Physics MSc - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey

Framework

FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MSc Physics

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Physics
PGCert Physics

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PCK61007 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits
Part-time PCK61008 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points

N/A

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences - Mathematics & Physics

Programme Leader

REGAN Patrick (Maths & Phys)

Date of production/revision of spec

21/05/2024

Educational aims of the programme

  • Concepts and theories: Students will be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of theories and ideas in a sub-discipline of Physics. They will have insight into current topics and problems of that sub-discipline in a professional and/or academic context.
  • During their 60-credit Research Project students will gain further practical, analytical or programming abilities through working on a more extended investigation. This may be an experiment or modelling - based project, for which the student will be encouraged to propose and set in place original approaches.
  • Instrumentation and materials: Students will understand the operation, function and performance of key devices and technologies or principles of physics relevant to their chosen specialisation.
  • Methods and best practices: Students will become fully acquainted with the scientific methods and best practices of physics and exposed to a specialized field described in the programme handbook.

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Knowledge of physics, technology and processes in the subject of the course and the ability to apply these in the context of the course. K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Ability to research problems involving innovative practical or theoretical work. K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Ability to formulate ideas and response to problems, refine or expand knowledge in response to specific ideas or problems and communicate these ideas and responses. K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Ability to evaluate/argue alternative solutions and strategies independently and assess/report on own/others work with justification. K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
The ability to plan and execute, under supervision, an experiment or theoretical investigation, analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions. C PGCert, PGDip, MSc
The capability to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results, understand the significance of error analysis and be able to compare their theoretical (experimental) results with expected experimental (theoretical) outcomes, or with published data. C PGCert, PGDip, MSc
The ability to evaluate the significance of their results in this context. C PGCert, PGDip, MSc
The ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences. C PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Technical mastery of the scientific and technical information presented and the ability to interpret this in the professional context. P PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Ability to plan projects and research methods in the subject of the course. P PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Ability to promote the scientific and legal basis of the field through peer and public communication. P PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Ability to formulate solutions in dialogue with peers, mentors and others. P PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Identify, assess and resolve problems arising from material in lectures and during experimental/research activities; T PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Make effective use of resources and interaction with others to enhance and motivate self -study; T PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Make use of sources of material for development of learning and research; such as journals, books and the internet; T PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Take responsibility for personal and professional development; T PGCert, PGDip, MSc
A systematic understanding of their chosen area of specialisation in an academic and professional context, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the state of the art. K
A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research projects. K
Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding investigative (experimental, theoretical or modelling based research projects KCT MSc
An ability to evaluate and objectively interpret experimental data in their chosen topic of specialisation. KCT MSc

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure

Full-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Part-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied part-time over two academic years, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)

N/A

Modules

Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Choose 60 credits of optional modules in Semester 1 and 60 credits of optional modules in Semester 2.

A maximum of 30 credits may be chosen from FHEQ Level 6 in consultation with the personal tutor and requires approval from the Programme Leader, which is expected to be granted if similar modules have not been studies as part of the students previous formal education (i.e. 1st degree).

Students carry out the 60 credit dissertation in the summer.
Hence the total credits for the programme are 180.

PGCert Physics: 60 module credits, a minimum of 45 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level6 . Students can only be awarded a PGCert in Physics exit award if they have achieved the credits for at least one of the following modules: PHYM036, PHY3054, PHYM041, PHYM044, PHYM052, PHYM053, PHYM021)
PGDip Physics: 120 module credits, a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7, and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.
MSc Physics: 180 credits a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.

Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Choose 30 credits of optional modules in Semester 1 and 30 credits of optional modules in Semester 2.

A maximum of 30 credits over the whole programme may be chosen from FHEQ Level 6 in consultation with the personal tutor and requires approval from the Programme Leader, which is expected to be granted if similar modules have not been studies as part of the students previous formal education (i.e. 1st degree).

PGCert Physics: 60 module credits, a minimum of 45 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level6 . Students can only be awarded a PGCert in Physics exit award if they have achieved the credits for at least one of the following modules: PHYM036, PHY3054, PHYM041, PHYM044, PHYM052, PHYM053, PHYM021)
PGDip Physics: 120 module credits, a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7, and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.
MSc Physics: 180 credits a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.

Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Module Selection for Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Choose 30 credits of optional modules in Semester 1 and 30 credits of optional modules in Semester 2.

A maximum of 30 credits over the whole programme may be chosen from FHEQ Level 6 in consultation with the personal tutor and requires approval from the Programme Leader, which is expected to be granted if similar modules have not been studies as part of the students previous formal education (i.e. 1st degree).

The 60 credit dissertation module is carried out in the summer. Hence the total credits for year 2 are 120.

PGCert Physics: 60 module credits, a minimum of 45 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level6 . Students can only be awarded a PGCert in Physics exit award if they have achieved the credits for at least one of the following modules: PHYM036, PHY3054, PHYM041, PHYM044, PHYM052, PHYM053, PHYM021)
PGDip Physics: 120 module credits, a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7, and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.
MSc Physics: 180 credits a minimum of 90 credits at FHEQ Level 7 and the remainder at FHEQ Level 6.

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Our programmes are aligned to the University of Surrey's Five Pillars of Curriculum Design, namely: Global and Cultural Capabilities; Employability; Digital Capabilities; Resourcefulness and Resilience, and Sustainability.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Students engage with physical concepts and technological advancements that are of benefit to society worldwide. This technological progress addresses issues such as access to clean energy, healthcare, communication, and transportation, thereby benefitting different cultures globally. Students engage with scientific outreach in both core modules early in the programme and optional modules in later years, this enables our graduates to promote scientific literacy. In addition, this programme includes Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) workshops which aim to increase awareness of cultural, religious, or racial differences while delivering information about how a person can change their behavior to be more inclusive. Through this training, students are encouraged to diversify their knowledge and reflect upon their experiences as a physicist and in education. Through this we seek to prepare our graduates for work in large and diverse teams in their future careers.

Employability: Our programmes provide students with a blend of valuable scientific and mathematical expertise, problem-solving abilities, presentational skills, and other transferable skills sought by employers. These advanced skills are highly valued in sectors such as finance, engineering, data science, and technology. Students learn to apply concepts using industry-standard coding languages, such as Python, and students develop skills in communicating complex ideas clearly both through scientific writing and orally. The capacity to analyse and resolve complex problems through physical and mathematical reasoning, critical thinking, and logical deduction carries universal significance and is highly valued by employers. Finally, the principles and methodologies of our physics programmes are applicable across a diverse range of industries. Knowledge of physics can lead to careers in fields including healthcare (Medical Physics), environmental science, energy, finance, and the emerging quantum computing industry. Our range of optional modules exposes students to ideas in these areas and provides valuable experience for future employment.


Digital Capabilities: By integrating digital tools, programming skills, and data analysis techniques into the curriculum, our programmes equip students to employ physical and mathematical knowledge in a digital context, fostering the digital acumen essential for success in today's technology-driven world. Computer modelling and simulation are a key component of our programmes in order to understand and describe physical phenomena and require the use of computational languages such as Python. Students utilise advanced laboratory equipment and technology gaining hands-on experience with sophisticated instruments which helps with understanding how to operate and leverage technological tools effectively. Experiments and simulations in physics generate vast amounts of data and students learn statistical methods and data analysis techniques to interpret results. Such skills are transferable to various fields where data-driven decision-making is essential, such as data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. While studying on our programmes students also engage with various digital learning tools and our virtual learning environment thus learning to collaborate effectively in a technologically advanced work environment.


Resourcefulness and Resilience: Physics involves tacking complex problems that sometimes lack straightforward solutions. Our programmes provide a learning journey whereby increasing complex ideas and problems are developed and explored which cultivates adaptability and innovation in the face of challenges. Frequent exposure to challenging problems, tackled both individually and in groups, encourages students to develop resourcefulness and resilience by exploring innovative approaches and thinking critically. The complex ideas and theories that students engage with on our programmes help students to further develop their resourcefulness by learning to break down these problems into manageable parts which can be tackled step-by-step. In addition, the need to make connections to other disciplines encourages students to broaden their skill sets and develop resourcefulness in applying interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving. Our students are, therefore, equipped with the general skills of resourcefulness and resilience which are applicable in all roles in society.

Sustainability: By studying physics our graduates can contribute to the development of technologies, systems and solutions that promote sustainability. Physics contributes to a deeper understanding of natural phenomena, leading to advancements that can address challenges related to energy, climate change, resource management and environmental conservation. By employing mathematical and computational modelling, data analysis, and optimization techniques, students learn to assess environmental and economic systems for informed decisions promoting sustainability.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

https://www.surrey.ac.uk/quality-enhancement-standards

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.