Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Physics (MPhys)

  • F303

4 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

The MPhys in Physics at Cardiff enables you to explore the subject in greater depth than is possible on a three-year course. Studying alongside physicists whose work is providing the basis for the innovations that revolutionise our world, you will be kept informed of latest developments in the field, and will have the chance to use state-of-the-art apparatus including lasers, x-ray sources, and electronics.


Key Facts

UCAS Code F303
Duration 4 years
How to apply
Accreditation Institute of Physics
Typical places available The School admits 120 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received 550-600
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAA-ABB
Admissions Tutors Dr Chris North
Tel Number 029 2087 0537
Email address
School website

If you take a real interest in the world around you, have an enquiring mind and want to understand why things are the way they are, Physics is the subject for you. Physicists play a vital role in research and development, providing the basis for the innovations that revolutionize our world. The Physics MPhys at Cardiff is for students who have a clear intention of studying physics to a greater depth than the three year BSc course will allow.

The course structure is very flexible. All Cardiff Physics and Astronomy degree programmes share a common first year. The range of modules available in the first year is designed to stimulate your interest in Physics while giving you a sound foundation for later years. At the end of the first year, you choose whether you want to continue with your original degree choice or opt for another of Cardiff's Physics and Astronomy degrees.

In later years you will take a selection of advanced modules that allow you to practise and consolidate new skills by applying them to a wide range of problems. You will be kept informed of the latest advances in physics and will also work with state-of-the-art apparatus including lasers, x-ray sources, modern electronics and computers. In your fourth year half of your time is spent studying your selection of advanced modules, and the rest is spent on a major research project.

This project is an exciting and challenging way to build on the experience and project work gained in your third year, to strengthen your confidence to tackle problems independently and to develop the skills necessary to explain your work to others both by giving talks and writing reports. Project topics range from chaos theory, computer modelling and acoustics to the controlled growth of semiconductor materials. In addition to the projects on offer, you can also develop your own. And if you can’t find a project to fire your imagination, you can always develop your own in consultation with our academic staff.

The course structure is as follows:

Years One and Two

The first year ensures that you have a thorough basis on which to study in future years. It will consolidate the work you will have done before university and extend your knowledge across a broad range of Physics subjects. There are some optional modules available within the first year, including one “free standing module” which may be taken from another school. Weekly tutorials and exercise classes related to the module content ensure that students have a high level of support within their first year at Cardiff.

The second year of the programme continues to build on the core physics material and extends the range of choice available through the optional modules.

Years Three and Four

The final years of our degrees allow students to specialise and study selected topics in depth. The majority of the modules taken at this stage are optional. A research project forms an important part of the teaching in both years. The third year project provides the opportunity to apply the physics learnt in years one and two and to develop independent research skills. There are a number of additional skills associated with the project such as presentations, report writing and information management.

The fourth year project is a major part of our MPhys programmes and we attach particular importance to it at Cardiff. It accounts for half of the fourth year content and provides training in analysis, synthesis and problem solving – the key skills required of a professional physicist. Both third and fourth year projects are linked to the research work of the school and provide the opportunity for students to work alongside world leading scientists in cutting edge research.

The intention of the School of Physics and Astronomy is to provide students with an in-depth education over a broad range of widely applicable skills. Teaching is carried out using a wide range of different techniques. There are the traditional lectures, tutorials and laboratory work and, in addition, there are computer-based courses, project-based courses, skills-based courses and the opportunity to attend a residential course in mid-Wales.

There is a wide variety of assessment methods. Some modules are assessed purely by an end of semester exam (in January or May), some combine continual assessment with an end of semester exam and others are all continual assessment.

Students are assigned an Academic and Personal Tutor. Personal tutors are there to advise on academic, non-academic and personal matters in a confidential and informal manner. You will meet with your academic tutor once a week in the first year to discuss any study-related issues. You will also receive your marked coursework back with feedback during your tutorial.

Typical A-level Offer  AAA-ABB, must include Physics and Mathematics at A- level.
Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core plus grades AA in Physics and Mathematics at A- level.
Typical Int Bacc Offer  32 points with 6 in Higher Level Physics and Maths.

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

In 2010, 50% of the School’s graduates were in professional employment within six months of graduation while a further 33% were engaged in further study with others taking time out to travel etc. Employers included: UK and international universities plus organisations such as the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Oclaro Technology and the Ministry of Defence.

Career destinations included: lecturer, research scientist, research development leader, medical physicist.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Chris North  

Telephone: 029 2087 0537 



School Website:

More information