The School of Physical Sciences offers a two-year Master’s degree in Physics in partnership with the South East Physics Network (SEPnet) which comprises the universities of Kent, Portsmouth, Queen Mary London, Royal Holloway London, Southampton, Surrey and Sussex.
The programme involves both a taught and research component.
In the first year, you will follow a taught Master’s course, which includes specialised research, and in the second year you will undertake an advanced research project with the option to change locations to a SEPnet partner university or research institution. This may include Cern, Switzerland, the UK’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, ISIS, Diamond or NPL. The School of Physical Sciences at Kent offers EuroMasters research strands in Atomic and Condensed Matter and Astrophysics.
The MSc in Physics (EuroMasters) is fully compatible with the European Credit Transfer Accumulation System across the European Union and other collaborating European countries, and qualifies students to pursue a PhD or a career in physics upon completion. It is also open to UK entrants.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain a knowledge and understanding of:
- aspects of the theory and practice of condensed matter physics or astrophysics, and of those aspects upon which it depends: a knowledge of key physics, the use of electronic data processing and analysis, and modern day mathematical and computational tools
- the most fundamental laws and principles of physics and of astrophysics, along with their application to a variety of areas in physics and/or astrophysics, some of which are at (or are informed by) the forefront of the discipline.
You gain intellectual skills in:
- the ability to identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions
- the ability to solve problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools
- the ability to execute and analyse critically the results of an experiment or investigation and draw valid conclusions. To evaluate the level of uncertainty in these results and compare them with expected outcomes, theoretical predictions or with published data; thereby to evaluate the significance of their results in this context
- the ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour
- the ability to comment critically on specialised equipment and techniques, and their use in condensed matter, space science or astrophysics research
- the ability to solve advanced problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools, to translate problems into mathematical statements and to obtain order of magnitude or more precise solutions as appropriate
- the ability to interpret mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena
- the ability to plan an experiment or investigation under supervision and to understand the significance of error analysis
- a variety of experimental, mathematical and/or computational techniques applicable to current research within physics
- the ability to work within in the condensed matter or astrophysics area that is well-matched to the frontiers of knowledge, the science drivers that underpin government-funded research and the commercial activity that provides hardware or software solutions to challenging scientific problems in these fields.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- the competent use of appropriate C&IT packages/systems for the analysis of data and the retrieval of appropriate and useful information
- the ability to present and interpret information graphically
- the ability to communicate scientific information, in particular to produce clear and accurate scientific reports
- familiarity with laboratory apparatus and techniques, including relevant aspects of health and safety
- the systematic and reliable recording of experimental data
- an ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources as part of managing your own learning
- C&IT skills that show fluency at the level and range needed for project work, such as familiarity with a programming language, simulation software or the use of mathematical packages for manipulation and numerical solution of equations
- the ability to communicate complex scientific ideas, the conclusion of an experiment, investigation or project concisely, and to do so accurately and informatively
- an ability to make use of research articles and other primary sources
- the competent use of specialised equipment, the ability to identify appropriate pieces of equipment and to master new techniques and equipment.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- problem-solving skills, in the context of both problems with well-defined solutions and open-ended problems, an ability to formulate problems in precise terms and to identify key issues, and the confidence to try different approaches in order to make progress on challenging problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area
- investigative skills in the context of independent investigation including the use of textbooks and other available literature, databases, and the interaction with colleagues to extract important information
- communication skills in the area of dealing with surprising ideas and difficult concepts, including listening carefully, reading demanding texts and presenting complex information in a clear and concise manner. C&IT skills are an important element of this
- analytical skills: associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly
- personal skills: the ability to work independently, to use initiative, to organise yourself to meet deadlines and to interact constructively with other people.
The programme aims to:
- develop an integrated and critically aware understanding of physics to prepare you to undertake a PhD in the sub-disciplines of astrophysics or condensed matter physics anywhere in Europe
- enhance your employment opportunities and career prospects in physics/astrophysics
- develop a variety of Master’s level intellectual and transferable skills
- equip you with the learning skills to keep abreast of developments in the continually evolving fields of astrophysics or condensed matter physics
- instil in you a sense of enthusiasm for physics by underlining the role of the discipline at the core of our understanding of all physical phenomena and as the foundation of many of the pure and applied sciences
- involve you in the intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning within a research-led environment
- enable you to undertake and report on an experimental, computational or theoretical investigation based on an extended project in physics or astrophysics
- enable you to realise your academic potential
- enhance your appreciation of the applications of physics in different contexts including an appreciation of the importance of physics in industrial, economic, environmental and social contexts