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Durham University

Centre for Particle Theory

Graduate Studies at CPT: Lectures

The CPT offers a very broad and comprehensive set of lecture courses in elementary particle physics. Because of its size and varied interests, the Centre for Particle Theory is able to offer comprehensive programme of lectures in particle physics which take the student to the frontier of present research. The course begins 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.

Structure of the Courses

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, which contribute to the assessment for the MSc and to the first year progression requirements for PhD students. 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, 16 lectures, or 24 lectures in length.

There are additional optional lectures in the third term, aimed primarily at PhD students. These introduce advanced topics and are intended as preparation for research in these areas.


Material from the first term is assessed in an examination at the beginning of the second term in January, whilst material from the second term is assessed at the end of the second term in March. 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. The dissertation, which must be handed in on September 15 together with a signed plagiarism form, is double-marked by two members of the CPT expert in the dissertation topic.

Course descriptions

Click on the course titles given below to find out more about the course content and reading lists. These course descriptions can also be found in the MSc course handbook.

Michaelmas TermEpiphany TermEaster Term (previously offered)
Introductory Field Theory
Group Theory
Standard Model
General Relativity
Quantum Electrodynamics
Quantum Field Theory I & II
Cosmology I

Conformal Field Theory
Quantum Chromodynamics
Cosmology II
Non-perturbative Physics
Flavour Physics and Effective Field Theories
Neutrino Physics
Astroparticle Physics
Renormalization Group
Higgs Phenomenology
Computing for Physicists

Extra dimensions in Gravity
Introduction to ADS/CFT
Resummation in Action
Event generators for LHC
Electroweak symmetry breaking
Experimental physics
Simulations in High Energy Physics
Differential Geometry for Physicists
Boundaries and Defects in Integrable Field Theory