MSc by Research Particle Physics / Programme details

Year of entry: 2024

Programme description

The  Department of Physics and Astronomy at Manchester is one of the largest and most active physics departrments in the UK. We have a long tradition of excellence in both teaching and research, and have interests in most areas of contemporary research.

The Department has a strong presence in a number of Manchester-based centres for multidisciplinary research: The National Graphene Institute, the Photon Science Institute, the Manchester Centre for Non-Linear Dynamics, and the Dalton Nuclear Institute. In addition, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire is a part of the department.

The Manchester Particle Physics group performs theoretical and experimental research into the fundamental constituents of matter and the interactions that govern them. The group includes over 50 academic, research, and technical staff and over 50 postgraduate research students, making it one of the largest groups in the country.

Opportunities exist for prospective postgraduates to directly contribute to the world-class experimental and theoretical particle physics research conducted by our group members, including projects that span experiment and theory. Our theoretical research spans the development of models of Beyond the Standard Model physics and their testing at existing and future experimental facilities, connections to the study of particle cosmology and the early Universe, and research into high-precision quantum chromodynamics calculations and Monte Carlo modelling.

Our experimental research spans the LHCb, ATLAS and FASER experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the DUNE experiment and short-baseline neutrino experiment programme at Fermilab in the USA, the NEXT experiment in Spain, the Mu2e and g-2 experiments at Fermilab, the SuperNEMO experiment on the French/Italian border, the BES-III experiment in China, and the Darkside-50/20k dark matter direct detection experiments in Italy.

The group holds leadership responsibilities in 14 international experiments, and hosts the spokesperson of one major international collaboration. As well as playing a leading role in the exploitation of existing facilities, the group has key roles in the design and development of future experiments including FCC, Liquid Argon TPC detector development, particle tracking detector upgrades for the LHCb and ATLAS experiments, and 3D diamond detector technologies.

The group has strong links with national and international facilities, a very well-equipped laboratory space and state-of-the-art clean rooms, and hosts one of the largest and most successful Tier-2 distributed computing centres in the UK. We have a local computing cluster with networked storage and GPUs.

The postgraduate research environment is well funded and world-class as demonstrated by our ranking in REF2021.  Supervision is provided by academic staff, who are leaders in their fields, with independent pastoral back-up. Transferable skills training is available and there are some school teaching opportunities.

For more information about research themes within the department please visit our themes page or view available projects within the department on our Postgraduate Research projects page .

Note: Although the course requires 1 year full time study, students should expect the process of examination of the dissertation may take several months. MSc degrees are usually awarded several months after the end of the programme.

Additional programme information

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities.

We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles.

We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder), carer support funds for conferences, and peer support networks for parents and carers.

All appointments are made on merit.  The University of Manchester and our external partners are fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Coursework and assessment

This is a standard one year full-time research degree which provides the opportunity to carry out a research project while gaining valuable skills and knowledge through a tailored taught package. The programme includes 45 credit taught units and a dissertation project equivalent to 135 credits, creating a standard 180 credit postgraduate MSc by Research programme.

A research project is undertaken under the supervision of a staff member throughout the year together with lectures. Full time is spent working on the project unless attending lectures. A dissertation will be submitted at the year-end. We provide a range of skills training which is particularly focussed on the needs of physics research. 

For further information about coursework and assessment please visit our  Course handbook

Programme unit details

A range of specialist and more general lecture units in different areas of physics will be available.

Scholarships and bursaries

In the Department of Physics and Astronomy we offer a range of scholarships, studentships and awards to support UK and overseas postgraduate researchers.

Funding is also available at university and faculty level and can be viewed on our funding page . Alternatively, you can use our funding database to find scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for.

We'd recommend you discuss potential sources of funding with your supervisor before applying. They can advise what funding may be available to you, and ensure you meet nomination and application deadlines.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: .