Physical Chemistry – Field of study catalogue MU
“Physicochemical principles and methods - the key to chemical discoveries.”
The role of the two-year Master's degree programme in Physical Chemistry is to prepare university qualified experts for a wide range of activities in the chemical and related fields, in which physicochemical methods and procedures, such as biophysics, molecular biology, medicine, toxicology or hygiene are used. The aim of the study is to fully master theoretical and practical knowledge and skills, on the basis of which the graduate will be able to independently carry out physicochemical measurements, analyse obtained data and make qualified conclusions.
The programme focuses on deepening basic knowledge of physical chemistry in the field of molecular structure through physicochemical and quantum chemical methods, molecular symmetry, electrochemical processes, kinetics of chemical processes and statistical and nonequilibrium thermodynamics.
Emphasis is placed on gaining the ability to correctly assess a given situation and to choose appropriate methods of study adequately to a given physicochemical problem and a studied system. The study of the programme is designed to provide students with a comprehensive view of the physicochemical approaches to the study and description of the structure of substances and processes that run through them.
Within two years, students can specialize and specifically focus through compulsory courses and appropriate selection of recommended optional courses e.g. on quantum chemical calculations of the electronic structure of molecules and solids, thermodynamic processes in complex systems and materials, kinetic aspects of chemical reactions, methods of studying the structure of molecules and substances on the macro to nano-scale, the study of biomolecules and other topics.
The programme is designed for students who want to gain basic knowledge in modern physicochemical methods and their application, and in doing physicochemical calculations.
The goal is to prepare professionals able to independently solve theoretical and practical problems, who at the same time will be experts possessing the ability to think analytically, based on mastering modern methods of research and acquisition of physicochemical information. This training not only creates the theoretical basis for the further study of graduates in practice, but also equips graduates with practical skills in the area of computer technology, data processing and data retrieval from databases.
Students have the opportunity to participate in research programmes within the framework of grant projects, which are oriented to research of nanomaterials with specific utility properties (catalysts, thermoelectric materials, sensors, etc.), to quantum chemical calculations, chemical processes, structure and others. For these purposes, there is a modern instrumentation for characterization of the size and morphology of nanoparticles, measurement of mass spectra, spectral measurements in various wavelength regions, thermal analysis and effusion measurement and others. There are also computational clusters for quantum chemical and thermodynamic calculations.
Students can also use a study stay abroad in the frame of ERASMUS+ activity.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- demonstrate a deep knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and methods appropriate to the contemporary state of knowledge in the field of physical chemistry
- show a comprehensive approach to solving chemical problems
- understand current instrumentation of entire chemical field
- use and process data from physicochemical databases
- work with computational programmes and programmes for statistical evaluation of data
- work with chemical information sources, be oriented in the chemical literature and in searching required data
- use their expertise to independently identify and creatively solve a theoretical and practical problem in the field
- apply the specialization in the chosen field
- act within their expertise, skills and proficiency in at least one foreign language
Graduates of the Master's degree in Physical Chemistry at the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University will find employment in all fields of activity where physicochemical methods of research and production are used and/or which require education focused on the physicochemical basics of analytical and synthetic chemical processes. These are particularly chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries, control laboratories in industry, laboratories in environment, health and agriculture, chemical processes design and various commercial institutions. Due to the wide area of expertise, graduates are not only ready for professional career in their specialization, but also for an easy adaptation to possible career in another field. They can prove successful in basic and applied research, in managerial occupations and wherever it is necessary to combine theoretical knowledge of chemistry with specific practical procedures.
To create a study plan in the Master's degree in Physical Chemistry, students may use the recommended study plan, which evenly distributes the study to the standard duration of two years and provides students who are studying according to it, with the fulfilment of the obligations necessary for completion of the Master's degree during this standard duration. The study plan consists of required courses and registered optional courses selected by the student.
To be admitted to the finale state examination, the student must obtain at least 120 ECTS credits for compulsory and recommended optional courses. For optional courses students must obtain a minimum of 112 ECTS credits in natural, mathematical or information sciences, of which at least 100 credits are required for courses in the field of chemical sciences. Optional courses particularly suitable for a Master's programme in chemistry are listed in the recommended study plan as recommended optional courses. Each academic year of study, a student must complete a compulsory course without credit rating Handling Chemical Substances. In case of required courses, a student must respect the required continuity with the courses previously completed. Students must also work out a diploma thesis on a given topic, chosen from the ones offered in the field.
During their study students follow the Course Catalogue of their matriculation year. Access to the Course Catalogues of particular matriculation years is to be found on faculty web pages -http://www.sci.muni.cz/cz/BcMgrStudium/Studijni-katalogy.
Students of the Master's degree in Physical Chemistry are in the second semester obliged to undergo practical training. This obligation can already be met during their Bachelor’s study. The practical training takes three weeks and it is arranged by the students themselves at chemically oriented departments (manufacturing plants, research institutes, laboratories, etc.). In addition to that, they can take advantage of plants and institutions with which the Department of Chemistry has contractual agreements.
The final state examination is oral. The purpose of the examination is to verify that graduates have a general overview of basic concepts and results in various disciplines and broader links between them, and that they are able to lead a debate on a professional level. The purpose of the examination is not to repeat examinations in individual courses or testing detailed knowledge.
The final state examination consists of three topics: 1) the structure of molecules and physicochemical methods for their study (quantum chemical methods for the description of the electronic structure of molecules, the basic spectroscopic techniques for studying the structure of molecules, basic electroanalytical methods for studying the structure of molecules and for determining their physicochemical parameters), 2) statistical thermodynamics and thermodynamics of nonequilibrium processes, and 3) kinetics of chemical processes.
The final state examination includes the defence of a Master's thesis. By processing the thesis, the student demonstrates knowledge in the area given by the topic of the thesis and the ability of professional work under supervision. In the defence of the thesis, the understanding of the topic, the level of work and its presentation are evaluated.
A Master's degree graduate in Physical Chemistry can (after meeting the admission requirements) continue their study in any doctoral programme. At the Faculty of Science, there is a possibility to follow up with some of the offered doctoral programmes. The aim of the doctoral study programme in chemistry is to prepare highly qualified specialists in several study fields of chemistry, based on scientific research and independent creative work in the chosen field and the area of research or development. Details about various fields of study and rules for the study can be found at http://www.sci.muni.cz/ in the Doctoral Studies section.