Physics MSc – 2023 entry

Key information

Start date: September 2023

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2 years

Why choose this course

Physics is simply the study of nature. It aspires to give us answers to the questions that cry out for explanation. Our MSc in Physics allows you to explore and expand our understanding of the world, equipping you to address the challenges our society faces.

Our Department of Physics is home to inspirational research activity and excellent teaching. Our research spans the breadth of modern physics and is supported by advanced facilities.

We collaborate with a variety of partners across academia, public life and industry, including the National Physical Laboratory.

What you will study

Our MSc in Physics is a flexible course, allowing you to tailor your studies by selecting modules from a wide range of fundamental and applied physics topics. The application-focused modules are co-taught by practitioners in public service and industry to ensure students gain workplace-relevant insight.

An 11-week dissertation project will give you the opportunity to apply your new knowledge and skills to a project relevant to pioneering research. Many of these are undertaken in collaboration with leading industry partners.

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’re a member of the Institute of Physics’ equality and diversity initiative, Project Juno. This scheme rewards physics departments for promoting gender equality in physics.

We also have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) programme with the goal of growing the diversity of our student body and ensuring a welcoming environment for everyone.

Teaching Assistant Scheme

Every year, our Teaching Assistant Scheme enables MSc students in the Department 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. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.

As a graduate of this course, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to work in a range of sectors on an international scale, including the nuclear and medical sectors, and higher education.

Previous graduates have gone on to work for:

  • CERN
  • Diamond Microwave Devices Ltd
  • The NHS
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • UK Atomic Energy Agency.

Employers in the education sector include:

  • Sultan Quaboos University
  • University College London
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Umm Al-Qura.

90 per cent of our physics postgraduate students go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes survey 2022, HESA).

Academic year structure

You’ll study four 15-credit modules per semester if you join this course full-time. If you’re studying part-time, you’ll normally complete two modules per semester.

The dissertation topics you can choose from are usually allocated towards the end of the spring semester. You’ll carry out your work for your dissertation during the summer period. If you’re part-time, you can expect to do this project over the course of the summer in your second year.

Modules

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.

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 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:

Optional modules for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Choose 4 optional modules in Semester 1 and 4 optional modules in Semester 2.

A maximum of 2 optional modules may be chosen from FHEQ Level 6 in consultation with the personal tutor and requires approval from the Programme Leader, which is expected to be granted if similar modules have not been studies as part of the students previous formal education (i.e. 1st degree).

Students carry out the 60 credit dissertation in the summer.
Hence the total credits for the programme are 180.

PGCert Physics: 60 module credits, a minimum of 45 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level6 . Students can only be awarded a PGCert in Physics exit award if they have achieved the credits for at least one of the following modules: PHYM036, PHYM054, PHY3054, PHYM041, PHYM044, PHYM052, PHYM053, PHYM021)
PGDip Physics: 120 module credits, a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7, and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.
MSc Physics: 180 credits a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.

Optional modules for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Choose 2 optional modules in Semester 1 and 2 optional modules in Semester 2.

A maximum of 2 optional modules over the whole programme may be chosen from FHEQ Level 6 in consultation with the personal tutor and requires approval from the Programme Leader, which is expected to be granted if similar modules have not been studies as part of the students previous formal education (i.e. 1st degree).

This should add up to 60 credits.

PGCert Physics: 60 module credits, a minimum of 45 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level6 . Students can only be awarded a PGCert in Physics exit award if they have achieved the credits for at least one of the following modules: PHYM036, PHYM054, PHY3054, PHYM041, PHYM044, PHYM052, PHYM053, PHYM021)
PGDip Physics: 120 module credits, a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7, and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.
MSc Physics: 180 credits a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.

Optional modules for Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Choose 2 optional modules in Semester 1 and 2 optional modules in Semester 2.

A maximum of 2 optional modules over the whole programme may be chosen from FHEQ Level 6 in consultation with the personal tutor and requires approval from the Programme Leader, which is expected to be granted if similar modules have not been studies as part of the students previous formal education (i.e. 1st degree).

The 60 credit dissertation module is carried out in the summer. Hence the total credits for year 2 are 120.

PGCert Physics: 60 module credits, a minimum of 45 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level6 . Students can only be awarded a PGCert in Physics exit award if they have achieved the credits for at least one of the following modules: PHYM036, PHYM054, PHY3054, PHYM041, PHYM044, PHYM052, PHYM053, PHYM021)
PGDip Physics: 120 module credits, a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7, and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.
MSc Physics: 180 credits a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.

Timetable

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 Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).

Contact hours

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.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in chemistry, electronic engineering, nuclear engineering, physics, 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.

Credit transfer

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 your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, 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. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to 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.

In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.

Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions (admissions@surrey.ac.uk) with any queries.

Fees

Start date: September 2023

Full-time - 1 year

UK
£10,900
Overseas
£23,100

Part-time - 2 years

UK
£5,500
Overseas
£11,600

Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
  • If you are on a two-year full-time MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme
  • Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught courses.

Additional costs

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.

Funding

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 with the Higher Education Sponsorship Scheme by the Society for Radiological Protection.

The Department of Physics offers MSc students the opportunity to earn while they study through the MSc Teaching Assistant Scheme.

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy* provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, 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 our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.

Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. 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 be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.

Disclaimer

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 our full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

University of Surrey Admissions

Contact Admissions Team

Address

University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey GU2 7XH