Why choose this course
How can atomic nuclei provide us with energy, help us monitor the environment, benefit medicine and more?
Our new and innovative MSc in Nuclear Science and Applications is taught by a combination of inspired nuclear physics academics from Surrey’s Department of Physics and forward-looking experts from the UK’s nuclear industries.
The Surrey academics are part of the following groups which house the largest academic nuclear physics research group in the UK:
What you will study
Drawing upon our thorough expertise and excellent research, this course will give you a deep knowledge of nuclear science and its applications.
The substantial practical element of this course enables you to relate taught material to industry-relevant applications. Formal lectures are complemented with work in our specialist radiation laboratories, which were recently refurbished as part of a £1m upgrade to our facilities. Here, you'll work with a wide range of radioactive sources and radiation detectors.
There’s also an extended project in the spring and an 11-week MSc dissertation project in the summer, and students will have the opportunity to complete their dissertation on a topic specialising in nuclear research.
In addition to the formal lectures for taught modules, our course provides a wide range of experimental hands-on training. This includes an eight-week radiation physics laboratory, which takes place in the specialist radiation laboratories within the University’s Department of Physics. The Department is also home to a common room and a departmental library, which contains copies of earlier MSc dissertations.
As well as the laboratory training, you’ll carry out a research group project during the Spring Semester as a precursor to the 11-week research dissertation project, which makes up the final part of your MSc. There are many opportunities for the summer dissertation project to be taken in an external industrial environment.
Equality and diversity
We’re committed to fostering the next generation of physicists in an environment that is diverse and inclusive, ensuring equal opportunities for all, independent of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected characteristics.
We are a member of the Institute of Physics’ equality and diversity initiative, Project Juno. This scheme rewards physics departments for promoting gender equality in physics, and we have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) programme with the goal of growing the diversity of our staff and student body and ensuring a welcoming environment for everyone.
Teaching Assistant Scheme
Every year, our Teaching Assistant Scheme enables MSc students in the Department of Physics to earn while they study, providing teaching support to undergraduate students. Teaching assistants are involved in a range of duties including laboratory supervision, in-class tutorial support and support with computing classes. Find out more about the Teaching Assistant Scheme.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
As a graduate of this course, you’ll have job opportunities in the nuclear industry, a growing and international sector.
The course also naturally leads into further study, such as completing a PhD.
Academic year structure
Our course consists of eight taught modules and a summer dissertation. If you study with us full-time, you’ll complete four modules per semester, whereas part-time study typically involves you needing to do two modules per semester. Dissertation topics are normally allocated towards the end of the Spring Semester. Your project work for the latter will be carried out during the summer period. If you’re part-time, you’ll work on your dissertation during the summer of your second year.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the University has revised its courses to incorporate the ‘Hybrid Learning Experience’ in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information. The University has changed the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes. Further information on the general principles of hybrid learning can be found at: Hybrid learning experience | University of Surrey.
We have updated key module information regarding the pattern of assessment and overall student workload to inform student module choices. We are currently working on bringing remaining published information up to date to reflect current practice in time for the start of the academic year 2021/22. This means that some information within the programme and module catalogue will be subject to change. Current students are invited to contact their Programme Leader or Academic Hive with any questions relating to the information available.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in either Chemistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Physics, Radiography or Radiological Science, or a recognised equivalent international qualification. We'll also consider relevant work experience if you don't meet these requirements.
International entry requirements by country
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
Start date: October 2021
Full-time - 1 year
Part-time - 2 years
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2021-22 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on a two-year or three-year part-time structured masters course, the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the course.
There may be associated costs with this programme:
- Commuting (local travel expenses): Unable to specify amount - Potentially travel costs for the dissertation which may be reimbursable.
Grand total: Unable to specify amount.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
Funding opportunities are also available for MSc students within the Bursary Scheme offered by The Nuclear Industry Benevolent Fund (TNIBF).
The Department of Physics offers MSc students the opportunity to earn while they study through the MSc Teaching Assistant Scheme.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View an example of our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Further, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at our dedicated course changes webpage. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.