Physics - MPhys
Canterbury
Overview
Physics reaches from the quark out to the largest of galaxies, and encompasses all the matter and timescales within these extremes. At the heart of a professional physicist is a fascination with the ‘how and why’ of the material world around us. We aim to equip you with the skills to understand these phenomena and to qualify you for a range of career pathways.
At Stage 3, the combination of specialist modules and an attachment to one of our research teams opens avenues for even deeper exploration: for instance, in space probe instrumentation, fibre optics, or the atomic-scale structure of a new engineering material, or neutron scattering work.
Our international exchange programme also offers the opportunity for you to spend the third year of your degree studying in the USA at one of our partner universities.
Independent rankings
Physics at Kent was ranked 5th for graduate prospects in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Of those graduating in 2015 with a degree in physics or astronomy, 88% of Kent students were in work or further study within six months, according to the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey*.
*conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
Course structure
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.
Stage 1
Possible modules may include:
Stage 2
Possible modules may include:
Year abroad
Our international exchange programme also offers the opportunity for you to spend the third year of your degree studying in the USA at one of our partner universities.
Stage 3
Possible modules may include:
Stage 4
Possible modules may include:
Teaching & Assessment
Teaching is by lectures, practical classes, tutorials and workshops. You have an average of nine one-hour lectures, one or two days of practical or project work and a number of workshops each week. The practical modules include specific study skills in Physics and general communication skills. In the MPhys final year, you work with a member of staff on an experimental or computing project.
Assessment is by written examinations at the end of each year and by continuous assessment of practical classes and other written assignments. Your final degree result is made up of a combined mark from the Stage 2/3/4 assessments with maximum weight applied to the final stage.
Please note that there are degree thresholds at stages 2 and 3 that you will be required to pass in order to continue onto the next stages.
Programme aims
The programme aims to:
- foster an enthusiasm for physics by exploring the ways in which it is core to our understanding of nature and fundamental to many other scientific disciplines
- enhance an appreciation of the application of physics in different contexts
- involve students in a stimulating and satisfying experience of learning within a research-led environment
- motivate and support a wide range of students in their endeavours to realise their academic potential
- provide students with a balanced foundation of physics knowledge and practical skills and an understanding of scientific methodology
- enable students to undertake and report on an experimental and/or theoretical investigation based in part on an extended research project
- develop in students a range of transferable skills of general value
- enable students to apply their skills and understanding to the solution of theoretical and practical problems
- provide students with a knowledge base that allows them to progress into more specialised areas of physics, or into multi-disciplinary areas involving physical principles; the MPhys is particularly useful for those wishing to undertake physics research
- generate in students an appreciation of the importance of physics in the industrial, economic, environmental and social contexts.
Learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
You gain a systematic understanding of most fundamental laws and principles of physics, along with their application to a variety of areas in physics, some of which are at the forefront of the discipline.
The areas covered include:
- electromagnetism
- classical and quantum mechanics
- statistical physics and thermodynamics
- wave phenomena and the properties of matter as fundamental aspects
- nuclear and particle physics
- condensed matter physics
- materials
- plasmas and fluids.
Intellectual skills
You gain intellectual skills in how to:
- identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems and make approximations necessary to obtain solutions
- solve problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools
- execute an experiment or investigation, analyse the results and draw valid conclusions
- evaluate the level of uncertainty in experimental results and compare the results to expected outcomes, theoretical predictions or published data in order to evaluate their significance
- use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical phenomena
- solve advanced problems in physics using mathematical tools, translate problems into mathematical statements and apply knowledge to obtain order of magnitude or more precise solutions
- an ability to interpret mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena
- an ability to plan an experiment or investigation under supervision and to understand the significance of error analysis
- a working knowledge of a variety of experimental, mathematical and/or computational techniques applicable to current research within physics.
Subject-specific skills
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- the use of communications and IT packages for the retrieval of information and analysis of data
- how to present and interpret information graphically
- the use of laboratory apparatus and techniques, including aspects of health and safety
- the systematic and reliable recording of experimental data
- communications and IT skills which show fluency at the level needed for project work, such as familiarity with a programming language, simulation software or the use of mathematical packages for the manipulation and numerical solution of equations
- an ability to communicate complex scientific ideas, the conclusion of an experiment, investigation or project concisely, accurately and informatively
- experimental skills showing the competent use of specialised equipment, the ability to identify appropriate pieces of equipment and master new techniques
- an ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources as part of managing your own learning; an ability to make use of research articles and other primary sources.
Transferable skills
You gain transferable skills in:
- problem-solving including the ability to formulate problems in precise terms, identify key issues and have the confidence to try different approaches
- independent investigative skills including the use of textbooks, other literature, databases and interaction with colleagues
- communication skills when dealing with surprising ideas and difficult concepts, including listening carefully, reading demanding texts and presenting complex information in a clear and concise manner
- analytical skills including the ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, construct logical arguments, use technical language correctly and pay attention to detail
- personal skills including the ability to work independently, use initiative, organise your time to meet deadlines and interact constructively with other people.
Careers
Kent science graduates have an excellent employment record, in part because we ensure they have the transferable skills necessary for success in today’s employment market. We teach you how to communicate your ideas effectively and write technical information in an accessible way, you learn how to work independently and as part of a team, and we even simulate a scientific conference to show you what it is like to participate in the national or international scientific community.
Recent graduates have gone into research and development, technical management, the City and financial institutions, computing, software design, the media and teaching. Some have also gone on to postgraduate study.
Professional recognition
Fully accredited by the Institute of Physics.
Entry requirements
Home/EU students
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
Qualification | Typical offer/minimum requirement |
---|---|
A level | ABB, including A level Mathematics and Physics at BB (not Use of Mathematics), including the practical endorsement of any science qualifications taken |
Access to HE Diploma | The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above. |
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma) | The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances. |
International Baccalaureate | 34 points overall or 16 at Higher including Physics and Mathematics 5 at HL or 6 at SL (not Mathematics Studies). |
International students
The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.
Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.
Qualification | Typical offer/minimum requirement |
---|---|
English Language Requirements | Please see our English language entry requirements web page. Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways. |
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
Funding
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our funding opportunities for 2017 entry have not been finalised. However, details of our proposed funding opportunities for 2016 entry can be found on our funding page.
General scholarships
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Details of the scholarship for 2017 entry have not yet been finalised. However, for 2016 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages. Please review the eligibility criteria on that page.
Enquire or order a prospectus
MPhys
- Full-time Enquire online | Order a prospectus
Resources
Contacts
Related schools
Enquiries
T: +44 (0)1227 827272
Fees
The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:
UK/EU | Overseas | |
---|---|---|
Full-time | £9250 | £16480 |
As a guide only, UK/EU/International students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay an annual fee of £1,350 to Kent for that year. Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. Please note that for 2017/18 entrants the University will increase the standard year in industry fee for home/EU/international students to £1,350.
The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.
The University of Kent intends to increase its regulated full-time tuition fees for all Home and EU undergraduates starting in September 2017 from £9,000 to £9,250. This is subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise by 2.8%.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk