Symmetry and the Standard Model (878F3)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

You will study Lie groups and algebras, which are the mathematical language of symmetry transformations that play a key role in particle physics. You will learn how to classify and represent symmetries, and how to apply them to fundamental physics, including to the Lorentz group of special relativity.

You will use your knowledge of symmetry and relativity to build theories of elementary particles and their interactions. You will learn how to construct the Standard Model, which explains how quarks and lepton flavours interact and mix through a unified electroweak theory, and how the Higgs mechanism gives rise to mass.


100%: Lecture


30%: Coursework (Problem set)
70%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 55 hours of contact time and about 95 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: