Publié le 3 septembre 2020 Mis à jour le 11 mars 2021

Master : Physics : M1 option Theoretical Physics

Formation LMD
Master : Physics : M1 option Theoretical Physics


 This first year of Master aims at offering to students coming from different horizons a common general background and the powerful tools required to start working in Theoretical Physics, as well as opening to them a broad spectrum of domains.
Its role is two-fold; on the one hand, it insures the harmonization of a heterogeneous population of students coming from all over the world and give them a solid background needed to continue in any Master 2 program of physics (fundamental or applied); on the other hand, it provides students with a first contact with research subjects through a choice of options and/or projects helping them building their personal project and choosing their M2 specialization.


It is important to note that this first year of Master has been built to insure to students the possibility to start their specialization in theoretical physics, nevertheless it has been done in such a way, that reorientation to more applied physics is not difficult.
The choice of a national French degree fully taught in English has the double advantage of an international open up:
 It makes this training accessible to students from all over the world and allows world specialists to participate in the teaching and supervision of students, thus guaranteeing excellence in the discipline.
 It also allows French-speaking students to receive disciplinary training in a familiar environment, while being exposed to international realities and improving their practical and professional English.
At the European level, the absence of language barriers facilitates exchanges of both students and professors between universities and possible double degrees.


Site de Saint-Martin

Responsable(s) de la formation




CY Institut Sciences et Techniques
Site de Saint-Martin



Niveau(x) de recrutement

Baccalauréat général

Formation(s) requise(s)

180 ECTS or equivalent (3/4 years BSc) in an academic program in Physics (or in some cases in Mathematics) including basic knowledge of Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, and Linear Algebra are required. A good mastering of English is essential to follow the lectures. Some knowledge in coding is a plus (python for example). 
Candidates finishing their degree by September can apply conditionally, they should provide certificates for the previous years and the partial marks obtained during the current academic year. Although no particular certificate in English is required, language proficiency is taken into consideration.

Modalités de candidature

  • e-candidat

Modalités de candidature spécifiques

  • Applications from non-EU foreign students attached to Campus France are made on a new application "Etudes en France"
  • Candidates can send their requests by email to the training managers

Conditions d'admission / Modalités de sélection

  • Admission is based on academic records, taking into account grades earned, the syllabus of the courses followed and recommendation of professors. The study of the file may be completed by an interview. 


This program is the first year of the theoretical part of the two-years Master of Physics of CYU. It is fully taught in English. It is supported by the research teams of the Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modélisation (LPTM CNRS UMR 8089).
This first year of Master is devoted to the study of the main general theories of physics (with a special attention given to Quantum Mechanics and Condensed Matter Physics) and the relevant mathematical and computational methods constituting the basis of an education in fundamental Physics.

Contenu de la formation

1st semester (S1)
  • Quantum Mechanics I
  • Quantum Mechanics II
  • Programming course
  • Monte Carlo Methods
  • Applied Mathematics I: differential equations
  • Condensed Matter Physics I
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Introduction to Symmetries in Physics
  • Lab Hours
  • French for Foreigners (*)/ Scientific Communication in English (**)
  • (*) Lectures take place entirely at semester 1 even if the 6 credits earned are spread over the 2 semesters
  • (**) Proposed to improve English skills of French speaking students

2nd semester (S2)
  • Quantum Mechanics III
  • Condensed Matter Physics II
  • Electrodynamics
  • Computational Physics
  • Applied Mathematics II:  Introduction to differential geometry, tensors
  • Materials Physics and Phase Transitions
  • Tutored projects /options
  • The subjects of the tutored project are to be chosen by the student in agreement with the pedagogical committee; a list of proposals is available, for instance: General Relativity and Cosmology, Introduction to Quantum Information, Soft matter, Distributions, Quantum Mechanics in Materials
  • One tutored project amounts to a full time work of two weeks, plus writing a report and preparing an oral presentation (only one oral presentation for the two projects is required).

  • L’évaluation du stage est faite en fonction de l’appréciation du tuteur de stage, d’un rapport écrit (~ 20 pages) et d’une soutenance orale. 

A collaboration between LPTM, the Theoretical Physics and the Condensed Matter Departments of Zaragoza University and the Institut for Biocomputational Physics (BIFI) of Zaragoza has led to a joint Master program, which has received the label "Spanish-French International Master Program" and proposes to especially selected students a double diploma (our Master and the Master en Fisica y Tecnologias Fisicas from Zaragoza University) including an international mobility of at least one semester during the two years.
In addition, the physics department has a large number of international partnerships.
Of Erasmus type:
University of: Bologna, Chester, Edinburgh, Oldenburg, Parma, Zaragoza, Firenze, Groningen, Mons, München.
Or not:
University of: Warwick, Montréal (CA), Laval (CA), Osaka Prefecture (Japon), Kazan (Russie), NUS (Singapour), Pusan (Corée), FUMEC (Brésil), Buenos Aires (Argentine).

Temps plein

Short after September 15th start the lectures (and exercises classes). Mid-term exams take place after 6 or 7 weeks of courses. The same scheme of 6 or 7 weeks of classes repeat until the Christmas holidays. Examinations for the first semester take place at the beginning of January and close the first semester. The second semester starts similarly to the first with a 6 or 7 weeks of classes ending with an examination session. After the spring holidays starts the last period of the year dedicated to options and projects evaluated around June 15th mostly by project defenses. The jury meets and decides on the results of the year for each student. 


A second session of exams is proposed to the students who have failed (except for labs and projects/options). The final results for the year are known about July 15th.

Et après ?

Niveau de sortie

Année post-bac de sortie

Bac +4

Niveau de sortie

BAC +4

Compétences visées

Activités visées / compétences attestées

Analyze a given problem and link it to general and well known results of physics within the framework of a fixed model.
Apply abstraction, logic and knowledge of orders of magnitude to question the relevance of a suggested model.
Carry out a reasoning, knowing how to identify the required hypothesis that underlie it and to elaborate the proofs to establish it, with the help of either mathematical or computational tools.
Analyze results with a critical, curious and innovative mind.
Communicate in writing and orally in a rigorous and appropriate manner.
Be familiar with the large disciplinary knowledge of fundamental physics.

Poursuites d'études

This master program is definitely research oriented. Most students will continue in the second year of master and finally join a PhD program. 

Débouchés professionnels

Secteurs d'activité ou type d'emploi

The expected career after a two-year Master in theoretical physics followed by a PhD in the same field is clearly the one of academic research (in universities or research institute either in France (CNRS, CEA…) or abroad).
If students want to have a different trajectory, the number of opportunities for physicists, after a master's degree (or PhD degree) is large in a wide variety of domains (Research and Development for products or processes, Teaching, Financial Analysis, Quality Assessment, Scientific Communication, Network Management for transportation, energy supply…).


Coût de la formation

  • National fees + the cost of one semester of "French as a foreign language" courses at the CY-CILFAC (Centre International Langue Française et Action Culturelle) for non-French speakers.