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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. 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.


  • The TCD virtual postgraduate open day will take place Saturday 6th March 11am to 3pm.
  • The Higher Education Authority has announced the 2021 call for Government of Ireland - International Education Scholarships open to students from non-EU/EEA countries. These provide a €10,000 stipend and a full waiver of fees. The deadline for the submission of application is 5pm (Irish time) 26 March 2021.
  • All applications received before 15 April 2021 will be considered for a new School of Mathematics scholarship which provides for a fee reduction of €2000.

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)

  • Introduction to Conformal Field Theory
  • String Theory
  • Advanced Quantum Field Theory (2 semesters)

Advanced lattice (prerequisite: Quantum Field Theory)

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

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)

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 I (first) 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.


Successful graduates of the course are expected to continue their education at the top PhD programs in Theoretical Physics in the world. This course will provide the background necessary to carry out research in a wide range of areas in mathematical and theoretical physics.