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Master's Programme in Theoretical Physics

The Master Programme in Theoretical Physics is offered in collaboration with Nordita, the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics.

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. Courses and master thesis projects are given by physicists from both Stockholm University and Nordita.

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, astro-particle 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 or at Nordita. 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.

  • Programme overview

    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.

    Year 1

    1st Semester

    Electrodynamics, 7.5 credits, FK7045
    Mathematical Methods in Physics, 7.5 credits, FK7048
    Optional courses*, 15 credits

    2nd Semester

    Statistical Physics, 7.5 credits, FK7058
    Analytical Mechanics, 7,5 credits, FK7049
    Optional courses*, 15 credits

    Year 2

    1st Semester

    Optional courses*, 15 or 30 credits

    2nd Semester

    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:

    Independent project

    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 or at Nordita. The master thesis project may also be carried out at a different university. 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. This provides a unique opportunity to dive deep into a professional environment and develop important soft-skills (such as independence, perseverance, problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and troubleshooting) before going further to industry or graduate studies.

  • How to apply

    Application is done through

    When submitting you application make sure you have uploaded all required documents. Read more here:

    We at the Department of Physics do not require any additional documents such as CV, letter of recommendation or motivation letter. You will be contacted by us if we need further documentation.

  • More information

    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 the Master’s programme 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
    • Operators
    • 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 us

    Watch our Webinar about all our Master's Programmes in Physics. In the Webinar you will learn more about all our programmes (includning the Master's Programme in Theoretical Physics), meet the programme coordinators, mixed with interviews with students and alumni. The Webinar is found on the Stockholm University central web page for Webinars on-demand about our Master’s programmes. It is called "Master's Programmes in Physics".

    Meet our students

    Daniel is a Master's student in theoretical physics from the US. He had always wanted to become a professional baseball player, but life had different plans for him. Watch the film and read the text by clicking the link below to get to know his story.

    Meet Daniel

    Meet our teachers

    All teachers in the master programme are engaged researchers. The department of physics houses both theoretical and experimental research, while Nordita focuses on theoretical physics.

    Located in the Albanova University Centre, shared by Stockholm University, The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), and Nordita, we carry out world leading research and cover basically all fields of theoretical physics. 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.

  • Career opportunities

    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.

    An internship is a great way to test your skills and gain work experience in a real-world environment. During your master studies, you can add an internship course and get the chance to experience working life before you graduate. You can choose a course of 7.5 ECTS or 15 ECTS depending on how long you want the intership to be. You can find more information via the links below.

    Internship in Physics, 7.5 ECTS (FK8026)

    Internship in Physics, 15 ECTS (FK8039)

  • Contact

    Academic advisor at Fysikum:

    Programme responsible: Dr. Eddy Ardonne