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Teaching goals


The main goal of  Master Degree in Physics at the  University of Catania is   the preparation of a high-level qualified  student physics, who can validly be enrolled  in scientific research, teaching, or  into a workplace where one requires high skills  for the understanding and development of the applications of physics in industry, in some areas of public administration or in public services.

The master degree course provides the student with disciplinary insights in specific areas of physics both basic and more specialized ones,  that extend and reinforce the knowledge acquired in the three-year undergraduate course in physics. Specific insights are provided also for math and computer science topics.

The course includes five curricula (Astrophysics, Applied Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Nuclear and Sub-Nuclear Physics, Theoretical Physics), based on the scientific expertise of the members  of the Physics and Astronomy Department, who work always in collaboration and in perfect synergy with the  several research institutions based in the Catania  area (INFN, LNS, INAF, CNR). This allows  a deep  thematic study on the latest developments of contemporary physics.

The master degree  requires that students acquire in-depth, knowledge and methodologies related  to one or more specific areas of physics together with  autonomy of study, through extensive work on the final exam preparation.

Several tools for the development of knowledge and skills of the student are adopted. The key instrument consists of  lectures combined with practical exercises, some of which may be carried out independently by the student himself. Conducting exercises, individual insights and laboratory work within many of the planned teaching activities, allow  the acquisition of greater autonomy and allow  students  to refine their communication skills and judgment, as well as their ability to  solve problems. The presence  of laboratories, with the use of IT tools and scientific software will permit  students to acquire specific skills and experience. The student will also be urged to acquire a direct contact with recent  literature in physics, even at the research level, and hone individual skills  in the consultation of books and scientific articles published in international science journals. The autonomous preparation of the final thesis is also a verification of the acquisition of these skills and mastery of the usual techniques of scientific communication in physics.


 In summary, the educational objectives of the course include:


- The development of autonomous learning capacities  and the ability to integrate knowledge;


-  Comprehension skills and capacity to solve new or unfamiliar problems, inserted in broad  working or research contexts;


- The development and the practice to  communicate,  in a clear and unambiguous way, the knowledge and the results achieved;


- A solid foundation for further studies  in PhD courses or master of second level or graduate schools.


The preparation of the thesis is a fundamental moment of the Master Degree  in Physics, in which the student, through the guidance of one or more teachers, deepens a topic of particular interest and relevance for physics or its applications  in an original manner. The preparation of the thesis may include a stage period in private companies  or other University's research groups and laboratories or research institutions, in Italy or abroad.  A large number of credits is reserved (40 credits) for  this final test due to the crucial the role played by the work spent for the thesis in the maturation of knowledge and skills training. 

The learning outcomes are monitored along the degree program through interviews, written tests, practical tests and reports on the  student activity.  They are then verified in a more comprehensive and systematic way  in the assessment and discussion of the master degree thesis.