Physics, M.Sc.

Physics, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 21 months
University rank #147 (WUR) ,
This degree provides an excellent grounding for entry to doctoral study across Europe. It is fully compatible with European postgraduate degree structures, providing the equivalent of 120 ECTS credits over two years of study.


This degree provides an excellent grounding for entry to doctoral study across Europe. It is fully compatible with European postgraduate degree structures, providing the equivalent of 120 ECTS credits over two years of study.

In the second year, it includes a significant advanced research component, drawn from any Department specialism including atomic, molecular and optical physics, experimental particle physics and theoretical particle physics, as well as the Astronomy and cosmology subject area.

This degree will equip you for a career in research, teaching and beyond.

Programme Structure

Physics and astronomy at Sussex was ranked in the top 5 in the UK in The Times Good University Guide 2013, in the top 10 in the UK in The Sunday Times University Guide 2012, 16th in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2014 and 21st in the UK in The Complete University Guide 2014.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and top in the South East. 95 per cent of our research was rated as internationally recognised or higher, and 60 per cent rated as internationally excellent or higher.

Our research lies at the forefront of fundamental physics, ranging from quantum information processing, quantum optics, and cold atom physics, through a programme of top-rated particle physics experiments, to the theoretical understanding of space, time and matter.

The Department has a truly international character, with collaborations in Europe, North America, South East Asia and Australia.

The Department is a founder member of SEPnet, the South East Physics Network of physics departments, which in 2008 received a joint award of £12.5 million to enhance collaboration in graduate teaching and research.

Specialist facilities

A wide range of experimental facilities at Sussex, at national centres and at international laboratories is available to graduate students. The Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics research group at Sussex operates state-of-the-art laboratories for quantum information processing with trapped ions, photons and electrons. Our experimental facilities include a range of high-precision laser systems from infrared to ultraviolet, as well as miniature ion and atom chips for the controlled manipulation of quantum bits. Sussex is one of only two places in the world with the capability to manufacture the optical-fibre cavities needed for quantum networking.

Our postgraduate students have access to a range of computing facilities including the University’s high-performance computing service. Our research groups have dedicated unix-based computing systems, and access to national and international super-computer facilities. The Experimental Particle Physics group is part of a Grid Tier-2 node and benefits from access to the Grid’s distributed high-performance computing resources. We are currently refurbishing all of our research and teaching laboratories.

Academic activities

Both taught and research students are expected to attend research seminars, and to contribute to their group’s discussions of the latest journal papers. PhD students have an opportunity to attend an international conference and give a paper on their specialist subject. Many experimentalist PhD students also have the opportunity to travel to various other sites, such as the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in the French Alps, CERN in Geneva and SNOLAB in Canada. Most PhD students acquire considerable computing skills, which they find an asset in obtaining employment.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 21 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

UK entrance requirements

A first- or second-class undergraduate honours degree in a physics-based subject (including mathematics and engineering degrees with significant physics content).
Those requesting experimental projects must have laboratory experience, and evidence must be supplied, usually in the form of a reference, of competence in the laboratory.

Overseas entrance requirements

Please refer to column B on the Overseas qualifications.

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications table, contact the University.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in the other sections. Internet TOEFL with 88 overall, with at least 20 in Listening, 20 in Reading, 22 in Speaking and 24 in Writing.

For more information, refer to English language requirements.

Additional admissions information

We must receive your application by 1 August if you are a non-EEA student because this degree requires clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS).

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    12700 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 12700 GBP per year and a duration of 21 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    9000 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9000 GBP per year and a duration of 21 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
  • Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £9,000 per year

Living costs for Brighton

  • 815 - 1390 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.



The funding sources listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual funding source to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree. For general information, refer to Funding.

Alumni Study Award (2013)

Region: UK, Europe (Non UK), International (Non UK/EU)
Level: PG (taught), PG (research)

Loyalty rewards for Sussex undergraduates and postgraduates who remain at the University to study for a higher degree

Chancellor's Masters Scholarship (2013)

Region: UK, Europe (Non UK)
Level: PG (taught)
Application deadline: 1 August 2013

Open to UK/EU students who have or will have a 1st class degree from a UK university and offered a F/T place on an eligible Masters course in 2013.

Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust for Postgraduate Study (2013)

Region: UK
Level: PG (taught), PG (research)
Application deadline: 1 October 2013

The Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust are offering bursaries to Postgraduate students following any postgraduate degree courses in any subject.

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2013)

Region: UK, Europe (Non UK), International (Non UK/EU)
Level: PG (taught)
Application deadline: 1 August 2013

Open to final year Sussex students who graduate with a 1st or 2:1 degree and who are offered a F/T place on an eligible Masters course in 2013.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

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