Why choose this programme?
Do you like to understand why the world is the way it is? This field of study gives you the opportunity to choose between a wide range of topics. You can specialize in everything from quarks, cancer research and high technology to geological processes and cosmology. You can work experimentally, numerically or theoretically – or combine all three.
A brief description of the programme
The study of physics is in essence about studying the fundamental laws of nature. As a master’s student of physics the most important lessons are how to uncover, understand and describe the underlying laws of nature or relevant interactions. You will be studying the fundamental processes in nature and also go more in depth in subjects that interest you. Our academic staff are ready to help you select your theoretical curriculum and create a master’s project customized for you.
Physics is the foundation of technological advancement, such as LED light bulbs, quantum computers or solar cells. Other fields are also advanced by use of physics, such as medical devices like CT, MRI and so on. One may think all great questions in physics have already been answered, but in the coming years new, large experiments and observatories are expected to lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of the beginning of the universe and the smallest building blocks in the universe – among other things.
As a master’s student in physics you can contribute to developing artificial intelligence, nanotechnology or medicine, or solving environmental problems. Studying physics is largely about exploring new things and phenomena we still don’t understand, and as a master’s student at the Department of Physics you can potentially discover new and unthought-of applications of physics.
Master’s students here can choose between the following specializatons:
- Biological and Medical Physics – here you will see physics used on a broad spectrum of problems related to biology and medicine.
- Materials, Nanophysics and Quantum Technology – this is a field with many applications, such as solar cells, superconductors and quantum computers.
- Nuclear and Particle Physics – this field of research study the smallest building blocks in the universe and the forces acting on them.
- Physics Didactics – Didactic physics is about teaching and learning in physics, and how physics fits in society.
- Space Physics and Technology – here you will typically work with analyzing data from satellites and sounding rockets, or developing technology used in satellites.
- Theoretical Physics – here you will work with general theoretical questions in fields such as nuclear and particle physics, cosmology and quantum phenomena for large systems.
If you want, there are opportunities to write your project with one of the research institutions in the Oslo region, or some selected companies. This could be the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, the Institute for Energy Technology, SINTEF or Oslo University Hospital. In some of the subprogrammes you may also want to take some semesters abroad, maybe at UNIS or at CERN.
A big plus of taking a master’s degree in Physics at the University of Oslo is that the Department of Physics is the largest fundamental research institute in physics in Norway. This means that we can offer a wider variety of master’s projects than other Norwegian universities. After graduating you will have many options, as the work you do on your project will open opportunities in other relevant fields, such as chemistry, mechanics, electronics and biological sciences. As a master’s graduate you will also be able to continue your studies in a ph.d. in any of the aforementioned fields.
It is important to us that you thrive as a master’s student at the Department of Physics. In the start of the semester we have meetings for all new students. Here you will get to know the other students, and the academic staff at the Department of Physics, both socially and professionally.
All our programmes options do a lot to create a good study environment. Some options have weekly meetings between students and academic staff, others have various social meetings.
Outside of studies many students start working in Fysikkforeningen, the physics student union. Fysikkforeningen arrange various parties, meetings with companies and social gatherings with quizzes. You can also choose between 200 student unions at the university. We also have a gym at campus if you are interested. We have many diners and coffee bars, so if you need a break from studying, you can meet others and relax at any of these locations.
If you have any technical or practical questions about your programme, or need guidance, please contact us.
We have thriving exchange agreements in Canada, but its also possible to go to Svalbard, France, Italy, The Czeck Republic, Turkey and The United States. Read more about exchange.
Further studies and work
Physicists become employed within a large number of areas from finance and hospitals to engineering companies and public administration. After a master’s programme, you will in addition to a firm understanding of physics have acquired a significant amount of training in analytical methods and thinking, furthermore programming and use of advanced computer tools. Such knowledge and skills are important in order to understand and analyse phenomena and processes in nature. Additionally knowledge and insights in physics are fundamental regarding modern high technology, and economists also acquire mathematical models from physics.
Many work tasks and carreer paths will be open. Some examples include research and development within the private and public sector, management and research administration, programming and development in the computer industry, medical physicists, in addition to teaching and imparting.
Some of the employers of graduates include: The Norwegian Veritas (DNV), Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, Oslo University Hospital, State Radiation Protection, Norwegian Hydro, Telenor, Norwegian Cancer Society, Norwegian Metrology Service, SINTEF, IDEAS, Inventura Tech, Accenture, Statoil, IBM, IFE, hospitals and x-ray institutes.
The master’s degree in physics may qualify you for further ph.d.-studies in physics, and depending on the programme option, also within adjacent areas such as electronics and material science.
By completing a one-year programme in Practical Pedagogical Education (in Norwegian), you will qualify to work as a lecturer in schools.
By having a Master of Science in Physics you are participating in a project on the frontier of international research. By being integrated in a specialized research group, you will acquire both research experience, knowledge and skills, in addition to obtaining a professional network.
After graduating you should have attained broad and solid knowledge, skills and general knowledge. This comprises:
You should have attained insight into physics at an advanced level, which means that after graduating you should have:
- solid knowledge of physical theories, models and methods within your field.
- broad knowledge of relevant experimental and computational methods.
- broad knowledge of advanced analytical models and methods in physics.
- an academic intuition and comprehensive understanding allowing you to present and discuss physical concepts, results and uncertainties.
After graduating you should be able to develop and apply/use advanced analytical computational and experimental methods used in physics. This comprises that you can:
- apply existing methods on new problems.
- carry out preliminary computational simulations and experiments to describe new phenomena/concepts.
- apply the relevant analytical, computational and experimental methods to study the concept or hypothesis you are working on.
- structure and depict scientific data.
- one or more of the following:
- develop and use measuring tools and carry out advanced experiments.
- develop and apply analytical models.
- implement computational methods and use existing software.
Through your work on your project and the theoretical curriculum you will develop a professional competence. This means that after graduating you should or can:
- have developed professional maturity and can work independently.
- be able to communicate topics of physics to peers, experts from other disciplines and the general public.
- plan and manage a research project.
- be familiar with principles for commercial activity and innovation.
- be able to reflect over and develop learning strategies.
After graduating you will have attained values and attitudes that give you the foundation/basis to develop and use your skills and knowledge in a responsible manner. This means that after graduating as a master of physics you should:
- understand the value of pure/basic/fundamental research and applied research.
- know about scientific demands to reproducibility and sharing of knowledge.
- understand ethical aspects of your role as a professional, of the field of physics and its applications.
- know how to assess the health, environment and safety aspects of your work.
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