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Physics MSc



Our MSc Physics programme will provide you will have exposure to a very wide range of world-leading teaching and research skills in physics. As well as the modules offered by the Department of Physics, many optional modules are available from across the University of London, such as Queen Mary University of London, Royal Holloway University of London and University College London. You will undertake an extended research project supervised by one of our academic staff.

  • King's College London offers a unique environment for the taught postgraduate study of physics. Our size enables us to provide a welcoming environment in which all our students feel at home. The Physics Department has been built up to its current strength in the last few years, which has allowed us to design a bespoke research department focused in three areas.
  • Particle physics and cosmology is led by Professor John Ellis CBE FRS, who collaborates closely with CERN, and this group provides unique lecture courses, including "Astroparticle Cosmology" as well as "The Standard Model and beyond".
  • The Experimental Biophysics and Nanotechnology research group is a world-leading centre for nanophotonics, metamaterials and biological physics. Here you can study the state of the art in experimental nanoplasmonics, bio-imaging, near-field optics and nanophotonics, with access to the laboratories of the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN). You will be offered our flagship module in "Advanced Photonics".
  • Theory and Simulation of Condensed Matter is a group of theoreticians with a critical-mass expertise in many-body physics and highly-correlated quantum systems—magnetism and superconductivity, and world-leading research in condensed matter, particularly in biological and materials physics. The group is a founding member of the prestigious Thomas Young Centre (TYC), the London centre for the theory and simulation of materials.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake No set number.

Course leaders

Professor Tony Paxton

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions enquiry form

Awarding institution King's College London

Department Department of Physics


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Bachelors degree with 2:1 honours degree (or international equivalent) in Physics.

Alternatively, a 2:1 in a degree subject related to physics will be considered on a case by case basis.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King's online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £50 applies. Your application will be assessed by an admissions tutor. We will interview applicants at a mutually convenient time where reasonable.

Personal statement and supporting information

Any relevant supporting information.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications for September 2017 entry is 31st March 2017. After this date, programmes will remain open if places are available, and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 30th July 2017 or from UK/ EU nationals after 3rd September 2017.


Course detail


The programme consists of taught components combining specialised taught material in current areas of Physics and related disciplines, general research techniques, transferable skills and specialised research techniques together with a major research project. The project starts in January carrying through to the end of the programme. Experts in the chosen field will act as project supervisors.

The programme is run by the Department of Physics with some modules provided by the Department of Mathematics, the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics and other University of London Colleges. 

Topics include: nanotechnology, biophysics, photonics, cosmology and particle physics.

Course purpose

The MSc programme provides experience of research in rapidly developing areas of physics and related disciplines. Provides experience of the planning, administration, execution and dissemination of research, and equips students with the background knowledge and transferable and generic skills required to become an effective researcher.

Further literature

Course format and assessment

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

Average per week: Lectures x 9 hours, small group tutorials x 2 hour, seminar x 1 hour.

The following table will give you an idea of what a typical academic week might look like during term time:

Lectures, seminars & feedback





Each module in your degree is worth a number of credits. You are expected to spend approximately 10 hours of effort for each credit (so for a typical module of 15 credits this means 150 hours of effort). These hours cover every aspect of the module: lectures, tutorials, labs (if any), independent study base on lecture notes, tutorial preparation and extension, lab preparation and extension, coursework preparation and submission, examination revision and preparation, and examinations.


Lectures, seminars, self-study and feedback

Per 15-credit taught module

150 hours

Dissertation module

600 hours



Assessment methods will depend on the modules selected. The primary method of assessment for this course is written examination. You may also be assessed by laboratory reports, class tests, coursework and oral presentations.








  • Required Modules

    • Research Project (60 credits) 
    • General Research Techniques and Transferable Skills (15 credits)
    • Advanced Topics in Physics (15 credits)

    Optional Modules

    Students also take at least 30 credits from a range of options which may typically include:

    • Advanced Photonics (15 credits)
    • Mathematical Methods in Theoretical Physics (15 credits)
    • Theoretical Treatment of Nano-systems (15 credits)
    • Experimental Techniques in condensed Matter Physics (15 credits)
    • Bio & Nanomaterials in the Virtual Lab (15 credits)
    • Standard Model Physics & Beyond (15 credits)
    • Astroparticle Cosmology (15 credits)
    • Advanced Condensed Matter (15 credits)
    • Cellular Biophysics (15 credits)
    • Dark Matter & Dark Energy (15 credits)

    Additionally, students will study modules to bring the total for the year to 180 credits from a wide range of options that may typically include: 

    Modules offered by the King’s College London Department of Mathematics: 

    • Lie Groups & Lie Algebras (15 credits)
    • String Theory & Branes (15 credits)
    • Elements of Statistical Learning (15 credits)
    • Mathematical Biology (15 credits)
    • Dynamical Analysis of Complex Systems (15 credits)
    • Equilibrium Analysis of Complex Systems (15 credits)
    • Theory of Complex Networks (15 credits)

    Modules offered by Royal Holloway, University of London:

    • Statistical Mechanics (15 credits)
    • Superfluids, Condensates & Superconductors (15 credits)
    • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (15 credits)
    • Physics at the Nanoscale (15 credits)

    Modules offered by University College London:

    • Advanced quantum theory (15 credits)
    • Atom & photon physics (15 credits)
    • Quantum computation & communication (15 credits)
    • Molecular physics 
    • Particle physics (15 credits)
    • Order & excitations in condensed matter  (15 credits)
    • Planetary atmospheres (15 credits)
    • Solar physics  (15 credits)
    • Space plasma & magnetospheric physics (15 credits)
    • Molecular Biophysics (15 credits)

    Modules offered by Queen Mary, University of London:

    • Relativistic waves & Quantum Fields (15 credits) 
    • Electromagnetic theory (15 credits)
    • Stellar structure & evolution (15 credits)
    • Relativity and Gravitation (15 credits)  
    • Solar System (15 credits)
    • The Galaxy (15 credits)
    • Astrophysical Plasmas (15 credits)

Career prospects

Many students go on to do a PhD in Physics, work in scientific research, teaching or work in the financial sector.



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,450 p.a. (2017/18)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£22,800 p.a. (2017/18)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,725 p.a. (2017/18)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£11,400 p.a. (2017/18)*

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

 Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


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