Computational Physics (BSc and MPhys)

UCAS codes

F343 (BSc)
F355 (MPhys)

Degree overview

Computational Physics uses numerical algorithms to solve problems in Physics.  It increasingly plays a central role in front-line research, and this degree prepares students for a wide range of careers in industry, finance and the public sector.

We aim to give our students a thorough education in Physics and the associated Mathematics, together with the ability to write computer programs to simulate natural systems. The degree includes substantial practical experience, including the opportunity to use the University's world-class computing systems.

Key information & entry requirements

Degree structure & content

Degree Programme Tables are published by the University and provide full details of the structure and content of each degree programme.

More about Computational Physics 

The University’s early adoption of parallel computing led to the creation of EPCC (formerly the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre), which is devoted to computing for business and science.  EPCC has been the home of many generations of the national supercomputing service, and it strongly influences the Computational Physics programme: in content, in hardware, in teaching advanced modules, in providing summer placements, and even employment upon graduation.

The close relationship between Physics and high performance computing worldwide is embodied in the Computational Physics degree course. Most theoretical problems are now sufficiently complex that they cannot be solved by mathematics alone.  As experimentation becomes increasingly difficult and expensive, computer simulation has become established as the most practical way to understand complex phenomena such as turbulence, nuclear reactors and weapons, and climate change.  These are the areas where Computational Physicists already dominate, but based on current recruitment patterns, it is likely that in the future the methods of Computational Physics will also come to dominate other areas such as financial markets, genomics, and disease control.