Master of Science
At our department, you have the choice (or, more probably, you have made the choice) between two different graduate courses with a Master of Science (M. Sc.) degree, the M.Sc. in Physics and the M.Sc. in Astrophysics. Though their contents are quite different by definition, their structures are very similar. Therefore, they will be referred to as one program in the following.
Attention: By now, the examination rules are only available in German, so, if you have any questions concerning them, feel free to contact us. We are always pleased to help you!
The Master program takes two years. The first year is the study phase, while the second year is the research phase. In the study phase, the different courses - be it lectures, laboratory courses or seminars - are sorted into modules. A module usually consists of one or two courses. Lectures will be completed by an exam at the end of the term, for laboratory courses you have to write reports on the experiments and in the seminar you have to give a talk. For a passed module, you receive credit points (CP) according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). As a rule of thumb, getting 1 CP should amount to a workload of 30 hours, including attendance of the lecture, doing homework, preparing for the exam, etc. By collecting a certain amount of credit points, which varies from module to module, you pass the whole program. The modules come in three different types: Obligatory base modules, Specialization and Advanced lectures (we put together a short overview below). All available lectures are listed in the
module manual, as well as some information concerning requirements and scheduling.
Obligatory Base Modules
1. The laboratory course which consists of a minimum of six experiments, depending on their complexity. At the beginning of each experiment there is an oral questioning that determines wether your level of preparation is sufficient for undertaking it. Afterwards you'll have to write a report about the experiment. The marks for the questionings and the reports add up to your final mark for the module
2. The theoretical physics module where you can choose between Advanced Quantum Theory and Advanced Theoretical Physics. This choice is due to the possibility of already taking one of these courses during the undergraduate studies in Bonn.
3. The experimental pyhsics module.
Specialization I / II
In both specializations you can choose between lectures from the following fields: Particle Physics, Condensed Matter & Photonics and Theoretical Physics. It is possible to mix different fields, since knowledge from another field may be required to successfully complete courses in another field. To complete the module you need at least 12 CP from different lectures. In Astrophysics the Specialization is called Compulsory Astrophysics. At the moment there are only four lectures (Stars & Stellar Evolution, Cosmology, Interstellar Medium and Astrophysics of galaxies), so unfortunately you have no choice therein.
The Advanced Lectures give you the possibility to choose between lectures of a wide range of research fields. Some of them are less extensive than the lectures of the Specialization. Here you can mix the different fields as much as you want to.
You have to participate in a seminar where you have to give a talk. It is suggested that you choose a seminar whose topics are related to your master thesis topic but this is not obligatory.
The research phase consists of three modules: Scientific Exploration of Master Thesis Topic, Methods & Project Planning and the Master Thesis. The first two shall help you to familiarize yourself with the topic of your thesis, the necessary knowledge as well as methods and project planning. To complete Scientific Exploration of Master Thesis Topic, you have to write an essay about the acquired knowledge, for Methods & Project Planning a proposal. The Master Thesis completes your studies.
Hopefully we didn't forget anything. And if it happened, please feel free to contact us! As said above this text is not based on experience. So if there is anything we should add or change we would appreciate if you told us!