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Year 3 Modules (MPhys)

These are the approved course regulations for the academic year 2022/23. The syllabuses may be subject to minor alterations. The changes with respect to the current course regulations are small and follow a University decision to make credit weightings across all faculties more uniform.


The programme consists of a core of 5 lectured modules, the astrophysics laboratory and group project with further modules taken from the options list. Enough options have to be taken in order to raise the total load to at least 120 CATS credits, which is defined to be the normal load for this course. The maximum permitted load is 150 CATS. You must choose modules worth at least 15 CATS from the Options List.

This page is indicative. Full details of the modules being prepared specifically for this course will appear once finalised.


Core Modules Weeks CATS Credit
PX3A2 Quantum Physics of Atoms 1-10 10
PX3A3 Electrodynamics 1-10 10
PX3A6 Galaxies and Cosmology 1-10 15
PX3A9 Black Holes, White Dwarfs and Neutron Stars 15-24 15
PX448 Mathematical Methods for Physicists III 1-10 10
PX450 Astrophysics Group Project 1-10 15
PX451 Astrophysics Laboratory III 15-24 15
Option List    
PX385 Condensed Matter Physics 15-24 15
PX390 Scientific Computing 1-10, 15-19 15
PX399 The Earth and its Atmosphere 1-10 15
PX3A4 Plasma Physics and Fusion 15-24 15
PX3A5 Standard Model 15-24 15
MA3D1 Fluid Dynamics 15-24 15


Where options are taken, so that the load exceeds the normal load, the marks for all modules attempted will appear on your University transcript. The overall year mark will be calculated as the arithmetic mean of the subset of whole modules, weighted according to their credit weighting, which satisfies the course regulations and results in the highest mark.

Before contemplating an overload you should discuss it with your personal tutor. We will be monitoring your registrations and you may be asked to discuss the situation with the Director of Studies or the Director of Student Experience. Please note that registering for modules and then not attempting the examination may be considered an abuse of the system and could lead to sanctions.


Please read the rules concerning progression to the fourth year.

Important Notice

The modules listed above are the ones that you will normally be permitted to register for. If you wish to take an unusual option you should consult our document on unusual options prior to taking any such modules. It is our experience that for most students the normal load is the most appropriate load, and only in exceptional circumstances should students take an overload of more than a couple of modules (15 CATS). Before contemplating an overload you should discuss it with your personal tutor. We will be monitoring your registrations and you will be asked to discuss the situation with the director of studies if your load goes above 150 CATS.

You may NOT take PX376 Communicating Science as an unusual option.

This year's course has been designed with the following aims and objectives


  • To continue the study of astrophysics, quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory and experimental astrophysics
  • To demonstrate how the principles of physics form the basis for explaining phenomena observed in plasmas and stars
  • To develop students' transferable skills including group working


On the completion of the third year you should have a sound knowledge of physics and astrophysics and be well prepared for the final year courses.