Taught course

Frontiers of Quantum Technology

University of Sussex · Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

A first- or second-class undergraduate honours degree in a physics- or mathematics-based degree. Degrees in other subjects will be considered on an individual basis.

Months of entry


Course content

The exploration of quantum phenomena at the scale of single atoms and photons has recently led to extraordinary applications of quantum entanglement such as quantum teleportation, quantum cryptography, and quantum computing. The degree of control exerted over these systems is reflected in the term ‘quantum technology’, describing both experimental and theoretical developments in this area.

This course is for you if you have an interest in the wonders of quantum physics, and a desire to exploit its full power. At Sussex, we cover a wide range of research at the frontiers of quantum technology:

  • ion-trap quantum processors
  • ion-photon interfaces for the projected quantum internet
  • quantum simulators
  • superconducting quantum circuits
  • devices for quantum-enhanced metrology.

The long-term applications include improved sensors, powerful quantum simulations and the long-distance distribution of quantum information. This MSc can be taken in an experimental or theoretical mode and has a strong research component embedded in one of our renowned research groups. On this course, you develop unique experimental or theoretical techniques, enabling you to pursue further studies or a career in industry.

The Frontiers in Quantum Technology degree will be offering the Director’s Research Merit Fellowship (DRMF), which will be awarded to the best students on the course. The DRMF is also provides £2,000 funding to attend an international conference or buy computing equipment. This equates to £12,000 subsidy for the best students enrolled in the MSc in Frontiers in Quantum Technology.


Assessment of this MSc is made up of 50 per cent on a research project and 50 per cent on lecture modules. The research project culminates in your dissertation (with a contribution from a research talk). There are also six lecture modules, typically assessed by a mixture of problem sets with either an
open-notes test or an unseen examination. A distinction can be awarded on the basis of excellence in both the research project and the lecture modules.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

Course structure (full time)

Over the year, your time is split equally between taught modules and a research project. The research project can be either experimental or theoretical. It can take the form of a placement in industry, but usually projects are supervised by our faculty in the Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics research group. Your supervisor oversees your work in general. The choice of research project is decided, in consultation with you, soon after you arrive in the autumn term. You work on the research project throughout the year, with more emphasis on it outside the teaching periods. In many cases, the projects form the basis of research papers that are later published in scientific journals.

Autumn term: Atom-Light Interactions • Quantum Optics and Quantum Information. You also work on your research project.

Spring term: Electrons, Cold Atoms and Quantum Circuits • Experimental Quantum Technologies and Foundations. In addition, you choose two options from Advanced Condensed State Physics • Computational Chemistry • Data Analysis Techniques • Fibre-Optic Communications • Further Quantum Mechanics • Lasers • Monte-Carlo Simulations • Object-Oriented Programming • Programming in C++ • Quantum Field Theory I • RF Circuit Design. You also work on your research project.

Summer term: examinations and research project.

Course structure (part time)

In Year 1, you take the autumn- and springterm core modules listed in the full-time course structure, above. After any examinations, you can begin work on your research project. In Year 2, you continue working on your research project and also take two options from the list above.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit:www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
lecture modules50

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services