Skip to main content

Theoretical Physics MSci

Search Royal Holloway

Theoretical Physics MSci

  • UCAS code F321
  • Option 4 years full time
  • Year of entry 2020

The course

One of the best-known theories in science, Einstein’s theory of relativity, came from the ‘mere’ observation that Clerk-Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism and the Galilean relativity were incompatible. Beyond this and since the development of quantum mechanics, theoretical physics has played an important part in constantly questioning what we know, by putting forward deeper and usually more mathematical expressions of understanding and explanation. 

On our four-year Theoretical Physics MSci, you will cover all the core material that a graduate physicist would be expected to know, but there will be more emphasis on developing what you will have learned during A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, to allow a deeper conceptual understanding of classical and modern physics. This emphasis on theoretical concepts and foundations could help give you a deeper appreciation of the beauty and surprises of Physics.

Because of the theoretical nature of this course, you’ll spend less time in the laboratory in later years, with options from more theoretical areas, such as Quantum Theory, Further Mathematical Methods, Stellar Astrophysics, General Relativity & Cosmology and Non-Linear & Chaotic Systems to provide an emphasis on advanced theoretical topics in Physics.

Your fourth year is intercollegiate, which means you can pick choices from other University of London colleges – modules can include Quantum Computation, Nanoscale Physics and others. You’ll also develop experimental, conceptual and observational skills from your final year Major Project, which will make you an attractive candidate in a range of sectors, including management and finance, as well as scientific, technical, engineering and teaching careers.

  • Develop the underlying mathematical and theoretical skills required for physics.
  • Potential final projects in theoretical physics include topological quantum matter, super-conductivity and fluidity, quantum optics, quantum information processing, standard model phenomenology, particle cosmology and quantum field theory.
  • Take modules from the Department of Mathematics, such as Non-linear Phenomena and Chaos.
Top 5

UK Physics department

Source: Guardian University Guide, 2018


overall student satisfaction

Source: NSS, 2017


of our Physics graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating

Source: DLHE, 2017

Explore Royal Holloway