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Guide to Physics Options

You will see from the course regulations that your course consists of both core and optional components. You should take sufficient modules to bring your total possible credit up to the normal load for your course. More modules can be taken than the minimum required, in which case your marks are adjusted to make an allowance for the fact that you have taken a higher load than normal. Any decision to commit yourself to a significant extra load should be discussed with your Tutor.

You can 'sample' more options than you are required, or plan, to take. However, registering for much more than the normal load, and deregistering down after attending complete modules, is not usually sensible. The most common mistake is to assume that just attending lectures is enough. It is not. Modules are taught on the basis that you are fully committed and are keeping up with problems sheets.

Third and Fourth Year Modules

The third and fourth year modules (including core modules) are loosely grouped according to subject matter in the list below. Although any combination of the optional modules is allowed by the regulations, you should bear in mind that modules on similar topics tend to reinforce each other. It is advisable to take most of the third year modules in each of the categories in which you intend to take fourth year modules.

Relativistic Quantum Mechanics is a pre-requisite for the module Gauge Theories for Particle Physics and covers material assumed in Advanced Particle Physics and Neutrino Physics.

The subject areas, with fourth year modules in italics, are:


High Energy Astrophysics
Planets, Exo-Planets and Life
The Distant Universe

Classical Physics I

Fluid Dynamics (taught by the Maths Department)
Statistical Physics
General Relativity

Classical Physics II - Plasmas

Plasma Electrodynamics
High Energy Astrophysics
Physics of Fusion Power
Solar Magnetohydrodynamics

Quantum Theory

Quantum Physics of Atoms
Relativistic Quantum Mechanics
Gauge Theories for Particle Physics
Quantum Theory of Interacting Particles

Quantum Phenomena I - Particles and Nuclei

The Standard Model
Nuclear Physics
Advanced Particle Physics
Gauge Theories for Particle Physics

Neutrino Physics

Quantum Phenomena II - Condensed Matter

Condensed Matter Physics
Condensed Matter Physics II
Structure and Dynamics of Solids
Quantum Theory of Interacting Particles


(These are modules designed in part to show how the ideas and methodologies of physics are used and valued in other disciplines such as meteorology, materials science and medicine.)

Magnetic Resonance
Optoelectronics and Laser Physics
Physics in Medicine
Weather and Environment

Skills Training

Communicating Science
Physics Project
Physics Group Project
Scientific Programming
Physics Project
High Performance Computing in Physics

In addition to the options listed, it is possible to take certain other modules, offered by other departments, as Unusual Options.

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