Professional outlets

The educational objective of the Second-cycle degree in Physics is to complete the basic training in physics at a higher level and to provide specific training to enable the student to deal directly with advanced, pure or applied, experimental or theoretical research topics. To this end, the course of study provides common teaching for all students and offers specialised teaching in various fields. These allow the implementation of study paths leading to specialised training in the fields of the Physics of Matter, Theoretical Physics and Biophysics.
The course also includes teaching of an experimental nature that enables the student to come into contact with the Department's research laboratories. The student must also attend general seminars, and is encouraged to participate in research seminars related to the topic of the dissertation.
As part of the research activity associated with the thesis work, the student learns to consult and use the scientific bibliography, to collect experimental data and critically analyse them, to develop models for calculating physical quantities, and to write and discuss scientific reports of high quality and complexity. The thesis work involves a personal contribution of the student to original research work. The student's contact with research problems allows him or her to develop a modelling and innovation capacity, a critical spirit and a mental flexibility that are distinctive elements of a physicist's professional profile, well known and appreciated even in non-academic circles.
The dissertation may also be carried out at private companies or contracted facilities under the supervision of a University Professor and by means of an internship. The thesis can then be carried out at universities and laboratories abroad within the framework of international exchange agreements.

Employment opportunities

The Second-cycle degree graduate is able to perform flexible functions in both the experimental and the modelling-theoretical fields, even outside the strict physics context. In these work contexts, also interdisciplinary and/or international, the functions required of the Second-cycle degree student in physics are problem solving of a quantitative nature and teamwork.
Second-cycle degree graduates in Physics in particular can work as:

  • Manager or coordinator of activities in a wide range of research and development fields.
  • Technologist.
  • Quality manager.
  • Data analysis expert.
  • Consultant in spin-off activities.
  • High-level promoter and disseminator of scientific culture.

The graduate in Physics can find employment in companies that use innovative technologies and/or require skills in the simulation of processes or phenomena, whether in production or services. It may undertake management and coordination tasks in the field of research and development.
Possible employment opportunities for the master's degree in physics include, for example, both in the public and private sector:

  • health physics services,
  • the biomedical industry,
  • environmental protection,
  • education (university, secondary school),
  • quality certification,
  • the management of energy saving and renewable resources,
  • the development of information and management systems with an innovative character,
  • services in the financial and insurance sector (risk analysis),
  • the mechanical engineering industry,
  • companies operating in the fields of microelectronics, nanotechnology, optics, materials physics, telecommunications and information technology. 

It should be noted that a high percentage of Second-cycle degree graduates in Physics in Parma continue their studies by attending a PhD programme, also at other Italian or foreign universities.

Skills associated with the function

- ability to operate with broad autonomy and to work in a team, also in an international context;
- ability to assume responsibility for projects and structures in the field of research and scientific and technological innovation;
- ability to apply the most modern knowledge in the field of physics disciplines also in interdisciplinary contexts;
- ability to manage a laboratory;
- ability to analyse data;
- ability to design and implement scientific and technological development activities also through the use of complex instrumentation;
- ability to simulate processes or phenomena, both in the field of production and in that of services;
- ability to use and apply scientific and patent literature;
- ability to identify the issues, objectives and methodologies relevant to the work context;
- ability to communicate issues of a scientific nature and general culture, with appropriate language, also non-specialist and also in English.

Employment prospectus three years after graduating with a Second-cycle Degree in Physics

Data from Alma Laurea 2018 (374 interviewed)

Prospetto occupazionale


Professional Order of Chemists and Physicists

The year 2017 saw the birth in Italy of the National Federation of Orders of Chemists and Physicists, thanks to which physicists also gained recognition as a profession with the creation of a Professional Order, on a par with chemists, biologists and engineers. The UNI 11683 standard: 2017 ('Unregulated professional activities - Professional physicist - knowledge, skill and competence requirements'), regulates what professional activities can be performed by the Second-cycle degree graduates in Physics.