Physics, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Global trends are shaping our world, and while these forces present both exciting opportunities and unparalleled challenges, the demand for future scientific solutions and rapid technological innovation remains unchanged. The master's programme in Physics fosters creative thinking, critical evaluation and problem-solving/engineering skills grounded in the fundamental principles of physics.

Physics master's programme at Chalmers 

This master's programme will prepare you for a professional career in the private or public sector, both nationally and internationally. As a student, you will acquire a broad insight into the areas of physics that will form the basis for the advanced technologies of today and tomorrow. You will be able to identify and explain general aspects of physics that are integral to applications in engineering and natural sciences. Furthermore, you will be able to identify relevant theoretical, computational and experimental methods and apply these to problem-solving across a wide range of disciplines or multi-disciplinary fields.


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The master's programme in Physics is intended for students with a strong interest in theoretical, computational, and/or experimental aspects of physics and astronomy. In short, theory provides models and concepts that can explain and predict experimental observations. The use of computers allows for numerical computation of the fundamental laws of physics and use of advanced techniques, e.g. machine learning.

Finally, the use of advanced instrumentation, both in-house and at large facilities e.g Onsala Space Observatory, will provide the students with in-depth knowledge of material and biological systems, and of distant stars and galaxies. In the core courses of the programme, focus lies in providing the students with a solid understanding of the fundamental principles of physics, thereby preparing them for a future driven by knowledge and technology. ​The students are recommended to choose two out of four different specializations, namely astronomy, computational physics, high-energy physics or materials science.​

Examples of research activities include the study of string theory, computational methods to understand the atomic and sub-atomic scale, energy-related materials, such as lithium batteries, and materials for specific applications, such as nanoplasmonics, interfaces between biological systems and inorganic structures, and advanced experiments, in which state-of-the-art instruments contribute to an understanding of both the microscopic world and astrophysical phenomena.

Topics covered

The subjects of biotechnical physics and computational  science are fundamental areas in the Physics master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as astronomy and materials imaging.

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of Compulsory courses, Compulsory elective courses and Elective courses. 

Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with three compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Physics. Each course is usually 7.5 credits. 

  • Learning from data
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Experimental methods in modern physics​

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice. 

  • ​Master’s thesis 

Compulsory elective courses

Through compulsory elective courses, you can then specialize in astronomy, computational science, high-energy physics or material physics, or a combination thereof. ​​During year 1 and 2, you need to select at least 4 compulsory elective courses out of the following in order to graduate. 

Profile: Astronomy

​​Compulsory Elective courses
  • Modern astrophysics
Elective courses 
  • Stellar physics
  • Interstellar medium and star formation
  • Galaxies and observational cosmology
  • Astrophysics dynamics
  • Radio astronomy

Profile: Computational physics

​Compulsory Elective courses
  • Computational physics
Elective courses
  • Computational materials and molecular physics
  • Computational continuum physics
  • High performance computing
  • Plasma physics with applications
  • Advanced simulationand machine learning
  • Quantum computing

Profile: High-energy physics

Compulsory Elective courses
  • Symmetry
​Elective courses
  • Gravitation and cosmology
  • Quantum field theory
  • Standard model of particle physics
  • String theory

Profile: Material physics

​Compulsory Elective courses
  • Spectroscopy
  • Statistical physics
​Elective courses
  • Fundamentals of hard and soft materials
  • Condensed matter physics
  • Biological and biotechnical physics
  • Physics and applications of electromagnetic fields and optical materials​
  • Semiconductor materials physics
  • Materials imaging and microanalysis
  • Surface and nanophysics
  • Functional energy materials

Specialized course

  • Science, innovation and entrepreneurship

Programme plan, syllabus course description and learning outcomes​​

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Other Master's programmes that might interest you
Engineering Mathematics and Computational Science, MSc
Materials Chemistry, MSc
Materials Engineering, MSc
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Career opportunities

Our graduates’ expertise in problem-solving and in advanced experimental or theoretical techniques is highly valued in the private or public sector. In addition, the resulting training renders the programme graduates less sensitive to e.g. fluctuations within a particular sector. The master's programme is an excellent preparation for industrial research, consulting, teaching, research organizations and an academic career.

Research connections

The research activities connected to the programme are represented by different Divisions of the Department of Physics and Department of Space, Earth and Environment. The Physics Master's programme is also connected to several of the Chalmers Areas of Advance – strengthening the research focus. The Areas of Advance most closely connected to Physics are Energy, Materials Science, and Nanotechnology. Several excellent researchers take active part as course responsible teachers in the programme.

 Department of Physics
Department of Space, Earth and Environment
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​​Student Blogs

Page manager Published: Mon 21 Dec 2020.