Heriot-Watt University ranked first in the UK for Physics in the National Student Survey 2020. Our Physics programmes were also ranked second in Scotland by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.

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Physics impacts on all aspects of our technological society, from high-speed fibre optic telecommunications and ultra-fast computing to solar cells and nuclear power. It considers fascinating ideas about the fundamental nature of the physical world, such as the very fabric of space and time as revealed by relativity, or the mysterious quantum world of subatomic particles. These concepts are not only philosophically challenging but form the basis for modern technology.

The specialisms within our courses reflect our highly successful research in areas such as lasers, semiconductor optoelectronics, optical fibre sensors, environmental monitoring, nanotechnology, medical physics and quantum computing.

Our courses offer flexibility and choice so that you can explore the areas of most interest to you. Up until the end of Year 3 it is possible to select a different degree within Physics.

Teaching and assessment

Learning methods include:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • online computer-based learning.

Our experimental laboratories are up-to-date and well-equipped. MPhys students can join research teams for final year project work.

Professional recognition and exemptions

Our courses are accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP). 

Industrial placements/work experience

Our MPhys degree course will be offered 'with Industrial Experience'. Students will spend a year between Years 4 and 5 undertaking a research course in one of a selection of companies throughout the UK or abroad.

Prizes and scholarships

A number of industry-sponsored and endowed prizes are awarded to students at various stages throughout the course.

Key information

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