The aim of the master's programme is to provide a profound research oriented education in physics, as well as a general knowledge of important scientific methods of physics. In addition, students may obtain specific knowledge in fields tangential to physics, depending on the modules that they choose. The master's programme is conceived as a preparatory degree that is necessary for entering the doctoral programme thereafter. To this end, there is a comprehensive teaching programme, offering both in-depth generalized courses as well as highly specialized courses in the specific research fields of the University. In particular, the master's programme at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Heidelberg is characterized by an extremely wide choice of options for study, enabling every student to orient his studies in his/her fields of preference.
The structure of the master's degree in physics is such that it is divided into two parts. Two semesters are foreseen for furthering the education via lectures, seminars and the attendance of other forms of educational events, while the second phase of the master's degree is devoted to research. In this second phase, the students are eld into performing independent research and developing the ability to open up new areas of research. This research period culminates with the master's thesis.
After completion of the first year of the two year long degree course, i.e. the specialisation phase, the student has gained advanced knowledge about a specific research field. The student also is able to understand the content of the individual modules in a larger context, and he or she is able to transfer some of this knowledge to other fields of physics. The student has gained a deeper understanding of the intentions and difficulties of modern research in physics or another physics related area. He or she has learned how to handle modern literature and how to extract information from present-day physics publications.
After completing the second year, i.e. the research phase, the student is familiar with scientific research and well positioned to pursue a successful career as physicist in academia or industry.