MPhys Physics with Advanced Research


Key facts

  • UCAS Code: F3F3
  • Accreditation: Institute of Physics

Study with us

Studying a BSc (Hons) Physics at the University of Strathclyde, you'll be learning at an award-winning academic institution - the only University to have won the Times Higher Education University of the Year award twice (2012 and 2019).

  • benefit from a Masters-level degree to pursue an academic or research-related career
  • learn from academics at the forefront of their research field
  • undertake an extended project in your final year
  • opportunity to undertake an industrial placement

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Why this course?

This integrated 5-year Masters course provides in-depth learning and additional research opportunities for highly ambitious and motivated students.

The course is identical for all students in years 1 & 2. In year 3 students must take an advanced Mathematical Physics module. In year 4 students take a Level 5 Research Skills module, and in the final year 5, students will undertake a 100 credit project which starts during the summer holiday between years 4 and 5.  


Our BSc in Physics is accredited by the Institute of Physics for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

Graduate stories: Simon

In the video below, Simon explains how studying Physics with Advanced Research prepared him for working in the quantum technologies environment.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

Year 1

All classes arecompulsory and you'll 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'll also be introduced to the programming language Python and start to learn the basis of computational physics. You will also develop your study and communication skills, and interact with the careers service to develop your employability skills.

Year 2

All classes are compulsory and will increase your understanding of physics and mathematics topics developed in first year. You'll extend your knowledge of scientific computing and the laboratory work becomes more sophisticated, recognising your growing maturity as a physicist. You will further develop your study and communication skills, and again interact with the careers service to extend your employability skills.

Year 3

In addition to extending your study of quantum physics and electromagnetism you will be introduced to new topics centred on solid state physics, and gases and liquids and the fundamentals of thermodynamics. You will also undertake an advanced mathematical physics module. All students undertake some laboratory work in Year 3, aimed at further developing your laboratory skills in readiness for the fourth-year project. You may also choose from optional modules that are designed to enhance your communication or computational skills.

Year 4

You’ll undertake a project in research labs supervised by a member of staff in the department together with a class that develops the skills to start successful research. You can select optional classes from topics as diverse as nanoscience, photonics through to enhanced quantum physics.

Year 5

This year includes a further project, which runs over summer and in the first semester and follows on from the project work undertaken in fourth year. In the second semester you can select classes from a range of optional classes which link to those taken in fourth year.

Industrial placement

We recognise the key links between physics and industry and many start-up companies and Small and Medium Enterprises (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 Year 3 and Year 4. These placements are offered on a competitive basis.

Research projects

In fourth and fifth year, you'll undertake research projects that cover an area of physics identified by an academic member of staff. The project is carried out over both semesters in Year 4.

The fifth year project is extended and will run over the summer vacation as well as the first semester. The topic may be experimental, theoretical, or computational physics or a mixture of all three. You will gain experience of research techniques and methods of disseminating your results.

The work is normally carried out in the research laboratories under the individual supervision of an experienced researcher.

Postgraduate studies

This degree is designed to provide students with an excellent background in mathematical techniques as well as the research skills necessary to aid their transition into PhD programmes.

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Course content

Experimental Physics (20 credits)

This module is an introduction to working in a laboratory environment. You'll learn how to design and undertake simple experiments related to the taught components of the first-year physics curriculum. By the end of the course you will be able to write a formal report, perform simple uncertainty analysis, make dimensional analysis of physical systems, and perform simple data analysis with Python

Mechanics & Waves (20 credits)

This module 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 (20 credits)

This module is designed to introduce you to quantum mechanics and electromagnetism. It highlights experimental observations that resulted in the development of quantum mechanics, such as the photoelectric effect and blackbody radiation. In terms of electromagnetism, you'll cover basic electrostatics and magnetostatics and develop an understanding of Maxwell’s equations and the Lorentz force law.

Mathematics (40 credits)

We will introduce you to the mathematics necessary to support the physics curriculum. The modules will cover topics ranging from differentiation and integration, complex numbers, an introduction to linear algebra and vectors. You will learn how to apply your mathematical knowledge to related problems in physics.

Computational & Physics Skills (20 credits)

This module will introduce you to the Python programming language and you will start to use Python to write simple programmes to model physical systems. You will also develop your study and communication skills, and interact with the careers service to develop your employability skills. This module will involve a group project.

Experimental Physics (20 credits)

This module 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 & Waves (20 credits)

This module 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, interference, geometrical optics, and the operation of lasers.

Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism (20 credits)

This module builds on the material you learned in year 1. You'll be introduced to the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics, including wave particle duality and Heisenberg uncertainty principle. You'll learn about AC theory, covering inductors, capacitors and transmission lines. You’ll extend your knowledge of Maxwell’s equations to develop a vector model of electromagnetism and the theory of the plane electromagnetic wave in vacuum.

Mathematics (40 credits)

The topics covered in these modules will extend the mathematics seen in first year. You will cover many different topics including probability distributions, ordinary and partial differential equations, Fourier series and transforms, linear algebra, and complex variables. You will learn how to solve problems relating to the topics covered in your physics modules and build appropriate physical models.

Computational & Physics Skills (20 credits)

In this module 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 to enhance your employability skills.

Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism (20 credits)

Building on what you learned in year 2, this module will extend your understanding of quantum mechanics. We'll introduce operators, expectation values and commutation relationships, and advanced concepts like time independent perturbation theory. In electromagnetism you will exploring the wave like nature of electromagnetism as predicted by Maxwell's equations, Poynting’s theorem, reflection and transmission at a dielectric interface, potentials and gauge transformations, and retarded potentials.

Condensed Matter Physics (20 credits)

Here you'll cover binding forces in solids, bulk material properties, phonons and other forms of collective excitations, crystal structure, elementary concepts of band structure, semi-conductors, magnetic materials and the origins of magnetism, and superconductors.

Gases, Liquids & Thermodynamics (20 credits)

This module covers the physics of gases and liquids and the fundamentals of thermodynamics. This includes the ideal gas law, hydrostatics, isothermal and adiabatic processes, and the laws of thermodynamics. We also present the basic principles of statistical mechanics, and various distributions such as Maxwellian, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein.

Mathematical Physics (20 credits)

This module focuses on introducing new techniques in mathematical physics. You will develop your problem-solving skills through a series of challenging tutorial problems addressing advanced problems both from the topics addressed in this module and from the other core third year modules including quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermal physics, solid state physics and electrodynamics. You will gain an appreciation for how advanced mathematical techniques can be used to aid in solving challenging physics problems and become proficient in applying the techniques you will learn to solve more advanced and previously unseen problems.

Choose either Experimental Physics I or Experimental Physics II, below.

Experimental Physics I (40 credits)

This module extends the laboratory work developed in years 1 and 2 and involves experiments covering a range of topics relevant to the 3rd year Physics UG taught syllabus. The laboratory work is open ended so you're able to fully explore the experiments in preparation for the final year project. You will develop advanced measurement, data recording and analysis skills and learn how to report experimental outcomes in the form of a journal paper. This module covers 4 experiments.

Experimental Physics II (20 credits)

This module extends the laboratory work developed in years 1 and 2 and involves experiments covering a range of topics relevant to the 3rd year Physics UG taught syllabus. The laboratory work is open-ended so you're able to fully explore the experiments in preparation for the final year project. You will develop advanced measurement, data recording and analysis skills and learn how to report experimental outcomes in the form of a journal paper. This module covers 2 experiments.

Optional modules:

If you choose Experimental Physics I then you do not need to choose a further optional module and if you choose Experimental Physics II then you are required to choose one optional module from the following

Communicating Physics (20 credits)

This module 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.

Computational Physics (20 credits)

During this module, you’ll be introduced to the best practises in software development, and the numerical methods that are most commonly used to solve physical problems including linear algebra, partial, ordinary and stochastic differential equations, and Fourier methods.  To undertake this module, a prior understanding of Python is required.

Physics project (40 credits)

The aim of this module is to help you develop as an enquiring, independent physicist, by undertaking a research project. You'll be under the supervision of a member of staff from the department.

Research Skills (20 credits)

This module is intended as an introduction to the organisation, management, funding, performance and delivery of research. 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. You will gain initial experience of writing and assessing research papers, proposals and presenting a case for support, awareness of the importance of generating impact and commercialising research, and familiarity with professional activities and conduct when managing research.

Plus three Optional classes from:

Topics in Physics (20 credits)

Here you'll be introduced to state-of-the-art developments in generation and use of charged particles in various forms such as free electron beams, plasmas and astrophysical plasmas. This will include basic plasma physics theory (particle orbit theory, fluid equations, ideal and magnetohydrodynamics, wave equations and kinetic theory), electron optics and electron microscopes, free electron devices and radiation sources. You will also look at the history and geography of our galactic environment, red giants, white dwarfs, supernovae, neutron stars, black holes and physics of the Big Bang.

Topics in Solid State Physics (20 credits)

Here you'll track the development of key concepts in solid state physics and how these concepts can be exploited to form functional optical and electronic devices. You will look at the chemistry and physics of crystalline and amorphous materials, with a focus on semiconductor materials, optical activity in solid-state materials, the interaction of semiconductors with light, transistors (bipolar and unipolar), quantum wells and microstructured materials.

Topics in Nanoscience (20 credits)

This module will provide an overview of modern nanoscience. It will discuss basic physics related to low dimensional nanostructures and nanoclusters, nanofabrication including top-down and bottom up approaches, characteristics techniques including electron spectroscopy and microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, and optical spectroscopy and microscopy. Noble metal nanoparticles, quantum dots, carbon nanomaterials will be introduced. In particular it will cover the physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles, their production, applications in physics, chemistry and medicine along with issues relating to nanotoxicity and the ethics of medical nanoscience.

Topics in Photonics (20 credits)

During this module you'll gain an insight into laser physics, laser optics and nonlinear optics as used in many photonic laboratories. This will include properties of laser radiation, beam propagation and ray transfer matrices, nonlinear polarization, and second and third order nonlinear effects such as second harmonic generation and the optical Kerr effect.

Topics in Complex and Nonlinear Systems (20 credits)

During this module you will learn about simple systems that exhibit non-linear and complex behaviour. You will find how to analyse non-linear systems and find stationary points, learn to analyse bifurcation diagrams and identify key features on these diagrams, look at periodic solutions to non-linear systems and recognise oscillations, and key features of these oscillations, and understand the origin of deterministic chaos and explain key features relating to chaos. 

Topics in Theoretical Physics (20 credits)

In this module we’ll demonstrate the large-scale structure of space-time. You will develop the necessary mathematical concepts (4-vectors, the metric tensor, covariant derivatives, connection coefficients and the Riemann curvature tensor) and use them to derive Einstein's gravitational field equation and look at idealized cosmological solutions for the large-scale structure of the universe, including the standard model. You will study gravitational collapse and the properties of black holes.

Topics in Quantum Physics (20 credits)

This module will provide a broad foundation in concepts and techniques from quantum mechanics, and provide experience in the practical application of these techniques to describing state-of-the-art experiments and quantum technologies. 

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

This module aims to give a general overview and understanding of atomic and molecular physics and relate these to practical applications and related fields of study. You will learn about optical selection rules, atomic structure, and atom-light interactions, and applications such as Atomic Clocks; Laser Cooling; Ion Traps; Magnetic Trapping; Optical Trapping; Quantum Degenerate Gases; Atom Interferometry; Laser frequency calibration and combs. In molecular physics you will learn about: Diatomic molecules; Rotational Modes; Vibrational Modes; Symmetries and Selection Rules.

Applied High Performance Computing (20 credits)

This module provides an up-to-date introduction to High Performance Computing (HPC) and the use of modern parallel computers to tackle the most demanding problems in science in general and Physics in particular. It provides an overview of the basic building blocks of High-Performance Computers and how they can be utilised effectively. The practical use of HPC will be demonstrated using application examples drawn from several areas of relevance to 4th year modules offered by the Department. 

MPhys Project (100 credits)

The MPhys project follows on from the BSc project undertaken in Year 4 and will help you further develop as an independent learner. The topic may be experimental, theoretical, or computation physics or a mixture of all three. The work is normally carried out in the research laboratories under the individual supervision of an experienced researcher. You will present your results in the form of a typical high-impact research paper. 

Plus three Optional classes from:

Advanced Topics in Physics (20 credits)

In this module you will learn about the interaction of intense electromagnetic radiation with plasma and solid matter, of concepts for its description, and of important applications. This will include laser-plasma wakefield accelerators: underdense plasma; ponderomotive force; relativistic effects; laser self-guiding; laser depletion; plasma bubble formation; electron injection and acceleration; electron dephasing. You will also look at radiation sources based on laser-plasma accelerators and high power laser pulse interactions with dense targets.

Advanced Topics in Solid State Physics (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce advanced concepts associated with the physics of nano-scale structures. This will be underpinned by exposure to relevant key concepts in modern condensed matter physics and optics. You will look at single particles and collective behaviour in solids, carbon nano-structures and their relatives, phases and states of matter, and topologically non-trivial matter.

Advanced Topics in Nanoscience (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce the advanced imaging and microscopy techniques associated with modern nanoscience. This will be underpinned by the physics required for a thorough understanding of these methods, including the molecular physics of absorption and fluorescence and the optical physics relating to microscopy and imaging in the visible and X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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

This module provides a broad overview of the diverse range of quantum technologies. Students will acquire a firm foundation of the quantum principles upon which quantum technologies are built and which lead to their advantage over conventional "classical" technologies, as well as their practical deployment in various experimental systems and platforms. Students should become aware of the broad scope of quantum technologies, a realistic appreciation of their capabilities, the challenges to the implementation, and the applications to which they can be applied.  

Advanced Topics in Electromagnetism & Plasma Physics (20 credits)

This module introduces you to the primary methods for transmitting and manipulating electromagnetic waves, looking at both theoretical and practical consideration for a range of applications. You will also cover the collective behaviour of plasmas with applications to space physics, magnetic confinement fusion and laboratory experiments. You will learn about the impact of plasma on the propagation of EM waves, the effects introduced by a static magnetic field and the new wave modes that have no equivalent in vacuum. The course will also address wave-particle interactions leading to acceleration and other kinetic effects in plasma.

Advanced Topics in Quantum Optics (20 credits)

This module introduces methods and applications in advanced modern quantum optics, building on concepts from earlier years. Material covered includes the quantum harmonic oscillator, light-matter interaction, density matrix, Lindblad form, two-level atoms, three level atoms, coherent population trapping, electromagnetically induced transparency, Nonlinear Schrödinger equation, Maxwell-Bloch equations, bistability, solitons, Optical Parametric Oscillators and intracavity Second Harmonic generation, theory of coherence, super radiance, and an alternative derivation of the density matrix form from many-body theory.

Advanced Computational Physics (20 credits)

This module provides an up-to-date introduction to the use of modern parallel computers to simulate and understand complex physical systems. It focuses on methods and applications that scale from modest desk-top computers to (in principle) world leading supercomputers. Application examples are drawn from several areas of relevance to 4th and 5th year Physics modules in quantum physics, condensed matter and plasma physics.

This module will build on the new Level 4 Computational module ("Applied High Performance Computing") but gives students the tools to develop and use new physical models on these modern architectures.

Learning & teaching

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.


Assessment methods include exams, continuous assessment, written reports, moderated peer assessment in tutorials and workshops, talks and poster sessions.

Muntaha Naseer
The idea of the working of the universe always fascinated me and studying physics is a way to explore some of the biggest questions in science, and help me understand all the phenomenon that has intrigued me since a young age.
Muntaha Naseer

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Our students work with the Institute of Physics to carry out experiments demonstrating some of the core principles of physics and how they relate to our lives and the world around us.

Take a look at the videos on YouTube to learn more about physics!

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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.


Standard entry requirements*:


(Physics B, Mathematics B)

Minimum entry requirements**:


(Physics B, Mathematics B)

A Levels

Standard entry requirements*:


(Physics and Mathematics)

International Baccalaureate

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: 32
(Physics HL5, Mathematics HL5)

Year 2 entry: 34
(Physics HL6, Mathematics HL6)

International students

View the entry requirements for your country.

Deferred entry


Additional information

In sixth year it is advisable to take both Advanced Higher Physics and Mathematics.

*Standard entry requirements

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.

**Minimum entry requirements

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Contextual Admissions for Widening Access

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.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

University preparation programme for international students

We offer international students (non-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business and Social Sciences at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre. ​

Upon successful completion, you can progress to your chosen degree at the University of Strathclyde.

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Fees & funding

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

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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Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements 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


Assuming no change in fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2024/25, 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.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

Course materials & costs:

At present, the department provides free electronic access for up to three years to the recommended textbook for 1st-year physics. All core module material is available on MyPlace for students to download.

Visa & immigration:

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

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

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

How can I fund my studies?

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Students from Scotland

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, 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.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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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. Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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International Students

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

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

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Throughout the course, you’ll develop the key skills that will make you a successful physicist and maximise your career options.

Our graduates find work anywhere from research and development to production and management in every field of science and industry. Some work as medical physicists and environmental physicists, others as petroleum engineers, patent officers as well as research scientists.

How much will I earn?

Research scientists earn a similar salary with University professors earning between £50,000 and £70,000.*

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.

Where are they now?**

Job options**

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Academic researcher
  • Acoustic consultant
  • Astronomer
  • Clinical scientist, medical physics
  • Geophysicist
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Metallurgist
  • Meteorologist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Radiation protection practitioner
  • Research scientist (physical sciences)
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Sound engineer
  • Technical author

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Actuary
  • Applications developer
  • Clinical technologist
  • Data analyst
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Operational researcher
  • Patent attorney
  • Prosthetist/orthotist
  • Software engineer
  • Telecommunications researcher

**Information taken from Prospects 2023

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Start date:

Physics with Advanced Research (1 year entry)

Start date:

Physics with Advanced Research (2 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

Physics with Advanced Research (1 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now

Start date: Sep 2024

Physics with Advanced Research (2 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now
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