General Info

NuPhys  is a two-year Erasmus+: Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree Course in Nuclear Physics. This Course is based on the expertise of a consortium of Spanish Universities (Seville, Autónoma de Madrid, Barcelona, Complutense de Madrid and Salamanca) plus Universities of  Caen Basse-Normandie, Padova, and Catania.  The programme further benefits from the participation of the associated partners:  CERN: European Organization for Nuclear Research (Geneva, Switzerland), CNA: Centro Nacional de Aceleradores (Seville, Spain), CMAM: Centro de Microanalisis de Materiales (Madrid, Spain), CIEMAT: Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (Madrid, Spain), CSIC: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spain), INFN-LNL: Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro (Legnaro, Italy),  HGS-HIRe: Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research for FAIR (Darmstadt, Germany), GANIL:  Grand Acceleateur National d’Ions Lourds (Caen, France), INFN-LNS:  Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Catania, Italy) (includes AOUP: Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Policlinico di Catania), CNRS-In2p3-LPC: Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique- Institut National pour la Physique Nucléaire et des Particules- Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire (Caen, France), ENSICAEN: Ecole Nationale Supérieure,  (Caen, France), TALENT: Training in Advanced Low Energy Nuclear Theory (EU-USA), HVM: Hospital Virgen Macarena (Sevilla, Spain),  CETIR: Image Diagnostic Company (Barcelona, Spain),  AAA: Advanced Accelerator Applications (Ibérica) S.L (Barcelona, Spain), NUCLEOPOLIS: Pôle Nucléaire Normand pour la Santé et l’Energie (Caen, France), ARCHADE: Advanced Resource Center for HADrontherapy in Europe (Caen, France).

Objectives

The main objectives of the Master are initiation in scientific research in Nuclear Physics including theory, experiments and applications. The various specialities of the partner institutions result in a complete offer of pathways for the students.

Students of NuPhys will be trained in basic nuclear physics and technology, safety and radiation protection. The Master addresses the integration of students in the industry and other institutions (i.e. hospitals), and seeks to bring young researchers into Euratom-supported research projects. Therefore, special attention is devoted to the further implementation, in the nuclear and relevant medical and industrial sectors, of initiatives to attract new talent in the nuclear field and develop competences and expertise beyond the academic curricula. The aim is to respond to the needs of the nuclear industry and the corresponding regulatory bodies. Also important are the so-called nuclear activities of proximity, which include medical applications, the relevant non-nuclear industrial applications and the transport of radioactive materials. In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is fundamental and is the base of this Master. This will revive the interest of the young generation for careers in the nuclear sector (in particular, reactor safety, geological disposal, radiation protection).

The achievement of these objectives will help to create a new European way to deliver essential economic growth through innovation, in accordance with the concept of “KICs” (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) as fostered by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), in a highly competitive field. The best way to achieve these goals is by means of a European consortium specially designed to integrate the best expertise (needed to create an assembled, well-based and complete programme) of leading research/teaching institutions on Nuclear Physics within Europe. This consortium is a necessary step forward, because none of the mentioned institutes can alone offer a complete study career that covers all aspects of this multi-faceted field. Apart from the natural appeal of Europe for non-European students, the leading role of Europe in the field of Nuclear Physics will attract them to be trained in this field within the proposed EMJMD.

Organization of the Masters Course

Students can choose among 3 different specialization paths:

PATH 1: Experiments and Instrumentation in large accelerators

Specific objectives of the path

The aim of this path is the advanced education of young students in experimental Nuclear Physics using large accelerators. Most of the largest accelerators in the world are associated partners of this Master and students could have the opportunity of visiting these facilities.

Brief program description and course general content

The path includes master-level courses in Quantum Mechanics, Structure and Reactions in Nuclear Physics, Experimental Techniques at basic and advanced level, and different applications of Nuclear Physics, etc. Additional extra-curriculum courses will be offered as computing and numerical calculations, plasma physics and fusion with the participation of external experts. Several visits to Spanish facilities are programed.

Technical specifications of the path

The courses of the two first semesters will be held in English at the Physics Faculty of the University of Seville. During the first year, Students will have the opportunity of visiting other Spanish Universities: Complutense and Autónoma de Madrid, Barcelona and Salamanca. During the second year, students will receive lectures in University of Caen (including the internship), in the first half of the academic year and will move to Italy during the second part to develop a master thesis in experimental nuclear physics.

Career opportunities

Thanks to high-level education on general aspects in subatomic physics and to specific experimental and technical acquired competences, students can be projected towards different career opportunities both in the academic sector (fundamental research in physics) and in the R&D department of industries in all the technology sectors dealing with ion beams, data acquisition and instrumentation. A continuation in PhD is also foreseen.

PATH 2: Theoretical nuclear physics

Specific objectives of the path

The specific objectives of the theoretical path can be identified with providing the students with a solid preparation in several features of nuclear structure, nuclear dynamics, nuclear astrophysics and in various other aspects of theory of fundamental interactions.

Brief program description and course general content

The students will have the opportunity to interact with major experts in the various fields at the international level. Besides this, this path aims at the training on the use of particle detectors, and of other experimental instrumentation for the study of Physics of Fundamental Interactions, Matter and Astrophysics. The student will also learn recent technics for data taking and analysis. Different activities are programmed, including a visit to the Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro.

Technical specifications of the path

All lectures of the first two semesters are held in English at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Padova. During the second year, students will receive lectures in University of Caen (including the internship), in the first half of the academic year
and will move to Spain during the second part to develop a master thesis in theoretical nuclear physics.

Career opportunities. The theoretical path

The theoretical path has as natural development an academic career and/or an activity in research in fundamental nuclear and particle physics and astrophysics. Furthermore, the skills acquired and the high level of scientific preparation will be able to provide these students with job opportunities in all the different fields needing modelling, data storage and analysis, software package development and related areas. A continuation in PhD is foreseen.

PATH 3: Applications and small accelerators

Specific objectives of the path

The aim of this path is the advanced education of young students to different applications (medicine, environment, archeaometry, accelerators, etc.) in the field of Nuclear Physics.

Brief program description and course general content

The path includes master-level courses in Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Nuclear Physics and Nuclear Astrophysics. Furthermore, advanced courses in nuclear physics applications will be held also with the participation of external experts. Both in the regular courses and in extra activities, students will be approached to experimental techniques, detectors, accelerators and analysis procedures. Different activities are programmed, including a visit to the Laboratory Nazionali di Sud, including the two accelerators, the experimental halls and the Radioactivity Laboratory.

Technical specifications of the path

The courses will be held in English at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Catania, within the International Curriculum of the Master Course in Physics. During the second year, Students will receive lectures in University of Caen (including the internship), in the first half of the academic year and will move to Spain during the second part to develop a master thesis in applications of nuclear physics.

Career opportunities

The high-level education on general aspects in subatomic physics and the specific experimental and technical competences acquired in this path concerning the different nuclear physics applications of social interest will allow students to access executive positions in companies or laboratories dealing with radiation protection, waste management, proton and hadrontherapy, radioisotopes for medecine, archeaometry, accelerators, etc. A continuation in PhD is also possible.

The programme lasts for two years. The NuPhys consortium adopts the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Students will earn a minimum of 120 ECTS during their master studies.

The programme is regulated by a Consortium Agreement and the student participation is regulated by a Student Agreement.

The Master is divided in four semesters.During the first semester the students attend courses at the entrance university which is Seville for path 1, Padova for path 2, and Catania for path 3 (see mobility below). The second semester is spent at a second Spanish University of choice among the other four Spanish partner Universities (Autónoma de Madrid, Barcelona, Complutense de Madrid, and Salamanca) for student on path 1, at Catania for students in path 2, and at Padova for students in path 3. The third semester is spent in Caen for all students (paths 1, 2 and 3). Finally the fourth semester is mainly devoted to the Master’s thesis (30 ECTS) that can be accomplished in any of the partner institutions in Italy for students in path 1, and in any of the partners institutions in Spain for students in paths 2 and 3. It is encouraged the possibility of joint supervision by a member of another of the partner universities or associated centers. Students will have the possibility of having an internship in a company/LAB and to attend to an advanced courses/seminars, coorganised with TALENT, during the 3rd semester in CAEN.

The first semester is focused on basic learning in Nuclear Physics and tools, while the subsequent ones offer to the students the possibility to specialise in different branches. The organization in semesters is summarised in the table below. The detailed lists of courses offered at the various universities in the relevant semesters are available in the section Curricula.

Important note: The students can choose their path at the beginning. Once assigned the path, the mobility is fixed as given below.

Mobility paths

Language and admission policies

Courses will be taught in English. Intensive tutoring of Master students will be assured during the whole course of their Master studies. Also, English will be the language of choice for tutoring and examinations. However, students will have access to language courses within each of the partner Universities. Up to twenty-five students can be involved in the programme for each cycle of Master. Admission criteria include a Bachelor’s degree in physical sciences or an equivalent degree (180 ECTS) and depends mainly on academic qualifications. Admitted students will be required to sign a Student Agreement.

Final degree

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the programme will be awarded a Joint Master Degree by the Consortium universities where they accomplished the various parts of their Master studies. In addition they will receive a Diploma Supplement.

Agreements

The NuPhys programme is regulated by a Consortium Agreement between the participating Institutions, which include an agreement about the awarding of a Joint Degree.

Students who participate in the programme must sign a Student Agreement that defines the terms and conditions of their participation.

The Consortium Agreement and templates of Student Agreement are provided at this link.