Student mobility is an inherent part of the programme structure and philosophy. Each student resides at two universities in two different countries (60 credits at university A, 60 credits in university B including the 30 credits for the master’s dissertation). Furthermore all students meet twice in the yearly summer event, once as a master 1 student and once defending the dissertation as a master 2 student. Scholar cooperation and mobility is particularly promoted by the specialised track education that implies a Joint Experimentation and Analysis session in IPP Prague and a Winter Event for all students near the ITER site, Cadarache, France. The summer event plays a crucial role here, but this is only the yearly culmination point of contacts between the involved supervisors and/or promotors and research groups.
The two-year FUSION-EP programme is organised over four semesters. The total training programme has to amount up to 120 credits and fulfills certain requirements concerning mobility. This ensures a master’s programme with a strong common standard and a maximum flexibility to accommodate for students with different interests, language knowledge and background. EU-students can spend up to two months in one of the partner institutions in China, Russia or USA in the second master.
The master's dissertation is a requirement for every candidate to obtain a master degree. The master's dissertation is an original piece of research work. It aims to develop and strengthen the research capacity skills of the students. The student selects a topic and is given guidance by a promoter or supervisor. The master's dissertation consists of a literature review part, a theoretical reflection and an original analysis of the topic.
The EU fusion programme is at the forefront of international fusion research and engineering. Fusion research is entering a new phase. The construction of ITER, the Broader Approach activities, and the preparation for DEMO require an expansion of the fusion programme and a shift of the emphasis from plasma physics to engineering and nuclear materials.
There is also a growing need for competences on nuclear project related issues such as project management, nuclear licensing, quality assurance, risk assessment, and management of procurement processes, as well as a need for stronger collaboration with industry. The ITER Organisation needs now graduates in project-oriented fusion technology, diagnostics, plasma heating, modelling and computing. During the subsequent operational phase, its need will evolve progressively towards experimental plasma physics and data analysis.