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120 ECTS - MS degree

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Students can choose between two specialisations: General Physics or Theoretical physics* (*Partnership with the Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics)


Students can choose between two the specialisations General Physics or Theoretical physics

The Theoretical physics specialisation is in partnership with the Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics (Nordita)

The programme aims to provide students with up-to-date knowledge of contemporary physics in the main areas of astrophysics, condensed matter physics and high-energy physics, as well as solid training in applying mathematical and numerical tools widely used in these fields. The programme also offers a course to develop professional skills such as writing and presenting scientific content. 

Programme Structure: 60 ECTS in graduate coursework and 60 ECTS research based thesis project. Both of these components are provided in collaboration between UoI and Nordita Faculty. Students are assigned a supervisor who will guide them through their coursework and to develop a thesis topic. Programme structure

Study Track: The coursework consists of a set of 4 core graduate courses in theoretical physics (40 ECTS in total), complemented with 2 courses in developing skills in statistical methods and research communication (10 ECTS in total). Finally, students in coordination with their supervisors, select a specialised course (10 ECTS) in line with their research thesis project.  

Research lines for thesis projects:

Research projects can be developed/pursued in one of the three main areas of expertise present at UoI and Nordita:

  • Astrophysics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Theoretical High Energy Physics.

Each student will have a supervisor at UoI, but projects can be co-supervised by Nordita faculty. 

Within the General Physics specialisation the programme structure is MS thesis (60 or 90 ECTS credits) and courses or other studies 60 or 30 ECTS credits.


For admission requirements, application procedure, and additional information, please follow the guidelines at this webpage. 
Applicants for The Theoretical physics specialisation are required to give notice of their application to the local coordinators of the programme by sending a brief e-mail to the addresses below 

  • Prof. Jesús Zavala Franco (jzavala[at]
  • Prof. Valentina Giangreco Puletti (vgmp[at]
  • Prof. Sigurður Örn Stefánsson (sigurdur[at] 

Admission requirements

Graduate studies

  1. A BS degree or equivalent with minimum average grade of 6.5. In addition to the BS degree there may be some preliminary course requirements before starting the actual MS programme. Acceptance is dependent on the availability of a supervisor within the department.  
  2. All international applicants, whose native language is not English, are required to provide results of the TOEFL (79) or IELTS (6.5) tests as evidence of English proficiency.
  3. Applicants are asked to submit a letter of motivation, 1 pages, where they should state the reasons they want to pursue graduate work, their academic goals and a suggestion or outline for a final paper.
  4. Letters of recommendation (2) should be submitted. These should be from faculty members or others who are familiar with your academic work and qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study. Please ask your referees to send their letters of recommendation directly to the University of Iceland electronically by e-mail (PDF file as attachment) to

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Tel. +354 525 4466
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Tæknigarður - Dunhagi 5, 107 Reykjavík
Askja - Sturlugata 7, 102 Reykjavík

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