Master's Programme in Computational Physics
In the Master's Programme in Computational Physics you will learn how to translate a mathematical model of a physical phenomenon into a robust computer program and then how to analyse the results from your calculations. You will study courses in programming, mathematical and numerical methods and deepen your knowledge in physics.
Congratulations! You have been admitted at Stockholm University and we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us.
In order to ensure that your studies begin as smoothly as possible we have compiled a short checklist for the beginning of the semester.
Follow the instructions on wether you have to reply to your offer or not.
Checklist for admitted students
Activate your university account
The first step in being able to register and gain access to all the university's IT services.
Register at your department
Registration can be done in different ways. Read the instructions from your department below.
Read all the information on this page
Here you will find what you need to know before your course or programme starts.
Your seat may be withdrawn if you do not register according to the instructions provided by your department.
Information from the department
Everyone admitted to a programme at the Department of Physics will receive a welcome letter with important information via e-mail. If you have not receive the mail by the beginning of August, please contact our study advisor!
All programmes at the Department of Physics starts with a mandatory introductory meeting (roll-call). You will receive more detailed information about the meeting via e-mail. If you are planning to start the programme but for some reason cannot participate in the meeting, contact our study advisor. Contact details are found further down on this web page.
Elective courses within a programme
If you are admitted to a programme at the Department of Physics you will also automatically be admitted to the compulsory courses within the programme given during the autumn. The courses included in the programme are listed further down on this web page. You will also receive information about this via e-mail. If you have elective courses within your programme during the autumn, you need to choose courses at the start of the semester. Information about this is provided at the introductory meeting.
If you are admitted to a programme at our department you can register yourself to the courses within your programme using your university account. Registration normally opens two weeks before the course starts and you must have registered at the latest one week after the first lecture. If you have any problems with registration, contact our student office. Contact details are found further down on this web page.
If you are conditionally admitted to a programme at the Department of Physics you need to contact our study advisor. Contact us as soon as possible, well before the the first course within the programme starts. Contact details are found further down on this web page.
Applicants on waiting list
Are you placed on a waiting list to a programme at our department? You will always be contacted by e-mail if you are offered a place. Normaly we will not admit new students if more than 1 week has passed after the beginning of the term.
Find the Departmend of Physics
Most of the physics courses are held in the AlbaNova building, located between the Frescati campus and the Royal Institute of Technology (Tekniska högskolan, KTH). Courses in medical radiation physics are held at Campus Karolinska Hospital. A few of our physics courses are also given in collaboration with KTH or other departments. If this is the case it is clearly stated further down on this web page.
Education during autumn 2020
Most courses at the Department of Physics which starts during the first period of the autumn semester will have lectures given online, while practical elements (eg laboratory exercises) and examination take place on campus.
More specific deatalis regarding the courses within the programme can be found further down on this web page or the course page in the Athena learning platform. If you have questions you can contact the course coordinator; contact details are found further down on this web page.
Stockholm University organises a series of welcome activities that stretch over a few weeks at the beginning of each semester. The programme is voluntary (attendance is optional) and includes Arrival Service at the airport and an Orientation Day, see more details about these events below.
Your department may also organise activities for welcoming international students. More information will be provided by your specific department.
Find your way on campus
Stockholm University's main campus is in the Frescati area, north of the city centre. While most of our departments and offices are located here, there are also campus areas in other parts of the city.
For new international students
This two-year programme gives you advanced knowledge and broad qualifications in the application of numerical methods and modern computational techniques on a range of physical problems, while continuing your physics education with advanced courses in classical and modern physics.
You are provided with a basic course block in mathematical methods, high level language programming and numerical methods. This is followed by advanced courses in statistical physics and in the course in computational physics, you will learn how to use program packages in the form of numerical libraries to model physical phenomena. During the second year you will choose to specialise in subjects like quantum chemistry, condensed matter physics, analytical mechanics, numerical methods, machine learning or how to use large parallel computers.
The last phase of the programme consists of the master thesis project, where you get to apply your acquired model building skills to take on current problems in modern physics. With support from an experienced supervisor you will be trained in planning, performing and reporting a research project. We offer the possibility to carry out long projects, up to one year, either in one of our research groups at the department or through a company outside of the university, giving you direct experience of the private sector working environment.
The programme represents two years of full time studies (120 credits), out which 30, 45 or 60 credits are allocated to the master thesis project. Within the programme there is a lot of freedom to choose the courses that best suit your interests and your physics profile. There is also room for you to broaden your competence thanks to a large number of optional courses.
Mathematical Methods in Physics, 7.5 credits, FK7048
Numerical Methods for Physicists II, 7.5 credits, BE7001
Programming and Computer Science for Physicists, 7.5 credits, DA7011
Optional courses*, 7.5 credits
Optional courses*, 0 or 15 or 30 credits
Degree project, 30, 45 or 60 credits
* Optional courses
In order to give you the ability to customise the programme to your interests and needs, you have the possibility to choose among a number of optional courses. Most of these courses will normally be taken during the second year and compromise approximately half a semester. The courses can be selected from the broad range of courses offered by the Department of Physics and by the Department of Mathematics, but should in each case be approved by us. Below you find a list of recommended courses which fulfil the level and content requirements for the Master's programme:
Analytical Mechanics, 7.5 credits, FK7049
Condensed Matter Physics, 7.5 credits, FK7060
Electrodynamics, 7.5 credits, FK7045
Introduction to Quantum Information and Quantum Computation, 7.5 credits, FK7052
Machine Learning for Physicists and Astronomers, 7.5 credits, FK7068Quantum Chemistry, 15 credits, FK7059
We also recommend the Second Cycle courses in scientific computing given by the Department of Mathematics. Choose the appropriate semester and then look under Scientific Computing. You can also choose a few courses on basic level (maximum 30 credits), for example in Computer Science.
The master thesis project usually starts during the second year, but may start as soon as you have earned at least 45 credits of advanced courses in physics. The project is normally 45 credits but 60- and 30-credits projects are also possible. Several of the research groups at the Department of Physics work in computational physics and can offer suitable projects. It is also possible to do your graduation project in industry or at other departments as long as the content of the specific project is such that it qualifies as a computational physics project.
How to apply
Before starting on one of the Master’s programmes you should have passed a course/courses covering the following areas of quantum mechanics:
- Basic concepts and methods in non-relativistic quantum mechanics
- the Schrödinger equation
- The wave function and its interpretation
- One-dimensional potentials
- The free particle
- The harmonic oscillator, ladder operators
- Matrix representation
- The uncertainty principle
- The formalism of quantum mechanics
- Schrödinger equation in three dimensions
- The hydrogen atom and hydrogenic atoms
- Angular momentum and spin
- Many-particle systems, in particular atoms
- Time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, fine structure, Zeeman effect, emission and absorption of radiation
- Variational calculus
Strong academic support and networking possibilities
Throughout your MSc studies, several courses are focused on independent studies and group projects. We aim to provide a good support in your programme and teachers and study advisors are always accessible for questions or guidance. Due to the large number of teachers you will meet during your courses, you are offered several ways to get in contact with the research of your preference. If you are more interested in working outside the academic field, it is possible to involve yourself in projects with collaborators from relevant companies or public institutions. This is a perfect opportunity to gain broad experience during your studies.
Meet our teachers
This MSc programme in computational physics gives you a unique opportunity to study in a rapidly developing and stimulating scientific environment. We aim to give you a deeper understanding of physics, and improve your computational skills. By having teachers who are all active researchers, you will meet and use the modern computational techniques that are utilised in contemporary research. Through exercises and projects in our courses, and the degree project, you will train your ability to combine the knowledge in physics with computations to model and simulate a range of physical problems.
With this degree, you will have modern, up-to-date knowledge in physics and computational science. Your ability to understand, analyse and translate a great variety of problems to computer models is requested in high-tech industries and research companies and a large fraction of our alumni work with modelling and programming. This degree also has a wider application and your skills are attractive in different areas ranging from academic particle physics over medical imaging all the way to fund analyst in the Bank of England!