Master's Programme in Theoretical Physics
120 credits cr.
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Physics is constantly developing and it is the task of the theoretical physicist to use and to improve existing theories and models, find new ones to describe recently discovered phenomena, or shed new light on old problems. This MSc programme offers you advanced knowledge in theoretical physics in a strong research environment.
This two-year programme gives you advanced knowledge and broad qualifications in how to use the mathematical and statistical methods that are applicable within theoretical physics.
Thanks to the flexibility of the program and a combination of mandatory and optional courses, you can create your unique profile by combining courses of your interest. Our optional courses cover areas such as quantum field theory, cosmology, astroparticle physics, condensed matter and advanced statistical physics. The final component of your studies is a master thesis project where students get to apply their knowledge and plan, carry out and report a research project. This is often performed together with one of our theoretical physics research groups. We offer the possibility to carry out long projects, up to one year.
Knowledge and skills acquired in the programme find applications in many areas of industry and research.
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.
Electrodynamics, 7.5 credits, FK7045
Mathematical Methods in Physics, 7.5 credits, FK7048
Programming and Computer Science for Physicists, 7,5 credits, DA7011
Optional courses*, 7.5 credits
Optional courses*, 15 or 30 credits
Degree project, 30 or 45 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. The optional courses can be chosen freely among all the physics courses proposed at Stockholm University, but we particularly recommend the following courses:
General Relativity, 7.5 credits, FK8025
Introduction to Quantum Information and Quantum Computation, 7,5 credits, FK7052
Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics, 7.5 credits, FK7050
Quantum Field Theory, 15 credits, FK8027
Quantum Field Theory for condensed matter, 7.5 credits, FK8018Statistical Physics II, 7.5 credits, FK7016
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 usually carried out in one of the research groups of the physics department. The master thesis project may also be carried out at a different university or in a company. During the master thesis project you are given the opportunity to participate to the activity and life of the research group. You work with a research question in a professional research environment where you are in contact with graduate students and researchers. While still a university environment, it provides a unique opportunity to dive deep into a professional environment and develop important soft-skills (independence, perseverance, problem solving, critical thinking, communication, troubleshooting...) before going further to industry or graduate studies.
How to apply
Mentorship programme to strenghten your independent skills
We want our students to develop their ability to work independently as well as in groups which is why our teaching focusses on course projects. There is a good relation between students and teachers, and we provide strong academical support to the students by always having easily accessible teachers. In addition, the programme includes a unique mentor system, where PhD students act as a mentor for MSc students in practical matters as well as introduction to different research areas.
Following knowledges in quantum mechanics are recommended
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
Meet our teachers
All teachers in the master programme are engaged researchers. The department of physics houses both theoretical and experimental research.
Located in the Albanova University Centre, shared by Stockholm University and The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), we carry out world leading research. With the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita) next door, we cover almost all theoretical fields from string theory and quantum phenomenon to general relativity and cosmology. This creates a strong and vibrant research environment which we aim to reflect in our MSc programme. With all teachers being active researchers, our students are offered great opportunities to get in contact with the different fields through lectures, laboratory sessions, group projects and thesis work.
As a physics student at Stockholm University you gain experience of working in a frontline research environment and an advanced understanding of theoretical physics through analysing, modelling and synthesising complex information. Our programme provides an excellent foundation for PhD studies and opens multiple career options outside of the academic field. The ability and training in critical evaluation and analysis of complex new phenomena, often using sophisticated mathematical methods, is useful in various disciplines, such as bio-informatics and applied mathematics.