Quantum physics is the study of matter and energy at its most fundamental level, unveiling the properties of nature's building blocks. Although often associated with small objects, quantum phenomena influence all scales of existence. These discoveries have profoundly impacted our understanding of materials, chemistry, biology, and astronomy, leading to innovations like lasers and transistors. Quantum science also holds the potential to revolutionise gravity and spacetime concepts and reveal interconnections beyond our senses, possibly linking everything in the universe or even multiple universes.
The UK is a top choice for studying quantum physics courses, offering a degree focused on three core sections: quantum optics, quantum information, and quantum systems. The programme includes a full-time project on quantum dynamics with academic research groups. This course deepens knowledge beyond the undergraduate level, providing an understanding of advanced mathematical methods and selected areas of physics at the forefront of research for a potential research career.
Top 10 Universities to Study Quantum Physics in the UK
The DPhil in Atomic and Laser Physics at Oxford University offers research opportunities in various cutting-edge areas, such as quantum computation, quantum cryptography, and Bose-Einstein condensation. Students engage in experimental and theoretical research, delving into topics like quantum optics, ultra-cold matter, and non-linear optics.
The programme provides a detailed timetable of taught courses during the first year, covering light-matter interaction, quantum information processing, and more. Students are expected to participate in journal clubs actively and may have access to training courses outside the sub-department. The DPhil is a research-focused degree, and students start their main research project upon arrival.
- Course to consider: DPhil in Atomic and Laser Physics
- Entry requirements: A first-class or strong upper-second-class undergraduate degree with honours in physics, mathematics or related fields.
- International fees: £29,700
The MSc Particles, Strings, and Cosmology at Durham University is an advanced one-year course designed for students with a solid background in physics or mathematics. The course comprises three modules, with the first two being graduate lecture courses in Michaelmas and Epiphany terms, assessed through examinations. The third module involves a research dissertation under the guidance of an expert supervisor.
- Course to consider: MSc Particles, Strings and Cosmology
- Entry requirements: 2.1 Honours in either Physics or Mathematics.
- International fees: £25,900
The BA (Hons) or MSci Natural Sciences at Cambridge offers a diverse and interconnected approach to scientific exploration. In Year 1, students select three science subjects from a broad range of options, each with specific subject requirements. They also study one mathematics option tailored to physical or biological sciences. Year 2 allows students to choose from various subjects, including animal diversity, biochemistry, physics, and more. In Years 3 and 4, students can either pursue a broad Part II subject in Biological or Physical Sciences or specialise in specific areas such as astrophysics, genetics, neuroscience, or plant sciences, among others.
- Course to consider: BA (Hons) or MSci Natural Sciences
- Entry requirements: A Level: A*A*A. IB: 40-42 points, with 776 at the Higher Level.
- International fees: £37,293
The Integrated Masters in Theoretical Physics at St Andrews offers an in-depth exploration of fundamental physics, covering classical dynamics, quantum mechanics, and relativity. Students study various applications, including quantum optics, condensed matter, and quantum field theory. The final year includes advanced modules closely linked to the School's research programme and a full-time research project with a research team.
- Course to consider: Theoretical Physics MPhys (Honours)
- Entry requirements: AAAA, including A in both mathematics and physics. IB points standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6), including HL6 in both mathematics and physics.
- International fees: £28,190
The Astrophysics and Cosmology at Lancaster offers a comprehensive understanding of the universe's physical laws, astrophysical phenomena, and cosmological concepts. In the first year, students gain a strong foundation in physics and perform lab experiments using advanced equipment and software. The second year delves deeper into astrophysics with lectures on cosmology, astronomy, and solar system science.
Year 3 offers a wide range of optional and core modules. In the final year, students specialise further with additional optional modules and undertake an independent MPhys Project in their chosen area. The course also includes a quantum physics module, exploring wave-particle duality, probabilistic nature, and quantum modelling of natural phenomena.
- Course to consider: Physics with Astrophysics MPhys
- Entry requirements: A Level- AAA, Required Subjects A level Mathematics grade A and A level Physics grade A
- International fees: £26,550
The BSc Physics at the University of Aberdeen offers a captivating journey of understanding exploring the universe from subatomic particles to galaxies. With a focus on practical learning and small class sizes, the department fosters a supportive environment for students. Accredited by the Institute of Physics, the course delves into diverse topics such as motion, forces, and energy, aiming to instil critical thinking based on a strong knowledge foundation.
- Course to consider: Physics, BSc
- Entry requirements: A level - Standard: BBB. International Baccalaureate 32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL, including HL in Mathematics and Physics.
- International fees: £24,800
The Physics with Particle Physics and Cosmology BSc at the University of Birmingham focuses on the fundamental aspects of the universe. With a strong emphasis on cutting-edge research conducted by Birmingham physicists at prestigious laboratories like CERN, students gain theoretical and practical expertise from experts in the field. Students have the unique opportunity to visit CERN and participate in project work, enhancing problem-solving and teamwork skills.
- Course to consider: Physics with Particle Physics and Cosmology BSc
- Entry requirements: A level - A*AA / AAAA To include A-level Mathematics and A-level Physics grades A*A (or AA as part of four A level offers). IB 7,6,6 At HL, to include Mathematics and Physics, with a minimum of 32 points overall. 7 must be in Mathematics or Physics
- International fees: £25,860
The Physics with Astrophysics degree at the University of Leicester is the longest-established programme of its kind. It offers a comprehensive exploration of various astrophysics topics, from stars and galaxies to exoplanets and black holes. Alongside fundamental physics and maths, students delve into specialist astrophysics options and engage in research projects with the school's astrophysics research groups.
- Course to consider: Physics with Astrophysics MPhys
- Entry requirements: A/AS-levels: AAB-ABB including Physics and Maths. Two AS-levels are considered in place of one A-level.
- International fees: £22,600
The Physics (MSc) at Cardiff University offers a full-time degree with a focus on quantum physics, photonics, theoretical and computational analysis, sensors and materials, and astrophysics. The course provides comprehensive skills training and hands-on experience and covers theoretical and experimental physics, along with advanced areas of application. Taught by world-class researchers, the programme includes summer research projects in collaboration with industrial partners.
- Course to consider: Physics (MSc)
- Entry requirements: A 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as physics, mathematics, engineering, a related physical science, computer science, astrophysics, astronomy or an equivalent international degree.
- International fees: £25,450
The Physics BSc/MPhys programme at the University of Hull offers a comprehensive undergraduate degree with an option to progress to a master's level. The course covers various physics topics, from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics, and includes laboratory work to enhance practical skills. The programme focuses on developing critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and scientific research skills. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and receive personalised support from experienced faculty.
- Course to consider: BSc (Hons) Physics
- Entry requirements: A Level - Maths and Physics at Grade B or above. Applicants taking the reformed A-level must also Pass the practical element. IB Diploma: 30 points (including 6 in Higher Level Maths and Physics)
- International fees: £18,300
Study Quantum Physics in the UK
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Quantum Physics Course FAQ
Which university is best for the study of quantum physics?
The University of Oxford, Durham University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of St Andrews are all esteemed institutions for studying quantum physics in the UK. Each university offers strong physics departments with expertise in the field.
Which institute is best for quantum physics in the world?
Many institutes worldwide are prominent for their contributions to quantum physics. Some top institutions include the Institute for Quantum Computing (Canada), the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (Germany), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA), and the University of Oxford's Quantum Science and Technology programme.
Can you major in quantum physics?
It is typically offered as a specialisation within a broader physics programme or sometimes as a dedicated quantum physics major, allowing students to focus on the principles and applications of quantum mechanics and related fields.
Can you get a PhD in quantum physics?
Yes, you can pursue a PhD in quantum physics. Doctoral programmes in quantum physics are available at various universities worldwide. These programmes provide an opportunity for in-depth research and specialisation in areas such as quantum mechanics, quantum computing, quantum optics, and quantum information theory.