The Theoretical Physics track introduces the student to the intriguing diversity of physical theories and gives means to understand the world. Topics from quantum physics to the theories of gravity are incorporated into the track. Problems of fundamental quantum physics, quantum information, quantum field theory and theoretical cosmology are at the heart of the studies in Theoretical Physics.
Upon graduation, you will be able to use the diverse set of skills acquired as part of this track, including theoretical and numerical techniques to produce and analyse new physical projects.
The structure is modular. All modules have 20 ECTS. Each specialisation track has two obligatory modules that contain the core material of the field. In addition, there is one thematic module that may be chosen from the other modules offered within this programme or other programmes at the University of Turku. The fourth module consists of freely chosen courses and an obligatory Finnish language and culture course (5 ECTS). An MSc thesis (30 ECTS) in addition to seminar, internship, and project work (10 ECTS) are also required, details of which depend on the specialisation. See figure below.
Examples of different modules in different specialisations are:
You can replace possible project work by participating to a Capstone project (15 ECTS) organised by the Department of Future Technologies. We recommend this for those students who aim to work in the industry after graduation.
In the Theoretical physics module 1 you will learn the basic theories of physics by attending lectures and doing exercises in courses on quantum physics, statistical physics and quantum field theory. In the Theoretical physics module 2 you deepen your understanding and develop our skills in more specified topics of theoretical physics, such as fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum information and optics, quantum field theory and cosmology.
The Thematic module consists of courses offered by the department, mathematics etc. according to your will agreed with theoretical physics subject. Courses in relevant topics of mathematics, physics and astronomy are recommended. These studies can be used to form a minor. Possible minors are e.g. mathematics, physics, astronomy, and computer science.
In the Other studies module you can choose any courses you want from the entire offering of the university in addition to the obligatory “Finnish for foreigners” course
The aim of the Master’s education is to support you to become an independent expert who can evaluate information critically, plan and execute research projects to find new knowledge, and to solve scientific and technological problems independently and as a part of a group.
In the University of Turku the research in Theoretical physics has the emphasis on various fields at the forefront of European and international research such as quantum technologies, fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum information and optics, quantum field theory and cosmology. You will learn rigorous mathematical and numerical methods to model physical phenomena and solve physical problems with several possible interdisciplinary applications also outside physics. Examples are the studies of complex systems, data science, and machine learning.
The Master’s degree programme includes a compulsory thesis component (30 ECTS), which corresponds to six months of full time work. The thesis is to be written up as a report based on a combination of a literature review and an original research project that forms the bulk of the thesis.
The thesis is an independently made research project but the project will be carried out under the guidance of leading researchers in the field at the University of Turku. It is expected that the student will be embedded within an active research group or experimental team, thereby providing ample opportunity to discuss results and exchange ideas in a group setting.
The large variety of the recent thesis titles in theoretical physics includes
The Master’s Degree Programme of Physical and Chemical Sciences has four tracks. A short description of each specialisation track is given below. You can find more detailed information of tracks from the specific site of each track in this portal (UTU Masters).
In Theoretical physics you can specialise in various fields at the forefront of European and international research such as quantum technologies, fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum information and optics, quantum field theory and cosmology. You will learn rigorous mathematical and numerical methods to model physical phenomena and solve physical problems with several possible interdisciplinary applications also outside physics. Examples are the studies of complex systems, data science, and machine learning.
Students specialising in Astronomy and Space Physics can choose among three lines of studies: theoretical astrophysics, observational astronomy and space physics. You will acquire knowledge of various astrophysical phenomena and plasma physics, from Solar system to neutron stars and onto galaxies and cosmology. You will also get hands-on experience with observational techniques, space instrumentation, numerical methods and analysis of large data sets.
The studies of Materials Physics and Materials Chemistry give you an ability to understand and to develop the properties of materials from molecules and nanoparticles via metals, magnetic and semiconducting compounds for pharmaceutical and biomaterial applications. After graduation, you will be familiar with the current methodologies, research equipment and modern numerical methods needed to model properties of materials used in research and technology. Note that there is a sister programme (Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences) with a specialisation in medicinal chemistry.
The Master of Science degree provides the skills to work in many different kinds of positions within areas such as research and development, education and management, and industry. In particular MSc in theoretical physics offer deep understanding on the physical world, its structure and functioning as well as practical abilities to work with various other topics.
MSc in theoretical physics prepares the student to academic career but it also gives excellent skills in using mathematical tools, physical models and computational techniques. These provide the ability to work in various positions from finance sector to data science and machine learning. Moreover, they form the students to new jobs in the emerging quantum technology industries. So, the MSc in theoretical physics prepares you either for a career in research and development in industry or for a follow-up PhD study.
The prospects for employment at relatively senior levels is excellent for those trained in the physical and chemical sciences. Thanks to the broad scope of the programme, the skills and knowledge developed as part of this education at the University of Turku provide many employment opportunities in different areas.
Our MSc graduates have been employed to wide range of professions, in addition to academic career, such that finance sector, medical imagining, quantum technology, game development, and data mining.
The Master’s Degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. The University of Turku Graduate School – UTUGS has a Doctoral Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences, and covers all of the disciplines of this Master Degree programme. Postgraduate degrees can be completed at the University of Turku. Note that in Finland the doctoral studies incur no tuition fees, and PhD students often receive either a salary, or a grant to cover their living expenses. The Master’s programme is a stepping stone for PhD studies.
A BSc degree that formally qualifies the applicant to access Master’s level studies in the country where it has been completed. This degree should correspond to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to a minimum of three years of full-time study.
The applicant’s previous degree on the basis of which s/he is seeking admission to the Master’s Degree Programme should be in a relevant field of study. Relevant fields of previous studies for this Master’s Degree Programme are physics, chemistry, astronomy, materials science, theoretical physics or similar depending on the chosen specialisation track.
Applicants may choose only one of the four available tracks upon application. Therefore, it is very important to choose the track that is closest to the field of your previous degree.
The decision of admission will be based on
A previously earned Master’s degree does not automatically place the applicant ahead of other applicants.
If need be, the most promising applicants will be invited to an online interview.
The contents of formally eligible applicants’ previous degrees do not always correspond to the academic level of the Programme. Therefore admitted students can be advised or required to complete additional, Bachelor level studies. These can be done while studying for the Master’s Degree, but they are not part of the degree and may extend the targeted study time. The amount of required additional studies cannot exceed 60 ECTS.
Since the language of instruction in Bachelor’s level at the University of Turku is Finnish, an applicant needing additional studies can be required to submit proof for Finnish skills during the application process (see Language requirements). In case such proof is not submitted, the applicant needing additional studies must be rejected.
All applicants must prove their knowledge of English in one of the ways accepted by the Faculty.
Applicants required to complete additional studies can also be requested to submit proof for their skills in Finnish.
The application form for the studies starting in autumn 2018 is available online during the application period on 1 December 2017 – 31 January 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland, GMT +2). On the same form you can apply for any but only one of the four tracks in the Physical and Chemical Sciences programme. Enclosures are attached to the application in digital form (pdf).
If you are graduating only after the deadline, you may apply on the condition that the required application documents are submitted and arrive at the University of Turku by 10 July 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland).
The following documents must be scanned and attached to the electronic application (in pdf format, in color) at the Studyinfo portal:
All translations must be made either by an authorized translator or by the degree awarding institution. Each page of an official translation must bear the translator’s stamp and/or signature. Official translations must be exact translations of the original documents. Translations done by the applicant him- or herself are not accepted.
Prepare a motivation letter to be copy-pasted on the application form. The letter of motivation is an important factor in considering the applicant’s suitability to the programme so please prepare it carefully. Please notice that the motivation letter may be checked for plagiarism with the Turnitin system of the University of Turku.
Also be prepared to describe the grading scale used at your institution at the time of your studies. The grading scale must include all the grades and marks appearing on your transcript of records and their relation to each other. You should also provide a link to an official website where this information can be verified. (In many cases this information is already included in the transcript of records.)
The application form also includes programme specific questions. Therefore reserve some time for filling in the application form.
The application form is filled online in the Studyinfo portal. Please search at www.studyinfo.fi for the Master’s Degree Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences. The application form is available and a completed application can be updated until the end of the application period on 31 January 2018 at 15.00 (GMT +2). On the form you must choose for which one of the four tracks you are applying to.
Annually 20 students are admitted to the Master’s Degree Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences. The admission decisions are published by 28 March 2018. All applicants will be informed by email, but also hard copies are sent upon request. All students are required to start in the beginning of the autumn semester, and there is no separate admission for the spring semester.
The admitted applicant will have to show the originals of his/her educational documents (degree certificate and transcript of study records) at the University of Turku after arrival in Finland. Depending on the country the original documents may have to be attested or legalized. Please see the country specific requirements for the submission of the documents upon arrival already before applying.
Master’s Degree Programme in
Degree: Master of Science
Duration: 2 academic years, 120 ECTS credits
Mode of study: Full-time
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Location: Turku, Finland
Language of instruction: English
Start date: August 2018
Application period: 1 Dec 2017 – 31 Jan 2018
Tuition fee for citizens of EU/EEA countries or Switzerland: None
Tuition fee for citizens of non-EU/EEA countries: €12,000 /academic year
Scholarships available: check the website