The Structure of the Study Programme

Name and the Goals of the Study Programme

The name of the Study Programme is PhD academic studies in Physics (3 years, 180 ECTS). The Goal of the PhD academic study programme PhD in physics is to provide academic education of experts in the field of Physics.

Type of the Study and the Outcome of the Education Process

Since on the one hand physics is a fundamental science, and a very broad one, and on the other hand the modern market requires specialized professionals, this study programme is designed to meet both criteria. For this reason, the following general sub-areas exist:

  • Plasma Physics and Physics of Ionized Gases
  • Theoretical Physics of Condensed Matter
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Physics of Materials
  • Applied Physics – Nanoscience
  • Medical Physics

Because the modern society needs multi-disciplinary experts, all the courses in this study program are elective, which allows students to be profiled for some of the multi-disciplinary fields of physics.

Professional Title, Academic, or Scientific Title

Upon completing the PhD in Physics programme, a student gets the title of PhD in Physics.

The Structure of the Study Programme

Upon completing the PhD – Physical science programme, a student gets the title of PhD in Physics.

Enrollment requirements are stipulated by the Law on Higher Education.

List of the study fields and courses is given in Tables.

Studies are conducted through teaching. Besides lectures, the subject includes research work. Preparations and defense of a doctoral dissertation is mandatory.

The Time Allotted for the Realization of Particular Study Forms

Duration of the study programme is three academic years i.e. six semesters.

Credit Values of Particular Courses

Credit value of each course is expressed in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and is given in the Standard.

PhD Thesis

PhD studies for the academic degree of PhD in physics last for three years and completing them means accumulating at least 180 ECTS, including the previous total credit score of at least 300 ECTS at the bachelor and master levels. To obtain the title of PhD in science it is necessary to accumulate at least 480 ECTS. In order to complete studies, PhD thesis must be written and defended.

The Purpose of the Study Programme

The purpose of the study programme is to enable students to successfully perform independent research activities in the field of physics, and become leading experts in their area. The study program guarantees obtaining the necessary competences for educating professionals of high educational background. The existence of this degree program is legitimate and beneficial to society as a whole, given the purpose of modern physics – understanding the physical processes and materials. Independent experts in the fields of physics are needed in every modern society as a key element in the development of new energy sources, new materials, new technologies. They are also essential in all areas of modern science and technology in general. Environmental protection, modern medicine, meteorology, astronomy and astrophysics, as well as other areas cannot be developed without a physicists. Moreover, physics, its methods and models are today successfully applied in areas such as the economy, stock market business, etc.

The Goals of the Study Programme

The primary objectives of this study program are education and training professionals to work independently in diverse and dynamic areas of expertise. None the less important objectives are the development of creative competencies and skills to independently perform all the forms of development and application of physics. The most important general goals of the study program are to provide high-quality opportunities for professional and personal development of students, to improve analytical, critical and self-critical thinking and approach to independent research.

The most important professional goal is to acquire a critical level of understanding of the most important theoretical principles and methods, active use of modern experimental methods, and developing the ability to continuously expand and seek new knowledge.

Knowledge of students who complete doctoral academic studies includes in-depth knowledge segments based in the current research in certain fields of the area.

Professional goals are aimed at providing the students with:

  • integrated knowledge of theoretical and applied physics;
  • detailed understanding and knowledge of the structure of matter and methods for its studying;
  • detailed knowledge of the principles of work and independent use of modern appliances, equipment, and instruments;
  • detailed understanding and knowledge of the principles of measurement and data processing;
  • understanding and in-depth knowledge of modeling;
  • ability to transfer theory into practice;
  • development of communication and building of the proper human relations so that they can effectively communicate with other professionals they encounter in practice;
  • understanding the role of physics in the modern world.

This study programme defines the general methods and strategies for obtaining the competencies to acquire knowledge and understanding of: accumulation of knowledge is mainly achieved through lectures and various forms of exercises and practice whose purpose is to deepen, clarify and highlight the practical importance of the content provided in lectures. This is where a significant portion of the streamlined learning is included through seminar papers at different levels and in accordance with the progress of students.

During the studies, students improve general competencies (ability to analyse, problems solving, integration of theory and practice, synthesis), mainly achieved through lectures followed by different types of exercises. It is very important to engage students in solving practical problems within exercises and practice. Additionally improved are the communication skills gained through oral presentations and written reports, use of information technology, ability to work independently or in a team, integration and evaluation of information from variety of sources, effective and continual learning. Some of these competencies are partly obtained through the acquisition of other skills. These skills are continually developed, upgraded and improved throughout the program and in particular with the increase of the complexity of the seminar papers and practical problems to be solved by the students;

They also improve subject-specific skills of planning how to solve practical problems, the use of laboratory methods for obtaining the data, data analysis and their critical analysis, preparation of reports, presentations, effective use of computers in practice. These are achieved mainly through laboratory exercises and professional practice.

Taking into account that students’ evaluation is one of the necessary steps in creating quality experts in the subject area, means and methods of assessment are given for each separate course.

The Skills of Students upon Completion of the Programme

General and Course-specific Competencies of Students

By mastering the curriculum, the student acquires the following general skills:

  • Analysis, synthesis and forecasting solutions and consequences;
  • Independent solving of practical and theoretical problems in the area covered by the doctorate;
  • Contribution to science development;
  • Independent organization and development of the scientific research;
  • Participation in international projects and their implementation;
  • Understanding of professional ethics, respecting the code of conduct of good scientific practice;
  • Continual learning and professional development;
  • Creativity and critical thinking;
  • Applying knowledge in practice;
  • Work in a team or independently;
  • Communication on a professional level.

Also, students improve the following subject-specific skills:

  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of theoretical and experimental physics;
  • Ability to independently solve specific problems in scientific and industrial research;
  • Ability to tackle the new areas through independent study or self-study;
  • Independent organizing and carrying out the research;
  • Ability of modelling;
  • Literature searching;
  • Thorough knowledge and the ability to apply the most important mathematical and numerical methods;
  • Thorough knowledge of the latest developments in physics;
  • Understanding and in-depth knowledge of the most important experimental methods;
  • Analysis of the results according to scientific principles and drawing valid conclusions.

The Outcomes

Additional subject-specific learning outcomes according to particular orientations:

  • Plasma physics – in-depth understanding and mastering the specific experimental methods related to electrical discharges in gases; detailed understanding of fundamental processes in ionized gases and plasmas;
  • Theoretical physics of condensed matter – in-depth understanding and mastering the narrow professional theoretical methods and models related to the condensed state of matter;
  • Nuclear physics – in-depth understanding and mastering the specific experimental methods related to nuclear physics;
  • Physics of materials – in-depth understanding and mastering the specific experimental methods related to the physics of new materials;
  • Applied physics – nanosciences – interdisciplinary theoretical and practical knowledge required in scientific research, design, innovation and applications of nanostructures in modern technologies;
  • Medical physics – understanding and ability to apply various experimental and theoretical methods to advance medical instrumentation and its application, and to develop new methods for the treatment of humans.
The Curriculum

The structure of the curriculum includes schedule of courses per semester, the number of active teaching classes, and ECTS credits.

Course description contains the name, course type, study year and semester, number of ECTS credits, teacher’s name, goals of the course and the expected outcomes, knowledge and competencies, requirements to prior to attending the course, course content, recommended literature, teaching methods, the method of assessment and evaluation, and other data.

Study programme includes two forms of active teaching: lectures and study – research work.

The curriculum is designed to enable students to obtain at least 60 ECTS in each year of the study, and accumulate at least 180 ECTS upon graduation.

This programme includes elective courses.

Elective courses are offered in the relevant year and semester. Each elective course is selected from the appropriate group of elective courses offered in a given semester. Wherever the elective course is foreseen, a student has to choose at least one of the courses offered. Students select the courses in consultation with their advisors, who is assigned upon the enrolment in doctoral studies. Student Advisor is always chosen among the teachers. When choosing courses, student and his advisor have to make sure that the minimum of half of the ECTS foreseen for the implementation of the studies has to be closely related to the doctoral dissertation and items related to the topic of the doctoral dissertation.

Option of the elective courses listed in a given year of study in a given semester (winter or summer) can be selected in the ongoing or the next school year of the relevant semester.

Registration of elective subjects within the school year is done separately for the winter and summer semesters and in accordance with the Rules of Study.

By the end of the studies, at least one option foreseen for each of the groiup of elective courses has to be passed.

To register the application of a PhD dissertation, a student needs to have passed at least one option of each of the optional courses in the first year of study and have accumulated at least 60 ECTS.

To access the oral defense of the doctoral dissertation, a doctoral student must have a paper accepted for publication in SCI list journals that relate to the research of the doctoral dissertation. Registering and defense of a doctoral dissertation must be in accordance with the Regulations on PhD studies at the Faculty of Sciences and other general acts.

A Distribution of the Courses into Semesters and Academic Years