The Centre for Particle Theory is a combined research group in the Mathematics and Physics Departments forming one of the largest particle theory groups in the UK. Both departments accept students for the Ph.D. or M.Sc. degrees. Currently over 50 postgraduate students from around the world are enrolled in the postgraduate programme. Students receive a thorough training in Particle Physics through a mixture of formal lectures and personal supervision.
In the first year, students for the PhD are required to attend the graduate lecture courses, and to take the examinations in January and April, which form part of the first year assessment. Each student will be assigned a supervisory team, who will be responsible for the research programme followed by the student in the remainder of their period of study. The degree is awarded on successful completion of a thesis based on original research. Non UK students may be required to register for the MSc in the first instance and subsequently convert to the PhD, subject to satisfactory progress during the first year.
Practical information about the MSc degree is available in the MSc Handbook
F3K209 Particles, Strings and Cosmology MSc Postgraduate Taught 2017
This is a one year advanced taught course. The aim of this course is to bring students in 12 months to the frontier of elementary particle theory. This course is intended for students who have already obtained a good first degree in either physics or mathematics, including in the latter case courses in quantum mechanics and relativity.
The course consists of three modules: the first two are the Michaelmas and Epiphany graduate lecture courses, which are assessed by examinations in January and March. The third module is a dissertation on a topic of current research, prepared under the guidance of a supervisor with expertise in the area. We offer a wide variety of possible dissertation topics. The dissertation must be submitted by September 15th, the end of the twelve month course period.
The main group of lectures are given in the first two terms of the academic year (Michaelmas and Epiphany). This part of the lecture course is assessed by examinations. In each term there are two teaching periods of four weeks, with a week's break in the middle of the term in which students will be able to revise the material. Most courses are either eight lectures or 16 lectures in length. There are 14 lectures/week in the Michaelmas term and 14 lectures/week in Epiphany term.
- Introductory Field Theory
- Group Theory
- Standard Model
- General Relativity
- Quantum Electrodynamics
- Quantum Field Theory
- Conformal Field Theory
- Strong Interaction Physics
- Superstrings and D-branes
- Non-Perturbative Physics
- Euclidean Field Theory
- Flavour Physics and Effective Field Theory
- Neutrinos and Astroparticle Physics
- 2d Quantum Field Theory.
Optional Modules available in previous years included:
- Differential Geometry for Physicists
- Boundaries and Defects in Integrable Field Theory
- Computing for Physicists.
For further information on this course, please visit the Centre for Particle Theory website.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University in 2016 please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Learning and Teaching
Course Learning and Teaching
This is a full-year degree course, starting early October and finishing in the middle of the subsequent September. The aim of the course is to bring students to the frontier of research in elementary particle theory.
The course consists of three modules: the first two are the Michaelmas and Epiphany graduate lecture courses. The third module is a dissertation on a topic of current research, prepared under the guidance of a supervisor with expertise in the area. We offer a wide variety of possible dissertation topics.
The lectures begin with a general survey of particle physics and introductory courses on quantum field theory and group theory. These lead on to more specialised topics, amongst others in string theory, cosmology, supersymmetry and more detailed aspects of the standard model.
The main group of lectures is given in the first two terms of the academic year (Michaelmas and Epiphany). This part of the lecture course is assessed by examinations. In each term there are two teaching periods of 4 weeks, with a week's break in the middle of the term in which students will be able to revise the material. Most courses are either 8 lectures or 16 lectures in length. There are 14 lectures/week in the Michaelmas term and 14 lectures/week in Epiphany term they are supported by weekly tutorials. In addition lecturers also set a number of homework assignments which give the student a chance to test his or her understanding of the material.
There are additional optional lectures in the third term. These introduce advanced topics and are intended as preparation for research in these areas.
The dissertation must be submitted by mid-September, the end of the twelve month course period.
Requirements and Admissions
Subject requirements, level and grade
A good second class honours degree (2.1 Honours) or international equivalent in either Physics or Mathematics.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£6,900.00 per year|
|Home Student||£6,900.00 per year|
|Island Student||£6,900.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£16,500.00 per year|
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.