PhD Studies at the Department of Physics and Astronomy

A good way to get into postgraduate education is to carry out your thesis work in the division and in the subject area that you are interested in doctorate in. After graduating, according to the eligibility below, you may apply for PhD studies, that may lead to a philosophy or technology licentiate degree and a philosophy or technology doctorate.

A licentiate degree takes two years full time and a doctoral degree takes four years full time. As a doctoral student you get a supervisor and carry out your own research project, by yourself or in a group. In addition you take courses and usually the postgraduate education is combined with teaching or some other assignment on 20%, which means that in practice it takes five years to finish a doctoral degree. Doctoral students’ salaries follow “doktorandstegen”.

Available positions within PhD studies are announced by the department or the research programme responsible for the subject or the orientation. The announcement of available PhD positions is ongoing through the year and may also be found on the university’s central pages.

Postgraduate subjects

  • Physics (High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Materials Physics, Materials Theory, Molecular and Condensed Matter Physics, Applied Nuclear Physics) (TNFYSI00), contact: Susanne Mirbt
  • Astronomy (TNASTR00), contact: Nikolai Piskunov
  • Astronomy with specialization in Astrophysics (TNASTR01), contact: Nikolai Piskunov
  • Physics with specialization in Astrofysics (TNFYSI01), contact: Nikolai Piskunov
  • Physics Education Research (TNFYSI05), contact: Cedric Linder
  • Space and Plasma Physics (TNFYSI08), contact: Mats André
  • Theoretical Physics (TNTEFY00), contact: Maxim Zabzine

Subject curriculums may be found on the Faculty of Science and Technology’s website.

Director of Studies

Director of studies for postgraduate studies: Göran Ericsson

PhD Courses

Compulsory / Mandatory Course

Research ethics 2 hp / Research ethics, minimum 2 credits

Faculty PhD Courses

Subject Specific PhD Courses given by the Department of Physics and Astronomy

  • Accelerators and Detectors
  • Advanced Nuclear Physics
  • Advanced Particle Physics
  • Astroparticle Physics
  • Computational Physics
  • Cosmology
  • Density Functional Theory (DFT) I
  • Detector technologies for Particle Physics
  • Digital Electronics Design with VHDL
  • Electronic Structure of Functional Materials
  • Free Electron Laser Science
  • Geometrical Methods in Theoretical Physics
  • Gravitation and Cosmology 
  • Ion Beam Materials Analysis
  • Magnetism
  • Many-Body Theory
  • Modelling and simulation methods for  Particle Transport
  • Nanoscience
  • Nuclear Astrophysics
  • Numerical Hydrodynamics and Radiative Transfer*
  • Observational Astrophysics II
  • Physics of Energy Related Materials
  • Physics of Galaxies
  • Physics of Planetary Atmospheres*
  • Plasma Physics
  • Quantum Chromodynamics and Effective Field Theory
  • Quantum-enhanced deep learning
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Scientific programming*
  • Solid State Theory
  • Statistical Methods in Physics
  • String Theory I and II
  • Symmetry and Group Theory in Physics 
  • Synchrotron Radiation
  • Theoretical Astrophysics
  • Topics in elementary- and astro-particle physics
  • Topics in instrumentation and accelerator physics

*Given every other year

PhD Courses at the Department of Physics and Astronomy


The entry requirements for postgraduate education are as follows:

  • General entry requirement, i.e. a degree at advanced level (Master's level) or fulfill the requirements for courses comprising of at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits are at advanced level (Master's level) or the equivalent.
  • Specific entry requirement, i.e. knowledge gained from university education or equivalent or specific vocational experience.
  • The applicant must be judged to have the ability needed to complete the postgraduate education.

​Study plans within postgraduate education within the Faculty of Science and Technology


The head of the department of the subject/specialization accepts doctoral students. Doctoral students with other funding than employment as doctoral student at Uppsala University, i.e. industry-based doctoral students, students with their own funds (such as scholarships), students employed at another higher education institution, part-time students, and licentiate students, are accepted by the Faculty Board on the recommendation of the Postgraduate Education Board.

Admission is decided after consultation with the supervisors at the department. The admission decision shall specify research professor and supervisors (at least two). One of these must be appointed as main supervisor. An individual study plan should be drawn up in connection with an admission.

Application for admission to postgraduate studies
Checklist for admission of doctoral student
Individual study plan

Forms and templates for postgraduate studies

Study Plan

The study plan consists of three parts: one general study plan, one Subject curriculum and one individual study plan. The individual study plan the student establishes together with his/her supervisor and the other two are found on the Faculty of Science and Technology’s website. There you may also find general information on postgraduate studies at the faculty.

PhD Ombudsman

The PhD student ombudsmen are two PhD students employed by the Department of Physics and Astronomy to help the PhD students with any issues regarding financing, terms of employment, harassment, discrimination and problems with the supervisor or colleagues. The ombudsmen will never disclose any information or details unless given explicit permission by the PhD student in question. The ombudsmen are also responsible for organizing and chairing the PhD student council.

More about the PhD ombudsman

After the Education

A postgraduate exam in physics makes possible both a career in research and a professional life outside the university.

Disputations and Licentiate Defenses