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Theoretical Physics MSc

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The Theoretical Physics MSc is an intensive, research-led course in which you will examine foundational topics in theoretical and mathematical physics such as general relativity and quantum field theory, before exploring advanced topics such as string theory, supersymmetry and the AdS/CFT correspondence. You will be exposed to a wide range of research techniques and have the opportunity to conduct and write up your own project.

Key benefits

  • Top 10 in the UK for Mathematics (QS World Rankings by subject 2021)
  • Opportunity to study theoretical and mathematical physics such as general relativity and quantum field theory, and advanced topics such as gauge theories, renormalization, black holes, strings, branes and supersymmetry.
  • Research-led course taught by staff who are internationally recognised leaders in their field.
  • Summer project on a modern research topic that is a natural steppingstone to PhD research.
  • Excellent tutorial support, extensive course- specific interactive teaching and regular classroom discussions.

Our Theoretical Physics MSc is a demanding research-informed course that gives you a coherent, comprehensive introduction to the building blocks of modern theoretical physics and the opportunity to explore more advanced topics. The course offers you the choice to study either full or part-time and is made up of optional and required modules. You must take modules totalling 180 credits to complete the course, including 60 credits that will come from a research project and dissertation. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will take two years to complete, you will study from the required optional module list in the first year, and a further selection of required and optional modules in your second year. The research project can be carried out over the first and second years or entirely in year 2. You will study a modules covering the foundations of mathematical physics and can choose to study Quantum Field Theory and Advanced Quantum Mechanics. You then have the opportunity to explore a range of innovative optional modules, with topics including Black Holes, String Theory, and Conformal Field Theory. There are also optional modules in Pure Mathematics including Lie Groups and Algebras, and Manifolds as well as modules from the Physics department on the Standard Model and its extensions and Cosmology. Our varied choice of modules allows you to develop and tailor your degree to your passions and interests.

Base campuses

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

waterloo-banner
Waterloo Campus

Waterloo campus is home of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and facilities for other faculties

Regulating bodies

King's is regulated by the Office for Students

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Teaching methods - what to expect

Assessment

  • Coursework
  • Written/Practical Examinations
  • Class Tests
  • Quizzes
  • Unseen written examinations

Structure

Required modules

You are required to take:

Theoretical Physics Project (60 credits)

You are required to take 7 modules from a list which may typically include:

Foundations of Mathematical Physics (15 credits)
Advanced Quantum Mechanics (15 credits)
Quantum Field Theory (15 credits)
Supersymmetry and Conformal Field Theory (15 credits)
Strings, Branes and Quantum Gravity (15 credits)
Gauge Theory and Renormalisation (15 credits)
AdS/CFT and Related Topics (15 credits)
Space-time structure of Black Holes and the Universe (15 credits)
Space-Time Geometry & General Relativity (15 credits)

Space-time structure of Black Holes and the Universe and Space-Time Geometry & General Relativity cannot be taken together.

Optional modules

In addition, you are required to take one module from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

Lie Groups & Lie Algebras (15 credits)
Manifolds (15 credits)
Standard Model Physics & Beyond (15 credits)

Other modules in relevant topics can be taken, with the possibility to take up to 30 credits at another London College subject to the approval of the Programme Director.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Employability

Many of our graduates go on to start PhD studies in theoretical physics at various universities in the United Kingdom and abroad including Imperial, UCL, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cologne and Mons.

Students also like to stay at King's for their PhD, and we normally offer a fully funded positions to between 1-3 students per year.

Our course also gives you many transferable mathematical and computational skills to work successfully in industry. Our graduates have gone on to work at top global organisations including Algerian Space Agency, FRM Capital Advisors, Barclays, Lloyds, social media and cyber security companies. Another popular career route is teaching STEM in schools. 

Destinations

Recent graduates have found employment within the following job roles and companies:

  • PhDs at various prestigious universities including King's and Imperial
  • Actuarial Analyst, AXA
  • Analyst, Barclays
  • Cyber Technology Specialist, Darktrace
  • Quantitative Analyst, Sporty Group
  • Science Teacher
  • Data Analyst, ClearScore

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £11,040 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £5,520 per year (2022/23)

International:

Full time: £24,660 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £12,330 per year (2022/23)

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

Deposit

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000.

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme. 

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

Additional Costs

In addition to your tuition costs, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Course packs, which are a vital part of your learning at King's and normally contain extracts from books and other useful documents that will inform your study.
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Graduation costs

Funding

Our Theoretical Physics MSc is a demanding research-informed course that gives you a coherent, comprehensive introduction to the building blocks of modern theoretical physics and the opportunity to explore more advanced topics. The course offers you the choice to study either full or part-time and is made up of optional and required modules. You must take modules totalling 180 credits to complete the course, including 60 credits that will come from a research project and dissertation. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will take two years to complete, you will study from the required optional module list in the first year, and a further selection of required and optional modules in your second year. The research project can be carried out over the first and second years or entirely in year 2. You will study a modules covering the foundations of mathematical physics and can choose to study Quantum Field Theory and Advanced Quantum Mechanics. You then have the opportunity to explore a range of innovative optional modules, with topics including Black Holes, String Theory, and Conformal Field Theory. There are also optional modules in Pure Mathematics including Lie Groups and Algebras, and Manifolds as well as modules from the Physics department on the Standard Model and its extensions and Cosmology. Our varied choice of modules allows you to develop and tailor your degree to your passions and interests.

Base campuses

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

waterloo-banner
Waterloo Campus

Waterloo campus is home of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and facilities for other faculties

Regulating bodies

King's is regulated by the Office for Students

Loading...

Teaching methods - what to expect

Assessment

  • Coursework
  • Written/Practical Examinations
  • Class Tests
  • Quizzes
  • Unseen written examinations

Structure

Required modules

You are required to take:

Theoretical Physics Project (60 credits)

You are required to take 7 modules from a list which may typically include:

Foundations of Mathematical Physics (15 credits)
Advanced Quantum Mechanics (15 credits)
Quantum Field Theory (15 credits)
Supersymmetry and Conformal Field Theory (15 credits)
Strings, Branes and Quantum Gravity (15 credits)
Gauge Theory and Renormalisation (15 credits)
AdS/CFT and Related Topics (15 credits)
Space-time structure of Black Holes and the Universe (15 credits)
Space-Time Geometry & General Relativity (15 credits)

Space-time structure of Black Holes and the Universe and Space-Time Geometry & General Relativity cannot be taken together.

Optional modules

In addition, you are required to take one module from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

Lie Groups & Lie Algebras (15 credits)
Manifolds (15 credits)
Standard Model Physics & Beyond (15 credits)

Other modules in relevant topics can be taken, with the possibility to take up to 30 credits at another London College subject to the approval of the Programme Director.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Employability

Many of our graduates go on to start PhD studies in theoretical physics at various universities in the United Kingdom and abroad including Imperial, UCL, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cologne and Mons.

Students also like to stay at King's for their PhD, and we normally offer a fully funded positions to between 1-3 students per year.

Our course also gives you many transferable mathematical and computational skills to work successfully in industry. Our graduates have gone on to work at top global organisations including Algerian Space Agency, FRM Capital Advisors, Barclays, Lloyds, social media and cyber security companies. Another popular career route is teaching STEM in schools. 

Destinations

Recent graduates have found employment within the following job roles and companies:

  • PhDs at various prestigious universities including King's and Imperial
  • Actuarial Analyst, AXA
  • Analyst, Barclays
  • Cyber Technology Specialist, Darktrace
  • Quantitative Analyst, Sporty Group
  • Science Teacher
  • Data Analyst, ClearScore

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £11,040 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £5,520 per year (2022/23)

International:

Full time: £24,660 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £12,330 per year (2022/23)

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

Deposit

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000.

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme. 

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

Additional Costs

In addition to your tuition costs, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Course packs, which are a vital part of your learning at King's and normally contain extracts from books and other useful documents that will inform your study.
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Graduation costs

Funding

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