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Course details

On this four-year course you will develop a sound understanding of classical physics and quantum physics and their application to physical phenomena, studying these subjects at greater depth than on a BSc degree. You will also acquire a wide range of transferable skills that are highly attractive to employers.

During the first two years you will advance your mathematical ability as well as enhancing your experimental, computing and communication skills. Exploring a variety of topics at the forefront of current research including particle physics and cosmology, you will gain a greater understanding of applications in areas such as optics, solid-state physics and atomic and nuclear physics.

In the third and fourth years you will broaden your knowledge by choosing from a wide selection of optional course units. In the final year a research review and major project will allow you to build a useful portfolio of research skills.

MSci degrees are recommended for those who might wish to retain a long-term commitment to the discipline, for example those who wish to proceed to postgraduate study or to a scientific or technical career, and also for those who simply wish to undertake a broader and deeper study of the subject.

Key facts

Key facts about the course
UCAS code F303
Qualification Integrated Masters of Science
Duration Four years full time
Typical A-level offer AAA-ABB including A in A2 Mathematics and Physics, or equivalent
Department Physics

Why this course?

  • In your fourth year you can choose from an incomparably wide range of options and expertise, including courses from University College London, King's College London and Queen Mary, University of London.
  • You will benefit from exceptional teaching quality – we are consistently near the top of the league tables – and reasonable class sizes with a focus on small group teaching and good access to your lecturers.
  • You will enjoy a friendly and informal atmosphere.
  • You will discuss physics and learn from each other in a supportive learning environment.
  • We are known for internationally top-class research at the cutting edge of particle physics, nanoscience and nanotechnology, experimental quantum computing, quantum matter at low temperatures, theoretical physics and biophysics.

What you'll learn

This course will provide opportunities to develop and demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  • a systematic knowledge of current understanding of the inanimate physical universe and critical awareness of current problems in the discipline at a level appropriate to a Master’s degree
  • a critical understanding of the fundamental concepts of Physics and how these may be applied to evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline
  • a detailed understanding of the quantum and continuum descriptions of natural phenomena
  • an understanding of the microscopic and macroscopic structure of all the states (phases) of matter and their interactions with different forms of energy
  • a comprehensive understanding of fundamental physical laws and principles, along with their application to more diverse areas of Physics, including those at the forefront of the discipline
  • a comprehensive understanding of the experimental and/or theoretical and computational techniques and diagnostic tools appropriate to the particular field of endeavour and an awareness of such techniques in other fields
  • a critical approach to the gathering, collating, analysis and reporting of experimental data based on an understanding of errors and the limits of measurement
  • an understanding of the significance of error analysis and the relationship between theory and experiment.

Throughout the course, you will:

  • apply mathematics to physics topics
  • develop experimental, computing and communication skills
  • gain the analytical and experimental skills needed for a career in industry.

All undergraduate degree courses at Royal Holloway are based on the course unit system. This system provides an effective and flexible approach to study, while ensuring that our degrees have a coherent and developmental structure.

The Department’s website gives detailed lists of the course units taken for each different degree.

Print the full course specification for MSci Physics.

Careers opportunities

The Department offers rigorous degree courses which will prepare you for a broad range of careers. Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different careers including scientific research and teaching as well as gaining jobs in financial services, accountancy and defence solutions. Please refer to The Institute of Physics website for further career opportunities.

Entry Requirements

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels AAA-ABB including A in A2 Mathematics and Physics, or equivalent
International Baccalaureate 34-36 points including 6 in Mathematics and Physics at higher level
BTEC National Diploma In exceptional circumstances, we will consider applicants with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in addition to an A in A2 Mathematics
English language requirements IELTS and TOEFL scores | for non-native English speaking applicants

 Applicants come from a diverse range of backgrounds and we accept a broad range of qualifications. Special consideration will be given to mature applicants, and we are happy to consider applicants with other qualifications, including QAA-approved Access to HE courses.

Students from overseas should visit the International pages for further information on the entry requirements from their country and English language requirements.  Royal Holloway International offers an International Foundation Programme and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

We make decisions based on achieved or predicted grades, personal statements and references. More information on how your application will be assessed, and tips for your personal statement can be found on our Applying pages.

All suitable applicants are invited to visit the Department for an interview, usually on one of our UCAS or Open Days. This also provides an opportunity to talk to members of staff and students, view our teaching and research facilities, explore the College and find out more about studying at Royal Holloway. We understand that some candidates, especially from overseas, may not be able to attend; if this is the case, our decision will be based on your UCAS application.

If you receive and accept an offer of a place, it may be possible to change the exact choice of degree programme when you register at the start of the course. However, if you are thinking of taking an MSci (four year) rather than a BSc (three year) degree course, we advise you to apply for the MSci in order to keep as much flexibility as possible. We can give you further advice on this when you come for interview.


The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 32 course units at the rate of eight per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice.

For lecture course units, assessment is usually by two-hour examination at the end of the year. Coursework and in-class tests also contribute to the assessment of many course units. Experimental work is generally assessed by written reports or oral presentation. A minimum of six of the eight course units must be passed with a minimum score of 40 per cent each year



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