Our four-year Theoretical Physics MPhys Honours degree covers a range of topics linked to the research specialisms of our staff. It focuses on developing your knowledge of advanced mathematics and physics, preparing you for a career in physical science or research.
You will study at the cutting edge of the discipline, with a degree that reflects the world-leading research of our expert staff. You can be confident your degree education is up-to-date and relevant to your future career.
Your degree will ensure you become a confident physics professional. In your fourth year, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of physics through research-driven modules, covering topics such as:
- quantum information
- general relativity
- astronomical fluids
BSc or MPhys?
Some of our degrees are offers at two levels:
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- Master of Physics (MPhys)
Our MPhys degree includes an additional year of advanced study at master’s level, where you will gain a deeper understanding of the subject to prepare you for a career in this challenging field.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.
See our terms and conditions for more information
View our Frequently Asked Questions
Your course during COVID-19
Whilst things will not be the same when you join us in September, this course page is intended to give you insight into what to expect from your course and your learning experience for the duration of your degree.
We have updated all course information where there are specific changes in the first semester.
Most of our student services are now available online. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, we'll be opening up our on-campus facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can get the best out of your studies.
Your learning experience
Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.
Our aim, if Government guidance allows us, is to deliver up to three hours of labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We'll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.
In semester one, we will not be running face-to-face, on-campus examinations. We will instead use different approaches to assessment. These will test and support your learning.
We will be running some but not all of our planned field trips. Some of those that do run, will be run virtually. For those that do not run, we will be offering alternative learning activities. These learning activities will give you the opportunity to achieve the same learning.
Terms and conditions and student complaints
The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.
Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University 2020 study experience.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.
Quality and ranking
We have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, recognised in many external surveys and assessments, but also by our own students.
Our commitment to teaching quality and an excellent student experience is reflected through our results in national and international student satisfaction surveys.
Modules and learning
The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage.
Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
You cover topics in classical dynamics; quantum mechanics; mathematical methods and problem-solving; astrophysics; electromagnetism; states of matter and materials; vibrations, waves and AC circuits; and laboratory physics.
You build on your knowledge of core concepts and study modules in thermodynamics; semiconductor devices; optics; materials and solid-state physics; statistical mechanics; vector calculus; differential equations; computational modelling methods and fluid dynamics.
You study core subjects to an advanced level, including quantum mechanics, materials and solid-state physics, and electromagnetism.
Projects let you explore areas of interest in greater depth and may be computational or theoretical in nature. A wide variety of projects are available, for example: astrophysics and cosmology; quantum theory; photonics; fluid mechanics; and computational modelling of materials.
|Geohazards and Deformation of the Earth||10|
|Partial Differential Equations and Nonlinear Waves||10|
You will gain a deeper understanding of physics, through advanced research-driven modules. You study theoretical and computational physics and work with academics to plan and deliver an extended research project.
|Extended Project - MPhys Theoretical Physics||40|
|Quantum Information & Technology||20|
|Quantum Modelling of Molecules, Solids & Nanostructures||20|
|Advanced Concepts of Applied Mathematics||20|
|Geophysical & Astrophysical Fluids||20|
Teaching and assessment
You will be taught via a range of approaches, including:
- lectures and seminars
- small group tutorials
- problem classes
- laboratory sessions
- practical computing sessions
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
In Stage 3 you'll take part in a group project, allowing you to build on your team-working and practical skills. You'll also conduct an individual project in an area of interest under the tuition of our expert academic staff, developing research, practical and presentation skills.
You will benefit from our interdisciplinary approach and the diverse research strengths of our expert academic staff. We have research expertise in:
- novel electronic materials
- semiconductor devices
- computational physics
- quantum fluids
- nanoscale properties of materials
In your fourth year, you'll complete an extended research project with an academic at Newcastle University, in an area of mutual interest.
Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.
You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.
If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.
Facilities and environment
As a physics student at Newcastle University, you'll be based at our city-centre campus in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics' Herschel Building.
The School has high-specification laboratory facilities equipped with leading experimental and computational physics capabilities, such as:
- cryogenics labs
- semiconductor labs
- High Performance Computing
- data from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
The Herschel Building also has dedicated study and social spaces, and a computing area.
You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.
Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.
There's also a dedicated member of staff whose responsibility is to help our students manage the transition from A Levels to undergraduate study.
The Transition Officer works with Stage 1 undergraduates to provide:
- Stage 1 pastoral and academic support
- attendance and academic performance monitoring
- Stage 1 induction
We have research links with the following companies and external organisations:
- the De Beers Group
- Science and Technologies Facilities Council
Physics graduates report earning average salaries close to £27,000 on graduation (www.savethestudent.org).
Possible career paths for physics graduates include:
- oil, gas and renewable energy
You'll be equipped with transferable skills that are highly valued by employers such as problem-solving, analytical, mathematical, communication, presentation, teamwork and computing skills.
Further study, including postgraduate courses for secondary school teaching and PhD courses, is also available to physics graduates.
Make a difference
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme
This degree is approved by DTUS, a Ministry of Defence sponsorship programme for students who wish to join the Royal Navy, British Army, RAF, or Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) as technical officers after graduation.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.
AAA or A*AB
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
Entrance courses (INTO)
International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.
Advice on maths and science requirements
If you don’t think you will have the exact mathematics and science qualifications referred to in our entry requirements by the time you need them, you may not be sure what to do.
- If you have a maths qualification but will not have it at A Level (or equivalent) when you start your degree, you should apply for the relevant degree with Foundation Year. We may give you the opportunity to take the Newcastle University Pre-Entry Maths Course* and the option to start in Year 1 if we think that this will be the best route for you.
- If you have A Level Maths (or equivalent) already but not at the required grade, you should contact us for advice. We may decide that you could be considered for Foundation Year entry, or it may be that this course is not the best option for you.
- If you will not have the equivalent of an A Level in the science subject (if any) required, you should apply for the relevant degree with Foundation Year.
If you are still not sure, don’t worry. Whatever you apply for, our Admissions Tutors will help you decide which is the best route for you. They may, therefore, make you an offer for a different course from the one you apply for (eg Foundation Year entry instead of Year 1 entry).
*The Newcastle University Pre-Entry Maths Course aims to provide the requisite mathematical skills and concepts needed on our engineering, maths and physics degree courses and to prepare students for the modes of learning they will encounter. The materials for the course are delivered electronically and include opportunities to practise your skills. You study the materials in your own time and, when you are ready, you book your exam with the Engineering School to which you have applied. A fee of £150 is payable at the time of booking the exam or shortly before the date set for examination.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
Year abroad and additional costs
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
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Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
We will be holding a virtual event on:
• Saturday 19 September
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
• explore our beautiful campus
• find out about our vibrant city
• discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the subjects you're interested in.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:
- the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
- the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
- the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.Apply through UCAS
Apply through an agent
International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.