The Oxford master's in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics is a high-level graduate course which covers the areas of Quantum Field Theory, Particle Physics and String Theory, Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics, Theoretical Astrophysics, Plasma Physics and Physics of Continuous Media and Mathematical Foundations of Theoretical Physics. For an overview of the planned lecture courses please see here and for more details consult the course handbook. The programme offers considerable flexibility and freedom to design individual pathways. For example, students can aim for a broad theoretical education across subject areas or, alternatively, focus on one of the subject areas above. Studies can be pursued with stronger emphasis on mathematical or on physical aspects. Case studies for different pathways through the course can be found here.
Unlike many standard MPhys/MMath courses, this course provides a comprehensive preparation for PhD-level work in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics. In particular, if you are interested in pursuing PhD studies in an area of Mathematical and Theoretical Physics you should consider applying.
When do applications open?
Applications for entry in October 2023 can be submitted from Thursday 1st September 2022.
Who can apply?
Students from outside the University of Oxford wishing to enter the MSc mode can apply if they either hold a BA or a masters degree (or equivalent) in mathematics, physics or a related subject, or are enrolled in such a degree programme and are set to complete it by the time they intend to start the MSc. Oxford students are eligible to apply for transfer to the MMathPhys in their fourth year, if they are enrolled in the third year of either the MPhys, MMath or MPhysPhil courses.
If you are an Oxford student on one of these courses and you have a strong interest in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics - perhaps you are thinking about PhD studies in this area - you should seriously consider applying for the MMathPhys. Unlike the fourth year of the MPhys, MMath or MPhysPhil degrees, the MMathPhys provides a comprehensive preparation for PhD-level work in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics. Note that you are not closing down any of your options by applying for the MMathPhys. If you are not accepted onto the MMathPhys (or if you are accepted but you change your mind later) you are free to continue with your original degree programm (MPhys, MMath or MPhysPhil), provided, of course, you satisfy the relevant conditions to proceed into the fourth year of this programme.
The admissions criteria for the course can be found on the Oxford University website.
How to apply?
Applicants from outside Oxford applying for the MSc should follow the usual Oxford University postgraduate admission procedure explained here. Applications should be submitted for the second gathered field deadline in January (noon on Friday 20th January 2023 for entry in October 2023).
Oxford applicants currently enrolled on the MMath, MPhys or MPhysPhil course who wish to apply for the MMathPhys, should follow the instructions to apply to transfer here. Applications should be submitted by the same deadline (noon on Friday 20th January 2023 for entry in October 2023).
Fees and Funding
For information on fees and funding for this course please see the University's fees and funding webpage here.
In particular, applicants may be interested in the new UK master's loan scheme, further information about this can be found here.
While there are no formal pre-requisites beyond the admissions criteria listed here, those applicants whose undergraduate degree programmes have optional components may wish to receive some guidance as to how best to prepare themselves for the MMathPhys/MSc programme. Here we give some suggestions for the Oxford students intending to apply to the MMathPhys. These suggestions might inform your choice of optional courses during the first three years of your undergraduate course. Equivalents might be available to MSc applicants at their own universities.
If you have any questions about the course please contact the course administrator via firstname.lastname@example.org.