Bachelor of Science in Physics

The three-year-long Bachelor’s study course provides a general education in physics forming the basis for scientific work. In addition to the obligatory basic education in mathematics, another minor subject is studied in the module “Interdisciplinary Studies”. It can be chosen from a broad variety of subjects. After the successful completion of the study course the academic grade Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physics or, depending on the choice of modules (see below), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physics with Specialization Scientific Instrumentation is awarded. Besides providing a first professional qualification, both Bachelor courses form the basis for further scientific education in various Master’s courses.

The following graphic depicts the general structure of the study course:

Modules for the Bachelor of Science in Physics

Semester

1 (WS) Physics I
14 CP (OM)
Fundamental
Mathematics
16 CP (OM)
Interdisciplinary
Studies
18 CP (EM)
2 (SS) Physics II
14 CP (OM)
3 (WS) Physics III
14 CP (OM)
Laboratory
Course I
13 CP (OM)
Integration Theory
8 CP (OM)
4 (SS) Atomic and
Quantum Physics
10 CP (OM)
Computational
Physics
9 CP (OM)
Measuring Technology
and Signal Processing
8 CP (OM)
5 (WS) Structure of
Matter
14 CP (OM)
Laboratory
Course II
13 CP (OM)
Quantum Theory and
Statistical Physics
or
Scientific Instrumentation
16 CP (EM)
6 (SS) Bachelor’s Thesis
13 CP (EM)
OM: obligatory module
WS: winter semester
EM: elective module
SS: summer semester

Contents of the Modules:

  • Physics I-III
  • These modules provide an overview of the various topics of classical physics, starting with the mechanics of particles and systems of particles, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, electrodynamics and optics up to a first glance at the limits of classical physics and the appearance of quantum effects. Theoretical complements to Physics II and III are dedicated to the fields of analytical mechanics and special relativity. The modules Physics I-III as well as the module Atomic and Quantum Physics are taught in Münster as integrated courses by two lecturers, one coming from experimental physics and the other from theoretical physics, in order to emphasize from the beginning of the studies the strong interplay between theory and experiment.
  • Fundamental Mathematics and Integration Theory
    As a quantitative science, physics relies on expressing physical laws in terms of mathematical formulas. These modules, which are taught by lecturers from the mathematics department, cover the physics-relevant fundamentals of analysis and linear algebra.
  • Atomic and Quantum Physics
    The (failing) attempts to understand the inner structure of atoms at the beginning of the 20th century highlighted the limits of classical physics. As a consequence, quantum mechanics emerged as the relevant theory to describe nature at the microscopic scale. This module provides insight into the structure of atoms and an introduction to quantum mechanics.
  • Structure of Matter
    This module introduces the physical basis of the structure of matter, ranging from the subatomic scale of nuclei and elementary particles to solids consisting of many atoms up to cosmic time and length scales of astrophysics and cosmology.
  • Computational Physics
    Computers have become an indispensable tool in physical research, being used in the control and evaluation of experiments, the numerical solution of problems in theoretical physics and the simulation of complex physical systems and processes. This module starts with an introduction to scientific programming. In a second part, the focus can be placed either on the numerical solution of physical problems or on computer-based experiments.
  • Measuring Technology and Signal Processing
    The measurement of physical quantities and the processing of the resulting signals are at the heart of experimental work in physics. The electronic and opto-electronic components used for this purpose as well as the methods of analogue and digital signal processing are the contents of this module.
  • Laboratory Course I and II
    In physics, experiments play a key role. During this module, performing experiments using more and more complex equipment, the written presentation of results and their critical evaluation are trained.
  • Quantum Theory and Statistical Physics
    Concepts of theoretical physics are at the heart of this module. It expands the knowledge in quantum theory and it develops methods to describe systems composed of a large number of particles using statistical laws. If this module is chosen, after completing the study course the academic degree Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physics is awarded.
  • Scientific Instrumentation
    As an alternative to the theoretical module “Quantum Theory and Statistical Physics”, this module focusses on the practical application of modern experimental measurement techniques. Its primary intention is to provide a professional qualification for students who aim at leaving the University with the Bachelor’s degree, but it is possible to continue with a Master’s course in physics. If this module is chosen, after completing the study course the academic degree Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physics with Specialization Scientific Instrumentation is awarded.
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
    The study program in physics is complemented by interdisciplinary studies. The range of subjects offered in Münster is extraordinarily broad: It spans from the neighboring fields in science, mathematics and computer science to economics, business administration, psychology and philosophy. Upon request it is possible to create a self-assembled module in a specific field of interest.
  • Bachelor’s Thesis
    First experiences with independent scientific work are made in the course of the Bachelor’s project. Its results are summarized in a written thesis and presented in a talk.

More detailed module descriptions can be found in the Course Program of the BSc in Physics and in the appendix of the examination regulations of the Bachelor’s course in Physics (in German).

Further Information: