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Physics with Biophysics MSci

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Overview

NEW Physics with Biophysics MSci

What is Biophysics? 

Biophysics - the application of physics to living systems - is one of the most exciting areas in science today, whether it be looking at the properties of DNA, individual cells, drug delivery or imaging.

Biophysics is at the interface between Biology and Physics. This interdisciplinary field applies the principles and laws of physics to the solution of biological problems and the study of biological processes and structures. King’s College London offers the only undergraduate Physics with Biophysics degree in the UK.

Why study Physics with Biophysics? 

You will have a real interest in Physics but you will also be interested in applying that knowledge to living organisms. You don't need biology to study this degree: it is designed for students interested in mathematics and physics who want to work in one of the most innovative areas of science.  King’s has a marvellous history in biophysics. Our distinguished alumni include Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, who was awarded a Nobel Prize. Students will benefit from a programme which incorporates King’s leading current international research.

The Course:

Our Physics with Biophysics MSci course will give you an understanding of the fundamental aspects of physics and biophysics. You will study traditional Physics topics such as quantum mechanics, fields, waves and electromagnetism, while also learning about the physics of life.

Approximately one quarter of the course is biophysics related – specifically, the application of physics, mathematics and computing to understand the workings of living systems. You will carry out extensive biophysics related project work in your third year to gain an insight into the skills and conduct of scientific research.

In your final year, you will work on a research project aligned to one of our research groups and experience the excitement of research through supervised projects.

After completing this course you will be recognised with a master’s degree which is most suited to those considering an advanced career in research or industry.

Careers:

The courses are fully accredited by the Institute of Physics and graduates can enter any of the large number of careers and routes to further study that are available to physics graduates. The application of physics to biological systems is one of the major growth areas both in academic research, where research councils have dedicated funding initiatives, and in commercial fields such as drug delivery, imaging, forensic science and neuroscience which means that graduates of this innovative course will be well placed to play a leading role in these developments.

The course information sheet is a printable version of the information on this web page, which you can download here.

  • Our Physics with Biophysics programme is unique within the UK and is accredited by the Institute of Physics.
  • This programme has been designed for students who would normally apply for a physics degree, or who have an interest in applying physics to living things without the need for a background in biology.
  • Our Physics department is award winning with six Nobel Prize winners amongst former staff and students.
  • Our department is made up of Internationally-renowned academic staff in the fields of biophysics, soft matter, nanotechnology and cosmology.
  • We are known for our friendly and supportive learning environment which encourages innovation, and experimentation.
  • Our fantastic central location gives you easy access to major libraries and many leading societies, including the Institute of Physics right in the heart of one of the most diverse, cultural and exciting cities in the world.

Key information

UCAS code F37C

Duration Four years

Study mode Full-time

Course type Major/minor 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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Physics with Biophysics MSci

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What is biophysics? What do biophysicists do? Why study biophysics at King's College London?

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Course detail

Description

The first three years of the course will provide you with a strong foundation in Physics and Biophysics. In the fourth year you will have the opportunity to specialise further based upon your interests through optional modules and an MSci research project in an academic laboratory of your choice.

Problem solving and project work is an important part of this course and you will learn about 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 non-experts. You will be assigned a personal tutor to support your development and our Department encourages an atmosphere in which students feel able to easily approach academic staff. Our Student-Staff Liaison Committee provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and feedback on teaching.
Staff and students are members of the Maxwell Society, which is the Department of Physics’ social and lecture society.

Flexibility in course choice

Students who enrol on the MSci/BSc Physics with Biophysics, can typically change to most of the other Physics courses at the end of their first year. Similarly, students who have initially enrolled on other Physics courses can change to Physics with Biophysics at the end of the first year provided that they have taken the first year module ‘Introduction to Biophysics’. Students can switch between the BSc and MSci versions of the course until their third year of study but progression into the final year of the MSci is contingent on performing at upper second class level or better in the first three years of study.

Teaching

We will teach you through a combination of lectures and laboratory classes, tutorials and project work. All of our academic staff are involved with the undergraduate teaching course. You are expected to spend approximately 10 hours work per credit for each module you attend in your degree, eg 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. 

Structure

Year 1

Each course is divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 120 credits.
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)
  • Introduction to Biophysics (15 credits)
Optional Modules
There are no optional modules in your first year.

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)
  • Principles of Biophysics (15 credits) 
Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 15 credits from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

  • Introduction to Medical Physics (15 credits)
  • Computational Laboratory (15 credits)

Year 3

Required Modules

You are required to take:

  • Statistical Mechanics (15 credits)
  • Optics (15 credits)
  • Condensed Matter I (15 credits)
  • Quantum Mechanics II (15 credits)
  • Particle Physics (15 credits)
  • Third year Project in Physics (Biophysics related) (15 credits)
  • Advanced Biophysics (15 credits) 
Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 15 credits from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

  • University Ambassadors’ Scheme (15 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Nanotechnology (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Medical Imaging (15 credits)
  • Modelling Flow & Transport (15 credits)

Year 4

Required Modules

You are required to take:

  • Literature Review (Biophysics related)  (15 credits)
  • Project (Biophysics related) (30 credits)
  • Current Topics in Biophysics (15 credits) 
Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 60 credits from a range of optional modules, including the 40+ modules offered by the University of London colleges as part of the intercollegiate MSci. Examples offered by King’s include, amongst many others:

  • Bio & Nanomaterials in the Virtual Lab  (15 credits)
  • Scientific Communications (15 credits)

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-todate, 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.

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

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

 

Selection procedure

Application deadline: January 15th 2019

 

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 2019-2020 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 2019/20 (September 2019) 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 2020/21.

The UK tuition fee for the 2019-2020 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 2019-2020 academic year is £25,500 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.

 

 

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 physics graduates have found employment or further study as:

  • Investment Manager, Manthan Capital
  • Project Engineer, Cryogenic Ltd
  • Researcher, Institute of Scientific Instruments
  • Risk Analyst, City Index
  • Maths Part III, Cambridge
  • Software Engineer IBM
  • Physics Teacher, London
  • PhD student, The Francis Crick Institute

Testimonials

Next steps

View our undergraduate prospectus

Learn more about undergraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our prospectus in PDF format.

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