Physics

MPhys, 4-5 years

This is for you if... you wish to study the most fundamental of the sciences - and wish to train as a research physicist. Physics is concerned with the study of matter and energy on all scales from the sub-atomic to the size of the cosmological.

Course Description

All our Physics students study the same core of fundamental physics and maths, based on Institute of Physics (IOP) 'core of physics' material. This includes classical mechanics, waves and fields, electromagnetism, special relativity, thermodynamics, quantum and atomic physics. By choosing the Physics MPhys you will have access to the widest range of specialist options in each year.

As a physics student at Leicester you will acquire an appreciation of the scope and impact of modern physics and the use of mathematics, computing and experimentation to solve important real-world problems.

You will study the fundamental theories of physics, from classical mechanics, waves and fields, to relativity, atomic and particle physics. Through option courses and projects you will have the opportunity to explore the areas of physics linked to the Department's world-leading research - such as planetary science, climate physics, nanotechnology, astrophysics, medical physics and space science.

What's the difference?

  • Our three-year BSc degrees provide an excellent route to a very wide range of careers in industry and business.
  • Our four-year MPhys degrees are aimed at students considering a career or further training in scientific research.

Transfer between BSc and MPhys degrees is possible during your first and second years (subject to meeting the required end-of-year mark). It is also possible to transfer between different Physics degrees as long as you have taken the required number of options. Staff in the department will be available to offer help and advice.
Key Facts
Typical offer
AAB
UCAS code
F303
Start date
September 2018
Department
Physics and Astronomy
Contact

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
seadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3575
physug@le.ac.uk

Department of Physics and Astronomy website

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

We are a top 5 Physics department [Source: Guardian league table 2016, 2017] and our degrees are accredited by the UK Institute of Physics (IOP).

We host a 4760 core supercomputer for undergraduate and research use. We also host part of DiRAC, the UK’s supercomputing facility for particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology.

We have an excellent staff-student ratio (among the best in the UK) [Source: Guardian league tables 2016, 2017] and we operate an open door policy. This means teaching staff make themselves available throughout the day for you to get the support you need.

Physics Special Topics is an in-house journal, providing valuable experience in the peer review process. Student papers - including 'Physics of a Falling Batman' and ‘Could Bruce Willis Save the World?’ - have received international media coverage.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

Modules

Speciality module

Build your introductory speciality module by choosing 3 of the following units:

  • Introduction to Modern Physics covering elementary particles, the building blocks of the Universe and high energy experiments.
  • Introduction to Applied Physics covering great experiments and the historical significance of fundamental discoveries
  • Introduction to Astrophysics covering observational astronomy, the Sun and stars
  • Introduction to Space Science covering space technology and planetary exploration

This is the same as the first year of the BSc.


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

Modules

Speciality module

Build your intermediate speciality module by choosing 2 of the following units:

  • Intermediate Modern Physics covering the development of classical and quantum mechanics, fractals and chaos
  • Intermediate Applied Physics covering quantum devices and remote sensing
  • Intermediate Astrophysics covering stellar structure, galaxies and the Universe
  • Intermediate Space Science covering spacecraft and mission design, and jovian and terrestrial planets

This is the same as the second year of the BSc.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions or working on an industrial placement (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

NB. A year spent abroad or on an industrial placement still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

Year Abroad

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

Our exchange programme with the University of Groningen is administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We also have links with some universities outside Europe. If you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships.

We have links with the following universities:

Year in Industry

An industrial placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of a professional working environment, between your second and third years of study. By enhancing your degree with an industrial placement, you can make yourself a more attractive proposition to employers after you graduate.

You'll benefit from real-world experience in a commercial setting, enabling you to make an easier transition from studying to working after you finish your degree. You'll gain invaluable insight into a potential career path, as well as strengthening your CV significantly in preparation for entering the graduate labour market. On top of all this, you'll be paid a salary for your placement, which gives you greater financial flexibility as well as offsetting the cost of the extra year.

For further information, please visit the Industrial Placement pages on the College of Science and Engineering website.


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 3

Year 3

Your third (or fourth) year will allow you to delve further into subjects that intrigue you, through advanced specialist options, along with group and research projects that span an entire semester. 

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

  • Elementary particles, the Standard Model and Beyond
  • Applied and Medical Physics
  • Stellar Astrophysics
  • Cosmology
  • The Space Environment
  • Planetary Physics

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 4

Year 4

In the final year, you will extend your fundamental knowledge of physics and begin to focus on the principles and practice of professional research. Your final year is also an opportunity to devote more time to your specialist area.

Modules

Speciality module

Build your advanced speciality module by choosing 4 units.  Units currently on offer are:

  • Cosmological Structures
  • General and Further Relativity
  • Planetary Surfaces and atmospheres
  • Quantum Fields
  • Quantum Finance and Social Science
  • Space Instrumentation
  • Space Plasmas
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Supermassive Black Holes


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Additional Information

Accreditation

All of our degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics.

An accredited degree not only gives you a solid grounding in core physics, it also sets you on a route towards Institute of Physics membership and the Chartered Physicist (CPhys) professional qualification. With an accredited MPhys degree to your name, you will have fulfilled the educational requirements for CPhys status.

 

Major/Minor Degrees


Teaching and Assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, small group tutorials, lab sessions, seminars, workshop classes and project work. Training in scientific computation and programming is built into each degree.

A typical week for a first year physics student might consist of five hours of lectures, about two afternoons in the lab or computing workshops (six hours), about two hours of problem classes, four hours of workshops and one hour in a small group tutorial session. This is a total of about 20 hours of contact time. You will also spend several hours a week on private study.

Assessment includes exams and course work (such as workshop and seminar problem classes). Lab work is primarily assessed in real time and project work is assessed through written reports and oral presentations.

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they be academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Overall workload

Typical workload hours for Physics courses in 2016/17:

Year 1: 27% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 324 hours
  • Independent learning: 876 hours

Year 2: 23% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 276 hours
  • Independent learning: 924 hours

Year 3: 17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 204 hours
  • Independent learning: 996 hours

Final year: 14% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 168 hours
  • Independent learning: 1032 hours

While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Research Stories

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS-levels: AAB including Physics and Maths
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass diploma with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Distinction in Maths and Physics Level 3 modules. Plus Maths A-level.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 32 points, including 5 in both Physics and Maths at Higher Level
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM, plus subject requirements and B at A-level Maths

Other national and international qualifications considered.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester. 

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2018

    • £9,250 in your first year. After 2018/19, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation and is subject to government regulations.
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.
    • Year in Industry: your fee will be 15% of the full-time tuition fee that applies in that year. 
    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

     

  • Starting in 2018

    • £19,705 per year
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £4,925.25 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.
    • Year in Industry: your fee will be £2,955.75 which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee. 
      Find out more about scholarships and funding.

    Career Opportunities

    In your third year you will have the option to do a ten-week group research project with one of our industrial partners such as Airbus Defence and Space, Jorin Ltd., Domino Printing or Weatherford International. You will gain invaluable project, budget and team management experience working in a professional environment on a real project.

    You can gain first-hand experience of physics education through a final year mentoring scheme with physics teachers in local schools, working for half a day a week over one semester.

    We offer a small number of Summer Research Placements: six weeks of paid employment working with the research groups within the Department of Physics and Astronomy. These placements provide excellent experience if you want to go on to a career in academic or industrial research.

    Our dedicated Careers Tutor can provide information, advice and guidance on the graduate job application process.

    Careers

    Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

    Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
    Physics MPhys 4 years full-time F303 Apply Now
    Physics with a Year Abroad MPhys 5 years full-time F303 Apply Now
    Physics with Year in Industry MPhys 5 years full-time F303 Apply Now
    Course
    Physics
    Qualification
    MPhys
    Duration
    4 years full-time
    UCAS Code
    F303
    Availability
    Course
    Physics with a Year Abroad
    Qualification
    MPhys
    Duration
    5 years full-time
    UCAS Code
    F303
    Availability
    Course
    Physics with Year in Industry
    Qualification
    MPhys
    Duration
    5 years full-time
    UCAS Code
    F303
    Availability

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