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The Centre for Scientific Computing


MPhil in Scientific Computing 2023-24

Applications open: 15/09/2022

Applications close: 16/05/2023

Course description

The MPhil in Scientific Computing is a 12-month full-time Master’s Degree, which has a taught and a research element which carry equal examination credit. The taught element comprises core lecture modules on  topics of scientific computing and elective modules relevant to the science or technology topic of the research project, while the research element is a project on a science or technology topic which is studied by means of scientific computation. 

The taught element of the MPhil comprises core and elective lecture modules. The core lecture modules are on topics of high performance scientific computing and advanced numerical methods and techniques. These are lectured  and examined by means of written examinations and written assignments during the first five months (October-March) of the course. Their purpose is to provide the students with essential background knowledge for completing their research projects and for their general education in scientific computing.

Appropriate elective lecture courses may be selected from Master’s-level courses offered by the Departments of the School of Physical Sciences or Technology. The choice of courses will be such as to provide the students with essential background knowledge for completing their research projects and for their general education in the science/technology application of the project. They  are decided in consultation with the project supervisor and the course Director.

The research project will be on a science or technology topic which is studied by means of scientific computation. A list of projects will be provided by the beginning of March. Many of these will be supervised by the teaching staff of the course, but members of the Departments of the Schools of Physical Sciences and Technology will also be involved. Project work should begin after the submission of the written assignments. 

Lectures and practical sessions

Students will take lectures, practicals and classes equivalent to around 70 contact hours in (for example) scientific high-performance computing and computational modelling, as well as lectures from other master’s level courses across the University, on topics related to their research project.

The lectures on topics of computational modelling and HPC are complemented with hands-on practicals on local computers as well as on the University’s high-performance computing service.

You can find a list of lectures currently offered here (2022-23), please note the offering may vary each year.


The taught element is examined by means of three unseen written examination papers worth 25 per cent of the total assessment portfolio. Students will be expected to take all of the written examination papers from the ones offered by the MPhil in Scientific Computing

The taught element is also examined by means of two written assignments worth 25 per cent of the total assessment portfolio. The written assignments will be directly relevant to the research project of the student. The objective of the assignments is to provide the student with suitable background training on the underlying numerical   methods and techniques which are necessary to complete the research project.

The research project is assessed by means of two 7500-word (max) reports, each worth 25 per cent of the total assessment portfolio (i.e. 50 per cent in total). The details of the requirements for each report shall be approved by the Degree Committee. The submission dates for the reports will be in June and August. A viva voce examination on the project reports will take place between late August and early September.

Eligibility, admissions and funding

Places in the course are offered from October onward on a conditional (academic and other, as applicable) basis.

Applications for the course will be submitted through the University-wide online system for processing postgraduate applications, which then passes them to the Department of Physics. 

Successful candidates will have a 2:1 or first class honours degree from a UK university (or equivalent from international institutions) in a science or technology discipline. Applicants are expected to be able to demonstrate an adequate level of computer literacy (should be able to write code performing a science/maths application using a programming language such as C/C++, FORTRAN, Java or Python).

Full details of the application procedure, including an application form and deadlines, can be found on the University's website.

The main University website has a webpage listing all of the possible sources of funding - please click here to visit it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to find a useful list of F.A.Q.s

Student profiles

You can read the experience of some of our former MPhil students here.