European Master of Science in Nuclear Fusion and Engineering Physics

The studies in Engineering Physics are devoted to the technical applications of physics and strongly supported by the research activities in the different laboratories within the consortium. Student mobility is an inherent part of the programme structure and philosophy. Each student resides at three universities in three different countries.

Master's Programme
2 year 120 credits
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture
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About the programme
Programme summary
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After graduation


The European Master of Science in Nuclear Fusion and Engineering Physics (FUSION-EP), with its broad network of universities and research institutes, builds upon high-level, multinational, research-oriented education in fusion-related engineering physics. The programme operates in close relation to the research activities of the partners, offering a culturally diverse and academically engaging experience.

The studies in engineering physics are devoted to the technical applications of physical theory and strongly supported by the research activities in the different laboratories within the Consortium. By combining the practical concepts of a degree in engineering with the essentials of education as an engineering physicist, these studies train engineers capable of performing, advancing and leading technical and scientific research in both research institutes and industry.

The engineering component of the studies makes the physics engineer familiar with the analysis, design and optimisation of new and existing systems, products, machines, materials and more, for which simplification to manageable system descriptions (from rules of thumb to expert systems) is essential. Although the various methods and applications are treated in the context of the technology of fusion devices, their relevance goes far beyond the domain of nuclear fusion. In the physics component, the reductionist approach holds centre stage; here experiments and mathematical modelling seek to reduce physical phenomena taking place in the plasma and in its interaction with its surroundings, to their very essence, and to discover the physical laws applicable. The rigorous attitude is hereby essential, and a physical theory should stand a validation by experiment.

While in the first master year the course content is intentionally kept relatively broad, in the second year students can select between two study tracks (track Fusion Sciences and track Fusion Technology). The programme offers plenty of room for emphasis on personal interests through a broad offering of elective courses.

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For whom

The admission requirements vary. Depending on your preliminary training, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.


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 during master 1, 60 credits at university B during master 2, including 30 credits for the master’s dissertation).

Furthermore, all students meet twice at the yearly Summer Event, once as a master 1 student and once defending the dissertation as a master 2 student. The Summer Event plays a crucial role, but this is only the yearly culmination point of contacts between the involved supervisors and/or promotors and research groups. In addition, EU-students can spend up to two months at one of the partner institutions outside Europe in the second master. Scholar cooperation and mobility is furthermore promoted by the specialised tracks in master 2, as well as a Joint Experimentation and Analysis session at the Institute for Plasma Physics in Prague and a Winter Event for all students near the ITER site at Cadarache, France. The two-year FUSION-EP programme is organised over four semesters. The total training programme has to amount to 120 credits and fulfill certain requirements concerning mobility. This ensures a master’s programme with a strong common standard and maximum flexibility, to accommodate students with different interests, language knowledge and background.

Master's dissertation

The master’s dissertation is a requirement for every candidate to obtain a master’s degree. The master’s dissertation is an original piece of research work. It aims to develop and strengthen the research skills of the students. The student selects a topic and is given guidance by one or more supervisors. The master’s dissertation consists of a literature review part, introduction and discussion of the theoretical background and an original analysis of the topic.

Labour Market

Physics engineers are trained, first and foremost, for R&D purposes. Their wide-ranging education makes them fit for all companies and research establishments where interdisciplinary R&D requires in-depth knowledge of physics. They will constitute a substantial percentage of the large number of additional researchers required for the establishment of the EU as one of the main centres of excellence in the world. Both the engineering and physics components of the studies especially qualify the physics engineer to fill executive jobs at a later stage.

A significant part of the programme’s graduates chooses to deepen their training in the field of nuclear fusion by pursuing a PhD degree and possibly a research career. The EU fusion programme is at the forefront of international fusion research and engineering. Moreover, fusion research is entering a new phase with the ongoing construction of ITER and the preparation for demonstration power plants. This is accompanied by a gradual shift of the emphasis of fusion activities 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 tendency towards stronger collaboration with industry. Finally, private investment in fusion R&D is currently booming, with (start-up) companies all over the world pursuing their own, accelerated tracks to the development of fusion energy.