Theoretical Physics: Quantum Fields and Strings - Master's Programme in Physics 2020/2021

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As a student in the Master's Programme in Physics, specialising in Theoretical Physics: Quantum Fields and Strings, you will learn from a world-recognised physics group with a wide range of interests in the modern study of quantum field theory and string theory. This breadth allows the group to supervise degree projects in many key areas, including conformal field theory, 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 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?

Theoretical Physics: Quantum Fields and Strings, is a specialisation within the Master's Programme in Physics, and gives you exposure to this very active research area. After successfully completing the programme, you will have gained excellent preparation for commencing PhD studies in string theory, or many other fields of theoretical physics including condensed matter theory, mathematical physics, high-energy theory including high-energy phenomenology, and theoretical cosmology.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • have access to a world-recognised theoretical physics group
  • gain a solid foundation for further PhD studies
  • write a Master's thesis in one of several areas where quantum field theory and/or string theory play a key role
In your second year 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 semester of the second year is devoted almost entirely to the thesis project.

Student profile
You are expected to have a solid theoretical foundation in both physics and mathematics. A strong previous performance in the Bachelor's level courses for quantum mechanics, electrodynamics and statistical mechanics is essential.

You should be highly motivated and willing to take responsibility for your own education by choosing from the wide range of courses offered.


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


An introductory quantum field theory course is offered in the first year and a more advanced level course 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 student the basics to start doing active research in the programme and provide the necessary background to apply for a PhD position in theoretical physics.

Many other courses are available to choose from, including analytic mechanics, symmetry and group theory, gravitation and cosmology, a continuing course in quantum mechanics, advanced statistical mechanics, advanced methods in mathematical physics, and a course in symmetry in physics.

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


With a Master's degree in physics, you will be qualified for PhD studies in physics and many of our students continue as PhD students, at Uppsala University or elsewhere. You will also have the opportunity to work with research and development at various companies and public authorities.

Recent graduates have found PhD positions at e.g. Uppsala University, Stockholm University, the University of Jena.

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.

Theoretical Physics: Quantum Fields and Strings

120 credits

Autumn 2020 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2020-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M1178 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

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