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Our updated course listings for the 2022/23 postgraduate admissions cycle will be published at the beginning of October. Applications for 2022 entry will be available shortly after this. Check our how to apply pages for updates.

MSc by Research Theoretical Physics / Overview

Year of entry: 2021

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Degree awarded
MSc by Research
Duration
12 Months [Full-Time]
Entry requirements

The standard academic entry requirement for a Masters research programme will be a Lower Second UK Honours degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant science or engineering discipline.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online  

You should include details of your previous study, your research project title and the name of the academic member of staff you would like to supervise your research.

We strongly recommend that you make contact with your proposed supervisor before submitting an application.

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc by Research Y Y N N

Programme description

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Manchester is one of the largest and most active departments of physics 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, the Dalton Nuclear Institute, and the Mesoscience and Nanotechnology Centre. In addition, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire is a part of the Department.

Work on theoretical physics is concentrated in four main areas: complex systems, quantum descriptions of matter and its interactions with light, nuclear physics, and particle physics. Brief summaries of these are given below; more information can be found on the webpages for each group.

  • Statistical Mechanics and Complex Systems

The group works on applications of statistical mechanics to questions in biology, the social sciences, and medicine. Examples include the stability of eco-systems, the spread of epidemics, pattern formation in developmental biology, topics in evolutionary game theory, the modelling of cancer and problems in medical statistics. The common feature these problems share is that they involve many entities interacting together and producing complex behaviour. Our approach is driven by physics ideas, and we use tools such as stochastic differential equations, path integrals and master equations, Bayesian statistics and maximum likelihood methods, combined with algorithms for fast numerical simulations. Postgraduate projects can focus on applications or on fundamental aspects of models of complex systems. PhD projects often involve collaboration with national and international partners across disciplines.

  • Quantum Theory of Light and Matter

The group working on Quantum Theory of Light and Matter applies a diverse array of tools, including QFT methods and master equations, to a broad range of topics. These include: the study of quantum materials, topological order and superconductivity, theories of quantum transport, strongly-coupled non-equilibrium phenomena, quantum thermodynamics, quantum noise, and open quantum systems. Close connections to experimental groups in the Department and the National Graphene Institute helps with development of these theories.

  • Nuclear Theory

The research interests of the Nuclear Theory Group range from low-energy nuclear structure to the frontier where nuclear and particle physics overlap. We focus on `fundamental¿ approaches to nuclear physics, linking it to quantum chromodynamics, and have particular expertise in the areas of effective field theory and microscopic many-body theory. Current particular interest include: the responses of nucleons and light nuclei to external fields (being probed with Compton scattering in experiments at Mainz and Duke Universities), and the origins of nuclear forces.

  • Particle Theory

The fundamental properties of matter are studied by the theory members of the Particle Physics Group. The Group has particular expertise in almost all aspects of Collider Physics phenomenology, Quantum Chromodynamics, in the Physics of the Early Universe, in Higgs and Neutrino Physics and in Physics Beyond the Standard Model. Our projects are often focused on aspects of theoretical physics that can be tested in ongoing or future experiments on colliders and non-accelerator physics, and in cosmological and astrophysical observations. The connections between particle physics and cosmology are also being explored in collaboration with members of the Jodrell Bank Observatory for Astrophysics.

You can also download our  Postgraduate Project Booklet  (PDF document, 2.5Mb) which contains details of research projects available within the department.

The postgraduate research environment is well funded and world-class as demonstrated by our ranking in REF2014. 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 department teaching opportunities.

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2021, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc by Research (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £4,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £25,500
  • MSc by Research (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £2,250
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £12,750

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Please note for the majority of projects where experimentation requires further resource: higher fee bands (where quoted) will be charged rather than the base rate for supervision, administration and computational costs. The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive and, therefore, you will not be required to pay any additional bench fees or administration costs.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of the course for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your project.

Scholarships/sponsorships

The Faculty of Science and Engineering is offering a number of scholarships to both UK and oversees students. For more information about these scholarships please visit our Manchester Alumni Scholarship Schemes page or the Fees and Funding page on the Department website for more information on other scholarships and awards available.

Contact details

Department
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0) 161 543 4026
Email
Website
https://www.physics.manchester.ac.uk/
School/Faculty

Our internationally-renowned expertise across the School of Natural Sciences informs research led teaching with strong collaboration across disciplines, unlocking new and exciting fields and translating science into reality.  Our multidisciplinary learning and research activities advance the boundaries of science for the wider benefit of society, inspiring students to promote positive change through educating future leaders in the true fundamentals of science. Find out more about Science and Engineering at Manchester .

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

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