waves as well simple optical phenomena such as diffraction.
Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism
We will introduce you to the mathematics necessary to support the physics curriculum. The classes will cover topics ranging from differentiation and integration, complex numbers, an introduction to linear algebra and vectors.
Computational & Physics Skills
Here you will start to use Python to write simple programmes to model physical systems. To enhance your programming skills you will complete a group project and use the output from this project to develop communication skills by preparing a poster presentation. You will also start to develop employability skills.
This class is an extension of Experimental Physics from year 1. You'll undertake more complex experiments that are related to the taught components of the second-year curriculum. You'll see the statistical origin for experimental uncertainties.
Mechanics, Optics & Waves
This class builds on Mechanics and Waves from year 1. You'll be introduced to special relativity, the vector treatment of rotational motion and the behaviour of systems when forced to oscillate. To extend your understanding of wave phenomena you'll be introduced to the wave equation, Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction and the operation of lasers.
Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism
This class builds on the material you learned in year 1. you'll be introduced to the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics and you'll develop a vector model of electromagnetism.
The topics covered in these classes will extend the mathematics seen in first year. You will cover many different topics including probability distributions, ordinary and partial differential equations, and Fourier series and transforms.
Computational & Physics Skills
In this class you will build on the Python programming seen in year 1 and be introduced to a range of computational techniques that will make modelling and solving physical system straightforward. Again there will be a group project which will be used to enhance your skills and there will be further interactions with the Careers Service.
Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism
This class introduces best practises in software development, and the numerical methods that are most commonly used to solve physical problems.
Condensed Matter Physics
Here you'll cover condensed matter physics and be introduced to concepts such as the Fermi surface, superconductors, phonons and other forms of collective excitations.
Gases, Liquids & Thermodynamics
This class covers the physics of gases and liquids, the fundamentals of thermodynamics through to an introduction to various distributions such as Maxwellian, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein.
Plus one or two Optional classes from:
This class will develop your knowledge base and transferable skills in preparation for the project undertaken in years 4 and 5 of the course. It focuses on effective and concise communication of complex information through oral, written and graphical presentations, literature and group-work skills.
This class introduces mathematical problem-solving techniques to aid in solving physics problems from quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermal physics, solid state physics and electrodynamics.
Plus four Optional classes from:
Topics in Physics
Topics in Solid State Physics
Topics in Nanoscience
Topics in Photonics
Topics in Computational & Complex Systems in Physics
You'll be introduced to the ideas and concepts associated with complexity physics and to the use of computer simulations to demonstrate these processes.
Topics in Theoretical Physics
Topics in Quantum Optics
This class provides an introduction to modern experimental and theoretical developments in the field of quantum optics and atom optics
Topics in Atomic, Molecular & Nuclear Physics
This is the MPhys Project. It's designed to follow on from the BSc project undertaken in Year 4 and will help you further develop as an independent learner.
You'll be introduced to the processes associated with applying for research funds and assessing proposals for research funding along with elements of the ethics of research.
Plus three Optional classes from:
Advanced Topics in Physics
Advanced Topics in Solid State Physics
Advanced Topics in Nanoscience
Advanced Topics in Computational & Complexity Physics
Advanced Topics in Theoretical Physics
Advanced Topics in Quantum Optics
This class introduces modern developments in the field of quantum optics and light-matter interactions.
Advanced Topics in Electromagnetism & Plasma Physics
We're shortlisted for University of the Year 2021 by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide
Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, interactive learning using both personal response systems and web-based teaching resources, directed laboratory work, group-based learning and self-paced project work.
Learning & teaching
Assessment methods include exams, continuous assessment, written reports, moderated peer assessment in tutorials and workshops, talks and poster sessions.
One of the things I appreciate the most is the way the course itself is structured: well balancing the theory with the practice and always interactive, not only in the laboratories or in the projects, but also during the lectures.
Required subjects are shown in brackets.
(Physics B, Mathematics B)
(Physics B, Mathematics B)
Minimum entry requirements:
(Physics HL6, Mathematics HL6)
- if you have Higher Physics or Mathematics at grade C, you will be required to achieve a grade A if repeating the Higher, or a grade B at Advanced Higher; if you have a grade D at first attempt in Higher Physics or Higher Mathematics, you will not normally receive an offer
- in sixth year it is advisable to take both Advanced Higher Physics and Mathematics
Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.
Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.
In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
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
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
2020/21 - £1,820
*Fees for students domiciled in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
2020/21 - £9,250
*Assuming no change in RUK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2021-22, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.
|University preparation programme fees|
International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
Course materials & costs
At present, the department charges students £5 for lecture notes in PH 151 and PH 152. These notes are supplied by the University printers. Digital copies of notes are published on MyPlace for students to download.
A recommended textbook that comes with an online homework system is priced at £75 and covers both first and second-year material. If students don't wish to buy this text, the department issues the homework in paper copy for students to hand in for marking.
This process is currently under review, as the department are considering moving to an online textbook. This will be priced at £30 and accessed through MyPlace.
The department supplies students with lab books (£1) for recording data through years 1-3. First-year students are supplied with USB keys (£10) for the collection of data. Personal response handsets are also available at lectures.
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my studies?
Students from Scotland
If you're a Scottish student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:
You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.
We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.
Throughout the course, you’ll develop the key skills that will make you a successful physicist and maximise your career options.
Our graduates can be found working anywhere from research and development to production and management in every field of science and industry. Some find employment as medical physicists and environmental physicists, others as petroleum engineers, patent officers as well as research scientists.
How much will I earn?
The starting salary for an NHS medical physicist as a Healthcare Scientist on the graduate-entry NHS Scientist Training Programme at Band 6 is £26,041.* This could increase to £80,000 in a management position.
Your salary in other sectors will vary.
Research scientists earn a similar salary with University professors earning between £50,000 and £70,000.*
Where are they now?**
Recent job titles include:
- Graduate Training Programme Physicist
- Trainee Engineer
- Graduate Metering Engineer
Recent employers include:
- Baker Hughes
- Cascade Technologies
- Emerson Process Management
- University of Birmingham
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Strathclyde
*Information is intended only as a guide and based on NHS salary scales.
**Based on the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey.
My five years at the University have been a truly rewarding experience, and I can't wait to further apply all that I have learned to my future work.
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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.
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Physics (1 year entry)
Start Date: Sep 2021
Mode of Attendance: full-time
Year of Entry: 1 year
Physics (2 year entry)
Start Date: Sep 2021
Mode of Attendance: full-time
Year of Entry: 2 year
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