Surrey MPhys Research Year

[picture of mphys student]
Surrey MPhys student Brennan Hackett (left)
at the High Flux Isotope Reactor, Oak Ridge
National Laboratory

The Research Year is a compulsory and integral part of the four year Integrated Master's degree programme in Physics (MPhys) at the University of Surrey. Our students on the MPhys programme work directly for a master's degree, not stopping to "cash-in" for a bachelor's degree after three years. A distinguishing feature of all Master's in Physics degrees in the UK system is that they must involve some element of research. Distinctively at Surrey we require our students to go on a year-long placement, roughly over a calendar year (starting on day 1 of semester 2 of year 3 and ending typically just before Christmas, but no later than the end of semester 1 of year 4; see the University Key Dates page for current semester dates) to gain this research experience.

This web-site exists more to advertise the programme to external hosts than anything else. If you are a prospective student thinking of studying for the Surrey MPhys Physics, please see the main University website. If you are a current MPhys student or member of staff at Surrey, seeking information about assessments etc, please consult your MPhys Research Year Handbook and/or the SurreyLearn module.

Hosting an MPhys student

We are grateful to all our placement hosts for agreeing to take our students, for looking after them, and for providing them with an opportunity to undertake cutting edge research in an area of physics.

When out students go out on placement, they have completed two and a half years of bachelor's study, specialising from the beginning in physics, as is usual in the UK system. The students have a general physics background, including considerable experience in the laboratory and with computer programming. The number of credits obtained by the time students go out on placement are enough to be awarded a BSc degree, though they are not formally awarded a degree until the completion of their full MPhys programme.

The students are able to perform genuinely useful research work. A selected list of research publications is given towards the end of this page covering research work in which the students were involved. In many cases these are first author publications of our students for work peformed during their research years.

Our students are usually paid a stipend by their hosts which is equivalent to a funded PhD studentship, though other arrangements are made as circumstances dictate. For European placements, the Erasmus scheme may form the bulk of funding, in the form of an Erasmus traineeship grant, which is organised from the Surrey end and does not require a reciprocal arrangement.

Past placement hosts include The UK National Physical Laboratory, the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the University of Richmond Virginia, Texas A&M University, the Australian National University, LPC Caen, the University of Marburg, the University of Dallas, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Symetrica Ltd, Royal Surrey County Hospital, TRIUMF.

For further information or if you have any questions, please contact Paul Stevenson <>.

A FAQ written by Dr Robert Izzard geared partly towards students seeking astronomy or astrophysics placements is here.

Selected publications of Surrey MPhys students

Underlined authors indicate Surrey MPhys research year students. Publications below reflect work conducted by the students during their research years.