For further details about teaching from September 2020 please visit your course or department page in the Offer Holder hub.

KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Theoretical Physics MSc

Apply now

Our Theoretical Physics MSc is an intensive, research-led course in which you will examine basic topics in theoretical and mathematical physics such as general relativity and quantum field theory, before exploring advanced topics such as string theory and supersymmetry. 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 2020).
  • Located in the heart of London, giving unparalleled access to research facilities.
  • You will be studying innovative modules covering modern theories of physics.
  • Research-led course taught by staff who are recognised leaders in their field.
  • Opportunity to study theoretical and mathematical physics such as general relativity and quantum field theory, and advanced topics such as string theory and supersymmetry.
  • Excellent tutorial support, extensive course-specific interactive teaching and regular classroom discussions.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake Approximately 15-20 FT, 5-10 PT.

Course leaders

Further details

Course contact for further information

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences

Department Department of Mathematics

Locations

 

Explore campuses


Welcome to Theoretical Physics

Professor Peter West introduces Theoretical Physics

Hear about the history of the department and from current students about their experience of Theoretical Physics MSc

Watch more videos


Course detail

Description

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 modules covering Lie groups and Lie algebras, manifolds, advanced quantum mechanics and field theory, and there are opportunities to explore an extensive range of innovative optional modules, allowing you to develop a study pathway that reflects your interests.

Teaching

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

Typically, one credit equate to 10 hours of work, e.g. 150 hours work for a 15 credit module. These hours cover every aspect of the module: lectures, tutorials, independent study, coursework and preparation for examinations.

Assessment

The primary method of assessment for this degree is written examination. You may also be assessed by essays, practical examination, oral presentation, reports, class tests and projects. The nature of assessment varies by module.

Further literature

Structure

Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.

Required Modules

You are required to take:

  • Theoretical Physics Project (60 credits)
  • 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)
Optional Modules

You are also required to take one of the following modules:

  • Space-time structure of Black Holes and the Universe (15 credits)
  • Space-time Geometry & General Relativity (15 credits)

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

  • Manifolds (15 credits)
  • Standard Model Physics & Beyond (15 credits)
  • AdS/CFT and Related Topics (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 that you keep an eye on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Theoretical Physics Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements 2:1

Bachelors degree with 2:1 honours in Physics or Maths. Alternatively, a 2:1 in a degree subject related to Maths will be considered on a case by case basis.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

 

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies. Your application will be assessed by an admissions tutor. We will interview applicants at a mutually convenient time where reasonable.

ATAS  An ATAS certificate is required for successful applicants applying for this course whose nationality is outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate can be found on our International Student Advice pages.

 

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Document checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).

Previous Academic Study  Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
Other Optional You may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.
For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £10,500 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £22,350 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £5,250 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,175 per year (2021/22)

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 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 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.

 

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, 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

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

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Many of our graduates go on to start PhD studies in theoretical physics at various universities in the United Kingdom and abroad, including with our group here at King’s, for which the MSc is particularly well tailored.

Our graduates also take up full-time employment in various industries that require good mathematical/computer knowledge. Recent employers of our graduates have included the Algerian Space Agency, FRM Capital Advisors and Lloyds Banking Group.

Testimonials

Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

View guide

Sound like the course for you?

Apply now

Explore King’s

Accommodation Take a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student life Art, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricular Discover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London living With four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.