Theoretical Physics

MPhys Hons

  • UCAS Code F321
  • Entry Year 2023
  • A Level Requirements AAA
  • Duration Full time 4 Years


Top reasons to study with us

  • 5

    5th for Physics and Astronomy

    The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2023)

  • 5

    5th for Physics

    The Guardian University Guide (2023)

  • 10

    10th for Physics

    The Complete University Guide (2023)

Quite possibly the most astonishing aspect of the world around us is that so much of it can be understood by using a relatively small number of physical laws. Theoretical physicists devote themselves to uncovering the most appropriate mathematical laws for deducing the essence of physical phenomena on all scales, from the quantum world of microscopic matter and nanomaterials to the geometry of curved space-time and the large-scale structure of the cosmos.

The core curriculum includes subjects such as quantum physics and electromagnetism in your first year, quantum mechanics and relativity in your second year, and particle physics, atomic physics and condensed matter physics in your third year. In addition, in Years 2 and 3 you take specialised modules covering topics such as classical fields, gravitation and cosmology, and particle physics. You also have a choice of modules such as Quantum Information and The Early Universe.

Project work is carried out in both your second and third years. In the final year of the MPhys, you will take part in an extended investigative project in one of our leading research groups alongside advanced optional modules such as Gauge Theory and Advanced Relativity and Gravity.

Example core modules:

  • Dynamics and Content of the Universe
  • Classical Fields
  • Quantum Mechanics

Example optional modules:

  • Quantum Information
  • Physics of Fluids
  • The Early Universe


Physics is an exciting subject that is fundamental to the developments in modern society. Applications of the subject range from the very pure to the very practical, and a physics degree opens up a wide range of rewarding careers in scientific research and technological development, as well as in a variety of other professions. A substantial number of our graduates continue on to postgraduate education, or enter employment that directly relies on their specialist skills. Our students also find employment in careers where they are valued because of general skills gained during the course such as logical thinking, problem solving, numeracy and computer literacy. Examples include consulting, finance, computer programming, and accountancy, as well as managerial and administrative positions.

Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, you also graduate with the relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.

Entry Requirements

Grade Requirements

A Level AAA

Required Subjects A level Mathematics grade A and A level Physics grade A

IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.

Interviews Applicants may be interviewed before being made an offer.

Other Qualifications

International Baccalaureate 36 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including 6 in Mathematics HL and Physics HL

BTEC May be considered alongside A level Mathematics and A level Physics.

We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.

Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via

Course Structure

Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster please visit our Teaching and Learning section.

The following courses do not offer modules outside of the subject area due to the structured nature of the programmes: Architecture, Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research.







Fees and Funding

Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12-month session, starting in the October of your year of study.

Our Undergraduate Tuition Fees for 2023/24 are:

UK International
£9,250 £26,550

Scholarships and Bursaries

You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status:

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Physics Scholarships 2023

The Physics Department rewards excellence by providing an academic scholarship of £1,000 for students on our MPhys/MSci Physics courses, and a scholarship of £750 for those on a BSc Physics course. This is open to applicants who place us as their firm choice and achieve A*A* in A level Mathematics and Physics with a strong third A level (or equivalent grades) as well as strong performance in their first-term exams at Lancaster.

Ben Frondigoun

A place for Ben

When did you know Physics at Lancaster University was the place for you?
I remember leaving my interview day and feeling a huge sense of community within the Department which I hadn’t seen elsewhere, and I knew that was something I wanted to be a part of with my studies.

What makes the facilities so great?
The Department has a huge amount of space for students to work, from the atrium to the breakout rooms to specialist spaces like the Astro lab. As a theorist who spends very little time in labs, it’s nice to be able to come and work in such an open environment.

What is your favourite aspect of your course?
The huge amount of project work in the degree from second year and beyond is something I’ve enjoyed massively. Be it working individually or in a group, I’ve had many opportunities to produce exciting original work throughout the degree.

What are you going to do after your degree?
In September, I will be starting a graduate scheme as a software engineer with an international company.

What do you like about Physics at Lancaster?
For me, the community is the biggest appeal of physics at Lancaster. On top of the incredibly high quality of education and facilities, I feel like I’ve gotten to know a huge number of great people through the department, with everyone always looking to help each other.


Ben Frondigoun, MPhys Theoretical Physics

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Important information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

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We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.