Department of Applied Physics


Approximately 25 Masters of Science and 30 Doctors of Science graduate annually from the Department of Applied Physics.
Researcher at Aalto University fixating a tool for graphene research purposes

Undergraduate studies

The Department of Applied Physics provides a wide selection of undergraduate courses in basic physics both for the physics students in the Master (Engineering Physics) programme and Bachelor programme majors (Engineering Physics or Mathematics and Systems Sciences) as well as for students in other engineering degree programmes both in the School of Science and in the other schools. The physics laboratory experiments are an essential part of undergraduate studies. The department’s research groups provide topics and supervision for bachelor’s theses on various topical fields of physics.

In the master’s studies provided by the Department of Applied Physics, the students can further strengthen their knowledge in physical sciences within the major subjects of Engineering Physics. The Master's Programme in Engineering Physics has also a related international joint programme, Advanced Materials for Innovation and Sustainability, or AMIS. The studies include courses in quantum mechanics, statistical physics, computational and experimental physics, materials and nanophysics, and in advanced energy technologies including fission, fusion or renewable energy sources. See further descriptions below.

Bachelor's Thesis and Seminar

The Bachelor's Thesis and Seminar is a 10 cr study module that is a compulsory part of the Bachelor's degree. The department’s research groups provide topics and supervision for bachelor’s theses on various topical fields of physics. More information.

Master's Programme in Engineering Physics

The major in the Master's Programme in Engineering Physics is Engineering Physics. The Engineering Physics major consists of two parts: a core content and a flexible choice of courses selected by the student. The core courses of the major cover important topics for engineering physics and methods from computational, theoretical, and experimental physics. The core content includes also some choices for more detailed focusing on a certain subject. The rest of the studies have a very flexible structure, and provides the student with the possibility of focusing in physics, nanoscience, energy studies, or designing a more cross-disciplinary content for the major. The student can also choose to complete a minor subject, or complete a more extended major.

The objective of the major is to give the student the chance of profiling the studies for the future professional life while providing a very strong background in physics and mathematics. The studies include a lot of hands-on experience with research.

The student’s curriculum consists of a major (40-65 ECTS), an option for a minor (20-25 ECTS), elective studies (25-30 ECTS), and a master’s thesis (30 ECTS), 120 ECTS in total.

See the curriculum 2018-2019 of the programme

Recent Master’s thesis topics of Engineering Physics students include, e.g. Framework for a positron microscope, Collective dynamics of multimode circuit optomechanical systems, Top quark reconstruction in the analysis of charged Higgs bosons, Electron-beam induced optical superresolution in integrated light-electron microscopy, Optical modelling of dye solar cells and colour characterization, Evolutionary Design of Plasmonic Nanoantennas for Multispectral Applications.

Advanced Materials for Innovation and Sustainability (AMIS)

Advanced Materials for Innovation and Sustainability (AMIS) major will tackle the theme substitution of critical or toxic materials in products and for optimised performance, but will also cover material chain optimisation for end-of-life products and product and services design for the circular economy — all of which are central themes of the EIT RawMaterials. The primary focus of the adaptation is on metal and mineral raw materials; bio-base and polymer materials are covered in view of their substitution potential and other materials in the context of multi-material product recycling. In addition, AMIS includes a solid package of courses and project work in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The mobility of the students is an integrated part of the programme and during the two-year programme, the students will study at two of the consortium partner universities. The first year studies are taken either in Aalto, Grenoble INP or TU Darmstadt (two semester: autumn + spring). For the second year, the students move to one of these exit universities: Aalto, Grenoble INP, TU Darmstadt, Université de Liege or Université de Bordeaux 1. Upon completion of the programme, students will receive a double degree.  The language of instruction of AMIS programme is English.

The AMIS programme will boost young professionals to become change agents with an entrepreneurship mindset able to safeguard the sustainability of EIT RawMaterials throughout the industrial and research landscape.

See the curriculum 2018-2019 of the programme.

More information

Master's Programme in Engineering Physics
Bachelor and Master programmes of Aalto University (Into pages)
Bachelor Thesis in Engineering Physics

Special Assignments

Students’ special assignments are an essential part of the master’s studies and department’s research groups provide topics and supervision for special assignments and for master’s theses.

More information about special assignments

Graduate studies

The Department of Applied Physics is highly committed to doctoral researcher training of which the research groups bear the main responsibility. The postgraduate students have a large flexibility and responsibility in the postgraduate studies. Graduate training networks at the School of Science provide also training in terms of courses, Summer Schools and Workshops.

Teaching assistants

The Department of Applied Physics employs a large number of teaching assistants on its courses. Most assistants are graduate students, but the department also hires interested undergraduates to help with these tasks. In case you are interested in becoming a teaching assistant and/or being included in relevant mailing lists, please send an email of your teaching interests/experience together with on extract of your study register to [email protected] Salary level depends on details, but is roughly 30 euros per hour with extra bonuses from various tasks related to teaching.

Doctoral studies

The doctoral studies of the Department of Applied Physics are based on top-level scientific research. The department has roughly 25 research groups which offer Ph.D. research positions in topical experimental, theoretical or computational projects.

An obligatory stage of the Physics doctoral studies is the midterm review no later than 18 months after enrollment.

For the other doctoral studies it is strongly recommended that the students select stuff directly relevant and closely related to their research field. A large number of graduate level lecture courses are given at the department and, in addition to the lecture courses, it is recommended that postgraduate students participate in (summer) schools and workshops in Finland and abroad. Workshops and schools are credited in doctoral studies. Also acting as an assistant in departments physics courses is awarded by credit points (See the study programme course PHYS-E0543 Physics Teaching V). It is also possible to obtain credits by self-study of relevant books and review articles. Here are some examples.

Further information can be obtained from the senior teaching and research staff at the department. Useful information is available also on the web page for the Aalto Doctoral Programme in Science.

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