You adjust the laboratory lasers before going to your next lecture on cold atoms. You feed your computer with the latest measurements from the scanningtunnelling microscope and find out whether the placement of the extra atoms on the surface matches your model calculation. You do some work on your model for a quantum computer, before going to the next lecture in quantum optics. Or perhaps right now you are at CERN for a week, running experiments with anti-protons to test new possibilities for radiation therapy, or with ultrarelativistic lead ions to be able to predict their fate in the LHC (Large Hadron Collider).
Focus on research
Teaching in the MSc in Physics programme is greatly influenced, both in the courses and in the thesis work, by the fact that the lecturers are active researchers. In this context, students benefit from the down-to-earth, informal relationship between faculty and students. When students write their thesis, they become associated with a group of researchers and participate in one or more of the groups research projects. Students on the programme have a wide range of options for specialisation, both at the Department of Physics and Astronomy and via the departments close collaboration with the Institute for Storage Ring Facilities (ISA) and the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO). The department also has research groups working at several institutions outside Denmark, including
a number of the major European laboratories.
The MSc in Physics programme targets students with a BSc degree in physics or another BSc degree in science with substantial physics and mathematics content. The programme is both practical and research-oriented and is aimed at private sector companies, research institutions and the public sector. It is also flexible and can accommodate the interests and strengths of the individual student. Students can specialise within (for example) atomic and molecular physics, solid-state physics, subatomic physics or astrophysics. The programme also qualifies students for a career in research: students may apply for admission to the universitys PhD programme either during the MSc degree programme or on completion of the thesis.
For many years, graduates from the Department of Physics and Astronomy have generally been able to find jobs immediately. There are numerous career options. A high proportion of recent graduates are now working in the private sector: graduates find jobs in leading consultancy firms and in a wide range of major companies. Some have also found employment at hospitals, particularly in recent times; others pursue careers in research and academia.
The Masters degree in physics counts as 120 ECTS credits and mainly consists of subjects within the physics field of study. You specialise by participating in course activities and projects and by writing a thesis. During your very first week, you structure your own individual study programme with the help of a teacher from the Department of Physics and Astronomy by choosing courses from the course catalogue. Your programme is based on your academic qualifications and interests and the subjects you studied for your Bachelors degree. The plan must be approved by the Board of Studies before you can enrol for examinations.
At the University of Aarhus, you are in close contact with researchers in a way that you rarely experience at other universities. The door to the professors office is always open if you need clarification of the study material, and you are encouraged to ask questions at lectures and during exercises. We make heavy demands on your academic skills and independence. In return, you gain considerable benefits in the form of academic challenges and scientific knowledge, in addition to broad competences.
The teaching at the university is based on independence, critical thinking and collaboration. Part of the teaching is in the form of lectures that introduce new angles to the material compared with the textbooks. The theoretical and experimental exercises take place in groups where you study relevant issues in depth.
The varied forms of teaching, collaboration in groups and the opportunity for close scientific dialogue with the researchers provide you with general competences that are in great demand in the global job market. These competences include abstract, critical and independent thinking, analytical skills and strategic planning. You can use these skills in many contexts even in jobs you didnt know you were qualified for.
The teaching is divided into terms with four terms per year. Each term consists of a block of seven weeks followed by an examination period of 24 weeks.
If you have the necessary skills and interest, you have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelors degree and one year of your Masters degree or when you have completed your Masters degree. In the PhD programme, you start working on a research project and are gradually trained through courses and personal guidance to become a researcher.