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Physics MSci

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Overview

Our Physics MSci will give you a deep understanding of all the fundamental aspects of physics. In your final year, you’ll work on a project aligned to one of our large-scale research groups and experience the excitement of research through supervised projects. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to transfer to the Study Abroad pathway and spend your third year at a partner institution before returning to King’s for the final year. 

 

Key benefits

  • Join an award-winning department – six former staff and students won Nobel Prizes. 
  • Internationally renowned academic staff in the fields of cosmology, nanotechnology and the interface between physics and biology. 
  • 90% of our research was classed as world- leading or internationally excellent in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. 
  • Our central location gives you easy access to major libraries and many leading societies, including the Institute of Physics. 

Key information

UCAS code F303

Duration Four years

Study mode Full-time

Course type Single honours

Course accreditations Institute of Physics

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences

Department Department of Physics

Locations

 

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Course detail

Description

For your first three years of the course you will follow very similar modules as those taking our Physics BSc. This will give you an excellent grounding in the fundamental aspects of physics you will need for further study and research. In your fourth year, you will access a wide range of specialised physics options through a course with other University of London institutions, and the MSci project will give you experience of a genuine large-scale research project. 

Problem solving and project work are important elements of this course and you will learn team- work, group organisation and the skills of oral and poster presentations. We also encourage you to work with a school, to experience teaching and develop the skill of presenting information to a non-expert audience. 

You will be assigned a personal tutor to support your academic development, and our Department encourages an atmosphere in which students feel able to easily approach academic staff. The Student-Staff Liaison Committee provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and feedback on teaching 

Teaching

We will teach you through a combination of lectures and laboratory classes, tutorials and project work. You are expected to spend approximately 10 hours work per credit for each module you attend in your degree, e.g. 150 hours work for a 15 credit module. These hours cover every aspect of the module. 

Assessment

We will assess you primarily through written exams, although occasionally also through practical laboratory examinations, laboratory reports, class tests, coursework and oral presentations. 

Course accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

Structure

Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. Each year you will normally take modules totalling 120 credits. 

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. 

Required Modules

You are required to take: 

  • Physics Skills & Techniques (30 credits) 

  • Mathematics & Computation for Physics (30 credits) 

  • Classical Physics (30 credits) 

  • Introduction to Modern Physics (15 credits) 

Optional Modules

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

  • Introduction to Biophysics (15 credits) 

  • Introduction to Astrophysics (15 credits) 

Year 2

Required Modules

You are required to take: 

  • Experimental Physics (15 credits) 

  • Mathematical Methods for Physics (15 credits) 

  • Thermal Physics & Properties of Matter (15 credits) 

  • Quantum Mechanics I (15 credits) 

  • Electromagnetism (15 credits) 

  • Relativity & Sub-atomic Physics (15 credits) 

Optional Modules

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

  • Stellar Structure and Evolution (15 credits) 

  • Introduction to Numerical Modelling (15 credits) 

  • Symmetry in Physics (15 credits) 

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

  • Mathematical Methods for Theoretical Physics (15 credits) 

  • Group Project in Applied Physics (15 credits) 

  • Principles of Biophysics (15 credits) 

  • Introduction to Medical Physics (15 credits) 

Year 3

Required Modules

You are required to take: 

  • Statistical Mechanics (15 credits) 

  • Quantum Mechanics II (15 credits) 

  • Optics (15 credits) 

  • Condensed Matter Physics I (15 credits) 

  • Particle Physics (15 credits) 

  • Third year Project in Physics (15 credits) 

Optional Modules

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

  • University Ambassador Scheme (15 credits) 

  • Advanced Mathematical Methods for Theoretical Physics (15 credits) 

  • Fundamentals of Nanotechnology (15 credits) 

  • General Relativity & Cosmology (15 credits) 

  • Advanced Biophysics (15 credits) 

  • Medical Imaging (15 credits) 

  • Modelling Flow & Transport (15 credits) 

Year 4

Required Modules

You are required to take: 

  • Literature Review (15 credits) 

  • Project (30 credits) 

Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 75 credits from a range of optional modules, which may be selected from within the department or externally. The modules offered by the department typically include: 

  • Advanced Photonics (15 credits) 

  • Mathematical Methods for 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) 

  • Current Topics in Biophysics (15 credits) 

  • Dark Matter & Dark Energy (15 credits) 

  • Simulation Methods for Non-equilibrium Systems (15 credits) 

Additionally, you are required to take sufficient credits to bring your total for the year to 180, from a range of optional modules, which may typically include: 

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

  • Lie Groups & Lie Algebras 

  • String Theory & Branes 

  • Elements of Statistical Learning 

  • Mathematical Biology 

  • Dynamical Analysis of Complex Systems 

  • Equilibrium Analysis of Complex Systems 

  • Theory of Complex Networks 

  • Supersymmetry 

Modules offered by Royal Holloway, University of London: 

  • Statistical Mechanics 

  • Superfluids, Condensates & Superconductors 

  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance 

  • Physics at the Nanoscale 

Modules offered by University College London: 

  • Advanced Quantum Theory 

  • Atom & Photon Physics 

  • Quantum Computation & Communication 

  • Molecular Physics 

  • Particle Physics 

  • Order & Excitations in Condensed Matter 

  • Planetary Atmospheres 

  • Solar Physics 

  • Space Plasma & Magnetospheric Physics 

  • Molecular Biophysics 

Modules offered by Queen Mary, University of London: 

  • Relativistic Waves & Quantum Fields 

  • Electromagnetic Theory 

  • Stellar Structure & Evolution 

  • Relativity & Gravitation 

  • Solar System 

  • The Galaxy 

  • Astrophysical Plasmas 

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 the course finder on our website for updates. 

Entry requirements

 

Required grades

AAA

Please note that A-level General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives are not accepted by King's as one of your A-levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer.

Required grades

35 points overall (including TOK/EE) and three Higher Level subjects at 666

Required grades

45 Level 3 credits: 36 must be awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit

Required grades

D3 D3 D3

Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels) will be considered

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

85% overall

Required grades

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

Required subjects

Physics and Mathematics

Applicants having studied Maths and Further Maths but not Physics, may be considered on a case-by-case basis following an interview with the admissions tutor.

Preferred subjects

None

Further information and other requirements

Entry requirements
A-Level 

AAA

or

A*AB 

Must include grade A in both Mathematics and Physics

or

Must include grade A* in Mathematics and A in Physics

or

Must include grade A* in Physics and A in Mathematics

Please note that A-level General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives are not accepted by King's as one of your A levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer.

NOTE: If you are taking linear A levels in England, you will be required to pass the practical endorsement in all science subjects.

Access to HE Diploma 

D: 36 credits

M: 9 credits

P: 0 credits

Access to Science Diploma (or similar subject) with 45 Level 3 credits: 36 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit. This must include substantial focus at Level 3 (with Distinction) on both Mathematics and Physics.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3 D3 D3

or 

D2 D3 M2

Must include grade D3 in both Mathematics and Physics

or

Must include grade D2 in Mathematics and D3 in Physics

or

Must include grade D2 in Physics and D3 in Mathematics

Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels) considered.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF from 2010)  

Extended Diploma in Applied Science at DDD with 12 Distinctions and Mathematics A-level at grade A OR Extended Diploma in Applied Science at DDM with 11 Distinctions and Mathematics A-level at grade A*.

NOTE: In order to satisfy the physics requirement, if you have BTECs you need to offer the following modules at Distinction: 6, 7, 8, 9 and one of 14, 17, 20 or 44.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF from 2010)  

Diploma in Applied Physics at DD with eight Distinctions and Mathematics A-level at grade A OR Diploma in Applied Physics at DM with six Distinctions and Mathematics A-level at grade A*.

NOTE: In order to satisfy the physics requirement, if you have BTECs you need to offer the following modules at Distinction: 6, 7, 8, 9 and one of 14, 17, 20 or 44.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF from 2010)  

D with four modules at Distinction and two A-levels at grades AA, including grade A in both Mathematics and Physics OR M and two A-levels at grades A*A, including grade A* in Physics and grade A in Mathematics OR M and two A-levels at grades A*A, including grade A* in Mathematics and grade A in Physics.

Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers

AAB at Highers

and

AA at Advanced Highers

Must include grade A in Advanced Higher Mathematics and Physics.

Must be a combination of three Scottish Highers and two Scottish Advanced Highers. We do not count the Higher and Advanced Higher in the same subject.

International Baccalaureate 35 points

Must include 666 at Higher Level including 6 in both Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level

or

Must include 765 at Higher Level including 7 in Mathematics and 6 in Physics at Higher Level

or 

Must include 765 at Higher Level including 7 in Physics and 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level

The total point score of 35 includes TOK/EE. 

Note: IB students studying the new Maths curriculum would be required to study Analysis and Approaches at Higher Level to meet the subject requirement for this programme

Other International Qualifications   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.

 

Selection procedure

Application deadline: January 15th 2020.

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.

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees UK:

The UK tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is currently £9,250 per year. This is based on the UK Government’s cap.

Full time tuition fees EU:

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 (September 2020) who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

The UK tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is currently £9,250 per year. This is based on the UK Government’s cap.

Full time tuition fees International:

The International tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is £26,700 per year.

Please note that the International tuition fee is subject to annual increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

All International applicants to Undergraduate programmes are required to pay a deposit of £2,000 against their first year’s tuition fee. This deposit is payable when you firmly accept an unconditional offer to study with us, and will be offset against your tuition fees when you join King’s.

 

Additional costs/expenses

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 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs

 

For further information, please visit our fees and funding pages.

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

Our Physics graduates are in high demand because employers recognise the wide range of skills that they possess. We train physicists to be good problem solvers, to think logically and to apply mathematical and computational techniques to real problems. 

Career destinations

Recent graduates have found employment as: 

  • PhD student (in Astrophysics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter etc), at KCL, UCL, Imperial etc 

  • Scientist, Oxford Nanopore Technologies 

  • Publishing Editor, Royal Society of Chemistry 

  • Mathematical Modeller, Bryden Woods 

  • Actuarial Analyst, Willis 

  • Physics Teacher, London 

Testimonials

Next steps

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