Entry requirements

The entry requirement is a UK 2:1 honours degree in Physics or Mathematics (assuming it has sufficient theoretical-physics content), or international equivalent qualifications recognised under the University’s admissions policy.

Our statement that "the entry requirement is a UK 2:1 honours degree in Physics or Mathematics (assuming it has sufficient theoretical-physics content)'' is intended to be interpreted and implemented as flexibly as possible.

Ideally, we are looking for significant knowledge of the following physics topics at advanced or intermediate undergraduate level:

  • Classical/Lagrangian Dynamics (also known as Analytical Dynamics)
  • Electromagnetism
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Special Relativity
  • Statistical/Thermal Physics

Similarly, we would like all of the following topics in mathematics

  • Vector Calculus
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Tensors
  • Complex Analysis

We recognise that many Mathematics students (and indeed also some Physics students) will not have covered all of these topics at this level, and we are therefore quite flexible in our admissions process. Every application is considered individually, and we may accept students who have studied a significant subset of these topics. Degrees in engineering, chemistry, geosciences, etc, are unlikely to be acceptable preparation for these MSc programmes, but we are aware that there are exceptions. You may take up to three Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 10 courses as part of your MSc curriculum in order to fill gaps in your knowledge of undergraduate theoretical physics. In many cases these can be taken alongside the more advanced courses.

International students

All applicants must meet our general entry and language requirements. Detailed advice for international students is available here: