Study options

Master's Programme in Engineering Physics

The Master’s Programme in Engineering Physics equips students with a profound understanding of physics and mathematics as well as skills that are highly applicable. The programme is closely connected to the research at Aalto University and the Department of Applied Physics, attracting students who want to pursue a career in research.
Aalto University / students in nanomicroscopy lab / photo by Unto Rautio

Degree:

Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

1.12.2020 – 4.1.2021

Language of instruction:

English

Duration:

2 years, full-time

Eligibility:

Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering

Credits:

120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Science

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period has closed

Applying to master’s programmes

We live in a world burdened by large-scale problems that have one thing in common: they resist any simple solution. The Master’s Programme in Engineering Physics equips students with a vast array of experience and skills that can be called upon for problem-solving. Students gain a profound understanding of physics and mathematics as well as skills that are highly transferable and applicable, leaving them with an exceptionally varied range of career paths. In addition, the programme is closely connected to the research at Aalto University and the Department of Applied Physics, attracting students who want to pursue a career in research.

Upon graduating from the Master’s Programme in Engineering Physics, graduates will have:

  • A state-of-the-art analytical approach to present-day and future challenges. Graduates have a powerful analytical toolbox of database-driven and machine learning techniques, applicable in a wide variety of research and commercial environments.
  • Understanding of the future energy industry and markets. Graduates understand changing technologies related to energy and the transition to clean energy.
  • Ability to conduct scientific research. Graduates know how to organise, analyse and interpret scientific data to evaluate the significance of the data and to articulate conclusions supportable by the data.
  • An inquiring mind to solve problems that don’t have straightforward solutions. Graduates have the ability to explore concepts that at first may seem unachievable. Their natural curiosity for how things work leads them to explore, discover and try out new systems and processes to see what works – and most importantly, what doesn’t.

Structure of studies

Master’s Programme in Engineering Physics comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  • Long or compact major (65/40 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
  • Elective studies (25-30 ECTS)
  • Possible minor (20-25 ECTS)

If the student chooses to take a compact major, a minor is mandatory.

Specialisations

Two majors with a different focus are offered in the Master's Programme in Engineering Physics. Students should choose their major in the beginning of the programme. Personal academic advisors and the Learning Services are available for advice and guidance on study-related questions. The majors are as follows:

  • Materials Physics and Quantum Technology: Students can focus on either experimental physics or theoretical physics and modeling with emphasis on technology applications or basic research. Students can further specialise in nanomaterials, solid-state applications of quantum technology, or purely theoretical physics related to the most pressing questions in modern solid-state physics and quantum technology.

  • Advanced Energy Technologies: This major addresses the most pressing questions faced by society in the near future: how to combat climate change and pollution by finding alternative energy sources. These include e.g. fusion, solar energy, and fuel cells.

In addition to learning advanced physics and mathematics, the courses are carefully planned to enable students to think outside the traditional boundaries of different disciplines of physics and therefore inspire innovative thinking. This is what the Master's Programme in Engineering Physics is famous for – and engineers and scientists who are able to see the big picture are becoming increasingly sought after in the job market, too.

As research is deeply integrated into the curriculum, the topics in this arena include experimental and computational materials physics, nanophysics and nanoscience, quantum technology, and advanced energy technologies.

To give concrete examples of the topics covered in the programme, here are some courses picked from the extensive curriculum:

  • Many-body Quantum Mechanics (5 ECTS)
  • Magnetism and Spintronics (5 ECTS)
  • Fusion Energy Technology (5 ECTS)
  • Advances in New Energy Technologies (5 ECTS)
  • Machine Learning for Materials Science (3-5 ECTS)

The study programme differs from more classical university physics in its proximity to concrete, practical research questions. Learning takes many forms – from theory-driven and science-based research to company excursions. A concrete example of the programme’s emphasis on real-life problems and connection to the practical world is the Company Internship course (10 ECTS), where students gain valuable work experience and create connections to the industry

>> To learn more about the Engineering Physics studies, see the programme curriculum (into.aalto.fi).

Internationalisation

The study environment in the programme is strongly international and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. The School of Science offers diverse possibilities for student exchange all over the world. Exchange studies can be included in the degree as, for example, an international minor. Many of the students participate in the summer student programme at CERN – European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland, one of the world's largest and most respected scientific research centers.

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad every year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through their studies, but also through multiple free time events, celebrations and extracurricular activities around the campus. Active tutoring programs and support services work hard to help international students integrate to the Nordic culture and feel at home in Finland.

Further study opportunities

The programme qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).

Career opportunities

Engineering Physics graduates tend to work at the leading edge of technology and science, in either industry or academia. A significant fraction of graduates go on to pursue a PhD in related subjects, many in the research groups at the Department of Applied Physics.

Engineering Physics is a great foundation for almost any career, and graduates of the programme have traditionally found an exceptionally wide range of careers in the private and public sector, ranging from research to consulting and management positions. Typical career paths outside academia include, but are not limited to:

  • Analyst in a wide range of fields, such as information technology and healthcare
  • Entrepreneur in consulting, software, or high-tech hardware
  • Applications Engineer in software producers and computer design firms
  • Cryo Engineer in fields such as aerospace, electronics and telecommunications
  • Data Scientist in leading technology companies
  • Design Engineer in design consultancy firms, large manufacturing companies, biomedical companies, engineering companies or consumer goods manufacturers
  • Green Energy Engineer working in a variety of organisations including NGOs, government, sustainability businesses, energy facilities or within technology and development.
  • Quality Engineer working in industries such as automobile, transportation, textile and industrial equipment
  • Research and Development Engineer taking leadership of projects in development
  • Business consulting or corporate leadership not directly working on product development

Some examples of the companies where our recently graduated alumni work are: Deloitte, Fortum, GE Healthcare, Minsait, Picosun, Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), Rightware, Stora Enso, TVO, Vaisala, Vilant Systems, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Accenture, McKinsey.

Aalto University has well-established career services to support students’ employment in Finland and abroad. Thanks to the flexible curriculum, many Aalto students work already during their studies and guarantee themselves entry positions before graduation. There is also a very active entrepreneurship community at Aalto, working as a springboard for founding a company.

Research focus

The studies in the programme are closely related to the research conducted at the Department of Applied Physics. The department is nationally and internationally acclaimed, hosting the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence Quantum Technology Finland (2018–2025). New large-scale Aalto-level and national initiatives on quantum technology are also foreseen in the near future.

Co-operation with other parties

The Department of Applied Physics has a wide network of national and international co-operation, including many joint projects with and personnel from companies and research institutes. For example, the Department is part of the Helsinki Institute of Physics, which coordinates national efforts at CERN and hosts the Finnish node of the CECAM computational network.

Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom of choosing elective courses across the University bring students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinarity environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.

Programme-specific admission requirements

Engineering Physics applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies are evaluated according to the below Evaluation criteria. The evaluation process is described under Applicant evaluation process. In addition to the obligatory application documents, this study option asks the applicants to submit also the documents listed under Requested documents.

Contact information

For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services at [email protected].

For enquiries regarding the programme-specific application documents or studies in the programme, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Science at [email protected].

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Department of Applied Physics

The Department of Applied Physics pursues vigorous research in physical sciences and creates important industrial applications that hold great technological potential.

Guild of Physics Aalto

Guild of Physics (external link)

The Guild of Physics is the association for the Engineering Physics and Mathematics students at the Aalto University, although everyone else is welcome too. The Guild was founded in 1947 and currently has about 550 members.

The application period has closed

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