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Third Year Modules (MPhys)

The programme consists of a core of 3 lectured modules, the laboratory and the 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 22.5 CATS from the Options List A and modules worth at least 30 CATS from Option List B.

Core Modules Weeks CATS Credit
PX382 Quantum Physics of Atoms 1-5 7.5
PX384 Electrodynamics 1-5 7.5
PX424 Physics Group Project 15-24 15
PX428 Physics Laboratory 1-10 15
PX440 Mathematical Methods for Physicists III 1-5 7.5
Option List A    
PX385 Condensed Matter Physics 6-10,15-19 15
PX392 Plasma Electrodynamics 6-10 7.5
PX395 The Standard Model 15-19 7.5
PX397 Galaxies 6-10 7.5
Option List B    
Remaining list A modules    
PX308 Physics in Medicine 15-19 7.5
PX366 Statistical Physics 15-19 7.5
PX387 Astrophysics 15-24 15
PX389 Cosmology 20-24 7.5
PX390 Scientific Computing 1-10, 15-19 15
PX391 Non-linearity, chaos and complexity 20-24 7.5
PX396 Nuclear Physics 20-24 7.5
PX398 The Physics of Living Systems 20-24 7.5
PX399 The Earth and its Atmosphere 1-10 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 as unusual options either: PX319 Physics Project or PX376 Communicating Science.

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


  • To continue the study of quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory, mathematics and experimental physics.
  • To demonstrate how the laws of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and electromagnetism form the basis for explaining phenomena observed in at least some of condensed matter, nuclei, plasmas and stars.
  • To permit students' to begin to specialise in areas of physics of particular interest to them.
  • To further develop students' transferable skills including group working.


On the completion of the third year you should

  1. Have a sound knowledge of physics and be appropriately prepared for the final year courses.
  2. Have identified certain areas of physics which you wish to study further.

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