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F344 - Theoretical Physics

Theoretical Physics

MPhys Honours

  • UCAS code: F344
  • Full time
  • 4 years
  • Next start date: September 2021
Year :

From sub-atomic particles to the large-scale structure of the universe, this Physics degree with integrated master's has an added theoretical emphasis and opens up new worlds and new career possibilities.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £23400

Entry requirements

  • A Level: AAA-A*AB
  • IB: 34 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity

Course overview

Our four-year Theoretical Physics MPhys Honours degree covers a range of topics linked to the research specialisms of our staff. It focuses on developing your knowledge of advanced mathematics and physics, preparing you for a career in physical science or research. 

You will study at the cutting edge of the discipline, with a degree that reflects the world-leading research of our expert staff. You can be confident your degree education is up-to-date and relevant to your future career. 

Your degree will ensure you become a confident physics professional. In your fourth year, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of physics through research-driven modules, covering topics such as: 

  • quantum information
  • general relativity
  • astronomical fluids

BSc or MPhys?

Some of our degrees are offers at two levels:

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Master of Physics (MPhys)

Our MPhys degree includes an additional year of advanced study at master’s level, where you will gain a deeper understanding of the subject to prepare you for a career in this challenging field.


A student working on a whiteboard

Your course during COVID-19
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.

View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information

Quality and ranking

We have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, recognised in many external surveys and assessments, but also by our own students.

Our commitment to teaching quality and an excellent student experience is reflected through our results in national and international student satisfaction surveys.

Modules and learning


The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

You cover topics in classical dynamics; quantum mechanics; mathematical methods and problem-solving; astrophysics; electromagnetism; states of matter and materials; vibrations, waves and AC circuits; and laboratory physics.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Dynamics 10
Introductory Astrophysics 10
Introductory Electromagnetism 10
Introductory Quantum Mechanics 10
Multivariate Calculus and Differential Equations 10
Laboratory Physics 1 20
Introduction to Calculus 20
Vibrations, Waves, AC Theory & Introduction to Solid State Materials 20
Introductory Algebra 10

You build on your knowledge of core concepts and study modules in thermodynamics; semiconductor devices; optics; materials and solid-state physics; statistical mechanics; vector calculus; differential equations; computational modelling methods and fluid dynamics.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Principles of Quantum Mechanics 10
Principles of Materials and Solid-State Physics 10
Introduction to Observational Astronomy 10
Fluid Dynamics 10
Computational Methods and Professional Skills for Theoretical Physics 10
Vector Calculus & Differential Equations, Transforms & Waves 20
Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics 20
Optics & Principles of Electromagnetism 20
Scientific Computation with Python 10

You study core subjects to an advanced level, including quantum mechanics, materials and solid-state physics, and electromagnetism. 

Projects let you explore areas of interest in greater depth and may be computational or theoretical in nature. A wide variety of projects are available, for example: astrophysics and cosmology; quantum theory; photonics; fluid mechanics; and computational modelling of materials.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Relativity 10
Advanced Materials and Solid-State Physics 10
Variational Methods and Lagrangian Dynamics 10
Advanced Electromagnetism 10
Group Project (MPhys) 10
Advanced Fluid Dynamics 10
Advanced Quantum & Atoms, Molecules, Nuclei & Particles 20
Optional Modules Credits
Geohazards and Deformation of the Earth 10
Advanced Astrophysics 10
Partial Differential Equations 10
Photonics 10
Stellar Structure and Evolution 10
Cosmology 10
Interstellar Medium & High Energy Physics 10
Instabilities 10
Mathematical Biology 10

You will gain a deeper understanding of physics, through advanced research-driven modules. You study theoretical and computational physics and work with academics to plan and deliver an extended research project.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Extended Project - MPhys Theoretical Physics 40
Optional Modules Credits
Quantum Fluids 20
General Relativity 20
Quantum Information & Technology 20
Quantum Modelling of Molecules, Solids & Nanostructures 20
Geophysical & Astrophysical Fluids 20

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You will be taught via a range of approaches, including:

  • lectures and seminars
  • small group tutorials
  • problem classes
  • laboratory sessions
  • practical computing sessions

Typically 45 hours in your first year will consist of practical sessions in our laboratories where you will take part in experiments and project work.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assessments

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Projects

  • Reports

Skills and experience

Business skills

In Stage 3 you'll take part in a group project, allowing you to build on your team-working and practical skills. You'll also conduct an individual project in an area of interest under the tuition of our expert academic staff, developing research, practical and presentation skills.

Research skills

You will benefit from our interdisciplinary approach and the diverse research strengths of our expert academic staff. We have research expertise in:

  • novel electronic materials
  • semiconductor devices
  • computational physics
  • quantum fluids
  • astrophysics
  • relativity
  • nanoscale properties of materials

In your fourth year, you'll complete an extended research project with an academic at Newcastle University, in an area of mutual interest. 


Work placement

Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment


As a physics student at Newcastle University, you'll be based at our city-centre campus in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics' Herschel Building. 

The School has high-specification laboratory facilities equipped with leading experimental and computational physics capabilities, such as:

  • cryogenics labs
  • semiconductor labs
  • High Performance Computing
  • data from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

The Herschel Building also has dedicated study and social spaces, and a computing area.


To support you in your studies, all new students entering year 1 or year 2 will receive a tablet so you can download the online learning resources you'll need for your course (helping us to make our campus more sustainable).

You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.

There's also a dedicated member of staff whose responsibility is to help our students manage the transition from A Levels to undergraduate study.

The Transition Officer works with Stage 1 undergraduates to provide:

  • Stage 1 pastoral and academic support
  • attendance and academic performance monitoring
  • Stage 1 induction
  • weekly drop-ins

Your future

We have research links with the following companies and external organisations:

  • Littelfuse
  • the De Beers Group
  • Science and Technologies Facilities Council
  • NASA
  • intel
  • CPI

Physics graduates report earning average salaries close to £27,000 on graduation (

Possible career paths for physics graduates include:

  • engineering
  • medicine
  • finance
  • nanotechnology
  • oil, gas and renewable energy
  • telecommunications

You'll be equipped with transferable skills that are highly valued by employers such as problem-solving, analytical, mathematical, communication, presentation, teamwork and computing skills.

Further study, including postgraduate courses for secondary school teaching and PhD courses, is also available to physics graduates.

Make a difference

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Careers support

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.

Read our detailed explanation

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

34 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements


Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria. 

Find out more about PARTNERS

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Additional information

Advice on maths and science requirements

If you don’t think you will have the exact mathematics and science qualifications referred to in our entry requirements by the time you need them, you may not be sure what to do.

  • If you have a maths qualification but will not have it at A Level (or equivalent) when you start your degree, you should apply for the relevant degree with Foundation Year. We may give you the opportunity to take the Newcastle University Pre-Entry Maths Course* and the option to start in Year 1 if we think that this will be the best route for you.
  • If you have A Level Maths (or equivalent) already but not at the required grade, you should contact us for advice. We may decide that you could be considered for Foundation Year entry, or it may be that this course is not the best option for you.
  • If you will not have the equivalent of an A Level in the science subject (if any) required, you should apply for the relevant degree with Foundation Year.

If you are still not sure, don’t worry. Whatever you apply for, our Admissions Tutors will help you decide which is the best route for you. They may, therefore, make you an offer for a different course from the one you apply for (eg Foundation Year entry instead of Year 1 entry).

*The Newcastle University Pre-Entry Maths Course aims to provide the requisite mathematical skills and concepts needed on our engineering, maths and physics degree courses and to prepare students for the modes of learning they will encounter. The materials for the course are delivered electronically and include opportunities to practise your skills. You study the materials in your own time and, when you are ready, you book your exam with the Engineering School to which you have applied. A fee of £150 is payable at the time of booking the exam or shortly before the date set for examination.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students


International Fee Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for home fee-paying students is set by the UK government.

As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme). 

The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

Read more about fees and funding

Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

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How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

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