Postgraduate taught 

Theoretical Physics MSc

Image of beam of light

The Masters in Theoretical Physics provides an understanding of the principles and methods of modern physics, with particular emphasis on the theoretical aspects of the subject, and at a level appropriate for a professional physicist.

Why this programme

  • This programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics. Accredited MSc programmes automatically meet the master’s level education requirement for Chartered Physicist (CPhys) status. To fully meet the educational requirements for CPhys graduates must also possess an IOP accredited undergraduate degree or equivalent.
  • The School plays a leading role in the exploitation of data from the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator at CERN.
  • The School of Physics and Astronomy is highly active in research and knowledge transfer projects with industry. Our Masters students have regular opportunities to engage with our industrial collaborators through informal visits, guest lectures and workshops.
  • You will also benefit from our membership of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance. The alliance brings together internationally leading physics research across Scotland to form the largest physics grouping in the UK.
  • You will gain the theoretical, observational and computational skills necessary to analyse and solve advanced astrophysics problems, providing you with an excellent foundation for a career of scientific leadership in academia or industry.
  • You will develop transferable skills that will improve your career prospects, such as project management, team-working, advanced data analysis, problem-solving, critical evaluation of scientific literature, advanced laboratory and computing skills, and how to effectively communicate with different audiences.
  • You will benefit from direct contact with our group of international experts who will teach you cutting-edge physics and supervise your projects.
  • This programme has a September and January intake*. 

*For suitably qualified candidates

Programme structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Theoretical Physics include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work.

The programme draws upon a wide range of advanced Masters-level courses. You will have the flexibility to tailor your choice of optional lecture courses and project work to a wide variety of specific research topics and their applications in the area of theoretical physics.

Core courses include

  • Advanced data analysis
  • Quantum information
  • Quantum theory
  • Research skills
  • Extended project

Optional courses include

  • Applied optics
  • Dynamics, electrodynamics and relativity
  • Electromagnetic theory 2
  • General relativity and gravitation (alternate years, starting 2018-19)
  • Mathematical methods 2
  • Plasma theory and diagnostics (alternate years, starting 2017-18)
  • Relativistic quantum mechanics
  • Statistical mechanics
  • The sun's atmosphere

For further information on the content of individual courses please see Honours and Masters level courses.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Legal statements: Disclaimer.

Career prospects

Career opportunities include academic research, based in universities, research institutes, observatories and laboratory facilities; industrial research in a wide range of fields including energy and the environmental sector, IT and semiconductors, optics and lasers, materials science, telecommunications, engineering; banking and commerce; higher education.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2018-19

MSc

Home and EU
Full time fee £7650
International
Full time fee £20150

Tuition fees for January 2018 entry

  • Home and EU full time fee: £7,250
  • International full time fee: £19,500

Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only

Deposits

International applicants (from beyond the EU) are requested to pay a deposit of £1000 when an offer is made.

Deposits terms & conditions

The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programmes and who require a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University in order that they can apply for a student visa. This is required where the programme is competitive and the deposit is required in order to demonstrate your commitment to attend the programme should you meet all the conditions of your offer.

If you are made an offer for this programme the University will write to you and request a deposit with information on how to pay your deposit and the deadline for making the deposit payment. Please note that if you are unable to pay a deposit because you are planning to fund your studies through an official financial sponsor then you should upload a copy of your scholarship application or award letter to your application by the deadline date.

The following guidelines will apply in determining whether or not a deposit will be refunded. Where the deposit is refunded, a 10% handling fee will be deducted.

Deposits WILL be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the University is unable to offer you a place.
  2. Where the applicant has personal circumstances such as illness, bereavement or other family situations that has prevented them coming to the UK. Medical or other proof may be requested.
  3. Applicant can prove that they have applied for a visa to attend the University of Glasgow, but the VISA has been refused. The applicant must have shown ‘real intent' to study at the University of Glasgow but has been unable to obtain their visa.
  4. Applicant does not meet his / her conditions of offer: this may be academic or language test requirements. Satisfactory evidence must be uploaded to the student’s online application to prove that they have not met the conditions of their offer (note that applicants who do not meet the language condition of their offer must show reasonable attempt to meet this, i.e. they must provide a language test which was taken after the date that the deposit was paid).

Deposits WILL NOT be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Applicant decides to go to another institution.
  2. Applicant cannot be released from work to study at the University of Glasgow.
  3. Applicant does not send completed documentation as requested in the condition of the offer: this may be required in order to prove that the offer has not been met for academic or language test conditions - failure to respond to requests for this information will result in no refund.
  4. Applicant has not secured funding to attend the University of Glasgow: this may be as a result of not being successful in applications for scholarships, OR simply not having sufficient funds in bank at time of visa application. This condition will apply unless it can be proven that there are clear mitigating circumstances which have significantly changed the applicant’s position since the time of application.
  5. Applicant has decided to defer – in this situation the University will retain the deposit and credit it against the applicant’s account for securing their place for the following year of entry. 

Refund requests must be made within 60 days of the programme start date stated on your offer letter: requests made after this date will be subject to discretion.


Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £250
  • Registration/exam only fee: £150

Funding opportunities

College of Science and Engineering Graduate School

The College of Sciences and Engineering Graduate School offers a range of scholarships and funding opportunities each year.

More Information

College of Science and Engineering Deans' Award

The College of Science and Engineering is offering ten scholarships worth £10,000 each towards tuition fees for academically excellent students wishing to study an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught programme within the College’s programme portfolio.

More Information

University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award

In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation or Pre-masters course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a one off tuition fee discount of £3,000

More Information

University International Leadership Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has  10  International Leadership Scholarships available to international (non-EU) students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in September 2018. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fees discount.

More Information

Santander Scholarships

Santander Universities UK is a global network, which exists to help provide students with the support they need to become tomorrow's leaders. The Santander fund awards to outstanding students and give them the possibility to travel abroad to continue their studies.

More Information

University of Glasgow Chancellors Award

The University of Glasgow has a total of 20 Chancellors Awards available. The Award is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges and are awarded as a tuition fee discount.

More Information

PGT Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 8 PGT Excellence Awards available to UK and EU Students. Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University’s colleges and are awarded as a tuition fee discount.

More Information

Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering 4 scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2018. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria please see the Residential Services section on the website.

We are also offering 4 scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £5000 per year stipend toward living costs per year of study.

More Information

University of Glasgow African Excellence Fee Waiver

For September 2018 academic session we are offering 8 scholarship worth the full tuition fee of a one year Masters programme to offer holders from Africa.

If you study here you will benefit from our extensive  knowledge, state-of-the-art facilities and pioneering teaching methods. Studying at Glasgow will prepare you for a wide variety of careers that are in demand internationally.

More Information

Alumni Discount

The University offers a 10% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.

More Information

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)

If you plan to take a postgraduate master’s course from 1 August 2016, you may be able to get a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to help with course fees and living costs. You can apply from late June 2016. You have to repay your Postgraduate Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment. You can also get extra support if you have a disability.

If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.

Examples of postgraduate master’s qualifications include:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
  • MRes (Master of Research)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MLitt (Master of Letters)
  • MFA (Master of Fine Art)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)

If you plan to study for Master of Architecture (MArch) or an Integrated Master’s qualification, you should apply for undergraduate support

More Information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

Entry requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree in Physics or a related subject.

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk


 

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

ATAS: Academic Technology Approval Scheme

Please note that this programme requires ATAS. If you require a visa to study in the UK then you will need to apply for an ATAS certificate before applying for your visa or extension of stay, allowing at least four weeks (20 working days) in order to obtain it.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced on 1 November 2007. It is used to help stop the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. This is in common with other governments around the world.

The ATAS is designed to ensure that people who are applying to study certain sensitive subjects in the UK do not have links to WMD programmes.


International students

We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries. Find out more about visa requirements, and the support we offer:

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.

Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.

Documents

As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • One reference letter on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.

You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, check Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.

Reference: Please provide one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2018 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2018

Classes start September 2018 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

January 2019 intake

The application deadlines for the January intake programmes are: 

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 November 2018
  • UK and EU applications: 14 December 2018

ATAS: Academic Technology Approval Scheme

Please note that this programme requires ATAS. If you require a visa to study in the UK then you will need to apply for an ATAS certificate before applying for your visa or extension of stay, allowing at least four weeks (20 working days) in order to obtain it.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced on 1 November 2007. It is used to help stop the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. This is in common with other governments around the world.

The ATAS is designed to ensure that people who are applying to study certain sensitive subjects in the UK do not have links to WMD programmes.


Apply now

More information about this programme