Physics with Quantum Technologies BSc (Hons) or MPhys – 2020 entry

Key information

Start date: October 2020

BSc (Hons) UCAS: 328C

3 years

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BSc (Hons) UCAS: F310

4 years with foundation year

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BSc (Hons) UCAS: 3TT4

4 years with professional training

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MPhys UCAS: 01XY

4 years with professional training

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BSc (Hons) UCAS: F311

5 years with foundation year and professional training

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Why choose this course

Our BSc and MPhys Physics with Quantum Technologies courses will teach you all about the quantum world and will open the door to a wealth of opportunities in academia, finance, data science and the technology industry.

Quantum technologies harness the unusual features of the quantum world to perform tasks that are difficult with conventional technologies. Our BSc and MPhys Physics with Quantum Technologies courses cover the full spectrum of this exciting and rapidly developing field – from laser and photonics to quantum information and quantum computing.

A unique aspect of both courses is our placement programme:

  • As part of our BSc course, you can undertake a paid year-long placement in an industry research laboratory or company, gaining valuable real-world experience as part of your degree.
  • On our MPhys course you will undertake a year-long research placement that can be in one of our world-leading research groups, or at one of our partner institutions all over the world.

Five reasons to study physics at Surrey

Read more

What you will study

This course combines elements of traditional physics with the study of quantum technologies, just at the time they’re moving into the prototype stage.

You’ll also learn about existing quantum technologies, such as the devices used to transmit internet data and those behind the lasers in Blu-ray players.

During your first year, you can switch between any of our specialist physics courses.

You can apply to study for either a BSc or an MPhys (Master of Physics), a direct route to a masters qualification. On an MPhys, you’ll spend a year doing research before returning for a final year of masters-level modules. You may have the option to switch to a BSc or MPhys during your studies. Find out more about the benefits of an integrated masters degree.

Facilities

We boast extensive facilities within the Department of Physics, including our undergraduate teaching laboratories which have recently undergone a thorough refurbishment.

The Department has also recently benefitted from a £3.5 million refurbishment of its research laboratories, which our undergraduate students use as they carry out their final-year research projects.

The University of Surrey is currently leading a £6 million research project to develop quantum computers using atomic-scale devices.

Research and innovation opportunities

As part of our physics degree programme, we provide students with a range of cutting-edge research and innovation opportunities.

All students have the chance to apply for an 8-10 week paid placement during the summer, typically at the end of their second year. Placements are available both within the University and via the South East Physics Network (SEPnet).

Students have spent placements at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire (the UK’s largest scientific facility), The Royal Marsden Hospital (one of the world’s leading cancer research hospitals), and at research-intensive companies such as BAE Systems.

Placements at Surrey are with an academic in the Department of Physics, and have ranged from nanotechnology experiments to theoretical quantum physics. Summer placements are paid and offer an invaluable taste of real research, as well as adding to your CV.

Unique to Surrey’s physics degree programme, all of our MPhys students spend one whole year doing real research. This year will take place either at Surrey, with an academic in the Department of Physics, or at one of our national or international partner organisations.

Past students have undertaken year-long research projects at TRIUMF (Canada’s centre for particle and nuclear physics research); leading European universities such as the University of Marburg in Germany; the IAC in Tenerife (Spain’s leading astronomical institute); and large UK research facilities such as the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire.

All of these research projects involve real cutting-edge research with internationally respected scientists. Most off-campus placements come with a student stipend.

We’re keen to encourage innovation and enterprise, both through the University’s dedicated Student Enterprise programme and via funding opportunities within the Department of Physics (see below).

Whether you have a passion for physics research, or want to use your physics knowledge and skills to develop a new business or idea, there’s a range of funding support available.

For a summer research placement you can apply for funding from:

For a business enterprise or innovation idea, to attend a research conference, or to apply for money to support a student competition or similar, you can apply for funding from:

Professional recognition

BSc (Hons) - Institute of Physics (IOP)
Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

MPhys - Institute of Physics (IOP)
Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

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.

Physicists are highly sought after in industry, research, education, management, medicine, law and business because of their broad practical skills and knowledge of fundamental theory.

In daily life, quantum technologies will enable faster and more secure communications as the price and flexibility of quantum cryptography comes down. Quantum technologies will even give enhancements to the way that roadworks proceed, by using quantum gravity sensors to identify underground structures and pipelines. All these developments require development scientists and product engineers with an ability to understand the language of quantum physics.

Our degrees will provide you with the analytical, experimental and computational skills valued in a wide variety of careers.

All Surrey physics students learn a range of employability skills during their studies. These include a dedicated Year 1 module, Scientific Investigation Skills, which covers key communication skills, group work and presentations, problem solving in the laboratory environment, plus sessions on interview techniques, CV preparation and job applications.

Students who either take the BSc Professional Training year or the MPhys research year also gain invaluable employment experience at their host institution.

Recent physics graduates have secured roles such as:

  • Senior Development Engineer, Fourth State Medicine Ltd
  • Research Scientist RF and Microwave Metrologist, National Physical Laboratory
  • System Analyst, Raytheon Systems Ltd
  • Automation Tester, CGI
  • Graduate Physicist, DSTL
  • Graduate Engineer, Aktins
  • Trainee Clinical Scientist, NHS.

Academic year structure

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.

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 credits.

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.

Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.

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 Foundation - FHEQ Level 3

For further information on FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6 please view the programme specification for the full-time BSc (Hons) Physics with Quantum Technologies programme.

Optional modules for Foundation (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 3

For further information on FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6 and professional training year please view the programme specification for the full-time with PTY BSc (Hons) Physics with Quantum Technologies programme.

Module title Status Semester
RESEARCH YEAR DISSERTATION Compulsory 1

Timetables

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 course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).

Teaching

Your course will consist of a stimulating combination of lectures, laboratory work, tutorials, practical exercises and computational classes. There will be assigned coursework, problem solving and projects.

Experimental and computational exercises, completed in the teaching laboratory, are designed to complement and aid the learning of concepts taught in lectures.

You’ll learn from scientists engaged in the forefront of quantum technology research, and have the opportunity to work in Surrey’s innovative quantum technology labs.

The University of Surrey is currently leading a £6 million research project to develop quantum computers using atomic-scale devices.

Research students will sometimes help to deliver your modules. These students will be researching in a similar subject to the module, and will have undertaken training prior to being invited to teach. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.

Assessment

Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.

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-level

Overall

  • BSc (Hons):
    • ABB

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

  • MPhys (Hons):
    • AAA - AAB

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

  • BSc (Hons) with foundation year:
    • CCD including mathematics C and either physics or chemistry, or equivalent.

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Required subjects

Mathematics and Physics.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Overall

  • BSc (Hons):
    • DDD BTEC Extended Diploma and A-level Mathematics at Grade A.
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • D*DD - DDD BTEC Extended Diploma and A-level Mathematics grade A.
  • BSc (Hons) with foundation year:

Required subjects

BTEC must be in a relevant subject.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

International Baccalaureate

Overall

  • BSc (Hons):
    • 32
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • 34
  • BSc (Hons) with foundation year:

Required subjects

  • BSc (Hons):
    • HL5/SL6 in Mathematics and Physics.
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • HL6/SL7 and HL5/SL6 in Mathematics and Physics.

GCSE or equivalent: English HL4/SL4 and Mathematics or Mathematics studies HL4/SL4.

European Baccalaureate

Overall

  • BSc (Hons):
    • 78%
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • 85% - 82%
  • BSc (Hons) with foundation year:

Required subjects

  • BSc (Hons):
    • Grade 7.5 in Mathematics and Physics.
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • Grade 8.5 and 7.5 in Maths and Physics.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language (1/2) - 6 English Language (3) - 7 Mathematics 6.

Access to HE Diploma

Overall

  • BSc (Hons):
    • QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Distinction - 45 Level 3 credits overall including 39 at Distinction and 6 at Merit.
  • BSc (Hons) with foundation year:

Required subjects

Modules must be in relevant subjects.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent). 

Scottish Highers

Overall

  • BSc (Hons):
    • AABBB
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • AAAAB-AAABB
  • BSc (Hons) with foundation year:

Required subjects

Mathematics and Physics.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language - Scottish National 5 - C Mathematics - Scottish National 5 - C.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Overall

  • BSc (Hons):
    • ABB from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • AAA-AAB from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass. 
  • BSc (Hons) with foundation year:

Required subjects

Mathematics and Physics.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics ­– Numeracy as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate. Please check the A-level drop down for the required GCSE levels.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will receive our standard A-level offer, plus an alternate offer of one A-level grade lower, subject to achieving an A grade in the EPQ. The one grade reduction will not apply to any required subjects.

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each 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.

Selection process

We normally make offers in terms of grades.

If you are a suitable candidate you will be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.

Foundation

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, you might still be able to apply for this course with a foundation year. A course with a foundation year includes an extra year of study to prepare you for a full degree course. Find out more about our degrees with foundation year.

Recognition of prior learning

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.

Fees

The annual tuition fees for courses starting in October 2020

BSc (Hons)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £20,700

BSc (Hons) (with foundation year)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £20,700

BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £20,700

Professional training To be confirmed

MPhys (with professional training year)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £20,700

Professional training To be confirmed

BSc (Hons) (with foundation and professional training year)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £20,700

Professional training To be confirmed

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate courses.

  • Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. 
  • Fees for EU students: While the UK is part of the EU, the University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by the Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. Once the UK has left the EU, the fees rules may change and the University is bound to comply with applicable legislation.
  • Fees for international students: 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. 
  • Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements. 

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Payment schedule

  • Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
  • International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
    • 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
    • 50% in January of the same academic year.

The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.

If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.

Professional Training placement fees

If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.

See the information about 2019/20 academic year Professional Training placement fee.

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this BSc (Hons) course:

  • Commuting (local travel expenses): unable to specify amount - some travel costs for commuting schools as part of Physics in Education module.

There are associated costs with this MPhys course:

  • Commuting (local travel expenses): depending on placement students can incur travel, visa and accommodation costs.

Placements

You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.

A significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.

Physics with Quantum Technologies placements

The optional Professional Training placement is available to students on the BSc course. It starts at the end of the second academic year, with preparation for your placement beginning during Year 2. If you decide not to do the Professional Training year, summer placement opportunities are also available or you can proceed directly to Year 3 to complete your taught modules and graduate at the end of your third year.

If you’re studying a BSc course, you’ll discuss your particular interests and abilities with your personal tutor and the Professional Training tutor during Year 2. The Department will look closely at your CV and help you to apply to companies in our extensive database.

Every October, a Professional Training conference allows the previous year’s students to tell you about their experience first-hand.

Over the years, we have placed our students with many companies and laboratories including:

  • MBDA UK Ltd
  • Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Lab - Vulcan Lasers
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • National Physical Laboratory
  • Centre for Intgerated Photonics (Huawei)
  • Toptica Photonics
  • PlasmaQuest.

Our students gain a wide range of employable skills during their placement year, giving them a significant advantage when applying for jobs after graduation.

All our MPhys students complete an integrated research year as part of the course. This can be completed at Surrey or within one of our international research placement providers.

Applying for placements

You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.

Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.

Find out about more about the application process.

Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.

Find out how students at Surrey developed their skills in industry by undertaking a placement year.

Study and work abroad

We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their studies by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad.

Want to study at an overseas institution as part of your degree or work abroad during your professional training year? Perhaps you would like to volunteer in India or learn about Brazilian business and culture in São Paulo during your summer holidays? With over 200 partnerships, from 50 different countries worldwide, there is something for everyone.

Not only is the opportunity to go abroad a hugely enjoyable experience, you will develop key skills and knowledge that will strengthen your CV and increase your employability.

View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.

Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

After completing your second year, you have the option of taking a year placement abroad at one of our partner universities, including:

  • La Trobe University, Australia
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
  • University of Sydney, Australia
  • University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Brock University, Canada
  • Rheinisch Westfalische Technische Aachen, Germany
  • Technische Universitat Clausthal, Germany
  • Republic of Seoul National University, South Korea
  • Universiti Malaya (UM), Malaysia
  • Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • California State University, US
  • North Carolina State University, US
  • Texas Tech University, US
  • University of Central Florida, US
  • University of Cincinnati, US
  • University of Maryland, US
  • University of North Texas, US.

International experiences can expose you to a new cultural environment that develops your adaptation and communication skills, as well as your ability to deal with unfamiliar situations. This helps you strengthen your academic and professional profile.

Alternatively, you may wish to spend your Professional Training year working in another country in your third year. This is an excellent opportunity not only to gain valuable work experience but also to improve in, or learn, another language.

MPhys students have spent their research year placements at:

  • FELIX Laboratory, Radboud University, Netherlands
  • Centre for Integrated Photonics (Huawei), UK
  • University of Notre Dame, Indiana
  • WNSL, Yale University
  • ORNL in Tennessee, US
  • University of Marburg, Germany
  • CERN, Switzerland.

If you choose to do your research placement in another part of Europe you may also be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.

Students share their experiences of going on an international exchange to Hong Kong.

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 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 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.

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 more.

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. 

Placement location

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.

University of Surrey
Address

University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey GU2 7XH