how to start your master's studies

(This page mainly addresses the Master's program in Physics. For the Master's program in Geophysics see the web page of the Institute of Geophysics.)

Welcome to the Master’s program in Physics at the WWU Münster! We wish you a good and successful start of your Master’s studies. In contrast to the Bachelor’s program in Physics, which consists of well-defined courses in the first semesters, the research-oriented Master’s program is quite open and offers many choices for specializations. This makes it often difficult to start, in particular for those of you who did not complete their Bachelor’s degree in Münster. Therefore, here we provide some information on how to plan and organize your study program according to your interests and the rules provided by the Examination Regulations. Valuable general information concerning studying in Münster can be found on the central pages of the WWU. For specific questions you may contact the study coordinator of the Physics department, Prof. Hartmut Bracht.

The Physics Student Council (Fachschaft Physik) offers a virtual Master-Info event via Zoom

Date: Friday, 9 April 2021
Time: 14:00 h (Local time)

Link: https://wwu.zoom.us/j/64719551511?pwd=OUcxbnlNa1ZQUk1WQ0M3aGpSbFppQT09

Meeting-ID: 647 1955 1511
Password: FSPHYS

In this event you will get valuable information on the structure of the course program, the subjects of the specialization modules, the online platforms LEARNWEB and QISPOS and much more, presented by experienced student. After the presentation you will have the opportunity to ask questions and to get in touch with your fellow students.

General comments on the choice of modules

The Master’s program in Physics does not include any mandatory modules. Therefore, when beginning your studies, you have to select your three elective mandatory modules of the first year: Physical Specialization I and II and Interdisciplinary Studies. Note that before finishing a module with the final module examination you can still modify your choices. However, this may require additional time to complete all the requirements of your newly selected module. These three modules will be complemented by the module Elective Studies in Physics, which offers free choice of courses from the Master’s program of the Department of Physics.
  • Modules "Physical Specialization I and II"

    There are six modules offered in the program:

    • Nuclear and Particle Physics
    • Materials Physics
    • Nano and Quantum Technologies
    • Nonlinear Physics
    • Photonics and Magnonics
    • Physics of Solid State-Nanosystems

    Choice of modules: From the above list you have to choose two modules. Each module consists of lectures, exercises, seminars, lab courses and possibly other course types. Some of them are compulsory for the module, others are optional. For details please have a look at the module descriptions in the Examination Regulations for the Master’s program. The courses that are offered may vary from semester to semester; some of them are only taught in the winter semester, others only in the summer semester. For a list of the courses offered in the current semester please look at the Course Overview (Vorlesungsverzeichnis) und Physics -> Study Courses Physics (Master) -> Modules Physical Specialization I and II and then the selected module. To complete the module, the compulsory and optional courses have to sum up to 14-18 credit points. (Note that all modules of the first year of the Master’s program have to sum up to at least 60 credit points.)

    QISPOS registration: Please do not forget to register your chosen courses in QISPOS, because only registered courses are valid. For more details see the entry on QISPOS registration.

    Final module examination: When you have reached the required amount of credit points, you may complete the module by the oral final module examination. For this purpose, please contact one of the lecturers of the module (typically one, who has taught one of the courses you have participated in), ask them whether you may take the exam with them and if yes, agree on a date and time for the examination. When you have agreed on date and time, you have to send a registration form to the Examinations Office. Currently there are special rules and forms due to the Corona pandemic; they can be found on the corresponding Website of the Examinations Office (only in German).

    Changing a module Physical Specialization: As long as you have not yet completed the final module examination you can modify your choice and select another module out of the list given above. You can transfer the courses you have already successfully passed to the module Elective Studies in Physics. If you have already finished courses in the module Elective Studies in Physics, which are also offered for your newly selected module Physical Specialization, you can transfer them to that module. In this case please contact the study coordinator of the Physics department, Prof. Hartmut Bracht.
  • Module "Interdisciplinary Studies"

    The Examination Regulations of the Master’s program in Physics list nine different disciplines for this module:

    • Business Administration
    • German as a Foreign Language
    • Geophysics
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Molecular Biophysics
    • Philosophy for Physicists (with or without knowlegde in philosophy)
    • Psychology
    • Economics

    Choice of module: From the above list you have to choose one module. Detailed regulations on the courses, the required coursework and the degree-relevant examinations for the respective module can be found in the corresponding module description in the examination regulations. Besides these subjects, other disciplines are possible upon prior agreement with a responsible person of that discipline (taking the role of the module representative) and the Dean of Studies of the Physics department. Please note that it is your responsibility to select and contact the prospective module representative and prepare the corresponding module description.

    Language requirements and prerequisites: Not all the modules given above are taught completely in English. Therefore, some of them require sufficient proficiency in the German language. If you have no or only limited knowledge of German, the module German as a Foreign Language might be a good choice. To select this, you have to register with the Language Center of the WWU. The modules Geophysics and Mathematics can be studied completely in English if only courses from the respective Master’s programs in Geophysics and Mathematics are chosen (and no courses from the Bachelor’s programs). In other disciplines such as Economics or Business Administration it may depend on the chosen courses. Please contact a module representative to inquire details.

    For some of the modules prior knowledge in the subject is required. This holds in particular for Business Administration, Psychology and Economics. In Philosophy there are two options, one with and the other without prior knowledge. Prior knowledge usually means that you have to provide a proof that you have attended corresponding courses in your Bachelor’s studies or in other previous studies.

    Mathematics and Computer Science: These two disciplines are very open in the examination regulations because, depending on your personal interest, there are many options to combine courses for the module. However, due to this openness for the individual choice a module description has to be compiled together with a module representative from the respective discipline. In this module description the selected courses, the degree-relevant examinations and the required coursework have to be specified leading to the total amount of 12-15 credit points. The module description has then to be approved by the Dean of Studies of the Physics department.
  • Module "Elective Studies in Physics"

    This is a very open module which allows you to combine arbitrary courses offered from the Physics department within the Master’s program in Physics. However, they must not be part of another of your chosen modules. This module is not graded, however you have to pass one degree-relevant examination. For this examination you can choose any course in which your individual achievement can be assessed, such as an exercise class, a seminar talk, a successfully passed lab course. Please agree in advance with the lecturer on the details of this examination. The minimum of credit points of this module is given by the condition that the total number of credit points of the four modules in the first year has to sum up to at least 60 credit points, however, it must be at least 6 credit points.
  • QISPOS registration

    QISPOS is the electronic registration tool used at the WWU Münster for the online registration by the students of their courses, degree-relevant coursework and examinations. The results of the course (passed/failed or the grade) are entered at the end of the semester by the lecturer or the examination office. In order to be able to enter these results it is absolutely mandatory that you have previously registered for the course. The registration is opened usually a few weeks after the start of the lecturing period and it closes a few weeks before the end of that period. In the summer semester 2021 the dates are:
    • Registration with QISPOS is possible from 26 April 2021 to 22 June 2021
    • De-registration with QISPOS is possible from 26 April 2021 to 06 July 2021
    Please note that an extension of the registration period is not possible and if you did not register for a course your participation or grading cannot be recorded. Please also note that if a lecture is accompanied by an exercise class, separate registration for lecture and exercise class are required.

    Special rules may apply for the module Interdisciplinary Studies. Depending on the subject chosen, the courses may not be available for registration by students from the Master’s program in Physics. In this case please contact the module representative to inquire about the method for registration and documentation of the results. However, please always check first whether a registration via QISPOS is possible.
  • Learnweb

    The Learnweb is the central e-learning platform of the WWU Münster. Essentially all courses have a Learnweb entry, where you can find course-related material, hand in homework exercises, lab protocols or seminar presentations and communicate with the lecturer or other students. In particular, in the current situation with the corona pandemic in the Learnweb you will also find the recorded e-lectures or the links to lectures presented via zoom as video conferences. To access the Learnweb you need your central WWU account and password.

    For each course you have to register in the Learnweb. (Note that this does not replace the registration in QISPOS!) The registration to some courses is open, to other courses it may require a registration key. Sometimes the key can be found in the entry of the respective course in the Course Overview (Vorlesungsverzeichnis). If you cannot find the key, please send an email to the lecturer of the course asking for the key.

    Note that for some courses with limited number of participants, e.g., lab courses or seminar presentations, a separate registration with the responsible person may be necessary. If this applies, the details and the corresponding registration periods can be found in the entry in the Course Overview (Vorlesungsverzeichnis).