Faculty of Physics and AstronomyPhysics – Master

Physics is an elemental branch of the natural sciences that focuses on the structure of matter and the fundamental interactions between the components of the observable universe. On a scale ranging from macroscopic to submicroscopic, it examines all aspects of the universe, with the primary objective of formulating a small number of general principles that can explain all physical phenomena. Its laws are typically expressed in the language of mathematics.

Facts & Formalities

DegreeMaster of Science
Type of programmeConsecutive
Start of programmeWinter and summer semester
Standard period of study4 semesters
Fees and contributions169.25 € / Semester
Application procedureConsecutive master’s programmes with access restriction, Physics
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
Can be completed entirely in EnglishYes

Course Content

The broad and comprehensive education obtained by graduates of a Physics degree programme leads to a high demand for their skills in a  wide variety of areas. Potential career options range from research and development at universities, research institutions, and in industry to positions in IT and communications firms or in management consultancy. To allow students to best prepare to take advantage of these opportunities, following completion of the Bachelor’s degree, they have the opportunity to enrol in a research-oriented Master’s programme that will provide them with in-depth specialist knowledge as well as an understanding of the scientific methods employed in physics and insight into neighbouring disiciplines (as determined by the choice of modules). In addition, the Master’s degree programme prepares students for subsequent pursuit of a doctorate.

In view of the wide array of professional opportunities available, the objective of the Master’s degree programme in Physics is not to lead students to become highly-specialised experts, but rather, to allow them to develop flexibility and scientific self-reliance.
Both in research and in industry, physics graduates are expected to be able to learn to work in new areas of investigation and to be able to find solutions to new problems. The Master’s degree programme is notable for the diversity of options it offers. It is extremely challenging, stimulating students to think critically while fostering their problem-solving and creative thinking skills. This makes the degree programme’s one-year integrated research phase of particular importance. In this phase, students at Heidelberg University learn to independently perform research while they acquire the skills needed for applying new findings to the advancement of physics.

Course Structure

The structure of the Heidelberg Master’s programme in Physics is two-pronged. Two semesters of classes (lectures, seminars, etc.) are followed by a one-year research phase in which students work independently on projects of their own and learn how to turn new findings into productive research. The research phase ends with the Master thesis. 

To pass the Master course, students require a total of 120 credit points. The course takes four semesters (30 credit points per semester). The credit points reflect the workload required for a given module, including contact time, preparation and follow-up, plus the time required for essays and projects. One credit point corresponds to 30 hours of work. A total workload of about 900 hours is expected per semester. This can only be achieved by taking advantage of a substantial part of the lecture-free period between semesters. 

The course is subdivided into different areas. It includes a set of compulsory electives in the physics programme, electives for specialisation in individual areas of physics, and electives, in which modules can be freely chosen from neighbouring subjects, from “Cross-Disciplinary Skills” and from other modules from the department’s physics courses. Furthermore students have to pass a final oral examination. The research phase consists of the two compulsory modules “Scientific Specialisation” and “Methods and Project Planning” and the Master thesis. 

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