MPhys Physics with Study in Europe / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course description

Lab work
Lab work

Join one of the most respected Department of Physics in the country and enjoy the flexibility, choice and challenge of our MPhys Physics with Study in Europe degree.

The course combines a comprehensive study of physics with the possibility of an exciting year of study abroad in Europe, with most students heading off to universities in France, Spain, Italy or Germany.

You will get a working knowledge of a European language and a different culture, with language tuition - including some physics tutorials in the language - forming an integral part of the course.

The course will provide you with a solid foundation in classical physics and introduce you to newer ideas.

Working with leading academics and accessing our incredible facilities, you will be well placed to progress along your physics journey. 


  • We will provide you with a solid foundation in classical physics and introduce newer ideas - and will encourage you to choose from a wide range of options, covering a diverse number of topics.
  • We aim to send you abroad for an exciting year of study in Europe, typically at a university in France, Spain, Italy or Germany. Please note that in previous years this opportunity benefited from the EU¿s Erasmus+ scheme. However, following Brexit, the UK has withdrawn from that scheme, with the UK government announcing that it will be replaced by the Turing Scheme. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the details of this scheme have not been released and so, at the moment, we cannot yet guarantee the opportunity to study abroad, as we did in previous years.
  • We will provide access to a fantastic array of facilities, and you will work with world-leading physics academics.

Special features

Study abroad

Explore living in another country by taking up a fantastic opportunity to study abroad.

Choice and flexibility

You will cover the basics of classical physics and progress to modern, diverse topics - including atomic and molecular structure, electro-magnetic radiation, lasers, stars and cosmology, and particle and nuclear physics.

Outstanding reputation

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Manchester has an excellent international reputation, and a qualification from us can be your passport to a successful career anywhere in the world.

Teaching and learning

At Manchester you will be taught by academic staff who are leading experts in Physics and Astronomy, in a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Teaching and Learning will be delivered using a variety of methods, including: 

  • Lectures 
  • Interactive sessions
  • Tutorial classes 
  • Laboratory work
  • Workshops
  • Examples classes
  • Project work
  • PASS sessions and peer mentoring

Some activities will be delivered face-to-face and others online, following a blended learning approach. In your own time, you will work on activities including directed reading, problem sheets, and lab or project reports.Each week, a first-year student will typically have 10 hours of lectures or interactive sessions, 2 hours of tutorials, and 5 hours of laboratory work. In addition, they should devote about 20 hours to self-directed study.

As you progress through the course an increasing emphasis will be placed on independent study. In third and fourth years, students should typically spend between 20 and 30 hours on this each week. Also, since the ability to apply your knowledge and skills is an important attribute of a graduate physicist, project work will be an important component of your final year. BSc students explore ideas from some topic of current interest and write a dissertation on it, and MPhys students will work on a substantial project with one of the research groups in physics or astronomy.

PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) and Peer Mentoring

We are proud of our innovative PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) and Peer Mentoring scheme. The PASS scheme provides additional support to first-year students with study skills, learning strategies and problem solving, as well introducing them to other aspects of university life. Students in higher years can volunteer to mentor first-year students. Both groups of students find this an enriching experience.

More about blended learning  

Some of your activities will be synchronous, where you learn in live sessions with your lecturer and peers, and can interact as appropriate; this can help you to get support and to feel part of the community within the department. Other elements will be asynchronous, where you access materials such as video lectures, online discussion boards or documents in your own time (within a framework provided by your programme).

Coursework and assessment

The course is assessed by a variety of methods, each appropriate to the topic being assessed. These methods include written examinations, written reports and presentations on practical work and projects. You will also have opportunities to self-assess your progress using tutorial exercises.

Course unit details

You can find out more information about the course units included in your chosen degree programme here

Course content for year 1

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Mathematics 1 PHYS10071 10 Mandatory
Dynamics PHYS10101 10 Mandatory
Quantum Physics and Relativity PHYS10121 10 Mandatory
Year 1 Lab Work (All Yr) PHYS10180 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Astrophysics and Cosmology PHYS10191 10 Mandatory
Vibrations & Waves PHYS10302 10 Mandatory
Electricity & Magnetism PHYS10342 10 Mandatory
Properties of Matter PHYS10352 10 Mandatory
Mathematics 2 PHYS10372 10 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics PHYS20101 10 Mandatory
Electromagnetism PHYS20141 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Programming for Physicists PHYS20161 10 Mandatory
Mathematics of Waves and Fields PHYS20171 10 Mandatory
Fundamentals of Solid State Physics PHYS20252 10 Mandatory
Year 2 Lab Work (One Semester) PHYS20280 10 Mandatory
Wave Optics PHYS20312 10 Mandatory
Statistical Mechanics PHYS20352 10 Mandatory
Lagrangian Dynamics PHYS20401 10 Mandatory
Complex Variables and Vector Spaces PHYS20672 10 Mandatory

Course content for year 3

If the opportunity of a year abroad becomes unavailable, you will be transferred to the Physics MPhys programme and will attend the third year at The University of Manchester. In this case, details of the course units you will be expected to study can be found under Year 3 of the Physics MPhys programme. We have also provided a link to likely optional units that you may choose to study. Both are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this programme.

Course content for year 4

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
MPhys Project PHYS40182 20 Mandatory
Level 4 3rd year lab PHYS40580 10 Mandatory
Quantum Computing COMP39112 10 Optional
Climate and Energy: Past, Present and Future EART36002 10 Optional
Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics EART39102 10 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today HSTM31212 10 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33201 10 Optional
Reactor Systems MACE31642 10 Optional
Complex Analysis and Applications MATH34001 20 Optional
Viscous Fluid Flow MATH35001 10 Optional
Wave Motion MATH35012 10 Optional
Mathematical Modelling in Finance MATH39032 10 Optional
Tools and Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30001 10 Optional
Tools & Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30002 10 Optional
Advanced Technology Enterprise MCEL30011 10 Optional
Advanced Technology Enterprise MCEL30012 10 Optional
Interdisciplinary Sustainable Development MCEL30022 10 Optional
Enterprise Strategy and Marketing MCEL30051 10 Optional
Applications of Quantum Physics PHYS30101 10 Optional
Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics PHYS30121 10 Optional
Electromagnetic Radiation PHYS30141 10 Optional
Mathematical Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics PHYS30201 10 Optional
Cosmology PHYS30392 10 Optional
Electrodynamics (M) PHYS30441 10 Optional
Introduction to Non-linear Physics PHYS30471 10 Optional
Nuclear Fusion and Astrophysical Plasmas PHYS30511 10 Optional
Lasers and Photonics PHYS30611 10 Optional
Physics of Medical Imaging PHYS30632 10 Optional
Physics of Fluids PHYS30652 10 Optional
Mathematical Methods for Physics PHYS30672 10 Optional
Stars and Stellar Evolution PHYS30692 10 Optional
Physics of Living Processes PHYS30732 10 Optional
Object-Oriented Programming in C++ PHYS30762 10 Optional
Exoplanets PHYS31692 10 Optional
Advanced Quantum Mechanics PHYS40202 10 Optional
Particle Physics PHYS40222 10 Optional
Nuclear Physics PHYS40322 10 Optional
Frontiers of Solid State Physics PHYS40411 10 Optional
Nuclear Structure and Exotic Nuclei PHYS40421 10 Optional
Applied Nuclear Physics PHYS40422 10 Optional
Superconductors and Superfluids PHYS40451 10 Optional
Quantum Field Theory (M) PHYS40481 10 Optional
Frontiers of Particle Physics I PHYS40521 10 Optional
Advanced Statistical Physics PHYS40571 10 Optional
Radio Astronomy PHYS40591 10 Optional
Frontiers of Photon Science PHYS40611 10 Optional
Nuclear Forces and Reactions PHYS40622 10 Optional
Laser Photomedicine PHYS40631 10 Optional
Atomic Physics PHYS40642 10 Optional
Gauge Theories (M) PHYS40682 10 Optional
Semiconductor Quantum Structures PHYS40712 10 Optional
Frontiers of Particle Physics II PHYS40722 10 Optional
Biomaterials/Biophysics PHYS40732 10 Optional
Soft Matter Physics PHYS40752 10 Optional
Gravitation PHYS40771 10 Optional
Early Universe PHYS40772 10 Optional
Galaxy Formation PHYS40992 10 Optional
Physics and Reality PHYS41702 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 58 course units for year 4

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Manchester is committed to attracting and supporting the very best students. We have a focus on nurturing talent and ability and we want to make sure that you have the opportunity to study here, regardless of your financial circumstances.

For information about scholarships and bursaries please visit our undergraduate student finance pages and our Department funding pages .

What our students say

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting the Department of Physics and Astronomy blog .


Physic labs

Make the most of a fantastic array of facilities that rival those of leading Departments across the world. They include the world-famous Jodrell Bank Observatory and a new £10 million extension to our Schuster Laboratory.

The University of Manchester also offers extensive library and online services , helping you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

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