MSc
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Starts September 2017
Particle Physics
Explore modern experimental and theoretical particle physics.
This course – delivered by our expert faculty – gives you a sound footing for further studies in this field. You can take this MSc in an experimental or theoretical mode.
Studying at Sussex has been fascinating – I would definitely encourage other physics graduates to invest the time in the extra year.”Kim Forster
Particle Physics MSc
Key facts
 Ranked in the top 15 in the UK for Physics (The Guardian University Guide 2018).
 The Department is a founder member of SEPnet, the South East Physics Network of physics departments, which supports vital research, teaching and development in the South East.
 Our research lies at the forefront of fundamental physics – from quantum information processing, through toprated particle physics experiments to the theoretical understanding of space, time and matter.
How will I study?
You’ll learn through lectures, seminars and personal supervision. Assessment is split equally between the project and modules. Your project culminates in a dissertation (with a contribution from a research talk).
The modules are assessed by problem sets, with either opennotes or unseen examinations.
You’ll attend research seminars and contribute to your group’s discussions of the latest journal papers.
Fulltime and parttime study
In the fulltime structure, you study core modules and options in the autumn and spring terms. You start work on your project at the beginning of the spring term. Later in the spring term, you give an assessed talk about your project. In the summer term, you focus on examinations and project work.
Your project can take the form of a placement in industry, but is usually supervised by faculty. Supervisors and topics are allocated, in consultation with you, at the start of the autumn term. You work on the project throughout the year. Often the projects form the basis of research papers that are later published in journals.
Find the modules for the fulltime course below.
In the parttime structure, you take the core modules in the autumn and spring terms of your first year. After the examinations in the summer term, you begin work on your project. Project work continues during the second year when you also take options. Distribution of modules between the two years is relatively flexible. Most of your project work naturally falls into the second year.
For details about the parttime course structure, contact us at msc@physics.sussex.ac.uk
What will I study?
 Module list
Core modules
Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.
 Project (MSc Particle Physics)
90 credits
All Year Teaching, Year 1You undertake a research project carried out under the supervision of a member of faculty.
 Further Quantum Mechanics
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1Topics covered include:
 Review of 4vector notation and Maxwell equations.
 Relativistic quantum mechanics: KleinGordon equation and antiparticles.
 Timedependent perturbation theory. Application to scattering processes and calculation of crosssections. Feynman diagrams.
 Spin1/2 particles and the Dirac equation. Simple fermionic scatterings.
 Quantum Field Theory 1
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1This module is an introduction into quantum field theory, covering:
 Action principle and Lagrangean formulation of mechanics
 Lagrangean formulation of field theory and relativistic invariance
 Symmetry, invariance and Noether's theorem
 Canonical quantization of the scalar field
 Canonical quantization of the electromagnetic field
 Canonical quantization of the Dirac spinor field
 Interactions, the S matrix, and perturbative expansions
 Feynman rules and radiative corrections.
Options
Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.
 Data Analysis Techniques
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1This module introduces you to the mathematical and statistical techniques used to analyse data. The module is fairly rigorous, and is aimed at students who have, or anticipate having, research data to analyse in a thorough and unbiased way.
Topics include: probability distributions; error propagation; maximum likelihood method and linear least squares fitting; chisquared testing; subjective probability and Bayes' theorem; monte Carlo techniques; and nonlinear least squares fitting.  General Relativity
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1This module provides an introduction to the general theory of relativity, including:
 Brief review of special relativity
 Scalars, vectors and tensors
 Principles of equivalence and covariance
 Spacetime curvature
 The concept of spacetime and its metric
 Tensors and curved spacetime; covariant differentiation
 The energymomentum tensor
 Einstein's equations
 The Schwarzschild solution and black holes
 Tests of general relativity
 Weak field gravity and gravitational waves
 Relativity in cosmology and astrophysics.
 Introduction to Cosmology
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1This module covers:
 Observational Overview: in visible light and other wavebands; the cosmological principle; the expansion of the universe; particles in the universe.
 Newtonian Gravity: the Friedmann equation; the fluid equation; the aceleration equation.
 Geometry: flat, spherical and hyperbolic; infinite vs. observable universes; introduction to topology
 Cosmological Models: solving equations for matter and radiation dominated expansions and for mixtures (assuming flat geometry and zero cosmological constant); variation of particle number density with scale factor; variation of scale factor with time and geometry.
 Observational Parameters: Hubble, density, deceleration.
 Cosmological Constant: fluid description; models with a cosmological constant.
 The Age of the Universe: tests; model dependence; consequences
 Dark Matter: observational evidence; properties; potential candidates (including MACHOS, neutrinos and WIMPS)
 The Cosmic Microwave Background: properties; derivation of photo to baryon ratio; origin of CMB (including decoupling and recombination).
 The Early Universe: the epoch of matterradiation equality; the relation between temperature and time; an overview of physical properties and particle behaviour.
 Nucleosynthesis: basics of light element formation; derivation of percentage, by mass, of Helium; introduction to observational tests; contrasting decoupling and nucleosynthesis.
 Inflation: definition; three problems (what they are and how they can be solved); estimation of expansion during Inflation; contrasting early time and current inflationary epochs; introduction to cosmological constant problem and quintessence.
 Initial Singularity: definition and implications.
 Connection to General Relativity: brief introduction to Einstein equations and their relation to the Friedmann equation.
 Cosmological Distance Scales: proper, luminosity, angular distances; connection to observables.
 Structures in the Universe: CMB anisotropies; galaxy clustering
 Constraining Cosmology: connection to CMB, large scale structure (inc BAO and weak lensing) and supernovae.
 Nuclear and Particle Physics
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1This module on nuclear and particle physics covers:
 Chronology of discoveries.
 Basic nuclear properties.
 Nuclear forces.
 Models of nuclear structure.
 Magic numbers.
 Nuclear reactions, nuclear decay and radioactivity, including their roles in nature.
 The weak force.
 Existence and properties of neutrinos.
 Qualitative introduction to neutrino oscillations.
 C, P and T symmetries.
 Classification of elementary particles, and their reactions and decays.
 Particle structure.
 Qualitative introduction to Feynman diagrams.
 Object Oriented Programming
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1You will be introduced to objectoriented programming, and in particular to understanding, writing, modifying, debugging and assessing the design quality of simple Java applications.
You do not need any previous programming experience to take this module, as it is suitable for absolute beginners.
 Programming in C++
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1After a review of the basic concepts of the C++ language, you are introduced to object oriented programming in C++ and its application to scientific computing. This includes writing and using classes and templates, operator overloading, inheritance, exceptions and error handling. In addition, Eigen, a powerful library for linear algebra is introduced. The results of programs are displayed using the graphics interface dislin.
 Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1The module will introduce you to quantum optics and quantum information, covering:
 Quantum systems and the qubit
 Nonlocality in quantum mechanics
 Methods of quantum optics
 The density matrix
 The process of measurement
 Introduction of irreversibility
 Decoherence and quantum information
 Quantum and classical communication
 Measures of entanglement and distance between states
 Logic operations and quantum algorithms
 Requirements for quantum computers
 Physical systems for quantum information processing.
 Symmetry in Particle Physics
15 credits
Autumn Teaching, Year 1The module provides an introduction into group theory and aspects of symmetry in particle physics, covering:
 Groups and representations
 Lie groups and Lie algebras
 Spacetime symmetries and Poincare group
 Symmetry and conservation laws
 Global, local, and discrete symmetry
 Symmetry breaking and the origin of mass
 Symmetry of the standard model, CKM matrix, neutrino masses, treelevel interactions.
 Advanced Particle Physics
15 credits
Spring Teaching, Year 1You will acquire an overview of the current status of modern particle physics and current experimental techniques used in an attempt to answer today's fundamental questions in this field.
The topics discussed will be:
 Essential skills for the experimental particle physicist
 Neutrino physics: Neutrino oscillations and reactor neutrinos
 Neutrino physics: SuperNova, geo and solar neutrinos and direct neutrino mass measurements
 Cosmic ray physics
 Dark matter
 Introduction to QCD (jets, particles distribution functions, etc)
 Higgs physics
 BSM (including supersymmetry)
 Flavour physics & CP violation
 Electric dipole measurements
 Future particle physics experiments.
 Beyond the Standard Model
15 credits
Spring Teaching, Year 1This module covers:
 Basics of global supersymmetry: motivation and algebra, the WessZumino model, superfields and superspace, construction of supersymmetryinvariant Lagrangians.
 Weak scale supersymmetry: the gauge hierarchy problem, the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM).
 Grand unification: SUS(5), the gauge sector, fermion masses, proton decay.
 Extra dimensions: KaluzaKlein reduction for scalars, fermions and gauge fields, generation of hierarchies, warped geometry.
 Early Universe
15 credits
Spring Teaching, Year 1An advanced module on cosmology.
Topics include: Hot big bang and the FRW model; Redshifts, distances, Hubble law
 Thermal history, decoupling, recombination, nucleosynthesis
 Problems with the hot big bang and inflation with a single scalar field
 Linear cosmological perturbation theory
 Quantum generation of perturbations in inflation
 Scalar and tensor power spectrum predictions from inflation
 Perturbation evolution and growth after reheating; free streaming and Silk damping
 Matter power spectrum and CMB anisotropies.
 Monte Carlo Simulations
15 credits
Spring Teaching, Year 1The module will cover topics including:
 Introduction to R
 Pseudorandom number generation
 Generation of random variates
 Variance reduction
 Markovchain Monte Carlo and its foundations
 How to analyse Monte Carlo simulations
 Application to physics: the Ising model
 Application to statistics: goodnessoffit tests
 Particle Physics
15 credits
Spring Teaching, Year 1This module is a first introduction to basic concepts in Elementary Particle Physics. It presents an introductory discussion of leptons and quarks and their interactions in the standard model. Particular emphasis will be given to experimental methodologies and experimental results. A selection of topics covered in this course include:
 Crosssections and decay rates
 Relativistic kinematics
 Detectors and accelerators
 Leptons
 Quarks and hadrons
 Spacetime symmetries
 The quark model
 Electromagnetic interactions
 Strong interactions: QCD, jets and gluons
 Weak interactions and electroweak unification
 Discrete symmetries
 Aselection of topics in physics beyond the standard model
 Particle Physics Detector Technology
15 credits
Spring Teaching, Year 1The module explores the technical manner in which some of the scientific questions in the fields of experimental particle physics, including high energy physics, neutrino physics etc., are being addressed. The student is introduced to many of the experimental techniques that are used to study the particle phenomena. The focus is on the demands those scientific requirements place on the detector technology and current stateoftheart technologies.
This module will provide you with:
 an introduction to some of the basic concepts of particle physics
 an overview of some of the topical cutting edge questions in the field
 an understanding of some key types of experiments
 a detailed understanding of the underlying detector technologies.
Topics covered include:
 Intro to particle structure
 particles and forces, masses and lifetimes
 coupling strengths and interactions
 cross sections and decays
 Accelerators
 principles of acceleration
 kinematics, center of mass
 fixed target experiments, colliders
 Reactors
 nuclear fission reactors, fission reactions, types of reactors
 neutron sources, absorption and moderation, neutron reactions
 nuclear fusion, solar and fusion reactors
 Detectors
 gaseous
 liquid (scintillator, cerenkov, bubble chamber)
 solidstate
 scintillation
 calorimeters, tracking detectors
 particle identification
 Monte Carlo modelling
 physics
 Quantum Field Theory 2
15 credits
Spring Teaching, Year 1Module topics include:
 Path integrals: Path integrals in quantum mechanics; Functionals; Path integral quantisation of scalar field; Gaussian integration; Free particle Green's functions ; Vacuumvacuum transition function Z[J].
 Interacting field theory in path integral formulation. Generating functional W[J]; Momentum space Greens functions; Smatrix and LSZ reduction formula; Grassmann variables; Fermionic path integral.
 Gauge field theory: Internal symmetries; Gauge symmetry 1: Abelian; The electromagnetic field; Gauge symmetry 2: nonAbelian.
 Renormalisation of scalar field theory; Quantum gauge theory; Path integral quantisation of nonAbelian gauge theories; FaddeevPopov procedure, ghosts; Feynman rules in covariant gauge; Renormalisation.
 Project (MSc Particle Physics)
Entry requirements
An upper secondclass (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in a physics or mathematicsbased subject.
Candidates should have a strong background in modern physics subjects such as quantum mechanics and electrodynamics. Those requesting experimental projects must have laboratory experience, and evidence must be supplied, usually in the form of a reference, of competence in the laboratory.
If you are a nonEEA or Swiss national we must receive your application by 1 August because you will need to obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Find out more about ATAS.
English language requirements
Lower level (IELTS 6.0, with not less than 6.0 in each section)
Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.
English language support
Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our presessional courses.
Additional information for international students
We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.
Visas and immigration
Find out how to apply for a student visa
Fees and scholarships
How much does it cost?
Fees
Home: £9,250 per year
EU: £9,250 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £9,250 per year
Overseas: £18,750 per year
Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.
How can I fund my course?
Postgraduate Masters loans
Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.
Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans
Scholarships
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.
Chancellor's Masters Scholarship (2017)
Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017
Application deadline:
1 August 2017
Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)
Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper secondclass degree and offered a fulltime place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017
Application deadline:
1 August 2017
Sussex India Scholarships (2017)
Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.
Application deadline:
1 August 2017
Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)
Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.
Application deadline:
1 August 2017
Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)
Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.
Application deadline:
1 August 2017
Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)
Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.
Application deadline:
1 August 2017
How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable
Living costs
Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.
Faculty
Our four research groups are focused on research into fundamental areas of science:
 Astronomy Centre
Dr Christian Byrnes
Senior Research Fellow
C.Byrnes@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Black Holes, Cosmology, ExtraGalactic Astronomy & Cosmology, Particle astrophysics
Dr Ilian Iliev
Reader In Astronomy
I.T.Iliev@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Cosmology, First Stars, reionization, Simulations
Dr Antony Lewis
Professor of Cosmology
Antony.Lewis@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Astrophysics, Cosmology, Data analysis, Sampling
Dr Jonathan Loveday
Reader In Astronomy
J.Loveday@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Astronomy  observation, ExtraGalactic Astronomy & Cosmology
Prof Seb Oliver
Professor of Astrophysics
S.Oliver@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Astronomy, Astronomy & Space Science Technologies, Astronomy  observation, Cosmology, Data analysis, Data Mining, Medical Imaging, Medical Informatics
Prof Kathy Romer
Professor of Astrophysics
Romer@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Astronomy, Astronomy & Space Science Technologies, Astronomy  observation, Cosmology, Data Mining
Dr Mark Sargent
Senior Lecturer In Astronomy
Mark.Sargent@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Astronomy  observation, Astrophysics, Data Mining, ExtraGalactic Astronomy & Cosmology, Physics
Dr David Seery
Reader In Mathematics & Physics
D.Seery@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Cosmology, Quantum Field Theory, Theoretical Physics
Prof Peter Thomas
Professor of Astronomy
P.A.Thomas@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Direct Numerical Simulation, ExtraGalactic Astronomy & Cosmology, Hydrodynamics
Dr Stephen Wilkins
Senior Lecturer In Astronomy
S.Wilkins@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Astronomy
 Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Prof Jacob Dunningham
Professor of Physics
J.Dunningham@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Atomic and molecular physics, BoseEinstein Condensation, Quantum dynamics, Quantum mechanics, Quantum Metrology, Quantum Optics & Information, Quantum Theory
Prof Claudia Eberlein
Professor Of Theoretical Physics
claudia@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Applied Quantum Field Theory, Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics, Cold Atoms and Applications, Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), Quantum Field Theory, Quantum optics, Theoretical Physics
Prof Barry Garraway
Professor Of Quantum Physics
B.M.Garraway@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Atomlight Interactions, Atomic and molecular physics, Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics, Decoherence, Quantum Information Processing, Quantum optics, Quantum Optics & Information, Quantum Theory
Prof Winfried Hensinger
Professor of Quantum Technologies
W.K.Hensinger@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Atomlight Interactions, Atomic Physics  Quantum Logic, Atoms and Ions, Atoms in External Fields, Cold Atoms and Applications, Laser Cooling and Trapping, Laser technology, Light, Microfabricated devices, Microfabrication, Quantum Chaos, Quantum Computing, Quantum Information Processing, Quantum Metrology, quantum simulation
Dr Matthias Keller
Reader in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
M.K.Keller@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Quantum Information Processing
Dr Alessia Pasquazi
Senior Lecturer
A.Pasquazi@sussex.ac.ukDr Marco Peccianti
Reader in Physics
M.Peccianti@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Light, Photonics
Dr Jose Verdu Galiana
Senior Lecturer
J.L.VerduGaliana@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Atomlight Interactions, Atomic Spectroscopy, Atoms and Ions, Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics, Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FTICR), FT Mass Spectrometry, Mass Spectrometry, Quantum optics
 Experimental Particle Physics
Dr Lily Asquith
Dorothy Hodgkin Royal Society Fellow
L.Asquith@sussex.ac.ukDr Alessandro Cerri
Reader in Experimental Particle Physics
A.Cerri@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: B Physics/Flavour Physics, digital electronics, Particle Detectors, Physics, trigger systems for particle physics
Prof Antonella De Santo
Professor Of Physics
A.DeSanto@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: ATLAS experiment, Beyond The Standard Model, Calorimetry, Experimental particle physics, Large Hadron Collider, Neutrino Oscillations, Neutrino Physics, Particle Detectors, Standard Model, Supersymmetry, Triggering
Dr Elisabeth Falk
Senior Lecturer in Experimental ParticlePhysics
E.Falk@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Experimental particle physics, Instrumentation for Particle Physics Or Astronomy, Neutrino Physics, Particle physics  experiment
Dr Clark Griffith
Lecturer In Physics
W.C.Griffith@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Light
Dr Michael Hardiman
Associate Faculty
M.Hardiman@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Experimental particle physics
Prof Philip Harris
Professor of Physics
P.G.Harris@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Neutron electric dipole moment, Ultracold neutrons
Dr Jeff Hartnell
Reader In Experimental Particle Physics
J.J.Hartnell@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Experimental particle physics, Neutrino Physics
Dr Simon Peeters
Reader
S.J.M.Peeters@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Data analysis, Direct Dark Matter Detection, Experimental particle physics, Instrumentation for Particle Physics Or Astronomy, Instrumentation, sensors and detectors, Neutrino Physics, Particle astrophysics, Particle physics  experiment, Statistical Uncertainty
Dr Fabrizio Salvatore
Reader in Experimental Particle Physics
P.F.Salvatore@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: B Physics/Flavour Physics, Calorimetry, Collider Physics, Supersymmetry, trigger systems for particle physics
Dr Iacopo Vivarelli
Reader in Physics and Astronomy
I.Vivarelli@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Calorimetry, Data analysis, Data Mining, Particle physics  experiment, Supersymmetry
 Theoretical Particle Physics
Prof Xavier Calmet
Professor of Physics
X.Calmet@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Black Holes, Cosmology, General Relativity, Information Theory, Mathematical Physics, Particle astrophysics, Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Gravity, Quantum Metrology, Theoretical Particle Physics, Theoretical Physics
Prof Mark Hindmarsh
Professor of Theoretical Physics
M.B.Hindmarsh@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Cosmology, General Relativity, High Performance Computing, Particle astrophysics, Particle physics  theory
Dr Stephan Huber
Reader in Theoretical Particle Physics
S.Huber@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Beyond The Standard Model, Cosmology, Particle physics  theory, Quantum Field Theory, Supersymmetry
Dr Sebastian Jaeger
Reader In Theoretical Particle Physics
S.Jaeger@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Physics
Dr Daniel Litim
Reader in Theoretical Physics
D.Litim@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: Black Holes, Cosmology, Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Gravity, Relativity
Dr Veronica Sanz
Reader in Theoretical Particle Physics
V.Sanz@sussex.ac.ukResearch interests: AdS/CFT Correspondence, Collider Physics, Cosmology, Dark Matter, ExtraDimensions, Higgs Physics, Supersymmetry
Careers
Graduate destinations
89% of students from the Department of Physics and Astronomy were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent graduates have gone on to roles including:
 KCP associate, University of Leeds and Landmark Information Group
 postdoctoral researcher, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
 teacher, Our Lady of Sion School.
(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)
Your future career
Our graduates go on to doctoral study (theoretical or experimental), or take up employment in a range of industries in fields such as:
 business/data analysis
 computer programming
 software development
 teaching
 research and teaching technical support.
Working while you study
Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find parttime work while you study. Find out more about career development and parttime work
Life at Sussex
Contact us

Course enquiries
+44 (0)1273 873254
mps@sussex.ac.uk 
Admissions enquiries
If you haven’t applied yet:
+44 (0)1273 876787
pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.ukAfter you’ve applied:
+44 (0)1273 877773
pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk