Chemical Physics MPhys/BSc (Hons)

Course Director: Dr. David Townsend

Applicants should use UCAS codes F320 (BSc) or F322 (MPhys)

Duration 4/5 years MPhys, 3/4 years for BSc

The Course

The Chemical Physics degree programme, which is run through the Physics Department at Heriot-Watt, spans the interface between chemistry and physics. The course incorporates all the core elements of a physics degree as well as key chemistry concepts relating to the structure and properties of atoms, molecules and materials. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme ensures students will develop a wide range of skills and expertise. In the final year students will undertake a research project, working closely with a member of staff. Chemical Physics is well suited to students with interests in the atomic and molecular applications of physics and the more physical and mathematical aspects of chemistry.

Level 1

Topics studied will include mechanics and waves, principles of chemistry, fields and forces, chemical reactivity, mathematics, physics and chemistry laboratory work.

Level 2

Topics studied will include photonics, introduction to quantum mechanics and spectroscopy, chemical kinetics, relativity, thermodynamics, atomic structure and molecular bonding, mathematics, communication skills, physics and chemistry laboratory work.

Level 3

Topics studied will include advanced chemical structure, electromagnetism and optics, advanced mathematics, solid state physics, circuits and analysis, quantum theory and advanced spectroscopy, classical dynamics, statistical physics, laboratory work.

Level 4

Topics will include advanced chemical kinetics, lasers, numerical modelling and data analysis, large scale chemical systems, nuclear and particle physics, advanced quantum mechanics, advanced problem solving, chemical physics research project.

Level 5 (MPhys only)

Topics will include advanced optics, advanced physical chemistry, advanced quantum mechanics, computer modelling of chemical systems, advanced laser physics, chemical physics research project.

Career Prospects

With an interdisciplinary knowledge base spanning physics, chemistry and mathematics, Chemical Physics graduates will be extremely well equipped for a wide variety of scientific careers, including higher level research, for example at PhD level. In addition, the general skills that Chemical Physics graduates will have developed in regard to logical problem solving and investigation is highly valued by potential employers well beyond the scientific domain.

Entry requirements and how to apply

Please see the relevant undergraduate prospectus pages: