Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology MPhys (Hons)

lenses for physics, astrophysics and cosmology
UCAS Code
F300
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
4 years full-time, 5 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019

Overview

Despite advances in physics, astrophysics and cosmology, we still have a limited grasp of the universe. With 95% of it existing in a form we still don’t understand, there’s plenty left for you to discover.

Join an international community looking for answers in this field on this MPhys (Hons) Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology integrated Master's degree course.

You’ll develop your understanding of the fundamental laws of physics and apply what you learn to the structure and behaviour of some of the largest and smallest elements of existence.

By the end of the course, you'll have a Master's level qualification. You'll be well placed to do further research or study in physics, astrophysics and cosmology or work in a variety of industries, from aerospace to finance.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Study alongside researchers from the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG)
  • Use SCIAMA, the University’s supercomputer
  • Access the laboratories at Clanfield Observatory, which are equipped with various telescopes including a 24-inch reflector
  • Go on visits to aerospace businesses like BAE Systems and Airbus Defence
  • Access large datasets produced by international-level sky surveys, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • Use advanced technical equipment with the help of expert technical staff, including x-ray diffraction, x-ray fluorescence, electron and atomic force microscopes, and various types of spectroscopy
  • Develop the professional skills and standards you need as a practicing physicist, through a major research project in your final year
  • Study at a university where physics research was ranked in the top 10 nationally for quality of research outputs in the latest Government-backed REF (Research Excellence Framework)

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary opportunities that will complement your studies.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Previous students have completed placements at destinations including:

  • M-Solv UK
  • Culham Science Centre
  • Tesla Engineering Ltd

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service will help you find a job or identify further study and academic research opportunities.

Previous students on this course have gone on to further study, research and employment in areas such as:

  • cosmology
  • astrophysics
  • astronomy and theoretical physics
  • space systems and aerospace industry
  • education
  • scientific journalism
  • medical physics
  • finance
  • data analysis

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

For compulsory fieldwork on this course, the cost of travel and accommodation is included in the course fee. You’ll need to pay for meals and other subsistence costs while completing fieldwork.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Mathematical Physics 1
  • Introduction to Mathematical Physics 2
  • Space Science and Applications of Physics
  • An introduction to Laboratory and Field Physics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Introduction to Computational Physics

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Introduction to Modern Physics and Astrophysics
  • Waves and Optics
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Universe: Planetary Systems, Stars and Galaxies
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computational Physics
  • Practical Laboratory and Field Physics

Core units in this year include:

  • Solid State Physics and Detectors
  • Modern Astrophysics 1
  • Physical Cosmology

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Health Physics
  • Introduction to General Relativity and Cosmology
  • Introduction to Multiferroic Materials and their Applications
  • Mathematical Methods for Physics
  • Group Project
  • Nanoscale Surface Physics
  • Particle Physics
  • Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information
  • Undergraduate Ambassador

Core units in this year include:

  • Advanced Research Project

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Advanced Computational Techniques
  • Contemporary Theoretical Physics
  • General Relativity and Theoretical Cosmology
  • Modern Astrophysics 2
  • Observational Astronomy and Cosmolog

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Teaching​

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars

You'll complete many different learning and assessment methods over the course of your study, to ensure that you're never faced with any one system which might favour or disadvantage you.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 36% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 64% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 31% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 69% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 23% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 77% studying independently
  • Year 4 students: 16% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 84% studying independently

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • open and closed-book examination
  • poster and oral presentations (individually and in groups)
  • portfolios
  • laboratory reports
  • laboratory and field notebooks

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 28% by written exams and 72% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 55% by written exams and 45% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 62% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 31% by coursework
  • Year 4 students: 18% by written exams, 31% by practical exams and 51% by coursework

Apply

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – F300
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Contact information
Programme specification
Subject Area
Mathematics and physics
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