Master's Degree Programme in Exact Sciences: Materials Physics
In the Materials Physics track, you will become an expert in the research and development of new materials in biomedical or electronic applications.
Improving lives by making stuff!
In the programme, you will work in an active research group together with other students, post-docs, and senior researchers on solving problems in e.g. energy efficiency and drug delivery. In addition to the theoretical basis of materials physics, you will also learn to use state-of-the-art research equipment with hands-on courses.
Upon graduation, you will be able to use the diverse set of skills acquired as part of this track, including experimental, theoretical, and numerical techniques to produce and analyse new physical projects.
Materials Physics is one of the six specialisation tracks of the Master’s Degree Programme in Exact Sciences (previously called the MDP in Physical and Chemical Sciences). The other tracks of the programme are
You are an eligible applicant for Master’s-level studies if
- you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – normally a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education,
- your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study,
- your degree is in a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to. Please check the section on track-specific admission requirements for detailed degree requirements.
Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests.
Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made. Read more about the language requirements here.
It is not possible to have more than one Bachelor’s or Master’s study right at the same Faculty. Therefore, when accepting an offered study place, the student will lose any previous BSc. or MSc. study right at the Faculty of Science at the University of Turku.
Before you start preparing your application, always read the full admission requirements on the application portal Studyinfo.fi
The applicant’s previous degree on the basis of which s/he is seeking admission to the Master’s Degree Programme in Exact Sciences must be in a relevant field of study. Relevant fields of previous studies for the Materials Physics track are
- materials science
- or similar
You may not apply to more than one specialization track within the same Master’s Degree Programme at the University of Turku. Therefore, you should carefully consider that your educational background is suitable enough for the track that you are applying to.
The decision of admission will be based on
- the relevance of the applicant’s awarded degree(s)
- the amount, relevance, and grades of the courses in the degree(s)
- the language test result (see Language requirements)
- the motivation letter and your answers to the optional questions included in the application
- possible relevant work experience
- possible interview
In addition to the education diploma and language certificate, you should include testimonials of any relevant work experience in your application.
The academic evaluation is made only for complete applications that are received during the application period. Any preliminary assessment of suitability or chances for admission will not be given.
Programme in brief
The structure of the programme is modular and each specialisation track has three obligatory modules that contain the core material of the field. These include the MSc thesis (30 ECTS), lecture and exercise courses, seminars, laboratory work, internship or project work, details of which depend on the specialisation. In addition, there is one thematic module that may be chosen to support your own study plan. The fourth module consists of freely chosen courses and an obligatory Finnish language and culture course (5 ECTS).
In the Materials Physics Track there is one obligatory module of theoretical courses, one obligatory module of methodological courses and one obligatory module containing the Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS) and special courses like internship and project in research.
In the theory module you will learn the theoretical basis of materials physics by attending lectures and doing exercises in courses such as Structural properties of solids, Electrical properties of solids, Magnetism and spintronics, Semiconductors, Organic semiconductors and Surface science.
In the method module, all courses include laboratory work with the state-of-the-art research infrastructure in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. These methods include e.g. X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance and electron spin resonance. Furthermore, this module includes courses that give you the expertise to build measurement setups. This includes courses as LabVIEW-based programming and building small equipment using Arduino-based electronics.
You are free to choose the thematic module from those offered in the faculty or take a suitable minor subject, even one offered by other faculties. Thematic modules offered by this programme include biomaterials, electronics materials, modelling and functional materials. Possible minor subjects are e.g. computer science, mathematics, chemistry, business creation and innovation.
In the other studies module you can choose any courses you want from the entire offering of the university in addition to the obligatory “Finnish for foreigners” course.
The aim of the Master’s education is to support you to become an independent expert who can evaluate information critically, plan and execute research projects to find new knowledge, and solve scientific and technological problems independently and as part of a group.
At the University of Turku, the research and teaching of materials physics have two focal areas: bio- and electronic materials. In biomaterials, you can study e.g. pharmaceutical vectors, nanoporous materials in pharmaceutics, and dissociation of DNA molecules under radiation. In electronics materials, possible topics include semiconducting, magnetic and superconducting materials, spintronics, and nanocontacts. You will study the physical basis of current and future electronics.
The Master’s degree programme includes a compulsory thesis component (30 ECTS), which corresponds to six months of full time work. The thesis is to be written up as a report based on a combination of a literature review and an original research project that forms the bulk of the thesis.
The thesis is an independently made research project but the project will be carried out under the guidance of leading researchers in the field at the University of Turku. It is expected that the student will be embedded within an active research group or experimental team, thereby providing ample opportunity to discuss results and exchange ideas in a group setting.
Recent examples of thesis titles in materials physics have been:
- Self-organised artificial pinning structure in small-scale YBCO films grown on an advanced IBAD-MgO based template
- Optimization of Gd0.2Ca0.8MnO3 -based capacitive memristors
- Photoluminescence of thermally carbonized and wet-oxidized porous silicon
- Physical and chemical characterisation methods for metal powders used for additive manufacturing process
- Surface properties of GaN- and AlGaN-semiconductors and their modification
- Geometric corrections in computer tomography images
- Mass spectroscopy investigation of fragmentation of uridine and cytidine molecules
The Master’s Degree Programme in Exact Sciences has six tracks. A short description of this specialisation track is given below. You can find more detailed information on tracks from the specific site of each track by clicking on the links below.
The studies of Materials Physics and Materials Chemistry give you an ability to understand and develop the properties of materials from molecules and nanoparticles via metals, magnetic and semiconducting compounds for pharmaceutical and biomaterial applications. After graduation, you will be familiar with the current methodologies, research equipment, and modern numerical methods needed to model properties of materials used in research and technology.
The Master of Science degree provides the skills to work in many different kinds of positions within areas such as research and development, education and management, and industry. The Materials Research specialisation provides especially good opportunities for working in research and development positions in the field of industrial technology.
During the master’s program in materials physics, you will study the physics of materials, but uniquely in this track, you will get familiar with materials characterisation methods with hands-on exercises and courses using state-of-the-art research equipment. In addition, you will also train building and programming measurement equipment.
Alternatively, you can choose a more theoretical line and specialise in computer modelling of materials. This will prepare you either for a career in research and development in industry or for a follow-up PhD study.
The prospects for employment at relatively senior levels is excellent for those trained in the physical and chemical sciences. Thanks to the broad scope of the programme, the skills and knowledge developed as part of this education at the University of Turku provide many employment opportunities in different areas.
Our recent MSc’s work for example as:
- quality managers in large companies,
- R&D engineers in biotech and materials companies,
- security engineers at nuclear power plants.
The Master’s Degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. The University of Turku Graduate School – UTUGS has a Doctoral Programme in Exact Sciences, and covers all of the disciplines of this Master's Degree programme. Postgraduate degrees can be completed at the University of Turku.
Note that in Finland doctoral studies incur no tuition fees, and Ph.D. students often receive either a salary or a grant to cover their living expenses. The Master’s programme is a stepping stone for Ph.D. studies.
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Colours of UniTurku introduces Delta, the student association of mathematics and physical science of the University of Turku. #utuambassador Parisa Piran and a board member of Delta, Aleksi Varho, talk about Delta’s activities and gatherings. Aleksi shares his motives for joining Delta and his best experiences!