Associate Professor Dr Sven Gnutzmann explaining the information on lecture white board titled 'signals in a quantum or em. network'

Mathematical Physics MSci

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

About Physics at the University of Nottingham

We have a proud history of learning and innovation. Research undertaken within the School of Physics and Astronomy, by Professor Sir Peter Mansfield, was recognised with a 2003 Nobel Prize for the invention of Magnetic Resonance Imaging body scanners. This technology has already helped more than half a billion people worldwide. More recently, our use of quantum technologies to understand how the brain works is changing the way that neurological conditions are detected and treated.

Our research activities cover cutting-edge topics ranging from probing quantum mechanics at ultralow temperatures to understanding the largest structures in the Universe. 

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

From Newton to Einstein

Mandatory

Year 1

Quantitative Physics

Mandatory

Year 1

Core Mathematics

Mandatory

Year 1

Computing For Physical Science

Mandatory

Year 2

Thermal and Statistical Physics

Mandatory

Year 2

Complex Analysis

Mandatory

Year 2

Differential Equations

Mandatory

Year 2

Classical and Quantum Mechanics

Mandatory

Year 2

Thermal and Statistical Physics

Mandatory

Year 2

Vector Calculus and Electromagnetism

Mandatory

Year 2

Optics

Optional

Year 2

The Structure of Stars

Optional

Year 2

The Structure of Galaxies

Optional

Year 2

Molecular Biophysics

Optional

Year 2

Force and Function at the Nanoscale

Mandatory

Year 3

Introduction to Solid State Physics

Mandatory

Year 3

Atoms, Photons and Fundamental Particles

Mandatory

Year 3

Advanced Quantum Theory

Mandatory

Year 3

Relativity

Mandatory

Year 3

Physics Project

Optional

Year 3

Atmospheric and Planetary Physics

Optional

Year 3

Introduction to Cosmology

Optional

Year 3

Extreme Astrophysics

Optional

Year 3

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos

Optional

Year 3

Semiconductor Physics

Optional

Year 3

Scientific Computing

Optional

Year 3

Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics

Optional

Year 3

Fluid Dynamics

Optional

Year 3

Techniques for Differential Equations

Optional

Year 3

Classical and Quantum Dynamics

Optional

Year 3

Complex Functions

Optional

Year 3

Mathematical Analysis

Optional

Year 3

Soft Condensed Matter

Optional

Year 3

From Accelerators to Medical Imaging

Optional

Year 3

Functional Medical Imaging

Mandatory

Year 4

Physics Research Project

Optional

Year 4

Advanced Gravity

Optional

Year 4

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos

Optional

Year 4

Magnetic Resonance

Optional

Year 4

The Politics, Perception and Philosophy of Physics

Optional

Year 4

Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics

Optional

Year 4

Black Holes

Optional

Year 4

Differential Geometry

Optional

Year 4

Quantum Field Theory

Optional

Year 4

Introduction to Quantum Information Science

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About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Wednesday 4 October 2023.

Teaching methods

  • Computer labs
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Problem classes

For a typical core Physics module, the examination carries a weight of 80%, the remaining 20% usually being allocated for regular coursework and workshop assignments throughout the year. A typical core Mathematics module is assessed 60% by examination and 40% by regular coursework, computing assignments and small-scale group projects.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group project
  • Lab reports
  • Research project
  • Written exam
  • Poster presentation
  • Presentation

Typically in the first year, there are 10 lectures per week including problem sheets and directed reading. Some modules are supplemented by additional workshops where you will have the opportunity to put your learning into practice.

You will benefit from having both a maths and a physics tutor. You will take part in weekly small group tutorials (typically five students), where your tutor will provide support and guidance. These will alternate between maths and physics in the first year. Subsequent years will vary with the largest change being no more weekly tutorials.

Studying advanced physics will enable you to become more adaptable and better at problem solving. These are invaluable traits for any career. Our students go on to work in a variety of industries, including engineering, aerospace, IT, and finance, as well as academic research. Others use their training in communication skills to enter teaching or science communication careers.

Employers of our graduates include Accenture, BBC, EDF Energy, Jaguar Land Rover, and various NHS Trusts. Roles include Trainee Clinical Scientist, Medical Physicist, Systems Engineer, Data Analyst and Software Development Engineer.

The student-centred nature of the fourth year will give you additional experience in communication, group work, and project management.

Average starting salary and career progression

86.40% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Science secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £27,834.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017-2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

University undergraduate student Cole Pearce studying in Nightingale Hall accommodation's library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

Course data

Open Day June 2022