2019 start

Mathematical and Theoretical Physics

School of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science

The theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics can explain some of biggest scientific discoveries of the century, from gravitational waves to the Higgs boson, and have brought us ever closer to a theory of everything.

Course description

This course has been created to equip graduates with advanced mathematical tools that can be used to explain the world around us. You’ll have the freedom to choose from a selection of topics in applied mathematics, theoretical physics, statistics and data science. These modules are designed so that you can study the fundamental theories that govern the universe, and develop mathematical skills to explain and predict physical phenomena.

You'll spend around one-third of your time working on your own research project, under the supervision of an expert from the University of Sheffield's School of Mathematics and Statistics or Department of Physics and Astronomy. Possible topics include:

  • Cosmology, dark matter and dark energy
  • Magneto-hydrodynamics in the stellar atmosphere
  • Gravitational wave astronomy, black holes and neutron stars
  • Fluid mechanics and the Kolmogorov theory of turbulence
  • Chaos and fractal boundaries in dynamical systems
  • The search for dark matter at underground laboratories

The advanced topics covered and the extensive research training make this degree programme great preparation for a PhD. You'll develop numerical, problem solving and data analysis skills that are useful in many careers, such as computing, finance and data science.

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Core modules

  • Dissertation
  • Research Skills

Optional modules

  • Advanced Electrodynamics
  • Advanced Particle Physics
  • Advanced Quantum Mechanics
  • Biological Physics
  • Field Theory and General Relativity
  • Geometry I
  • Machine Learning
  • Mathematical Methods of Modelling Natural Systems
  • Measure and Probability
  • Statistical Physics
  • Stochastic Processes and Finance
  • Topics in Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • Waves and Magnetohydrodynamics


A series of lectures, tutorials and practicals, in addition to problem-solving classes and a research project.


You'll be assessed by examinations, assignments and a dissertation.


1 year full-time

Elizabeth Sheppeck

I worked under the supervision of Dr Sam Dolan on research related to the gravitational lensing of starlight, which is a key consequence of Einstein’s theory of relativity...The skills I gained are transferable not only to academic research, but also to a variety of careers, particularly those using evidence-based methods to develop long-term strategies.

Elizabeth Sheppeck
MMath Mathematics

Entry requirements

An upper second class (2:1) degree in mathematics or physics.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

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+44 114 222 3789

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.