MSci Honours Physics with Extended Studies in Europe (5 years) (UCAS Code: F309)
For entrance requirements
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BSc Applied Mathematics and Physics, BSc Theoretical Physics
MSci Applied Mathematics and Physics, MSci Theoretical Physics
BSc Physics with Financial Mathematics
BSc other options
MSci other options
For Physics with Extended Studies in Europe the chosen language must be offered at A-level or equivalent. The language options available are French or Spanish.
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here.
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including: International Foundation in Engineering and Science.Back to top
“Physics is an enabling discipline showing how to do things thought impossible and helping others refine their approach. Physics is to the rest of science what machine tools are to engineering.” (Sir John Pendry)
Physics studies how the universe works - from the smallest atomic nucleus to the largest galaxy. It includes conceptual challenges such as quantum theory, relativity and chaos theory, and lies at the heart of most modern technology - for example the computer, the laser and the compact disc.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy has high teaching standards and is recognised nationally as being one of the leading centres for research. Physics at Queen's is ranked sixth overall in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2011). Physics at Queen's obtained an excellent grade in the Teaching Quality Assessment exercise in April 2000 and an excellent grade of 5 was obtained in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.Back to top
Students study Physics, Applied Mathematics, and, if desired, a third subject such as Computer Science. Physics topics include:
• Atomic and nuclear physics
• Optics and lasers
• Quantum theory
• Solid state physics
• Thermal physics
Practical work includes the use of computers in physics, as well as a full range of experiments designed to develop laboratory skills, allowing students to experience phenomena covered in lectures. Tutorials, and problems set in connection with them, give experience in verbal and written communication, and in problem-solving.
Stages 2 and 3
Physics may be studied either as a Single Honours degree, as Physics, Physics with Astrophysics, Physics with Biomedical Applications, Physics with Extended Studies in Europe, Physics with Financial Mathematics, or Theoretical Physics; or depending on choice of Stage 1 modules, as a Joint Honours degree in conjunction with Applied Mathematics or Computer Science.
At Stage 2, according to degree selection, modules are taken which reveal the excitement of such areas as:
• Atoms, Nuclei and Radiation
• Modern Physics
• Optics, Electricity and Magnetism
• Physics of the Solid State
Physics project work develops the skills of planning, carrying out and analysing experiments and simulations, and provides opportunities for deepening understanding of the wide applicability of physics.
At Stage 3, a choice of modules is made to develop further understanding of such areas as:
• Atomic and Molecular Physics
• Electromagnetic Radiation and Modern Optics
• Nuclear and Fundamental Particle Physics
• Optoelectronics and Physical Electronic
• Physics in Medicine
• Quantum Mechanics and Relativity
• Solid State Physics
Project work entails a major experimental or computational investigation of a particular physics problem; in conjunction with this a project report and associated poster are produced to a professional standard.
MSci (Master in Science)
These four-year degrees are aimed at the more able and committed students who intend to practise the profession of physics in research and development, in industry or academia, at the highest level.
Single Honours MSci options are available in Physics, Physics with Medical Applications, Physics with Astrophysics, Physics with Extended Studies in Europe and Theoretical Physics. A Joint Honours MSci option is also available in Applied Mathematics and Physics.
Transfer from the three-year BSc degree to the MSci is permitted up to the end of Stage 2. Students who successfully complete the four- year MSci qualify for the degree of MSci (Hons) in the relevant option.
Stages 1 and 2 are identical to those for the BSc degree. At Stage 3, a selection is made from the modules available for the BSc. Also studied are the Professional Skills Programme - where important skills are developed, such as computer programming in C, multimedia presentation, and personal projection - and Synoptic Physics - where a variety of scientific themes such as symmetry, people in physics, ecology and cosmology is studied in depth, with cross-links being emphasised.
At Stage 4, specialist modules are available, broadly reflecting research interests of those teaching in the Department. These modules are:
Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Condensed Matter and Materials Science
Laser and Plasma Physics
Medical Devices and Applications
Also in this year, a major project is carried out in association with one of these research divisions, and through this project students gain an intensive insight into modern research methods.Back to top
At the beginning of all physics courses all students study core areas of physics and mathematics to give a common foundation for specialization as the course progresses. Several different degree programmes are available, but with the common core material it is frequently possible to switch from one physics course to another at the end of the first year. The high level of research in the Department feeds through to making the undergraduate courses up-to-date, relevant and interesting.
The physics course covers a wide range of areas within the subject with advanced options in higher years. There is also include extensive practical and project work, with a very wide range of skills development leading to many careers options.Back to top
Assessment (general): The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.Back to top
There are two main career routes for physics graduates, both of which have many branches;
Physics graduates are sought after for many ‘non-physics’ jobs, such as finance, accountancy, business, management consultancy as described below.
Technical physics related jobs are available in high technology and related industries, including medicine, biotechnology, electronics, optics, aerospace, computation and nuclear technology; physicists work in research, in development, and in general production. For example, physicists work in hospitals as ‘Medical Physicists’ who work on radiation therapy, scanning and other physics related medical functions. Many physics graduates also take up careers in education, teaching in schools, colleges of further education or universities. Many physics graduates will go on to study for a PhD in physics, which provides the opportunity to explore a particular part of physics in great detail for three years and can enhance employment prospects.
Physics graduates are also successful in careers such as the City, finance, business, insurance, taxation and accountancy, where their problem solving skills and numeracy are highly valued.
Over a lifetime, only graduates in medicine or law earn more than those with a physics degree (source: Institute of Physics 2004 Salary Survey).
Physics graduates are highly employable and we are pleased that those from Queen’s are rated as the most employable in the UK. Furthermore, they are at least as employable as graduates from anywhere in the UK with degrees in what are often considered more vocational subjects such as Aeronautical Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Computer Science (source: The Times Good University Guide 2005).
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.Back to top
Accreditation: the degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics with the exception of the new Physics with Financial Mathematics pathway, for which accreditation will be sought in the near future. Since it contains all the core physics elements common to the other accredited pathways it is anticipated that this accreditation will be granted.
Study Abroad: Physics with Extended Studies in Europe includes a year spent studying abroad.
Scholarships and Bursaries: students in the School can benefit from scholarships and bursaries provided by the School of Mathematics and Physics and by external companies. Please see: http://www.qub.ac.uk/mp/ampr/ucasBack to top