If you are fascinated by astronomy and have the drive to solve the mysteries of the universe through scientific study, mathematics, computing and experimental work, then this Physics and Astrophysics MSci degree has been created for you.


Physics and Astrophysics MSci

Our Physics and Astrophysics MSci programme is for those who are fascinated by astronomy, and are looking for an in-depth treatment that also gives a good grounding in physics. You will have access to excellent astronomy facilities during your degree, such as our special Astro laboratory which provides astronomical data from observatories around the world. We also have a purpose-built Observatory, which you could use during your project work. All of which make Newcastle a great place for studying Astrophysics.  

There are many opportunities to undertake project work during your degree. This will be as part of your lab work in the first two years, including including specialised astronomy labs.  A project develops a wide range of skills including planning and report writing. Group studies in your final year is a major project which is undertaken in groups of 10-20 students. The task requires the group to work as a team and enables you to solve a problem of much greater magnitude than could be attempted by an individual. The team work skills learnt here are invaluable in success in a future career. 

You will be taught by academics who are global experts in their field, you’ll gain a broad understanding of the essential concepts of physics, ranging from entropy to quantum mechanics and beyond. The transferable skills you’ll also learn will make you very employable; including problem solving, computing and giving presentations.


Why study Physics and Astrophysics MSci at Newcastle?

  • Very broad range of leading research leading to a wide range of optional modules and projects
  • High employability rate, including a high percentage who go on to do PhDs. Employability is embedded through the course
  • Friendly and supportive environment. Year 1 and year 2 have weekly tutorials with 1 academic member of staff and no more than 4 students. Lecturers have open door policy. Elected student representatives meet weekly with staff to resolve any issues quickly
  • Flexibility between our range of specialised courses
    • BSc and MSci identical for first two years so don’t need to make final decision between the two until end of second year.
    • Physics, Physics and Astrophysics, and Physics with Particle Physics and Cosmology are very similar initially so possible to swap after first year and in some cases after second year.
    • As an Astrophysics BSc student you can choose to do a year abroad for third year at start of second year (subject to language qualifications or application process to an English speaking university)
    • BSc students can choose to do a year out in computer science during their third year.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

Physics and Astrophysics MSci

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (4 Years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Year 1

  • Quantum Mechanics and Optics and Waves – 10 credits
  • Classical Mechanics and Relativity 1 – 10 credits
  • Classical Mechanics and Relativity 2 – 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Physicists 1A – 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Physicists 1B – 10 credits
  • Physics Laboratory 1A – 10 credits
  • Physics Laboratory 1B – 10 credits
  • Physics and Communication Skills 1 – 10 credits
  • Electromagnetism and Temperature and Matter – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics – 10 credits
  • Introduction to Astrophysics – 10 credits


Year 2

  • Quantum Mechanics 2 – 10 credits
  • Particles and Nuclei and A Quantum Approach to Solids – 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Physicists 2A – 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Physicists 2B – 10 credits
  • Physics Laboratory 2 – 10 credits
  • Physics and Communication Skill 2 – 10 credits
  • Electromagnetism 2 – 10 credits
  • Statistical Physics and Entropy – 10 credits
  • Structure in the Universe – 10 credits
  • Space Research/Astro Project – 10 credits
  • Observational Astronomy – 10 credits
  • Optics – 10 credits


Year 3

Core modules:

  • Quantum Mechanics 3 – 10 credits
  • Statistical Physics – 10 credits
  • General Physics – 10 credits
  • Group Studies – 20 credits
  • Atomic Physics – 10 credits
  • Observational Laboratory – 20 credits

Students must also take TWO of the following modules:

  • The Life and Death of Stars – 10 credits
  • Observational Cosmology – 10 credits
  • Evolution of Cosmic Structure – 10 credits

Optional modules.

Choose 20 credits. Example modules:

  • Chaos and Dynamical Systems – 10 credits
  • Radiation and Relativity – 10 credits
  • Condensed Matter Physics – 10 credits
  • Fission and Fusion – 10 credits
  • Medical Imaging – 10 credits
  • Complex Variable Theory – 10 credits
  • Images and Communication – 10 credits
  • Physics Critique – 10 credits
  • Laboratory – 20 credits
  • Laboratory – 10 credits
  • Physics Teaching in Schools – 10 credits
  • Particle Physics – 10 credits
  • Nuclear Physics – 10 credits
  • Semiconductor Optoelectronics – 10 credits
  • Asteroseismology and Exoplanets – 10 credits
  • Physics of Music and Sound – 10 credits
  • Scientific Computing Laboratory 1 – 10 credits
  • Scientific Computing Laboratory 2 – 10 credits
  • Physical Principles of Radar – 10 credits


Year 4

One-third of your final MSci year is given over to a major research project in which you will work with a supervisor to tackle a problem of genuine research interest. Recent examples include studies of star formation within cosmic filaments, pulsating stars observed by NASA’s Kepler satellite, and advanced optical techniques that have been used to detect gravitational waves.


Core module

  • Project Seminar and Viva – 20 credits
  • Project Planning and Preliminary Report – 10 credits
  • Project Dissertation – 20 credits

Students must also take ONE of the following modules:

  • Inference from Scientific Data – 10 credits
  • Relativistic Astrophysics – 10 credits

Optional modules.

Choose 60 credits. Example modules:

  • Numerical Weather Forecasting and Climate Modelling – 10 credits
  • Physics Critique – 10 credits
  • Observational Cosmology – 10 credits
  • Phase Transitions – 10 credits
  • Superconductivity – 10 credits
  • The General Theory of Relativity – 10 credits
  • Nanophotonics – 10 credits
  • Ultracold Atoms and Quantum Gases – 10 credits
  • Advanced Condensed Matter Physics – 10 credits
  • Complex Variable Theory – 10 credits
  • Images and Communication – 10 credits
  • Many Particle and Quantum Field Theory – 10 credits
  • Condensed Matter Physics – 10 credits
  • Nuclear Physics – 10 credits
  • Quantum Optics – 10 credits
  • Evolution of Cosmic Structure – 10 credits
  • Asteroseismology and Exoplanets – 10 credits
  • Quantum Mechanics 4 – 10 credits
  • Fission and Fusion – 10 credits
  • Current Topics in Particle Physics – 10 credits
  • Experimental Particle Physics Techniques – 10 credits

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.

See further details of our English Language requirement

USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

As a graduate in Physics, the choice of career remains wide open. You may go on to apply your physics knowledge directly in a scientific environment, or you might be employed in a high-profile job for your problem-solving and computational skills, in the worlds of finance and information technology.

Physics and Astronomy graduates from Newcastle are highly employable (96% employment rate in Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17) and the career possibilities are numerous, both in the world of science and research and in other sectors of industry, business and commerce.

Physicists are problem solvers at heart, and throughout your degree you’ll learn how to tackle a variety of problems so you can apply your breadth of understanding to many different areas.

Over 40% of our students go on to further study after graduating, with around two thirds of those being research leading to a PhD, a route open to you directly after completing an MSci degree. As well as being the main route into academic research, a PhD also opens the door to many careers that need specific advanced scientific knowledge. The most compelling reason to do a PhD is love of the subject, and the high number of our graduates choosing this route illustrates the satisfaction of students who study with us. The remaining third of students who carry on to further study either take a specialised postgraduate masters in subjects such as a very specific branch of physics, or engineering or computing, or they are pursuing a postgraduate teaching qualification such as a PGCE or PGdipEd.


Graduates who have studied our courses:

Example employers

  • NASA
  • NHS – Medical Physics
  • Rolls-Royce
  • EDF Energy
  • BAE Systems
  • Barclays Capital
  • PriceWaterhouse Coopers
  • Accenture – Technology Services


Example careers

  • Scientific researcher
  • Medical physicist
  • Energy consultant
  • Defence analyst
  • Meteorologist
  • Statistician
  • Financial services analyst
  • Business consultant