Durham University

Department of Physics

Postgraduate taught degrees

M.Sc. in Particles, Strings and Cosmology

A one year advanced course of 12 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time), October to September. The 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. Each student follows a programme of lecture courses and planned reading, and prepares a dissertation on a topic of current research. The student will be able to choose the topic of special interest from a wide variety of subjects, and will be assigned a supervisor with expertise in the chosen area. Students lacking background knowledge may be encouraged to attend relevant undergraduate courses. The degree is awarded following satisfactory performances in the examinations taken in January and March and on successful completion of several small coursework assignments and a dissertation. The dissertation (40–60 pages) must be submitted by the middle of September, at the end of the twelve month course period.

The M.Sc. course is operated by the Centre for Particle Theory, which is a collaborative research centre of the Departments of Physics and Mathematical Sciences. Because of its size and varied interests, the Centre for Particle Theory is able to offer a comprehensive programme of lectures in particle physics which take the student to the frontiers 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.