Research Training Programme in Social Sciences (MA RTP)

Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:2 years
Deadline: Jul 15, 2021
StudyQA ranking:248

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The MSc in Optical Sciences programme is exclusively taught in English and prepares students for challenging careers in the optics & photonics industries or for the pursuit of a doctoral degree. This is facilitated through several temporally overlapping stages with increasing degrees of specialisation. Stage one features a broad in-depth education in state-of-the-art optics knowledge with a focus on coherent light-matter interaction. This is followed by stage two where students acquire specialised skills in an elective subject. These elective subjects represent the main research areas of the various research groups at both Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the cooperating non-university research institutes in the Science- and Technology-Park Berlin-Adlershof. Finally, during stage three the students delve into their own independent research which leads to the final six-month Master's thesis.

Educational organisation

The MSc in Optical Sciences programme comprises the following modules (courses), sorted with regards to the above stages 1-3:

Stage 1: Optical Sciences (Semesters 1+2)
  • Fundamentals of Optical Sciences (12 ECTS credit points)
  • Advanced Optical Sciences (6 ECTS credit points)
  • Optical Sciences Laboratory (6 ECTS credit points)
  • Seminar Optical Sciences (6 ECTS credit points)

Stage 2: Elective Subjects (Semesters 1+2)
  • Nonlinear Photonics (three modules, 6 ECTS credit points each)
  • Quantum Optics (three modules, 6 ECTS credit points each)
  • Short-Wavelength Optics (three modules, 6 ECTS credit points each)
  • Theoretical Optics (three modules, 6 ECTS credit points each)

Stage 3: Independent Research (Semesters 3+4)
  • Advanced Optical Sciences Laboratory (15 ECTS credit points)
  • Introduction to Independent Scientific Research (15 ECTS credit points)
  • Master's thesis (30 ECTS credit points)

In addition, two general electives (two modules, 5 ECTS credit points each) can be taken from the entire curriculum of the HU.

Study abroad unit(s)



While internships are not mandatory, it is not unusual for a student of the Master's programme in Optical Sciences to complete an internship over the summer break. The science and technology park Berlin-Adlershof (where the Institute of Physics of the HU is located) offers ample opportunities for internships.

Forms of assessment

Depending on the module, the assessment will be in the form of oral examinations, written exams, presentations, or written reports.

Course objectives

The MSc in Optical Sciences programme prepares students for a challenging career in the optics & photonics industries or for the pursuit of a doctoral degree.

Language requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their English language proficiency: TOEFL 560 (paper-based), 87 (internet-based), or equivalent.

Academic requirements

The successful admission to the MSc in Optical Science programme requires a Bachelor's degree in physics or a closely related field of science or engineering. In addition, profound knowledge of mathematics and physics must be demonstrated.
Specific requirements are:
Higher Mathematics (minimum 15 ECTS credit points)
Quantum Theory/Quantum Physics (minimum 10 ECTS credit points)
Electrodynamics/Optics (minimum 10 ECTS credit points)
Physics Laboratory (5 ECTS credit points)

Enrolment fees

300 EUR per semester. This fee includes a semester ticket covering public transport in the Berlin metropolitan area.

Costs of living

Approx. 650 EUR per month to cover personal expenses

Job opportunities

Master's students can obtain financial support by applying for university-wide advertised student assistantships. In addition, student assistentships exist at several non-university research institutes that are within walking distance from the university.

Arrival support

Just prior to the start of the lecture period, the local OSA/SPIE student chapter organises a day-of-orientation where PhD and Master's students introduce the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, its Institute of Physics, and the Science Campus Berlin-Adlershof to the new freshman.

Services and support for international students

The Studentenwerk Berlin ( assists students in many different ways. These include finding housing, securing financing, and more.


Accommodation is available through the Student Services Office or through the private market. Rent for a single room in a student residence is approx. 250 EUR per month. Private housing can be found on the internet at: (look for WG Berlin).
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