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Mathematical and Theoretical Physics MSc

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    OCT

  • Duration

    9 months

Course summary

About the course

The course provides a high-level, internationally competitive training in mathematical and theoretical physics, right up to the level of modern research. It covers the following main areas.

  • quantum field theory, particle physics and string theory
  • theoretical condensed matter physics,
  • theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and physics of continuous media
  • mathematical foundations of theoretical physics

The course concentrates on the main areas of modern mathematical and theoretical physics. elementary-particle theory, including string theory, condensed matter theory (both quantum and soft matter), theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and the physics of continuous media (including fluid dynamics and related areas usually associated with courses in applied mathematics in the UK system) and mathematical structures underlying physical theory. If you are a physics student with a strong interest in theoretical physics or a mathematics student keen to apply high-level mathematics to physical systems and their underpinning mathematics, both pure and applied, this is a course for you.

The course offers considerable flexibility and choice; you will be able to choose a path reflecting your intellectual tastes or career choices. This arrangement caters to you if you prefer a broad theoretical education across subject areas or if you have already firmly set your sights on one of the subject areas, although you are encouraged to explore across sub-field boundaries.

The MSc offers a substantial opportunity for independent study and research in the form of an optional dissertation which may be worth a single or double unit depending on the amount of work involved.

Pattern of learning and teaching

You will have to attend at least ten units' worth of courses, where one unit corresponds to a 16-hour lecture course or equivalent.

Depending on how many courses you take in total and how they split between terms, you can expect to attend two, three or four (or, in exceptional cases, five) lecture courses per term. Each lecture course has roughly two one hour lectures per week supplemented by roughly four 90 minute classes per term.

Assessment

Your performance will be assessed by one or several of the following means.

  • invigilated written exams
  • course work marked on a pass/fail basis
  • take-home exams
  • mini-projects due shortly after the end of the lecture course.

The modes of assessment for a given course are decided by the course lecturer and will be published at the beginning of each academic year. As a general rule, foundational courses will be offered with an invigilated exam while some of the more advanced courses will typically be relying on the other assessment methods mentioned above. In addition, you will be required to give an oral presentation towards the end of the academic year which will cover a more specialised and advanced topic related to one of the subject areas of the course. At least four of the ten units must be assessed by an invigilated exam and, therefore, have to be taken from lecture courses which provide this type of assessment. A further three units must be assessed by invigilated written exam, take-home exam or mini-project. Apart from these restrictions, you are free to choose from the available programme of lecture courses

Graduate destinations

Research in mathematical and theoretical physics or industry.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 27,460overall cost

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table

    1st

  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    1st out of 50

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    226 100%

    1st

  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    98.0 98%

    2nd

    1
  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    n/a

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