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MSc in theoretical physics

  1. Aug 21, 2009 #1
    Which EU university provides the best MSc degree programme in theoretical physics (I am interested in quantum cosmology and CM physics)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2009 #2
    Dumb question: what's a MSc in theoretical physics useful for?
  4. Aug 21, 2009 #3
    You can't do PhD without MSc not only in EU (you can only skip MSc in UK) but also in US and rest of the world. It's all about admission criteria for EU countries.
  5. Aug 21, 2009 #4
    Ah! Makes sense. Obviously I'm not an expert on this subject, but good luck. In most subjects in the US it's straight from undergrad to PhD I believe.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  6. Aug 22, 2009 #5
    For the UK we have a few programmes that may be of interest:

    Imperial - http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/theoreticalphysics/postgraduatestudy/mastersdegree"
    Durham - http://www.dur.ac.uk/physics/postgraduate/taught/" [Broken]

    Cambridge - http://www.maths.cam.ac.uk/postgrad/casm/" [Broken] (Not an actual MSc but it will certainly act as an equivalent - course at this level is required for PhD's in the DAMTP - Lectures (Can check out the pdf at the part III site)

    Kings College London - http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/pse/maths/research/thphys/msc-programme.html" [Broken]

    These are all at some great departments and, I think, cover most of the areas you would need (and want) for further study in quantum cosmology anyway.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Aug 22, 2009 #6
    Thank you. I am also interested in other EU countries. Which one has good MSc programme? What's a difference between 1 year MSc programme (UK) and 2 years one (most EU countries)? Is 1 year "reaserch" or "taught" only? Which one gives you better PhD background?
  8. Aug 23, 2009 #7
    I can't claim to be too familiar with the actual details of the European system but most of Europe is moving towards the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bologna_process" [Broken] as a way to try to produce a standard for degrees across Europe. The article I linked to should provide some more information regarding the Bologna process and how this links in with most European countries.

    As a an example for a UK degree the MSc will typically require a student to obtain 120 credits at masters levels (at least it does for my 4th year - although this is part of an integrated undergraduate masters called an MPhys, just to add to the confusion! :)). This may be made up of 60 credits from taught modules (e.g 24 lecture course ~ 10 credits) and a 60 credit extended research project with a supervisor culminating in a thesis (~50/60,000 words?).

    I can't really say whether the 3+2+3 European model or the 4+3 UK model (4 year MPhys + 3 year Phd) provides any better training or preparation for a PhD though, sorry.

    As for European institutions offering a good MSc, well there are plenty of great universities to choose from. A good idea may be to take a look at some http://www.universityrankings.ch/results/results_main_rankings" [Broken] and just mark out a few that may seem interesting (perhaps due to location etc) and check up the courses they offer. Sorry I can't offer a terrible amount of advice on this as there really are so many to choose from.

    Finally, something that may be of interest (and I forgot to add to my list) is the http://www.sussex.ac.uk/physics/1-2-23-3.html" [Broken] which may offer the kind of balance you may be looking for.

    Again, sorry I can't offer much on how Europe does things but hopefully someone will be able to give some more details. Hope you find something interesting though.

    (I seem to have a bias here for Cosmology/Particle/Theoretical!)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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