Postgraduate Courses in Physics

By Mac Wheeler - Last update

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Information About Postgraduate Courses in Physics

The study of physics as a postgraduate offers a solid grounding in some of the advanced applications of science and acts as a good precursor to entering into a career based either on the direct application of these sciences or in research and teaching.

Postgraduate Courses in Physics Trends

Physics falls under the main heading of physical sciences. In 2015-2016 in Ireland, just over 400 students took a postgraduate course in physical sciences, including physics. This made physical sciences the 5th most popular subject for postgraduate students in Ireland in 2015-2016.

Research Subjects for Postgraduate Courses in Physics

The actual research subjects that are available to you and the thesis you will write depends on which specialisations are available within your specific physics curriculum. However, typical research subjects could be:

  • Astronomy and astrophysics – the study of the universe and the forces which govern it.
  • Institute for gravitational research – research into gravitational force and anti- gravity.
  • Quantum theory – research into the theory of matter and quantum mechanics.
  • Materials and condensed matter physics – research into the theory of matter and nonrelativistic quantum physics.
  • Optics – research into the properties and behaviour of light.

Specialisations in Postgraduate Courses in Physics

When you choose to take a postgraduate qualification in physics, you will have to choose a specialisation. The specialisations on offer will depend entirely on what it is available at the university you plan to study at. Typical specialisations include:

  • Nuclear physics – covering the physics of atomic nuclei and their reactions.
  • Space physics – the study of plasma either just outside the earth’s atmosphere or elsewhere in the galaxy.
  • Marine geology and geophysics – the study of underseas geology and the physics which shape it.
  • Particle physics – research into the shape, behaviour and relationships of subatomic particles.
  • Acoustics – the study of mechanical waves such as sound, vibration and ultrasonic.
  • Measurement science – research into scientific method and the way that scientific facts are managed.
  • Optics and atomic physics – research into matter-matter and light-matter interactions at an atomic scale.

Studying Postgraduate Courses in Physics for Professional Reasons

The study of physics at a postgraduate level proves that the student has an aptitude for science and has the ability to understand complicated scientific concepts. Although most people who study physics intend to work in a job role which leverages their knowledge, the analytical skills learned can be applied to a wide range of sectors.

Job Roles Which Completing Postgraduate Courses in Physics Will Potentially Open Up

Studying towards a postgraduate qualification in physics will see a wide range of potential career options open up, either immediately, or after some additional study. The following jobs all have physics as an underlying basis:

  • Geophysicist/field seismologist – working directly in the field, investigation tectonic events.
  • Higher education lecturer – teaching science/physics.
  • Metallurgist – working with metals and their alloys, as well as the design, manipulation and application of exotic metals and metal composites.
  • Nanotechnologist – working with miniature machines and their applications.
  • Radiation protection practitioner – working in a nuclear facility, ensuring that safety from radiation is maintained.
  • Research scientist – laboratory research in a physics-related field.
  • Secondary school teacher – teaching either physics or general science to teenage students.

In Conclusion

Studying for a postgraduate qualification in physics shows that the student has an analytical mind able to grasp complicated theoretical concepts. Primarily physics students move into science-related jobs. However, some of the skills gained in this postgrad could be applied to any number of sectors.

Mac Wheeler

MSc Courses
Postgraduate Courses in Art & Design


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