Laurea Magistrale (Second cycle degree/Two year Master - 120 ECTS) in Physics

Degree programme

Programme type Laurea Magistrale (Second cycle degree/Two year Master - 120 ECTS)
Academic Year 2018/2019
General policies and regulations D.M. 270
Code 9245
Degree Programme Class LM-17 - Physics
Years in which the programme is being held 1st year
Teaching mode Traditional lecture (classroom-taught)
Admission typology Open access with assessment of personal competencies
Place of teaching Bologna
Type Course with one or more international curricula
Degree Programme Director Nico Lanconelli
Teachers Teachers
Language Italian,English

Admission requirements and assessment of previously acquired knowledge/competences

Knowledge required

Admission to the second-cycle degree programme in Physics requires possession of a first-cycle degree in one of the following classes, or another foreign degree recognised as suitable:

- pursuant to Italian Min. Decree 270: all degrees in the L-30 class 


- pursuant to Italian Min. Decree 509/99: First-cycle degree in class XXV - Physical Sciences and Technologies.

- Previously effective four-year system: Degree in Physics, Degree in Astronomy.

A knowledge of English at least at B2 level is also required.

In addition to the above curricula requirements, admission to the second-cycle degree programme also depends on passing a personal assessment test that will be carried out in the manner defined in the Degree programme teaching regulations.

In particular, the following knowledge is required:

- fundamental knowledge of mathematics, including algebra, geometry, differential and integral calculus; 


- fundamental knowledge of the phenomenology and models of classical and modern physics; 


- elements of chemistry and knowledge of modern physics applied to micro-physics, relating for example to nuclear and sub-nuclear physics and the structure of materials;

- laboratory skills, including knowledge of basic instruments and the measurement and processing of data, using IT equipment and otherwise.

Programme profile

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Expected learning outcomes

Specific learning outcomes

The objective of the second-cycle degree programme in Physics is to prepare graduates who have advanced and specific knowledge and skills in the application of physics, so that they can enter the world of work with high level qualifications or continue to refine their competencies via additional higher education programmes.

Specifically, the degree programme seeks to prepare physicists who possess:

- solid cultural preparation in the various sectors of contemporary physics, its theoretical aspects and the fundamentals in terms of experimentation and applications, with knowledge of the most recent developments in scientific and technological research;

- solid mastery of the scientific method of study and problem-solving techniques; 


- advanced mathematical and IT tools for the description and modelling of physical systems; 


- ability to model complex systems in various fields, including those not strictly related to physics;

- ability to design and use advanced instruments and measurement methodologies; 


- ability to work autonomously, including with roles of responsibility, in the field of scientific and technological research and innovation;

- ability to promote and popularise science and technology and assess their impact on society.

Graduates are therefore able to:

- apply the scientific method in the analysis, representation and modelling of complex and other physical systems and propose solutions to new problems; 


- prepare and present scientific research and/or materials for dissemination, both verbally and in writing, in Italian and English;

- use self-study tools for rapid updates on the progress of science and technology; 


- integrate promptly in working environments as a team member.

Given the above, the second-cycle degree programme in Physics offers learning activities in two thematic areas:

- Principles and Theory of Contemporary Physics

- Methods and Instruments

with various curricula, some of which are taught in English.

In particular, the second-cycle degree programme envisages:

- activities designed to acquire detailed, up-to-date knowledge of theoretical physics, nuclear and sub-nuclear physics, the physics of materials, applied physics, teaching and the history of physics;

- case studies and laboratory work for the development of practical competence in the most recent and sophisticated experimental and measurement methods, the analysis and processing of data and symbolic and numeric calculation techniques;

- umbrella activities that seek to develop scientific design, entrepreneurial and scientific communication skills;

- a final examination that involves preparation by the student of an original project, either within a departmental research group or at public or private bodies, in Italy or abroad, perhaps even in the context of international agreements.

Access to further study

It gives access to third cycle studies (Dottorato di ricerca/Scuole di specializzazione) and master courses of second degree.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities

Specialist physicist

role in a work context:

The specialist physicist is able to work in the various areas listed below:

1) Specialist physicist - Research and development

Carries out research, consultancy, training and refresher activities and applies the results in the context of industry, the environment, healthcare, cultural assets and the public administration, developing theories, methods of calculation, instrumentation and measurement methodologies.

The specialist physicist:

- develops theories, research methodologies, instrumentation, simulation techniques and data analyses in the various fields of research, with a particular focus on those relating to the study of theoretical modelling, fundamental interactions, the physics of materials, bio-medical physics, complex systems, teaching, history and the fundamentals of physics;

- designs and transfers knowledge, methodologies and innovative technologies in various sectors of scientific research and technological development, such as mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, electronics, IT, micro-physics and bio-medical physics.

2) Specialist physicist - Technologies and applications in the public and private sectors

The specialist physicist:

- designs, organises and carries out laboratory measurements; 


- manages and designs equipment with a high technological content in such sectors as industry, the environment, healthcare, cultural assets and public administration;

- programmes, processes and analyses large quantities of data in various scientific sectors, not strictly related to physics;

- organises and coordinates multi-disciplinary work groups at national and international level.

3) Specialist physicist - Promotion of scientific culture and teaching

The specialist physicist:

- promotes the development of scientific and technological innovation, outreach focusing on physics and scientific popularisation;

- designs and develops innovative teaching methodologies and tools;

- monitors and analyses teaching and learning processes;

- participates in teacher training programmes.

competencies associated with the role:

1) Specialist physicist - Research and development

To carry out the above functions, knowledge and abilities are required in order to

- interpret and discuss critically facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to specialist areas of physics;

- perform, process and interpret, in the light of appropriate theories, observations and experimental measurements; 


- design the simulation and processing of large quantities of data deriving from observations and measurements;

- propose models and develop solutions for advanced problems.

The following skills are also necessary:

- written and verbal comprehension and communications, in Italian and English;

- self-learning and continuous professional education;

- participation in various working environments as a team member.

2) Specialist physicist - Technologies and applications in the public and private sectors

To carry out the above functions, knowledge and abilities are required in order to

- interpret and discuss critically facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to specialist areas of physics;

- perform, process and interpret, in the light of appropriate theories, observations and experimental measurements; 


- design and operate instruments and advanced equipment in various industrial sectors with a high technological content;

- design the simulation and processing of large quantities of data deriving from observations and measurements.

The following skills are also necessary:

- written and verbal comprehension and communications, in Italian and English;

- self-learning and continuous professional education;

- participation in various working environments as a team member.

3) Specialist physicist - Promotion of scientific culture and teaching

To carry out the above functions, knowledge and abilities are required in order to

- analyse, utilise and design a variety of texts and materials on physics developed for teaching purposes;

- design, monitor and analyse the teaching and assessment practices used at a scholastic level;

- analyse and design innovative physics teaching programmes, covering the topics identified at national level for secondary schools;

- organise and manage interdisciplinary work groups;

- promote and popularise science using various means of communication, even at the highest level;

- design and carry out conservation and scientific popularisation activities in the community;

- assess the social implications of scientific and technological research.

The following skills are also necessary:

- written and verbal comprehension and communications, in Italian and English;

- self-learning and continuous professional education.

career opportunities:

1) Specialist physicist - Research and development

- Advanced teaching: Second-cycle master degree programmes, specialization schools and PhD programmes in various areas of physics (theoretical physics, nuclear and sub-nuclear physics, physics of material and nano-sciences, physics applied to medicine and biology, teaching and the fundamentals of physics) and data analysis (modelling applied to finance and the economy, big data etc.);

- public and private universities, research centres and bodies;

- national and regional agencies for the protection of cultural assets and the environment;

- companies and bodies active in services relating to medical and healthcare physics;

- R&D laboratories in public and private companies with a high technological content; 


- centres for the processing and modelling of data.

2) Specialist physicist - Technologies and applications in the public and private sectors

- laboratories within national and regional agencies for the protection of cultural assets and the environment;

- companies and public structures active in services relating to medical and healthcare physics;

- private companies with a high technological content in various industrial sectors, such as mechanics, electronics and sensor technology, electro-medical devices, IT and communications, energy resources and new materials; 


- laboratories for the quality certification of industrial production; 


- IT centres for the processing and modelling of data;

- banks and financial consultancy.

3) Specialist physicist - Promotion of scientific culture and teaching

- advanced teaching, such as on second-cycle master degree programmes and PhD programmes on the Teaching, History and Communication of Physics and/or the Sciences;

- upper and lower secondary schools, after completion of the relevant teacher training programmes that are accessible after accumulating the credits required by the related regulations;

- public and private universities, research centres and bodies that have sections for the communication of physics and outreach activities;

- museums, centres and foundations for the conservation and development of scientific popularisation activities;

- agencies, magazines and newspapers with activities dedicated to scientific information.