Theoretical Physics

MPhys Hons

  • UCAS code F321
  • Entry year 2025 or 2024
  • A level requirements AAA
  • Duration Full time 4 Years

Overview

Top reasons to study with us

  • 4

    4th for Physics

    The Guardian University Guide (2024)

  • 6

    6th for Physics and Astronomy

    The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2024)

  • 7

    7th for Physics

    The Complete University Guide (2024)

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

Careers

Theoretical Physics and Theoretical Physics with Mathematics are disciplines that are fundamental to advancements in modern society. Theoretical Physicists are highly numerate with advanced problem-solving skills, programming knowledge, critical thinking abilities and project management experience, all of which are developed and refined over the course of your degree. These skills open a wealth of career options from the very pure, such as expanding knowledge through scientific research, or very practical like exploring the world of data science and software development. Many of our graduates continue their studies to PhD level and embark on a career in academia. A wealth of additional opportunities also exists, such as teaching or careers within the business and finance sectors. Our graduates are well-paid, with the median starting salary of our Physics degrees being £28,000 (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023).

Here are just some of the roles that our BSc and MPhys Theoretical Physics and Theoretical Physics with Mathematics students have progressed into upon graduating:

  • Software Engineer – Capital One
  • Software Automation Engineer – Cortex Intelligent Automation
  • PhD Candidate – Lancaster University
  • Tech Consultant – QA
  • Research Assistant – Quantum Base
  • Software Engineer – Cambridge Consultants
  • PhD Researcher – Cardiff University
  • Research Software Developer – Riverlane
  • Principle Scientist (Radar Protection) – Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Project Scientist – DNV
  • Physics Teacher – Bolton School
  • Data Scientist – Office for National Statistics (ONS)

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 ugadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk

International foundation programmes

Delivered in partnership with INTO Lancaster University, our one-year tailored foundation pathways are designed to improve your subject knowledge and English language skills to the level required by a range of Lancaster University degrees. Visit the INTO Lancaster University website for more details and a list of eligible degrees you can progress onto.

Contextual Offers

Our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of applicants whose personal circumstances may have impacted their exam results.

Contextual offers

Course structure

Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and some which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism.

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. Not all optional modules are available every year.

Core

Core

Core

Optional

Core

Optional

Fees and funding

We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2025/26 entry fees have not yet been set.

As a guide, our fees in 2024/25 were:

Home International
£9,250 £28,675

Fees and funding information

Scholarships and bursaries

Details of our scholarships and bursaries for students starting in 2025 are not yet available. You can use our scholarships for 2024-entry applicants as guidance.

Important information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2025/2026 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.

Our Students’ Charter

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.

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