Physics with Quantum Technologies BSc (Hons) or MPhys – 2019 entry
Why choose this course
Partnered with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and home to innovative facilities and internationally-leading research, the University of Surrey offers distinctive physics programmes that are among the very best in the UK and which reflect the diversity and excitement of the subject.
Quantum technologies harness the unusual features of the quantum world to perform tasks that are hard or impossible with conventional technologies. Our BSc and MPhys Physics with Quantum Technologies programmes cover the full spectrum of this exciting and rapidly developing field – from lasers to quantum information to quantum computers.
What you will study
On our BSc and MPhys Physics with Quantum Technologies courses you will gain a solid understanding of all the core elements of traditional physics, as well as learning about the power of cutting-edge quantum technologies just at the time that they are moving from the drawing board to prototypes.
You will also learn about existing quantum technologies which we take for granted in our everyday lives. These are devices used to transmit data through the internet, the LED lighting in your home, the solar panels on your roof and the lasers in your Blu-ray player. These are just a few examples of technologies whose development has been made possible through our understanding of quantum physics.
You can switch between any of our specialist physics degrees during your first year.
You can apply to study for either a BSc or an MPhys (Master of Physics), a direct route to a masters qualification. If you study for an MPhys, you’ll spend a year doing research before returning for a final year of masters-level modules.
Depending on your progress, you may have the option to switch to a BSc or MPhys during your studies.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||328C||View KIS data set|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||3TT4||View KIS data set|
|MPhys||48 months||01XY||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and 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 starts at the end of the second academic year. Preparation for the Professional Training placement begins during Year 2. If you decide not to do the Professional Training year, you proceed directly to Year 3 to complete your taught modules and graduate at the end of your third year.
If you are studying a BSc programme, you will 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
- InSync Technologies Ltd
- Central Laser Facility (CLF) at the Rutherford Lab - Vulcan Lasers
- Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
- National Physical Laboratory
- Regional Radiation Protection Service
Our students gain a wide range of employment skills during their placement year, giving them a significant advantage when applying for jobs after graduation.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of partially 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 road works proceed, by using quantum sensor technology to identify structures underground pipelines. All these developments require development scientists and product engineers with an ability to understand the language of quantum.
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 take either the Professional Training or research year placements 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.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
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.
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. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 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.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Choose 2 optional modules in Semester 1.
Year 3 (Semester 1)
Optional modules for Year 3 (Semester 1) - FHEQ Level 6
Students choose two Semester 1 options.
Year 3 (Semester 2)
Year 4 (Semester 2)
Optional modules for Year 4 (Semester 2) - FHEQ Level 7
Students choose three of the Semester 2 options
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).
Your programme 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, undertaken in the teaching laboratory, are designed to complement and aid the learning of concepts taught in lectures.
You will have opportunities to 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.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
CLOWES SK Dr (Physics)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
Personal/professional development and employability.
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 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.
Policies and regulations
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 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. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Offers are normally made in terms of grades.
Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.
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.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||Not applicable|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||To be confirmed|
|MPhys||48 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||To be confirmed|
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.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
"Physics at Surrey has helped me gain a greater understanding of the subject, and the Professional Training year has increased my employability and helped me test the waters so I know what career to pursue in the future."
"I chose Physics because I wanted to gain a fundamental understanding of our world. Studying at Surrey also enabled me to take part in the Professional Training year, which I spent at Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS)."