Master's Programme in Physics – Nuclear and Particle Physics

120 credits

Nuclear and particle physicists try to understand nature at the most fundamental level, which also includes astrophysics and cosmology. The research is both theoretical and experimental, and the technology that makes the experiments possible is also used in other fields, such as technology, finance and medicine. The Master's programme in physics with a focus on nuclear and particle physics gives you the opportunity to learn physics and the theoretical and experimental methods used by researchers.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

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 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. We aim to understand the structure of matter at the subatomic level and the applications of this research. This involves both experimental and theoretical nuclear physics and particle physics.

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.

Studying this specialisation puts you in contact with research groups that participate in major physics experiments around the world. Faculty members at Uppsala University are involved in theoretical research on the Standard Model and Beyond.

Our researchers are also parts of various experimental research, such as in Higgs physics with the Atlas detector at the Large Hadron Collider (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, etc.

The technology that makes the experiments possible is also used in many other fields such as engineering, finance and medicine.

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. Furthermore, you have experience in using the foundation to analyse data or create computer-based models to solve problems. 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 the degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with Physics as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Science (60 credits).

Year 1

Most coursework 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.

Year 2

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 Division for Nuclear Physics and the Division for High Energy Physics in the same Department, which are internationally highly competitive. The research in our groups is highly collaborative, and during the thesis project, you will be integrated in a research group.

Courses within the programme

See the programme outline for courses within the specialisation.

During the two-year programme, you will apply your background in physics to the field of microcosmos. No prior knowledge in astronomy is required and you choose from a wide range of courses according to your interests and career plan.

Our teachers are active researchers and the courses closely follow current developments in nuclear and particle physics.

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 and research 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 examinations during the course, such as group discussions and hand-in exercises.

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 pursue a PhD degree 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 industry, for example, in 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 time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career.