Physics MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in physics or a related subject (such as geophysics, natural sciences, or mathematics).
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£13,500 (Total)
International fees
£31,000 (Total)

Course overview

A photograph of a student stood in front of the Royce Deposition System at the University of Leeds.

Studying the Physics MSc at Leeds will give you the chance to advance your knowledge in aspects of the subject that interests you the most, with a highly flexible course that can be tailored towards your career aspirations.

Whether you’re intrigued by the formation of planets, or your interests lie firmly on earth in medical X-ray imaging, we can offer you a uniquely expansive selection of optional modules to choose from, touching on a variety of topics, that will equip you with the expertise you’ll need in the field you wish to pursue once you graduate.

You’ll study in the School of Physics and Astronomy which is responsible for developing ‘internationally excellent’ ranked research that has impacted the world. This gives us first-hand insight into emerging trends, issues and practices in physics — much of which is fed directly into the course.

This means that, once you graduate, you’ll be fully equipped with the forward-thinking, relevant and topical knowledge sought after by employers in your areas of interest. Plus, your extensive skill set will open the door to many different career paths, from aerospace to medicine, IT to electronics — and beyond.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Our globally-renowned research conducted right here on campus feeds directly into the course, shaping your learning with the latest thinking in areas such as astrophysics, molecular and nanoscale physics and theoretical physics.
  • This Masters degree is highly flexible so you can tailor the course to suit your specific interests with a diverse range of optional modules and specialised pathways.
  • Conduct an extensive research project alongside one of our internationally recognised research groups, advancing your skills in research planning, execution and reporting with the possibility of your work being published in an international journal.
  • Access specialist facilities and laboratories used by our academics and leading researchers that are fully equipped with the latest technology and research-grade equipment to support your learning.
  • Experience expert theoretical and practical teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics who specialise in a wide range of areas in physics.
  • Study in the Sir William Henry Bragg building which provides excellent facilities and teaching spaces for an outstanding student experience.

Course details

A large portion of the MSc is made up of optional modules, and the breadth of physics expertise available at Leeds means that you’re able to study a diverse range of topics (examples listed below).

You'll be required to take a total of 180 credits. 75 credits will come from optional modules, while the remaining 105 credits will consist of your independent research project and the Current Research Topics in Physics module.

The diverse choice of optional modules means you can focus your studies on your own interests. Alternatively, we offer five suggested pathways focused on individual specialisms:

  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Bio Soft Matter Physics
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Physics with Business
  • Physics Applied to Medicine

Using the knowledge you have gained from the course, you'll be ideally positioned to choose an exciting problem to investigate for your independent research project.

You’ll undertake your project in one of the School of Physics and Astronomy’s internationally-recognised research groups, choosing a topic in an area that interests you. This project will provide you with the key experience in independent research you need to advance your career.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Physics MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
MSc Project 90
Current Research Topics in Physics 15

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Magnetic Resonance Imaging 10
Medical X-ray imaging 10
X-ray Computed Tomography 10
Magnetic Resonance Imaging 15
Medical X-ray Imaging 15
X-ray Computed Tomography 15
Cosmology 15
Photonics 15
Molecular Simulation: Theory and Practice 15
Star and Planet Formation 15
Advanced Quantum Physics 15
Quantum Theory of the Condensed State 10
Quantum Matter 15
Magnetism in Condensed Matter 15
Statistical Mechanics 15
Advanced Mechanics 15
Bionanophysics 15
Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics 15
Soft Matter Physics: Liquid Crystals 15
Quantum Many-Body Physics 15
Winds, Bubbles and Explosions 15
Advanced Bionanophysics Research 15
Superconductivity 15
Soft Matter Physics: Polymers, Colloids and Glasses 15
Quantum Transport in Nanostructures 15
Quantum Field Theory 15
General Relativity 15
Quantum Information Science and Technology 15
Physics of Biological Systems 15

Learning and teaching

Teaching methods include a combination of lectures, seminars, supervisions, problem solving, presentation of work, independent research, and group work (depending on the modules you choose to study).

Programme team

The Programme Leader, Dr Adam Sweetman, is the group leader of the high-resolution scanning probe group at the University of Leeds. He holds a Royal Society University Research Fellowship – and his research interests are focused on the understanding and quantifying of the interactions that occur between single atoms and molecules via the use of low-temperature scanning probe microscopes, and their simulation via ab-initio calculations.

The wider programme team is made up of researchers and academics from the School of Physics and Astronomy who have extensive expertise across a variety of physics disciplines.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Assessment of modules are by problem-solving exams and research assignments. The project is assessed on the ability to plan and conduct research and communicate the results in both written and oral format.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with 2:1 (hons) in physics or a related subject (such as geophysics, natural sciences, or mathematics).

Applicants with engineering degrees will normally not be considered, unless they have a strong background in at least two of the following areas: astrophysics, quantum physics, biophysics, soft matter, or condensed matter.

Applicants with a chemistry degree will normally not be considered, unless they have a strong background in mathematics.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

31 July 2024 – International applicants

8 September 2024 – UK applicants

Click below to access the University’s online application system and find out more about the application process.

If you're still unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) operates a scheme called the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). If you are an international (non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen) applicant and require a student visa to study in the UK then you will need an ATAS certificate to study this course at the University of Leeds.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme details and the relevant Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and descriptor. For this course, the CAH code is: CAH07-01-01 and the descriptor is: Physics. Your supervisor will be Adam Sweetman.

More information and details on how to apply for your ATAS certificate can be found at GOV.UK.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Physics and Astronomy

Contact us

School of Physics and Astronomy Admissions Team



UK: £13,500 (Total)

International: £31,000 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

The employment opportunities in the field of physics are extensive across numerous industries, which is why physics graduates are in demand for some of the highest paid and most satisfying roles in employment.

From finance to energy, aerospace to electronics — the industries open to you with a Physics MSc from Leeds are vast. Our MSc will ground you with a high level of numeracy and mathematical competence, computer skills and extensive technical academic scientific knowledge, all of which are sought after by employers.

And, because you can choose from the wide range of optional modules, you’ll be able to carve your career path before you graduate and be fully equipped with the skill set and knowledge you’ll need to pursue your career aspirations.

Plus, the University of Leeds is in the top 5 most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2024 report.

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. We have a wide range of careers resources — including our award-winning Employability team who are in contact with many employers around the country and advertise placements and jobs. They are also on hand to provide guidance and support, ensuring you are prepared to take your next steps after graduation and get you where you want to be.

  • Employability events — we run a full range of events including careers fairs in specialist areas and across broader industries — all with employers who are actively recruiting for roles.
  • MyCareer system — on your course and after you graduate, you’ll have access to a dedicated careers portal where you can book appointments with our team, get information on careers and see job vacancies and upcoming events.
  • Qualified careers consultants — gain guidance, support and information to help you choose a career path. You’ll have access to 1-2-1 meetings and events to learn how to find employers to target, write your CV and cover letter, research before interviews and brush up on your interview skills.
  • Opportunities at Leeds — there are plenty of exciting opportunities offered by our Leeds University Union, including volunteering and over 300 clubs and societies to get involved in.

Find out more about career support.

Student profile: Bilal Armiyawo

The atmosphere at University of Leeds encourages you to be proactive. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.
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