Quantum field theory and string theory are broad subjects whose research remains extremely active. One goal of the Master Programme in Physics, specialising in Theoretical Physics: Quantum Fields and Strings, is to give students exposure to this research. The theoretical physics group at Uppsala University is a world-recognised institution that has a wide range of interests in the modern study of quantum field theory and string theory. This breadth in the subject allows the group to supervise student degree projects in many different key areas, including string phenomenology, applications of the AdS/CFT correspondence, scattering amplitudes, cosmology, integrability of gauge theories, mathematical physics and standard-model and beyond-the-standard-model physics.
Physics at Uppsala University covers the entire length scale from subatomic strings to the whole universe, with forefront research across all sub-branches of physics — from research on elementary particles and materials, the structure of the earth and its atmosphere, to space and the properties of the universe. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University is ranked No. 36 in the world according to the recent Shanghai ranking which makes it the highest ranked physics department in all of Scandinavia.
At the Ångström laboratory at Uppsala University, physicists collaborate on questions regarding energy, elementary particles, materials, space physics and astronomy. At the Geocentrum in Uppsala, researchers use physical principles to study and understand the earth, its weather and climate. Geocentrum is also the home for the Swedish National Seismic Network which monitors earthquakes in Sweden and worldwide. These and other existing collaborations generate a creative environment for both teaching and research.
Why this programme?
Courses in the Master Programme in Physics, specialising in Theoretical Physics: Quantum Fields and Strings, are an important part of the programme. One Quantum Field Theory course is offered in the first year and another in the beginning of the second year. There are also two courses in String Theory offered in the second year. These courses will give the students the basics to start doing active research in the programme and also offer a solid stepping-stone to a PhD position, either at Uppsala University or anywhere else in the world. Many other courses are available to the students, including Analytic Mechanics, Symmetry and Group Theory, Gravitation and Cosmology, a continuing course in Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Advanced Methods in Mathematical Physics, and a course in Symmetry in Physics. All classes are taught in English.
After successful completion of the coursework you will have the opportunity to complete a Master’s thesis under the supervision of one of the faculty or research staff in the theoretical physics group. Topics can range from all areas of string theory, quantum field theory or mathematical physics. Typically, the last term of the second year is devoted almost entirely to the thesis project.
The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Physics as the main field of study. After one year of study it may also be possible to obtain a Master of Science (60 credits).
The Master Programme in Physics, specialising in Theoretical Physics: Quantum Fields and Strings, is intended to have a strong emphasis on quantum field theory and string theory. Students who successfully complete the specialisation will have a solid background to begin PhD studies in these two disciplines but also in many different fields of theoretical physics including condensed matter theory, mathematical physics, high-energy theory including high-energy phenomenology, and theoretical cosmology.
In general, you will spend 8-10 hours per week in class. Most classes have fewer than 20 students and some have much less than that. Typically, work outside of the lecture hall takes 25-30 hours/week in study and home problem solving. Aside from classes, you will also have the opportunity to work on shorter projects for course credit.
With a Master’s degree in physics, you will be qualified for PhD studies in physics. Many physics Master’s students continue as PhD students, at Uppsala University or elsewhere. You will also have the opportunity to work with research and development (R&D) at various companies and public authorities.
Your mathematical competence and analytical problem-solving skills will make you an attractive recruit. Depending on the courses you take and the specialisation you choose, there are many other individual career opportunities in special areas, both within and outside the field of physics.
For example, you may find employment as a company consultant, project manager in R&D, or as a specialist in banking, insurance or research organisations.
With a Bachelor’s degree that is not in physics (e.g. engineering, mathematics), you may or may not qualify for our Master programme. You must have passed physics courses worth at least 75 credits (out of 180 credits), i.e. 1.25 years of full-time physics courses (out of three years). Before applying, verify that you meet this requirement.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 75 credits in physics.
Language requirements All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies. The minimum test scores are:
IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
a statement of purpose (1 page).
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.