MSc(Res)
2021 start

Particle Physics

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science

Particle physics has been at the centre of some of the 21st century's biggest scientific discoveries. You'll study in a department that has worked on the discovery of the Higgs boson and the detection of gravitational waves. Our researchers are involved in searches for dark matter and ground-breaking neutrino experiments.
Particle Physics student working with equipment

Course description

This course covers the complex theories and experimental techniques that particle physicists use to explain the nature of the universe. It will develop your understanding of the Standard Model by going into even greater depth on topics you might have covered in your undergraduate degree, such as quantum mechanics, electrodynamics and dark matter.

You’ll learn about the methods particle physicists use to study the universe, the experiments that led to the discoveries of neutrons, positrons and neutrinos, and the experimental evidence for quarks and gluons. You can examine the possible explanations for dark matter with scientists who are leading searches for it, and take modules led by researchers who were involved in the Higgs boson and gravitational wave discoveries.

The biggest part of your degree is your research project, which you might be able to work on at a research facility such as CERN. Possible topics include:

  • background events in the LUX-Zeplin dark matter experiment
  • characterising ultra-fast imaging photon sensors for neutrino experiments
  • design a masterclass for high-school students using ATLAS open data
  • searching for supersymmetry with the ATLAS detector at the CERN Large Hadron Collider
  • the WATCHMAN Project: Using anti-neutrinos for nuclear threat reduction
  • using tau leptons in collider experiments to search for new physics

You will also complete a research training programme, and there are optional modules to choose from including general relativity, particle astrophysics, semiconductor physics and statistical physics.

 

We took a group of our students to the CERN research facility in Switzerland, where many of our particle physics researchers are working on projects including the ATLAS collaboration that was behind the Higgs boson discovery.

Modules

Explore core and optional modules

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 Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn.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.

Teaching

You will be taught through a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and your research project.

Assessment

You'll be assessed by examinations, coursework, essays and other written work, presentations and a dissertation and viva.

Duration

1 year full-time

Your career

The advanced topics covered and the extensive research training make this course great preparation for a PhD. Physics graduates also develop numerical, problem solving and data analysis skills that are useful in many careers, including computer programming, software engineering, data science, and research and development into new products and services.

Entry requirements

We usually ask for a first-class degree, or equivalent, in physics.

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

International pathway programmes

If you're an international student and don’t meet our entry requirements, we offer a Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering programme through the University of Sheffield International College. The programme develops your knowledge of your chosen subject, introduces you to vital study skills and provides additional support to reach the English language level for the course, should you need it.

Once you complete your Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering and achieve the required grades, you can enter your chosen postgraduate degree at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Apply

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

Apply now

Contact

postgradphysics-enquiry@shef.ac.uk
+44 114 222 3789

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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