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Home>School of Physics, Engineering and Technology>Study>Postgraduate research degrees in physics>Physics (by research) (MSc)>2022

MSc Physics (by research)


1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Distance learning available

Start date

October 2022, January, April, July 2023 (term dates)

Meet us

Meet us online or on campus and find out more about postgraduate study at York.

Find out more

At York, our renowned research areas play a leading role on both the national and international stages, collaborating with industries and major higher education institutions. If your passion lies in research, our Masters by research degree provides the opportunity for academic independence, allowing you to focus on your research project, alongside a small number of taught modules.

Your research

The focus of your work will be an independent research project. You'll be supported with a small number of taught modules to develop your knowledge and practical skills.

You'll have 12 months to experiment and collect data, and a further three months (if needed) to write your thesis.

You'll be part of one of our leading research groups, which bring together expertise in fields such as Condensed Matter Physics, Nuclear Physics, Plasma Physics and Fusion, Physics of Life - Biological Physics and Biophysics, and Quantum Communication.



We encourage you to find out about our academics and get to know how their work and expertise fit with your interests before you apply. If you wish to learn more about a particular academic's research or discuss a project you have in mind, they are happy to answer specific questions by email or telephone.

Most of our academics accept applications for self-funded MSc study all year round.

Find a supervisor

Training and support

We provide training which will equip you with skills in a wide range of research methods to support your growing expertise and enhance your employability.

Alongside your research, taught modules will help you develop specialist skills and relate your project to developments in the field. You'll choose from a wide range of Masters and undergraduate modules in specialist areas to complement your research, including:

  • Plasma Physics for Fusion
  • First Principles of Material Modelling
  • Biophysics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Advanced Nuclear Physics

You'll also take part in a transferable skills programme, covering soft and hard skills.

Course location

You will be based on Campus West. Most of your training and supervision meetings will take place here, though your research may take you further afield.

We offer a distance learning option for this course if you cannot live in York full- or part-time.

You should have, or be about to complete, a BSc degree at 2:2 (or equivalent) in Physics, or a related subject.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability.

English language requirements


Apply for the MSc by research

Apply for the MSc by research - distance learning

Find a supervisor

On your application form please let us know about your research interests. If you are interested in working with a particular supervisor, please make this clear.

Distance learning (DL)

As part of the application process, we will ask for justification for taking the DL option and will then assess the feasibility of the work programme. The latter will be embodied in a plan of study outlining resources and facilities needed, training requirements and an associated timeline, which will need to be in place before being accepted onto the programme. Unless special arrangements can be agreed in advance, a research topic that requires specialised equipment and facilities may not be possible with DL.

Next steps