Information for Current Students

General information

Coronavirus update

(26/3/20) We are following the Imperial College Covid-19 instructions and there will be no face-to-face instruction or face-to-face examinations during the summer term. QFFF students are therefore not required to be present for the summer term. College has said face-to-face exams will be replaced by some sort of online assessment but the details, including the nature of marks assigned to such an online scheme, are under active discussion (see FAQ on online assessment). Further information on the assessment of the course will follow as soon as possible but the advice to current students is to prepare for the exams as normal. Advice on how to access College systems is available on the ICT web pages, for instance on how to accessing online services when off campus even if abroad.

We have yet to decide on how to deal with the two weeks of optional special topics lectures, usually held in June.
The thesis project which takes place over the summer can be run remotely and we still hope to proceed with this aspect, subject to developments. Hopefully, College will be open by July allowing QFFF students to study for their thesis here in London if they wish to but this will not be a requirement and is subject to college and government restrictions.

Current QFFF students should contact their personal tutors in the first instance should they have any more questions. Note that disruption to studies of any kind are dealt with under Mitigating Circumstances described below.


Timetables for academic year 2021-22
‌Older timetables

Mitigating circumstances

Note that the procedure for Mitigating Circumstances is described in the handbook appendix and in the College regulations. This is the process used if you have any problems which you feel affects some part of your QFFF course assessment. The forms (available from the Mitigating Circumstances tab in the college regulations) are sent via the PGT administrator (currently Andrew Williamson) and are dealt with by a small Physics department committee in the strictest confidence.

Other key information

Compulsory courses

Unification and QFT are also offered to undergraduates.  The material for Unification is kept on Blackboard, the Virtual Learning Environment used for undergraduate courses, and this is not accessible without an Imperial College login. 

Optional courses

Available undergraduate courses
No more than two undergraduate courses can be offered towards the MSc. The material for these courses is usually kept on Blackboard, the Virtual Learning Environment used for undergraduate courses, and this is not accessible without an Imperial College login. 

Special topics

‌‌Two weeks of short specialist courses on topics of current interest given at the start of June by staff, researchers and visitors to the group. Not examinable but may provide ideas for the MSc dissertation.

2017 timetable: Special topics 2017; Revised ST abstracts 2017

2018 timetable:  Special Topics 2018‌; Special Topics Abstracts 2018‌‌

2019-20 timetable: 2020 Special Topics Lectures Timetable; 2020 Special Topics Abstracts

2020-21 timetable: 2021 Special Topics Timetable2021 Special Topics Abstracts


Students are assessed by examinations and a project dissertation. The examinations are on the compulsory courses and on four optional courses, which may include up to two of the undergraduate options. The written examinations on all the courses are held in May and June. The exams on the compulsory course are held first, usually in the first week of the summer term. The other MSc exams are usually held a few weeks later. Over the summer, students write a dissertation, to be submitted by the third Friday in September. This is often just a review of an area not covered in depth, or perhaps not at all, in the course. In some cases, usually depending on the subject, it may involve some original research. The topics are chosen by the students in consultation with their supervisors and other staff. MSc students are also encouraged to attend the regular weekly seminars at which visiting speakers present recent research results, as well as internal seminars by research students. These are supplemented by an inter-Collegiate programme of seminars on string theory and related subjects.

The QFFF MSc Dissertations from 2018 onwards are now available online. These may give some useful pointers, both in terms of the style and organisation of a dissertations and in terms of topics. On both counts you will see a wide variety of approaches. 

Jerome is discussing string theory(?) equations with research postgraduate