Master's Programme in Physics – Theoretical Physics: Quantum Fields and Strings

120 credits

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 also allows the group to supervise your degree projects in one of the 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.

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.

Theoretical Physics: Quantum Fields and Strings, is a specialisation within the Master's Programme in Physics. It gives you exposure to this very active research area. After completing your Master's studies, you will have gained excellent preparation for commencing PhD studies in string theory, or in 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 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).

An introductory quantum field theory course is offered in the first year and a more advanced level course at the beginning of the second year. There are also two courses in string theory offered in the second year. These courses will give you the basics to start doing active research in the programme and provide the necessary qualifications to apply for a PhD position in theoretical physics.

Many other courses are available to choose from, such as:

  • analytic mechanics,
  • symmetry and group theory,
  • gravitation and cosmology,
  • a continuing course in quantum mechanics,
  • advanced statistical mechanics,
  • advanced methods in mathematical physics, including computer algebra software and symmetry in physics.

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 cutting-edge questions in high-energy and mathematical physics. 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 theoretical 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 examination during the course, such as group discussions and hand-in exercises.

The programme takes place in Uppsala.

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 in the world. 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, University of Amsterdam and University of Southampton.

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.