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M.Sc. in Quantum Fields, Strings and Gravity (Theoretical Physics)

The M.Sc. in Quantum Fields, Strings and Gravity is a a one-year, full-time taught M.Sc. programme, run by the School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin. The degree provides comprehensive training in theoretical physics, preparing the students for PhD level research in high energy theory, gravity, cosmology, and lattice gauge theory.

Is this course for me?

The M.Sc. in Quantum Fields, Strings and Gravity offers advanced education in modern High Energy Theory and Mathematical Physics. The topics include String Theory, Conformal Field Theory, General Theory of Relativity & Cosmology, Quantum Field Theory and Lattice Gauge Theory. The students will have an opportunity to discuss cutting edge research and perform their own M.Sc. dissertation work under the supervision of the School of Mathematics staff, who are world class experts in the field. The aim of the program is to give undergraduate students an excellent opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills up to a level required for doctoral level research. Graduates go on to PhD study both within the school of mathematics and at top international institutions. The course provides a significant degree of flexibility in regards to the preferred research direction – both formal and lattice high energy theory modules and dissertation projects are provided. The course also allows for a variety of educational backgrounds and offers two-tiered packages of modules (fundamental and advanced) which are tailored to the level of incoming students.

Applicants may also be interested in the taught MSc in High Performance Computing which provides practical training in the emerging field of high-performance technical computing, which has applications in scientific simulation and mathematical modelling of systems in areas ranging from telecommunications to financial markets.

News

  • We are now accepting applications for academic year 2023/24 which can be done at at this link. Qualified applicants will receive an early positive decision which can be used to apply for external fellowships such as Government of Ireland Scholarships while further information about scholarships is available here.
  • The school is happy to announce two scholarships for academic year 2023/24 which will provide for a fee reduction of up to €5000. All applications received before 15 March 2023 will be automatically considered.

Course details

Course structure

Mandatory modules:

  • Dissertation (to be completed during the summer semester)
  • Theoretical Physics Student Seminar (2 semesters)
  • Topics in Theoretical Physics
  • Lattice field theory

In addition, one of the four optional sequences must be taken

Advanced formal (prerequisites: Quantum Field Theory, General Relativity)

  • Modern Quantum Field theory
  • Introduction to Conformal Field Theory
  • String Theory
  • Advanced Quantum Field Theory

Advanced lattice (prerequisite: Quantum Field Theory)

  • Numerical Methods
  • C programming
  • C++ programming
  • Parallel Numerical Algorithms
  • Modern Quantum Field theory
  • Advanced Quantum Field Theory

Trinity graduates admitted to the program must take one of the two advanced sequences above

Fundamental formal

  • Introduction to Conformal Field Theory
  • General Relativity and Cosmology
  • Standard Model
  • Quantum Field Theory (2 semesters)

Fundamental lattice

  • Numerical Methods
  • C programming
  • C++ programming
  • Parallel Numerical Algorithms
  • Quantum Field Theory (2 semesters)

Testimonials

Chantelle Esper
2021-2022

Rodrigo Betancourt
2021-2022

Where are you from and why did you decide to apply for a MSc in QFSG at TCD?

I am originally from Mexico. I had very limited experience with theoretical physics, but after a course in general relativity I really wanted to take things further, and to contextualise what I had learned. I thought string theory was only for professionals—to suddenly see it as part of a syllabus is very encouraging.

What is your experience with studying and doing research in the program?

The teachers and tutors were always welcoming of questions, and it’s hard to overstate how accessible my research supervisor was—they were always just an email away and earnestly open to informal discussions. There is no limit to how early you may start your final project, you can begin as soon as you find a supervisor.

What would be your advice for prospective students?

In spite of having a background in pure mathematics, I think I came out the other end in okay shape. My advice would be to apply if you are on the fence, because If you have an interest in the course, it’s very likely that you are ready for it. Good luck with everything!

Elise Paznokas
2021-2022

Where are you from and why did you decide to apply for a MSc in QFSG at TCD?

My name is Elise Paznokas and I am originally from Portland, Oregon. After completing my bachelor’s degree in physics from King’s College London, I found myself particularly interested in areas where mathematics, physics, and gravity intersect, and was eager to learn more. The QFSG MSc program at Trinity is the perfect convergence of these academic interests.

What is your experience with studying and doing research in the program?

As a student in the QFSG program, I was able to be immersed in a range of topics from supersym- metry, to string theory, and lattice field theory. I believe that I was able to learn quite a breadth of knowledge, while also still having ample time to do my own research.

What would be your advice for prospective students?

I would advise prospective students to reach out to different faculty in the department, and look at their publications, in order to get a feel for what kind of research is being done. Not only will this be a good measure to ensure that their interests align with the department, but also will aid in finding a supervisor for the final thesis project.

How to apply

Applications are handled via the Graduate Studies office of Trinity College, Dublin. It is possible to apply online - follow this link for application instructions.

In accordance with the overall standards for postgraduate admission at TCD applicants should have or expect to have an honours degree in Theoretical Physics or Mathematics/Physics with a strong Theoretical Physics component at a II.1 (2.1) grade, or an equivalent qualification from universities with different systems of grading awards, or a relevant track record to compensate for somewhat deficient purely academic qualifications.

Completed applications must be received before July 31st, however well qualified applicants can expect an earlier positive decision if they apply before the deadline. In particular it is possible to successfully apply before completion of the primary degree. Applicants should clearly indicate which optional sequence (see course structure) they would like to take.

Careers

Successful graduates of the course are expected to continue their education at the top PhD programs in Theoretical Physics in the world. MSc students will be strong applicants for IRC postgraduate funding for PhDs within the school of mathematics. This course will provide the background necessary to carry out research in a wide range of areas in mathematical and theoretical physics.