Study Physics in Sweden

Physics has a long tradition of excellence in Sweden. The Nobel prizes in physics awarded by the Royal Science Academy of Sweden has then been an important factor. Swedish researchers and teachers have good international connections and good knowledge in English. This ensures an open mind and facilitates contact with foreign colleagues and students who choose to come to Sweden for work or study.

Study Physics in Sweden

Sweden offers complete physics curricula (B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D.) at 9 universities: Göteborgs universitet, Karlstads universitet, Linköpings universitet, Lunds universitet, Mittuniversitetet, Stockholms universitet, Uppsala universitet, Umeå universitet and Växjö universitet.

At some universities there is a physics curricula but not at all levels (Högskolan i Gävle, Högskolan i Halmstad, Högskolan i Jönköping, Mälardalens högskola, Örebro universitet). They are often parts of engineering or “teacher training” programmes. Included above are only universities who have curricula in fundamental physics. There are also technology universities/schools that give civil engineering programmes in “technical physics”. Links to the nine universities are given below.

Teaching is mainly in Swedish up to the B.Sc. level. Advanced courses, especially at the Master level, are also taught in English, to make it possible for foreign students to follow them. It is also considered most important to train the Swedish students to use the international language of science.

So far physics students in Sweden study at the four year Master programmes in physics and do not take the intervening B.Sc. degree though there is a possibility to do that. The master programmes are usually organized in two parts comprising of two years of basic mathematics and physics studies followed by two years of advanced and specialized courses. The latter often given in English. A degree project for about half a year must be included in the master programmes. These degree projects are often done in a research group at a university but can also be external at some company.

The study system will be reorganised from the academic year 2007/08 according to the Bologna agreement: a Bachelor of Science in Physics for three years and a Master of Science of two years.

The B.Sc. is meant to provide a solid general basis onto which the students can specialize. Most universities will offer a choice of advanced courses in the third year of the B.Sc.: either a choice between a few programs (i.e. majors or minors) or a free choice among a lot of single courses. The courses are validated with the European credits (ECTS). The Bachelor of Science will include a degree project of about two and a half month. All students should fulfil the B.Sc. programme and then reapply for a Master programme. The two years Master of Science programmes in physics will normally be given in English and will thus be very suitable for foreign students.

There will be such programmes specialising in most of the fields of physics. Some of the programmes which have started in 2006 can be found on the web-page .

Ph.D. studies in Sweden are four years full-time studies. Many Ph. D students in physics have also about 20% teaching so they finish after around five years. Included in this is a course requirement of about 1.5 years of full-time studies. Information about research programmes at the different universities can be found on the links below.

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