Key information

Duration: 2 years full-time
Start date: September 2020
Campus: South Kensington
ECTS: 120 credits
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The Department offers a prestigious MSc in Physics, tailored to very able BSc graduates who wish to deepen their knowledge of physics, and who are looking to pursue a research career within a university, industrial or national research laboratory.

The course is open to both physicists and students from mathematics, chemistry or engineering disciplines, provided they have a sufficiently strong physics and mathematics background.

The MSc in Physics with Extended Research shares the same course as the 12-month MSc in Physics programme, except that the project is undertaken over nine months in the second academic year.

It is normally possible to transfer to or from the MSc in Physics in the first 6 months of the course.


Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.


Core modules

You take all of the modules below.

  • Advanced Classical Physics*
  • Literature Review/Project Plan
  • Mathematical Methods for Physicists*
  • Research Project
  • Research Skills
  • Self-Study Project

* these modules may be substituted if the content has already been covered at undergraduate level

Optional modules

You choose optional modules to the value of at least 30 ECTS credits. The modules below are valued at 3, 6 or 8 ECTS credits each. Only 6 ECTS may be taken at Level 6 (unless Advanced Classical Physics is replaced by another module).

3 ECTS modules:

  • Advanced Hydrodynamics
  • Imaging and Biophotonics (Level 6)
  • Information Theory
  • Lasers (Level 6)
  • Medical Imaging: Nuclear Diagnostics & MRI (Level 6)
  • Medical Imaging: X-Rays and Ultrasound (Level 6)
  • Nanotechnology in Consumer Electronics
  • Optical Communications

6 ECTS modules:

  • Advanced Particle Physics
  • Advanced Quantum Information
  • Astrophysics (Level 6)
  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Complexity & Networks (Level 6)
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Computational Physics (Level 6)
  • Cosmology
  • Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (Level 6)
  • General Relativity
  • Group Theory (Level 6)
  • Laser Technology
  • Light & Matter (Level 6)
  • Plasma Physics (Level 6)
  • Plasmonics & Metamaterials
  • Principles of Instrumentation (Level 6)
  • Quantum Information
  • Quantum Optics
  • Quantum Systems I
  • Quantum Systems II
  • Quantum Theory of Matter
  • Space Physics
  • Statistical Mechanics (Level 6)

8 ECTS modules:

  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Unification

You may replace these modules with modules from MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces and MSc in Optics and Photonics. Modules on other programmes may be available with approval.

You choose optional modules to the value of 30 ECTS credits, and the below modules are credited at 3, 6 or 8 ECTS credits each.

Teaching and assessment


  • Blackboard
  • E-learning
  • Lectures
  • Panopto
  • Practical work
  • Problem classes
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study project


  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Examination
  • Oral presentation
  • Poster
  • Practical
  • Viva
  • Written report

Course timetable

You will receive your course timetable by the beginning of your studies in October and the core teaching hours for the College are 9am–6pm.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a first-class degree in physics, with strong mathematical content.

Other scientific disciplines with significant physics and mathematical content are also accepted.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

All applicants must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can usually choose up to two courses.

ATAS certificate (overseas candidates)

An ATAS certificate is required for all Non-EEA/Swiss nationals who require a visa to study in the UK.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme details and the relevant Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and ‘descriptor’. For this course, these are:

CAH codeDescriptor
CAH07-01-01 molecular biology, biophysics and biochemistry

Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.
For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry
£8,500 per year

This fee is fixed for both years of study.

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry
£20,900 per year

This fee is fixed for both years of study.

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government.

For 2019-20 entry, the maximum amount was of £10,906. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information


Got a question?

Loli Sanchez
T: +44 (0)20 7594 7512

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