Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Theoretical Treatments of Nano-Systems

Key information

Subject area:

Stackable Microcredentials

Course type:

Assessed Module

Credit level:


Credit value:



11 weeks

Available course dates:

From: 13 January 2025 To: 28 March 2025
Application deadline: 02 December 2024

Course overview

An increasing amount of science and technology nowadays concerns with processes at the nanometer scale, typically involving functionalised structures consisting of nanoclusters and molecules. A time scale of a few picoseconds is the natural one to investigate the vibrational/conformational properties of these systems and the relevant steps of their synthesis/assembly mechanisms. Such a high time/size resolution poses extremely demanding constraints to experimental techniques. Therefore, detailed theoretical descriptions and quantum-based numerical modelling have become indispensable tools in modern research on these systems, as a guide for interpreting the experimental observations and, increasingly, as independent investigation tools capable of quantitative predictions.

At this scale quantum mechanical approaches must be used to provide accurate potential energy surfaces and structural/configurational properties that are at the basis of classical molecular dynamics techniques and phase-space descriptions. This module provides an introduction to the rapidly growing area of atomistic-based theoretical modelling in nano-science. It introduces the physics of many-electron systems with a particular focus on symmetry properties and on the simplifying assumptions which must be used to successfully model functional nanoscale systems.

What does this course cover?

While a main goal of the course is to provide a theoretical background on the structure and quantum behaviour of matter at the nano-scale, examples of applications given during the course involve modern concepts on the nano-scale behaviour of functional materials, and provide an accessible introduction to some of the main theoretical techniques used to model processes involving surfaces, interfaces, clusters, and macromolecules. 

What will I achieve?

By the end of the module, you will:

  • Be familiar with the fact that the physical properties of complex nano-systems can be described within a coherent quantum mechanical framework, in particular that the many-electron problem can be attacked by mean-field techniques of different levels of complexity and accuracy
  • Understand how this theoretical description can be used as a basis for accurate modelling tools and thus is capable of quantitative predictions at the nanometer/picosecond size- and timescales.

Who is this for?

​​T​he standard entry requirements comprise:

  • A 2:2 honours degree or international equivalent in Physics: Condensed Matter Physics
  • A CV and personal statement outlining your reasons for study
  • English language band D (for example, IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each skill).

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed via coursework and examination, as follows:

  • Coursework 1 = 10%
  • Coursework 2 = 30%
  • Examination = 60%

What is the teaching schedule?

This is an on-campus module. Lectures will be held on a single day of the week, each week, during term time. You will be expected to be on-campus for these. Exact dates and times will be confirmed upon enrolment.

Further information

This module is offered as part of our flexible master’s awards in Professional Development. The awards are one of the most flexible currently offered in the UK, providing the opportunity to study a range of modules from across King’s, both on-campus and online. Whether you are looking for a promotion or to retrain, you have come to the right place.

Designed for mature professionals juggling life and work commitments, our postgraduate awards will enable you to study at your own pace. In challenging financial times, you are also able to fund your studies module-by-module. We will support you to select the right module diet that meets your objectives while ensuring that you are well prepared for success. We will also help you to build your professional network of peers from across our suite of CPD modules.

We can’t wait for you to continue your lifelong learning journey here at King’s.

Course status:

Opening soon

Full fee £1039

International students £2937

Express interest


Offered by