Nuclear and Particle Physics - Master's Programme in Physics 2020/2021

Photo for Nuclear and Particle Physics - Master's Programme in Physics 2020/2021

The Master's Programme in Physics, specialising in Nuclear and Particle Physics, puts you at the very frontline of fundamental physics where we explore the structure of matter at the subatomic level and applications of our findings. The physics and the theoretical and experimental methods are used by researchers who try to understand nature at the most fundamental level, including astrophysics and cosmology. The technology that makes the experiments possible is also used in many other fields such as engineering, finance and medicine.

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 among the top 100 physics institutions in the world according to the recent Shanghai ranking, which makes it the highest ranked physics department in all of Sweden.

Why this programme?

The specialisation in Nuclear and Particle Physics, within the Master's Programme in Physics, is a good choice if you are interested in the very frontline of fundamental physics where we aim at understanding the structure of matter at the subatomic level and applications of this research. This involves both experimental and theoretical nuclear physics and particle physics.

Studying this specialisation puts you in contact with research groups that participate in the major physics experiments around the world. Faculty members in Uppsala are involved in theoretical research on the Standard Model and beyond and in experimental research in Higgs physics with the Atlas detector at the LHC, neutrino physics with the IceCube detector at the South Pole, strong interaction physics with the PANDA, KLOE-2 and BES III experiments, and nuclear structure physics with the AGATA experiment.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • explore the structure of matter at the subatomic level and applications of this research
  • get in contact with research groups that participate in the leading physics experiments in the world
  • gain a solid background for employment in engineering, data analysis, software development or further PhD studies.
A wide range of courses are available, including Accelerator physics and technology such as for radiation detectors for research and medical applications, Advanced nuclear physics, Advanced particle physics, Quantum field theory, Symmetry and group theory, Quantum chromodynamics, and Effective field theories. More basic courses are also available, including Special relativity, Electrodynamics and Quantum mechanics. You have great freedom in choosing courses and tailoring your own Master's degree.

Student profile
You are naturally curious about how the world works and realise that formulating a question can be just as important as finding the answer. You have a good theoretical foundation in both Physics and Mathematics and experience in using it to analyse data or create computer-based models to solve problems. Obviously, you already know the basics of Quantum Physics.

A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you would value coming in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in the field. So, if you are searching for the answer, a Master's degree in physics from Uppsala University might be exactly what takes you there.


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).

All specialisations of this programme


Most course work is done in the first year and you have a wide range of courses to choose from, including Accelerator Physics and Technology, Advanced Nuclear Physics, Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Chromodynamics. More basic courses are also available, including those in Special Relativity, Electrodynamics and Quantum Mechanics.

A large part of the second year is devoted to a degree project. There are a variety of projects open to you, usually based on one of the experiments the group is actively engaged in. Topics that we offer can range from detector development, over experimental data analysis or simulations of experiments, to theoretical research.

The projects can involve data analysis and simulation, or can be more directed toward instrumentation. There is also the possibility of doing a more theoretical project, for example on the structure of hadrons and predictions for their properties, or interpretation of LHC data to test or find discrepancies with the standard model.

The programme has a very strong connection to research in the Nuclear and High Energy Physics divisions, which are internationally highly competitive. The research in our groups is highly collaborative, and during the thesis you will be integrated in a research group.

Courses within the programme

See the outline for courses within the programme.

Learning experience

During the two-year programme you will apply your background in physics to the cosmos. No prior knowledge in astronomy is required and you choose from a wide range of courses according to your interests. Several "Löfberg scholarships" are awarded to for students of this specialisation every year.

During a typical week you will have about 8-10 hours of scheduled classroom time. The majority of time is thus spent studying on your own or in a study group outside the classroom. You can also choose to conduct research projects. They are a lot like thesis work, only shorter in duration, and are an excellent way into a new research field/group.

Classes are typically small, ranging from a few students up to about 20. This gives you close contact with the teachers as well as your fellow students. Our teaching is in English as the student group is international.

Instruction consists of lectures, teacher-supervised tuition, and guidance in conjunction with laboratory work. The forms of examination vary depending on the course content and design. Final exams are more common for theoretical courses, although many tutors have continuous examination during the course, such as group discussions and hand-in exercises. The programme takes place in Uppsala.

The teachers are active researchers and the courses closely follow current developments in astrophysics.

The language of instruction is English


The specialisation in Nuclear and Particle Physics gives you a versatile and solid background in fundamental physics and its applications. You will be very well prepared to go on to become a PhD student in these, or related, fields.

You will also have great opportunities for jobs in industry or government. Our alumni can be found in a wide variety of jobs in, for example, engineering, data analysis and software development. They work in fields such as medical technology/medical physics, "big data", the energy sector, finance, or telecom. For a physicist with such a broad education, the opportunities are endless.

Career support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Read more about UU Careers.


With a Bachelor's degree that is not in physics (e.g. engineering, mathematics), you may or may not qualify for our Master's 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.

Nuclear and Particle Physics

120 credits

Autumn 2020 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2020-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M1175 Application

Language of Instruction: English

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
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).


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.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


For programme-specific information, please contact: Study counsellor:

+46 18 471 59 91

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1

Box 516, 751 20 UPPSALA

018-471 5952

Student portal

Student portal

The Student Portal provides logged-on students access to course and programme pages, study results, e-transcripts, information from the student unions, file area, webmail, and more. In order to log on, you must have applied for a student account. The course and programme pages in the Student Portal can be seen without being logged on here. The pages contain basic information plus those features that the department has chosen to make accessible.