Doctor of Philosophy Programme Physics

Curriculum (2009W)

Doctor of Philosophy

6 semesters / 180 ECTS-Credits

Mode of Study


Relevant bachelor's degree or equivalent and Language Certificates

Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics

Level of qualification
Doctorate (Third Cycle)
ISCED-11: Level 8, EQF/NQF: Level 8

0533 Physics

Study code
UC 094 xxx | UC 794 670 xxx

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The curriculum is the basis of a degree programme. A look at the curriculum for the PhD Programme Physics will give you a detailed overview of the structure, content, examination regulations and qualification profile of this PhD degree.

The curriculum can clarify several important questions before you start your studies. For example, which criteria have to be fulfilled for enrolment in the PhD Programme Physics, how long the programme takes, which modules have to be completed and much more.

The curriculum 2009W currently applies to the PhD Programme Physics.

Information on the Curriculum (2009W)

The complete version of the curriculum reflects the currently valid version of the curriculum. It is for informational purposes only and is not legally binding. The legally binding version of the curriculum, including any amendments, may be found in the University of Innsbruck Bulletins.

In order to determine which version of the curriculum is applicable in your case, see the Catalogue of Studies,
 available at: 
Section: Current Curriculum version.


Relevant master's or diploma degrees at the University of Innsbruck:

Proof of general university entrance qualification:

With the exception of § 64 par. 5 UG 2002, the general university entrance qualification for admission to a doctoral programme shall be demonstrated by the completion of a relevant diploma programme or master's programme or another relevant programme of at least the same level of higher education at a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution. To compensate for substantial subject-related differences, supplementary examinations may be prescribed, which must be taken by the end of the second semester of the doctoral degree programme.

The rectorate may determine which of these supplementary examinations are prerequisites for taking examinations provided for in the curriculum of the doctoral degree programme.

Modules and Dissertation

Compulsory Modules 30 ECTS-CreditsDissertation 150 ECTS-Credits
Doctoral Thesis Defense 5 ECTS-Credits Scientific Basics/Core Skills of the Thesis Topic 10 ECTS-AP Participation in Scientific Discourse 5 ECTS-Credits Interdisciplinary Seminar in the PhD Programme 5 ECTS-Credits Generic Skills 5 ECTS-Credits The dissertation is a piece of scientific work which – in contrast to a diploma or master’s thesis – serves to prove the student's ability to cope with scientific questions in an independent way. The dissertation topic has to be chosen from the field of physics or didactics of physics. The dissertation may also consist of articles that are related in terms of subject matter or methods. In this case, a minimum of three articles must have been accepted for publication by acknowledged scientific journals or for presentation by acknowledged scientific conferences. Additionally, the student has to write an extensive summary of the subject area, the methods employed, and the results he/she has obtained; in doing so, the student must refer to the articles included in the dissertation. Moreover, a preview has to be given of the future scientific and methodical development of the elaborated topic. If the articles were written by several authors, the doctoral student's own contribution must be shown clearly in an appendix to the dissertation. The student has to propose a team of supervisors, consisting of at least two people (dissertation committee), and to nominate one of them as the supervisor mainly responsible. It is permissible to propose supervisors (with the exception of the main supervisor) from related fields. The dissertation committee for dissertations that belong to the didactics of physics must include representatives of both physics and the didactics of physics. In justifiable exceptional cases it is possible for students to propose only one supervisor. Prior to beginning the work, the student has to communicate the dissertation topic and the names of the supervisors in writing to the Director of Studies. If work on the dissertation requires monetary or non-monetary resources from university institutions, the allocation of these resources is possible only if the head of the institution has been informed of the planned allocation and has not vetoed it within one month for reasons of significant negative influences on teaching and research. Topic and supervisors are considered as accepted, if the Director of Studies does not veto them by means of a decree within one month after the receipt of the proposal.

Qualification Profile and Skills

The main goal of the Doctor of Philosophy Programme Physics is to make an independent contribution to research through submission of an original piece of scientific work on the highest international level in one of the fields of competence offered at the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics. This work is to widen the boundaries of knowledge in the relevant special field and thus to contribute to the progress in the dissertation subject.

This goal is to be achieved by completion of the compulsory modules in the curriculum, where particularly the module „Scientific Basics/Core Skills of the Thesis Topic“ offers the requirements to research-oriented subject matter. The modules „Analysis of Own and External Research Results“ and „Core Subject“ convey the current state of research. An addition to these skills (e.g. project management, professional presentation of scientific contents) guarantees the module „Generic Skills”. Graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy programme have a systematic understanding of their research discipline and research methods of this field.

The programme concludes with a dissertation which is to be supervised by a team of supervisors and is completed by an oral exam taken before an examination board. Graduates are awarded the academic degree „Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)“.

Expected Learning Outcomes for the Doctorate

Graduates are qualified junior academics. They have mastered the methods applied in research in their area and are capable of critically discussing, analyzing, and further developing theories. Junior academics possess the competence to develop and conduct substantial research projects with scientific integrity, and they are qualified to reflect on these processes scientifically and theoretically. They are also aware of issues and questions in gender research.

Future Prospects: Occupational Profiles and Career Opportunities

The career fields of the graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy Programme Physics are in particular managerial functions in research, industry and the tertiary education sector. In particular, by their ability to independently implement projects, they are characterized for a wide range of career fields in science and technology. Occupational profiles of graduates can also be found in fields where problem-solving capacities and specially trained analytical and systematic thinking are required (e.g. management, administration or consulting companies).

Information about examination regulations, assessment and grading

Examination regulations

The examination regulation is an integral part of the curriculum, detailed information can be found under the paragraph examination regulations.

The grade distribution table is a statistical representation of the distribution of all successfully completed examinations in a given programme of study or subject (based on all registered students for the programme or subject). The grade distribution table is updated in regular intervals.

Austrian grading  scheme Definition  %-age
 1 EXCELLENT:  Outstanding performance 80.1= 100%
 2  GOOD:  Generally good, but with some errors 14.5
 3 SATISFACTORY:  Generally sound work with a number of substantial errors 4
 4 SUFFICIENT:  Performance meets the minimum criteria1.4
 5 INSUFFICIENT:  Substantial improvement necessary; requirement of further work

December 2021

Overall classification of the qualification

Not applicable
Explanation: An overall classification (mit Auszeichnung bestanden/pass with distinction, bestanden/pass, nicht bestanden/fail) – is awarded only for examinations that conclude a programme of study and consist of more than one subject (an examination of this type is not specified in the curriculum of this programme of study).

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