Key Information

Full-time

4-5 years

Typical Offer

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Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

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UCAS Code

VF53

Course Code

PHYPHLUM

MPhys Physics with Philosophy

Students on this course can apply philosophical theory and ask the fundamental questions designed to investigate, enhance, and expand their knowledge.

Peace of mind guaranteed. Find out more about our Guaranteed Place Scheme.

Key Information

Full-time

4-5 years

Typical Offer

View

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

UCAS Code

VF53

Course Code

PHYPHLUM

Dr Fabien Paillusson - Programme Leader

Dr Fabien Paillusson - Programme Leader

Dr Fabien Paillusson's interests lie in theoretical and computational modelling, the foundations of physics, physics and maths education, AI (Machine Learning and Automated Reasoning), logic, and the philosophy of science.

Academic Staff List

Welcome to MPhys Physics with Philosophy

This joint degree programme introduces fundamental and applied physics, while developing a philosophical understanding of the world we live in and the place we occupy within it.

Combining physics with philosophy offers students the chance to study, reflect on, and understand scientific material. Students can apply philosophical theory and ask the fundamental questions designed to investigate, enhance, and expand knowledge.

Students have the opportunity to learn from, and work alongside, our team of academics who can support and encourage them to apply imagination, creativity, and rigour to the solution of real-world problems. Individual and group projects during the course are designed to develop transferable skills.

Those who choose to enrol on this MPhys programme continue their study for a fourth year at an advanced level. They have the opportunity to examine topics in greater depth and undertake substantial additional project work.

How You Study

The course is designed to provide a thorough grounding in experimental and theoretical physics, alongside the study of philosophy. It is structured to enable students to engage with the core physics curriculum and to examine it from different perspectives more deeply.

Students can develop critical thinking and reflective skills alongside numerical and analytical methods of physics and mathematics, and practical scientific and research techniques. The course also aims to develop a wide range of transferable skills, including logical reasoning, critical analysis, communication, and teamwork.

In the first year modules include Geometrical Optics, Waves and Mechanics; Calculus; and Introduction to Philosophical Logic. Progressing into the second year students can study modules including Differential Equations, Condensed Matter Physics, and Philosophy of Science. The third year offers modules such as Physics of the Universe, Quantum Mechanics, and Contemporary Problems in Philosophy, in addition to a range of optional modules including Methods of Mathematical Physics, Newton's Revolution, and Fluid Dynamics.

The fourth year offers the opportunity to examine topics in greater depth and undertake substantial additional project work.

The course is taught via lectures, problem solving classes, computer based classes and seminars.

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs.

Find out More

An Introduction to Your Modules

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Calculus 2022-23MTH1002MLevel 42022-23This module focuses on the concepts of the derivative and the Riemann integral, which are indispensable in modern sciences. Two approaches are used: both intuitive-geometric, and mathematically rigorous, based on the definition of continuous limits. Important results are the Mean Value Theorem, leading to the representation of some functions as power series (the Taylor series), and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus which establishes the relationship between differentiation and integration. Further calculus tools are explored, such as the general properties of the derivative and the Riemann integral, as well as the techniques of integration. In this module, students may deal with many "popular" functions used throughout mathematics.CoreComputer Algebra and Technical Computing 2022-23MTH1006MLevel 42022-23This module presents an introduction to computer packages for analytic formulas manipulation (computer algebra) and technical computing. Students will also have the opportunity to develop skills including; utilising a logbook as a factual record and as reflective self-assessment to support their learning.CoreElectricity, Magnetism, Thermal and Quantum Physics 2022-23PHY1003MLevel 42022-23This module covers basic notions of modern physics. In electricity and magnetism these include Coulombs law, electrostatic vector and potential fields, magnetic fields, motion of charges and currents in electromagnetic fields, and the basics of electric circuits. In thermal physics these include the zeroth, and first and second laws of thermodynamics applied to different model situations. The quantum physics part introduces notions such as wave-particle duality, the concept of a wavefunction, energy quantization, and simple models of the atom.CoreGeometrical Optics, Waves and Mechanics 2022-23PHY1002MLevel 42022-23 This module introduces established theories describing optical, acoustic, and mechanical phenomena. The optics part includes Fermats principle of light propagation, Snells laws of reflection and refraction, thin lenses and Huygenss principle. The mechanics part includes the basic mathematical tools used to describe the motion of objects (kinematics) and the laws of Newton (dynamics) underpinning these observed motions. The wave part of the module includes a discussion of propagating waves, the Doppler effect, phase and group velocities and standing waves.CoreIntroduction to Moral Philosophy 2022-23PHL1004MLevel 42022-23This module is designed to introduce students to the three areas of discussion in contemporary moral philosophy. Metaethics is concerned with the nature of morality itself and questions such as Are there moral facts?, If there are moral facts, what is their origin?. Normative ethics is the attempt to provide a general theory that tells us how to live and enables us to determine what is morally right and wrong. Applied ethics involves the application of ethical principles to specific moral issues (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, animal rights) and the evaluation of the answers arrived at through this application. This module aims to introduce students to all three of these branches of ethics.CoreIntroduction to Philosophical Logic 2022-23PHL1002MLevel 42022-23This module introduces some of the basic ideas and concepts of philosophical logic and the technical vocabulary that is required for understanding contemporary philosophical writing. Students are introduced to logical concepts such as validity, soundness, consistency, possibility, necessity, contingency, inductive and deductive forms of argument, necessary and sufficient conditions, the rudiments of formalisation, and a range of logical fallacies. The emphasis will be on using logic to construct and evaluate arguments.CoreLaboratory 1 2022-23PHY1004MLevel 42022-23This module will provide students with the opportunity to learn practical skills needed for physical laboratory experiments. The module provides a structured introduction to laboratory skills development with particular emphasis on measurement uncertainty. This module explores measurement and estimation followed by techniques in data analysis and presentation of data. Students will also have the opportunity to develop practical skills in a set of experiments which examples may include: basic electronic circuits, pendulum, Hooke's law, heat capacity, lenses.CoreLinear Algebra 2022-23MTH1004MLevel 42022-23This module describes vector spaces and matrices. Matrices are regarded as representations of linear mappings between vector spaces. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors are introduced, which lead to diagonalisation and reduction to other canonical forms. Special types of mappings and matrices (orthogonal, symmetric) are also introduced.CoreCondensed Matter Physics 2023-24PHY2001MLevel 52023-24In contemporary research, condensed matter physics pertains to the physics of condensed phases of matter such as solid and liquids. Depending on the properties of interest, condensed matter physics is traditionally split into two different sub-fields: solid state physics dealing primarily with the behavior of electrons in periodic solids, and soft-matter physics dealing with the properties of assemblies of atoms in a somewhat confined space. This module introduces the basic ideas of these two worlds from Drudes model and the band theory of electrical conductivity in solids to the physics of colloidal and polymeric systems.CoreDifferential Equations 2023-24MTH2004MLevel 52023-24Calculus techniques already provide solutions of simple first-order differential equations. Solution of second-order differential equations can sometimes be achieved by certain manipulations. Students may learn about existence and geometric interpretations of solutions, even when calculus techniques do not yield solutions in a simple form. This is a part of the existence theory of ordinary differential equations and leads to fundamental techniques of the asymptotic and qualitative study of their solutions, including the important question of stability. Fourier series and Fourier transform are introduced. This module provides an introduction to the classical second-order linear partial differential equations and techniques for their solution. The basic concepts and methods are introduced for typical partial differential equations representing the three classes: parabolic, elliptic, and hyperbolic.CoreElectrodynamics 2023-24PHY2002MLevel 52023-24This module covers the first established classical theory of fields, namely the theory of electromagnetic fields. After introducing the necessary mathematical tools such as curl, divergence, and gradient, the module discusses the macroscopic and microscopic Maxwells equations of electromagnetism as well as their solutions for some model problems in vacuum and in some materials. Topics covered include Gausss law, Maxwells law of induction, Faradays law, time-dependent electromagnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and dielectric and magnetic materials.CoreExistentialism and Phenomenology 2023-24PHL2006MLevel 52023-24The aim of this module is to give students a thorough understanding of two intimately related philosophical traditions that came to prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries: existentialism and phenomenology. Each attempts to address the nature and meaning of human existence from the perspective of individual, first-person experience, focusing in particular on fundamental questions of being, meaning, death, nihilism, freedom, responsibility, value, human relations, and religious faith. The module will examine selected existential themes through the writings of thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus. Since existentialism is as much a artistic phenomenon as a philosophical one, students will also be given the opportunity to explore existentialist ideas in the works of various literary figures, such as Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and Milan Kundera.CoreGroup Project 2023-24MTH2005MLevel 52023-24This module aims to provide students with the experience of working as part of a team on a project. Students will have the opportunity to produce a set of deliverables relevant to their programme of study. Final deliverables will be negotiated between the group and their supervisor, the module coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that each project covers the learning outcomes of the module. Groups are expected to manage their own processes, and to hold regular meetings both with and without their supervisor. Groups will be allocated by the module coordinator and other members of staff. The process of development of the topic under study and the interaction and management of group members underpins the assessment of skills in the module.CoreIndustrial and Econo-Physics 2023-24PHY2003MLevel 52023-24This module describes how modern physics is used in everyday industrial practice. Examples used in this module will be aligned with the interests of the university's industrial partners and collaborators. The module also introduces how theoretical apparatus developed initially in physics finds its application in the field of economy.CoreLagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics 2023-24MTH2007MLevel 52023-24This module is concerned with a modern formulation of mechanics called Lagrangian mechanics in which the actually observed motion of an object is viewed as one among many potentially conceivable motions. The selection process of the actual motion satisfies the so-called Principle of Minimum Action. The corresponding formalism allows us to tackle very intricate mechanical problems and has many technical advantages with regards to changes of variables. A dual theory called Hamiltonian mechanics is also introduced and has its own advantages for addressing problems in mechanics. These two theories constitute the foundation on which quantum mechanics, statistical, and quantum field theories are based. The module delivery includes the Minimum Action Principle, Euler-Lagrange equations, Noethers theorem, Hamiltons equations, and Poisson brackets.CorePhilosophy of Science 2023-24PHL2007MLevel 52023-24This module explores a range of philosophical questions relating to the nature of science. How are scientific theories developed? Are scientific theories discovered through a flash of genius or is something more methodical involved? How much of scientific discovery is down to careful observation? Do scientific theories tell us how the world really is? Do the entities scientific theories postulate atoms, electromagnetic waves, and so on really exist? Or are scientific theories merely useful models of reality? Is science independent of its social context? To what extent is scientific inquiry affected by gender, race or politics? Is there such a thing as truth that is not relative to a particular culture, social class or historical era? Drawing on accessible examples from a variety of scientific fields and by answering these and related questions, we shall try to reach an understanding of how science works.CoreContemporary Problems in Philosophy 2024-25PHL3002MLevel 62024-25This module gives students the opportunity to engage with some key issues and contemporary debates in key areas of philosophy, such as epistemological relativism, the nature of consciousness, the nature of causation in science, the nature of the self. The precise topics addressed will vary from year to year and students will have input into the choice of topics. The aim of the module is to explore in-depth some significant contemporary philosophical issues and to enable students to develop and enhance their key philosophical and debating skills.CorePhysics of the Universe 2024-25PHY3006MLevel 62024-25This module covers the physics of astronomical, astrophysical, and cosmological phenomena. Topics covered include distance measures in the universe, planetary formation, stellar physics, and some elements of cosmology.CorePhysics Project 2024-25PHY3007MLevel 62024-25In this module the students have the opportunity to conduct modern physics research in a research group of the school, university or an external collaborating establishment.CoreQuantum Mechanics 2024-25PHY3004MLevel 62024-25This module covers the formalism of quantum mechanics, which underpins a substantial part of our current understanding of the microscopic world. Topics covered include commutators, operators and observables, Shrodingers equation, Born rule, spin, Hydrogen atom, time-independent perturbation theory, time-dependent perturbation theory, and identical particles.CoreStatistical Mechanics 2024-25PHY3005MLevel 62024-25This module is concerned with bridging a microscopic description of the world (via classical or quantum Hamiltonian mechanics) with a macroscopic description of the world (via thermodynamics). This is done by considering a probability measure on the space of possible mechanical (micro)states of a system. Topics covered include basics of probability theory, notions of statistical equilibrium, statistical ensembles (canonical and microcanonical) applied to model systems, thermodynamic potentials and partition functions, and the statistical mechanics of identical particles.CoreFluid Dynamics 2024-25MTH3002MLevel 62024-25This module gives a mathematical foundation of ideal and viscous fluid dynamics and their application to describing various flows in nature and technology. Students are taught methods of analysing and solving equations of fluid dynamics using analytic and most modern computational tools.OptionalMethods of Mathematical Physics 2024-25MTH3006MLevel 62024-25The module aims to equip students with methods to analyse and solve various mathematical equations found in physics and technology.OptionalNewton's Revolution 2024-25PHL3004MLevel 62024-25This module examines some of the philosophical issues raised by the Newtonian revolution in the natural sciences, such as: What is the nature of Newtons distinction between absolute and relative space? In what sense can forces be said to exist? What is the ontology of force? Is it sufficient to provide a mathematical definition of force (e.g., f=ma)? Is gravity a special kind of force with its own unique set of properties? What is the nature of action at a distance? Is Newtons view of space metaphysical? This is an interdisciplinary module that situates Newtonian science in its sociocultural context.OptionalPhysics Pedagogy 2024-25PHY3002MLevel 62024-25This module is designed to provide students with an insight into the teaching of science at secondary school level and does this by combining university lectures with an experience of a placement in a secondary school science department. The module is particularly aimed at those considering a career in science teaching and provides students with an opportunity to engage with cutting edge science education research and will examine how this research impacts directly on classroom practice. Students will have the opportunity to gain an insight into some of the key ideas in science pedagogy and how these are implemented in the school science lessons and will develop an understanding about the barriers to learning science that many students experience.OptionalPhysics Masters Project 2025-26PHY9004MLevel 72025-26In this module, students have the opportunity to undertake a substantial project under the supervision of a research-active member of staff. Projects can be undertaken at an external collaborating establishment. Students are expected to conduct independent research in modern physics, working in a research group of the school, the university or in an external collaborating establishment.CoreReading Module In Philosophy of Physics 2025-26PHY9008MLevel 72025-26The reading module allows students to acquire knowledge of a particular area of Philosophy of Physics, and develop the skills needed to study Philosophy of Physics in a more independent manner. The module also provides an opportunity for MPhys students to study certain topics in Philosophy of Physics which may not be covered by any regular lecture modules, thus adding to the flexibility of the scheme of studies. Subject areas for proposed reading module will be announced to students, together with an indicative syllabus. The choice offered will depend on the range of other lecture modules available to MPhys students, as well as on the availability of teaching staff with particular areas of Philosophy of Physics, who could be able to act as moderators. The role of the reading module tutor is to provide students with support for their reading, including the setting of Philosophy of Physics questions that are to be addressed.CoreAdvanced Instrumentation 2025-26PHY9001MLevel 72025-26The aim of this module is to enhance students experimental skills with a range of advanced experimental problems. The module may be conducted at university laboratory facilities or at an external collaborating establishment.OptionalFinancial Kinetics 2025-26MTH9001MLevel 72025-26This module brings together the main ideas and methods of the mathematical theory of financial markets. In addition, the methods of practical calculations of volatilities of traded assets from historical data are discussed. The influence of randomness of the interest rate and volatilities on price of options is studied.OptionalMolecular Modelling 2025-26PHY9002MLevel 72025-26This module introduces modern computational techniques for molecular modelling in condensed matter physics.OptionalNano-Physics 2025-26PHY9003MLevel 72025-26This module covers several sub-disciplines of nano-physics from solid state physics till soft matter physics and their interface. Students have the opportunity to gain insights into theoretical and experimental aspects of nano-physics, one of most rapidly developing field of modern physics.OptionalTheoretical Physics Laboratory 2025-26PHY9005MLevel 72025-26The aim of this module is to enhance students theoretical skills with a range of advanced theoretical physics problems.Optional

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Entry Requirements 2022-23

United Kingdom

A Level: BBB, to include a grade B from both A Level Maths and Physics (120 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A Levels or equivalent qualifications).

International Baccalaureate: 30 points overall, with Higher Level Grade 5 in Maths and Physics.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 120 UCAS Tariff points, including 40 points from 15 credits in Maths and 15 credits in Physics.

BTEC qualifications may be considered with a grade B in A Level Maths and Physics. Please contact our Admissions team for further information (admissions@lincoln.ac.uk).

A combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTEC, EPQ, etc.

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include English and Maths. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may also be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry. We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.

International

Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

For applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements, our Science Foundation Year can provide an alternative route of entry onto our full degree programmes:https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/sfysfyub/

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk

Features

Research Informed

Teaching on this course is conducted by academic members of staff who are active researchers in their fields. This research informs teaching at all levels of the programme. Staff conduct cutting-edge research in fundamental and applied mathematics and physics, ranging from pure mathematics to applied nano-science at the interface between biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The School collaborates with top research institutions in Germany, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, and the USA.

Visiting Speakers

The School of Mathematics and Physics regularly welcomes guest speakers from around the world. Recent visitors to the University of Lincoln have included former vice president of the Royal Astronomical Society Professor Don Kurtz, mathematician and author Professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE, and operations research specialist Ruth Kaufman OBE.

Placements

Students on this course are encouraged to obtain and undertake work placements independently in the UK or overseas during their studies, providing hands-on experience in industry. These can range from a few weeks to a full year if students choose the sandwich year option. Placements may be conducted with external research institutions (which can be overseas). The option is subject to availability and selection criteria set by the industry or external institution. When undertaking optional placements, students will be required to cover their transport, accommodation, and general living costs.

Career Opportunities

Graduates may pursue careers in the fields of science, education, finance, business, consultancy, and research and development. This degree promotes skills in creative, critical, and independent thinking. It may prove beneficial in careers requiring flexibility and the ability to formulate a persuasive case. This could include careers in politics and the media, as well as the civil service, among other areas. Some graduates may choose to continue their studies at postgraduate level.

Visit Us in Person

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to join us for one of our Open Days. Discover our Isaac Newton Building, equipped with laboratories and workshops, as well as specialist robotics facilities and advanced research equipment.

Book Your Place

Related Courses

Prioritising Face-to-Face Teaching

At Lincoln, we strive to make sure our student experience is engaging, supportive, and academically challenging. That is why, in response to the issues presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been prioritising face-to-face teaching sessions for our new and returning students in areas where they are the most valuable, such as seminars, tutorials, workshops, and lab and practical sessions. Additional online opportunities have been introduced where they support learning and have been shown to be successful and popular with our current students.

Safety remains a key focus. We are fully prepared to adapt our plans if changes in Government guidance makes this necessary, and we will endeavour to keep current and prospective students informed. For more information about how we are working to keep our community safe, please visit our coronavirus web pages.

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.