Physics with Space Science MPhys, 4-5 years

Start date:

2018
2019

This is for you if... you are interested in the study of the Solar System, space astronomy, Earth observation and human spaceflight, together with associated technology such as rocket propulsion and spacecraft instrument design - and wish to train as a research physicist.

Typical offer
AAB
UCAS code
F366

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

Course description

Course description

As a Physics with Space Science student 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, and develop specialised knowledge of space science.

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 with Space Science degree you will study these alongside specialist space science options and take part in research projects covering the major areas of space science and technology research. We have one of the largest campus-based space research centres in Europe, and the space science and technology options that you will study are based on the research we do. This includes a strong involvement in the Bepi-Columbo mission to Mercury and detector design and development for satellites like the joint US-UK-Italian ‘Swift’, a remarkable observatory designed to study the most powerful explosions in the Universe.

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.

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

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.

International Students

Starting in 2018

  • £19,705 per year
  • Year Abroad: your fee will be £4,926.25 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.

Accreditation

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.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

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.

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.

Related courses

Related courses

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

To qualify for a degree in Physics with Space Science, one of these units must be Introduction to Space Science.

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

Option module

Build your intermediate option 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.

To qualify for a degree in Physics with Space Science, one of these units must be Intermediate Space Science.

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 (S)
  • Planetary Physics (S)

To qualify for a degree in Physics with Space Science, these units must be ones marked (S).

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 (S)
  • Quantum Fields
  • Quantum Finance and Social Science
  • Space Instrumentation (S)
  • Space Plasmas (S)
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Supermassive Black Holes

To qualify for a degree in Physics with Space Science, 2 of these units must be ones marked (S).

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.

Why Leicester?

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.

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 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.

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.

Physics at Leicester

Passionate about physics, Heidi used a wide range of equipment – from oscilloscopes to robot dogs.

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, small group tutorials, lab sessions, seminars, workshop classes and project work. Training in scientific computing 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 laboratory or computing workshops (six hours), 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.

Your contact hours will depend on the option modules you select. You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.

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.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Physics with Space Science Qualification MPhys Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code F366 Availability Apply Now
Course Physics with Space Science with Year Abroad Qualification MPhys Duration 5 years full-time UCAS Code F366 Availability Apply Now
Course Physics with Space Science with Year in Industry Qualification MPhys Duration 5 years full-time UCAS Code F366 Availability Apply Now