2021 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 applied in major areas of scientific intrigue, from black holes to dark matter. There is a wide range of optional modules for you to choose from, so you can focus on the topics that excite you most: general relativity, field theory, quantum mechanics, geometry, electrodynamics, solar physics, particle physics and more.

You’ll spend around one-third of your time working on your own research project, under the supervision of an expert from our School of Mathematics and Statistics or Department of Physics and Astronomy. This in-depth research experience is great preparation for a PhD. There are also modules on machine learning, finance and statistics, so you can develop skills to help you stand out in job markets where maths and physics graduates thrive, such as data science and banking.

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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Explore core and optional modules


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

We usually ask for a 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent, in mathematics or physics.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score 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 content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from. Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.