Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MPhys Physics

UCAS code: F303

Duration: 5 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Physics and Astronomy

College: Science and Engineering

Accreditation
Study abroad

Introducing MPhys Physics

This programme covers all aspects of physics, from the very basics to the current frontiers of knowledge.

Whatever field of physics interests you the most, you will find experts in:

  • particle physics
  • nuclear physics
  • condensed matter
  • fluids
  • optics
  • cosmology
  • astronomy

Accreditation

Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP). In addition, the programme fully meets the educational requirements for Chartered Physicist.

Year 1

You will study compulsory courses in physics and mathematics.

Physics 1A presents the pillars of physics upon which subsequent material is based. This will develop your problem solving and study skills. The course is innovative in its use of technology and offers an interactive learning experience.

Physics 1B introduces you to a wide range of physics topics and how these impact our understanding of the universe, including:

  • waves
  • introductory quantum mechanics
  • nuclear and particle physics

This also includes an introduction to university laboratory work.

You will study Mathematics for Physics 1 and 2, which include mathematical and problem-solving skills in the context of algebra and calculus - with an increasing emphasis on physical applications.

You will be able to choose two further subjects from other academic areas.

Year 2

You will study modern physics and physics of fields and matter.

Supporting mathematics courses will cover:

  • algebra
  • calculus
  • dynamics and vector calculus

You will also be introduced to practical physics, including:

  • programming
  • data analysis
  • experimental techniques

If you enter the programme in Year 2 you will also take additional introductory courses in classical physics and mathematics.

You will have the freedom to choose one or two courses from other academic areas.

Year 3

You will study:

  • thermodynamics
  • statistical mechanics
  • electromagnetism
  • optics
  • quantum mechanics

You will have access to an experimental laboratory and research methods course. You will also have the opportunity to take a computational modelling or numerical computation course.

Year 4

You will study compulsory courses covering:

  • relativity
  • nuclear and particle physics
  • condensed matter physics

You will carry out project work and a course in experimental techniques. You can also select a number of further courses from a range available.

Year 5

Your final year is largely devoted to a research project chosen from a wide range of topics. You will also complete a number of advanced-level courses.

Our facilities

In Year 1, teaching is based in the University's Central Area and in further years at the University's King's Buildings campus. The King's Buildings campus is around 15 minutes from central Edinburgh via bus.

During your first three years, you will use the undergraduate laboratories and the University's libraries and computer facilities. From Year 2 you will also have access to the Computational Physics Laboratory.

In Year 5 you will typically complete a project within a research group, where you will be able to access the University's world-class research equipment and facilities.

Study abroad

You will have the opportunity to study abroad through international exchange programmes.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • practicals

These will fully exploit the latest teaching technology and help to develop your problem-solving skills.

From Year 3 you will also complete group projects and undertake research projects under the supervision of one of the School’s academic or research staff members.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is by a combination of continuous assessment and examinations. Practical and computing courses have laboratory write-ups and checkpoint assessments.

Other courses are assessed by:

  • presentations
  • assessing each other’s work
  • writing critical reviews of scientific literature

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2021/22)

A wide range of employers recognise that physics graduates have advanced problem-solving skills and the ability to think logically and critically about complex situations.

The fact that they also have a high level of mathematical ability, IT proficiency and communication skills provides graduates with opportunities in a diverse range of careers.

Where our graduates work

Our recent graduates have gone on into employment with a wide variety of organisations, including:

  • Google
  • the European Space Agency
  • the BBC
  • IBM

Physicists are sought after by many sectors, including:

  • engineering
  • manufacturing
  • energy
  • finance
  • medicine
  • the space industries

Further opportunities for study

A number of our graduates undertake further study, including:

  • PhD research
  • a masters degree in a science or engineering subject
  • a postgraduate diploma in education

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA - AAAB (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 at HL - 32 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 32 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: Mathematics at A and Physics at B. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. Advanced Higher Mathematics is recommended. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics at A and Physics at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) at 6 and Physics at 5. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

For direct entry to second year the standard requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AAA to include Mathematics and Physics.
  • A Levels: A*AA in one set of exams to include Mathematics at A* and Physics.
  • IB: 38 points with 666 at HL to include Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) and Physics at 6.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

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

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MPhys Physics

Additional costs

You should expect to purchase the necessary textbooks for some compulsory and option components of your programme.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: Physics and Astronomy

College: Science and Engineering