Physics: Condensed Matter Physics

MSc ( 1 year Full-time )



Do you want to contribute to an area of cutting-edge research in an awe-inspiring subject? Do you want to delve deeper into advanced topics in physics? Develop valuable new knowledge and skills? Prepare for a research career, or embark on a completely new path? Whatever your motivation, a postgraduate degree from the School of Physics and Astronomy can help you achieve your ambitions.

The MSc Physics: Condensed Matter Physics programme is one of three different pathways to an MSc in physics that also includes Particle Physics and Theoretical Physics. The School of Physics and Astronomy also offers an MSc in Astrophysics and a PGCert in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Programme outcomes

The aim of the programme is to deepen your understanding of contemporary condensed matter and materials physics, covering advanced concepts and techniques, leaving you well prepared for further doctoral level study and research. The programme will also enable you to develop skills transferable to a wide range of other careers.

This programme will:

  • Teach you the fundamental laws and physical principles, along with their applications, in your chosen area of physics.
  • Introduce you to research methodology, and how to manage your own research, making use of journal articles and other primary sources.
  • Allow you to communicate complex scientific ideas, concisely, accurately and informatively.
  • Instruct you how to use mathematical analysis to model physical behaviour and interpret the mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena.

Why study your MSc in Physics at Queen Mary?

1st in London

Ranked joint first in London for research outputs (REF 2014), the School of Physics and Astronomy has an international reputation for its research across areas such as experimental particle physics, materials physics, string theory and astronomy.

£12m invested in refurbishment and new facilities in 2014

The school benefitted from an extensive £12m refurbishment in 2014. Our new facilities include breakout spaces, offices and laboratories used in MSc projects.

Work with leading academics

Our academics work on high-profile international research including the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, ATLAS experiment at CERN, surveys with the VISTA telescope at the European Southern Observatory and the NASA/ESA Cassini mission to Saturn. They publish in leading journals such as Nature, write books, lead international conferences and comment in the media. For more visit:

Access taught modules at other London universities

As a student of the University of London you will have access to modules taught at UCL¿and King’s College London and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Students with an existing Transport for London travelcard will normally be able to reach these institutions at no extra cost.

Join the research community

Take part in regular academic meetings, colloquia and seminars with exciting speakers from renowned institutions.


National and international facilities

If you join us, you can make use of leading research infrastructure at CERN and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, as well as mission data from QMUL collaborations such as Cassini, CLUSTER and the VISTA telescope, for use in research projects.

School facilities

You will benefit from access to super-fast research networks and worldwide grid computing facilities such as MidPlus and GridPP, as well as a number of high- performance clusters on site at QMUL.

Experimental facilities in the School include clean rooms, an x-ray diffraction laboratory, muon sources for materials physics, workshops and laboratories for materials research and the production of molecular and organic electronics, as well as the manufacture of prototype particle detectors.

Our newly refurbished observatory, houses a Celestron C14 telescope on a computer- controlled mount, fitted with filters and a high resolution CCD. Mounted alongside the primary telescope is a Lunt 80mm solar telescope and CCD for solar observations.

New offices and open spaces provide a¿range of opportunities for you to work, meet¿or discuss ideas with others. Each research group has its own breakout space and kitchen facilities, while staff and students from across the school regularly make use of the School’s larger social and study space. 



The MSc Physics: Condensed Matter Physics is available to study full-time over one year.

The programme consists of eight taught and examined modules during the first two semesters and a substantial research project undertaken in the second and third semesters within the condensed matter and materials physics research group at the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Students will take 120 credits of taught modules and a 60 credit research project. You will be able to take modules from University College London, King's College London or Royal Holloway University of London, as per the list of approved modules.

MSc Physics (Condensed Matter Physics)

Semester A

  • Physics at the nanoscale (intercollegiate, available online, taught at Royal Holloway Univeristy of London)
  • Plus three further modules including Order and Excitations and other modules from a list of approved modules.

Semester B

For more information:

School of Physics and Astronomy MSc Physics homepage


Entry requirements

This programme requires ATAS clearance. Students who are not EEA or Swiss nationals may require ATAS clearance to undertake this course. The CAH3 code for this course is CAH07-01-01. Further information on ATAS can be found on our Advice and Counselling webpages.

We expect students to have at least an upper second class degree in Physics or closely related discipline; in exceptional circumstances students may be admitted with a lower second class degree.

Non-native English speaking applicants would have to achieve at least 6.5 IELTS score and the equivalent in the relevant TOEFL assessment.

International applicants:
Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. See out international pages for English language entry requirements

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

If you are unable to find the information you require, please contact the Admissions Office for assistance.

Learning and teaching

The majority of the MSc is delivered through lectures. As a member of a small student cohort you will also have ample access to the academic staff responsible for delivering the lecture courses during their scheduled office hours.

You will have 3 hours of lectures per module and normally four taught modeuls per semester. You will also be expected to undertake a large amount of personal study, reading widely around your subject. 

Additional support is provided by your allocated academic adviser and the supervisor for your research project.

The majority of taught modules are assessed by a final examination (typically 90% of the final mark) and by coursework (typically 10% of the final mark), although individual module mark schemes may vary from this.

The compulsory MSc Physics project is assessed by the final written report (60% of the final mark), a student presentation and oral examination (30% of the final mark) and performance during the project (10% of the final mark).

You will also be assessed on a research project (as above).



Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £9,900
Part-time study is not available for this course

Tuition fees for International students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £20,850
Part-time study is not available for this course


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

Graduate employment

Studying postgraduate physics at Queen Mary is great preparation for a PhD position or a technical role in the private sector. Recent graduates have gone into roles including:

PhD student - Particle physics, University of Liverpool

Trainee Medical Physicist - NHS

Technical Consultant - Sparta Global

Audit Trainee - KPMG

PhD Student - Centre for Research in String Theory, Queen Mary University of London

PhD Student - Instiute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth



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