Physics with Computer Science

Degree Qualification Duration UCAS Code Prospectus link
Physics with Computer Science BSc 3 years F3G4 2018 entry 
Physics with Computer Science MPhys 4 years F3Gk 2018 entry 

Students from the Physics DepartmentPhysics is the fundamental science that explores the nature of matter and energy from the quantum scale to the cosmological scale. Ideas and techniques from physics underpin developments in many other areas of science, technology and medicine. It is characterised by the use of a few basic principles, quantities and laws to describe, understand and predict the behaviour of relatively complex systems, both natural and artificial. The key features of physics are the modelling of natural phenomena by means of mathematical equations ('theory') and the making of experimental or observational measurements which both test existing theories and inspire new ones ('experiment'). The interplay of theory and experiment drives the development of the field, and requires a broad range of skills including mathematical and computational modelling, problem solving, experiment design and data analysis, teamwork and communication.

Computer Science is the fundamental discipline of the information and communication age. Computing now permeates every aspect of life, ranging from business and medicine to science, engineering and the humanities, requiring skilled personnel to harness and exploit the growing power of computing devices. Physics and Computer Science are strongly-allied disciplines. Contemporary physics problems require specific computing and algorithmic skills to solve them. Furthermore, ideas from quantum physics may give rise to fundamentally new kinds of computers, whose power will outclass anything available today. And don't forget that the World Wide Web was invented at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research!

The aim of this course is to provide an opportunity for students who have an interest in computing to study the subject in parallel with physics, to a level that is not provided for in any other degree programme.

The MPhys and BSc degrees in Physics with Computer Science combine these two related disciplines, aiming to equip students with a working knowledge of computer science without compromising their education in the broader field of physics, thus allowing them to pursue careers as professional physicists should they wish to do so. Students are prepared for research work in any area of physics, and are equally well equipped to find employment in a wide range of fields in industry and commerce. Teaching is informed and invigorated by the research interests of the staff of this grade 5 department, which span the whole range of physics and astronomy from biophysics to active galactic nuclei. The degree is accredited by the Institute of Physics and can lead after suitable professional experience to Chartered Physicist status.

What you'll study

Mathematical Foundations. Mathematics for Physicists and Astronomers, Problem Solving and Advanced Skills in Physics.

Computing. Computational Problem Solving and Object Oriented Design, Computer Architectures, Computer Networks, C Programming, Numerical and Computational Physics, Data Driven Computing, Speech Processing, Modelling and Simulation of Natural Systems, Computational Systems Biology, Machine Learning and Adaptive Intelligence.

Physics. Classical Physics, Particle Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Solid State Physics, Physics of Soft Condensed Matter, Atomic and Laser Physics, Nuclear Physics, Mathematical Physics, Biological Physics, Optics, Mechanics, Waves, Electricity, Special Relativity, Magnetism, Advanced Electrodynamics, Semiconductor Physics and Technology.

Astrophysics. Nuclear Astrophysics, Cosmology, Dark Matter and the Universe.

Projects. Group and individual projects in physics.

BSc Physics with Computer Science

Our three year degree provides a broad training in physics, while also covering the fundamentals of computing, equipping you for a career than combines these skills, focuses on one or the other, or even takes you in a completely different direction.

MPhys Physics with Computer Science

In addition to providing a sound grounding in the fundamental principles of physics and associated mathematical techniques, the MPhys provides students with insight into the most recent developments in contemporary physics.

Click here to contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy.