Nanoscience MPhys

  • UCAS code FC01
  • Duration Up to 5 years
  • Delivery type Full Time
  • Study location Edinburgh
  • Number of places 55 across all programmes


The Course

Nanoscience is the study of phenomena on a scale ranging from the wavelength of light, down to the size of atoms. It is a rapidly developing field, continually producing fascinating results in many different fields of study. This programme is based on physics but includes content from chemistry and biology to give an important appreciation of how all the sciences have new effects to be observed and new applications to be discovered.

Career Prospects

This degree provides an excellent start for students wanting to work in nanoscience, a field expected to grow in importance and breadth of application for many years. Based in Physics, the degree is also a valuable qualification for graduates moving into other jobs demanding numeracy, physics knowledge and problem-solving skills.

Programme content

Level 1

Contains material common to all physics programmes to preserve the ability to transfer to other programmes. The necessary grounding in chemistry is delivered in this year.

Level 2

The Physics programme content is augmented by Biology in second year. Applicants seeking direct entry to second year should possess an appropriate qualification in Chemistry.

Level 3

Is primarily Physics content supplemented by the Chemistry of Materials.

Level 4

The principles of the effects and behaviour on the nano-scale are covered in Level 4.

Fifth Year

Half of the taught material is directed at nano-scale topics in Physics, Chemistry and Photonics.

Your career

Iain Lawrie

  • Degree MPhys (First Class Hons), Computational Physics
  • Present Job Physics Teacher, George Watson's College,Edinburgh

“I graduated in 1999 (Computational Physics) and found having a Physics degree opened many possible career doors. Opting initially for accounting I worked for five years as a Corporate Tax Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, qualifying as a chartered accountant in the process. However, having got married (to another of the Physics class of 99!) family life was on my mind. I was also hearing the call of my first love - Physics. One year of re-training later and I began teaching Physics at George Watson’s College where I am still happily educating and entertaining. My Physics programme notes from all those years ago are proving a very valuable asset when developing Advanced Higher Physics investigations, as are the laboratory skills developed in my first two undergraduate years.”

“The undergraduate Physics programme left me with a passion and excitement about the world we live in that I try to pass on to all pupils I encounter, hoping to inspire them to study Physics at university level.“

Claire Reekie

  • School Beath High School, Cowdenbeath
  • Degree Physics with Education
  • Present Job Physics Teacher

"My ambition since leaving school was to one day return and teach Physics. This has been made possible by the excellent course and tuition provided at Heriot-Watt. Through their expertise, care and dedication (and a bit of hard work from myself) I graduated with an Honours degree in 'Physics with Education'."

Entry requirements

The University offers as its normal entry routes:

  • entry at Level 1, mainly for students with Scottish Highers (or similar)
  • entry at Level 2, mainly for students with A-levels (or similar).

There is nevertheless considerable flexibility, depending on the level of qualifications, for entrants with A-levels to opt to enter at Level 1 and for Scottish students to enter at Level 2. Direct entry into Level 3 is also possible for students who already have certain HE qualifications.

Level 1 entry

  • Highers AABB
  • A-Levels BBB
  • Irish Leaving Cert (Higher) AACCC
  • HNC B in graded unit. Relevant HNC - please contact Admissions Tutor to discuss further
  • Scottish Baccalaureate pass with BC in Adv. Higher Maths and Physics
  • Additional information Entry normally to include Physics and Mathematics; B at Highers; or B at Advanced Highers or A-Level. Total qualifications would correspond to at least 300 revised UCAS Tariff points.

Level 2 entry

  • A-Levels ABB
  • Advanced Highers BB and Highers
  • HNC A in graded unit. Relevant HNC - subject to satisfactory tutor reference and interview. Please contact Admissions Tutor to discuss further.
  • HND BBC in graded units. Relevant HND - subject to satisfactory tutor reference and interview. Please contact Admissions Tutor to discuss further
  • Scottish Baccalaureate distinction with AB in Adv. Higher Maths and Physics
  • Additional information A range of alternative qualifications may be accepted including good qualifications in non-scientific subjects and mature applicants with appropriate work experience. Advanced qualifications should be in Physics and Mathematics. We expect further qualifications (H, AH or A) in different topics, which would bring the UCAS Tariff points score to at least 300.

Level 3 entry

  • HND AAB in graded units. Relevant HND - subject to satisfactory tutor reference and interview. Please contact Admissions Tutor to discuss further.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for 2015 entry (by residency status)
Status*Scotland / EU**England / Northern Ireland / WalesInternational
FeePaid by SAAS£9,000£16,420

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the 3 years before the start of your programme. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries, not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Scholarships & bursaries