Postgraduate study

Particle and Nuclear Physics MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Particle and Nuclear Physics

The study of Particle and Nuclear Physics brings together advanced experimental techniques, computational techniques, and theoretical understanding.

The experiments are typically large collaborations working at international laboratories using highly sophisticated detectors. These detector technologies also find applications in medical physics and other forms of position sensing. The computational aspects deal with large data sets and use machine learning and other advanced techniques in data science.

Theoretical nuclear and particle physics aims to interpret the experimental results in terms of mathematical models of the structure and evolution of the physical world.

Taught courses

The taught element of the programme includes two compulsory courses and a minimum of three specialist courses which will bring you to an advanced level in the required subject material. You will also have the opportunity to select courses from a range of options depending on your interests and career ambitions.

Dissertation

Following the taught component of the programme, you will undertake a three-month research project leading to a dissertation. You will be based within one of the projects of the Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics as part of an international collaboration, and may have the opportunity to visit a leading research laboratory.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

By engaging with and completing the MSc in Particle & Nuclear Physics, graduates will acquire core knowledge of current experiments in nuclear and particle physics and gain a theoretical understanding of nuclear and particle physics.

The programme aims to develop research and problem solving skills, with graduates gaining the skills to apply advanced data analysis techniques to large data sets, critically assess research activities and design future experiments.

This programme provides an exposure to frontier activities in experimental nuclear and particle physics and develops general transferable skills related to data analysis, research and communication.

This provides a platform for employment in research, science-based industry, medical physics, education and a wide spectrum of professions that call for numeracy and data analysis skills.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in physics or a related subject with sufficient physics content. In particular we expect that you will have completed a quantum mechanics course.

University level mathematics and basic programming skills are essential. During your degree you should have gained experience in at least one of the following: C/C++, Java, Python, R, Matlab, Haskell, ML and you should state this information on your application. If you are in doubt on this point please contact the Programme Director.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 62 overall with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Edinburgh
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building, Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines.

We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline.

We aim to make the majority of decisions within six weeks of the selection deadline.

If we have not made you an offer by a specific selection deadline this means one of two things:

  • your application has been unsuccessful, in which case we will contact you to let you know, or
  • your application is still being considered, will be carried forward for consideration in the next selection deadline and we’ll be in touch once a decision is made

Selection Deadlines

Round Application Deadline Decisions made or applications rolled to next deadline
1 31 January 15 March
2 31 March 15 May
3 30 June 15 August

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Edinburgh
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building, Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD