Physical chemistry

Physical chemistry is a specialisation at the Master of Science Programme (MSc) in Chemistry.

Climate change, storing solar energy or fundamental forces in chemistry. Physical chemistry tangles with a number of the ultimate questions, and so can you.

Studying for your chemistry M.Sc. with the specialisation in physical chemistry you can involve yourself in anything from full scale investigations of atmospheric phenomena to analysis and spectroscopic experimentation in the laboratory and predictive theoretical and computational chemistry. You can investigate the forces acting between single atoms in a molecule, and draw inferences to the macroscopic interactions governing entire planetary atmospheric systems.

Who can apply: If you have a bachelor with 60 ECTS in chemistry you can apply for an MSc at the University of Copenhagen.

All chemistry Master degree courses at University of Copenhagen are taught in English.


With a specialization in physical chemistry you have an expertise in spectroscopy and physical chemistry, which is in demand with the high tech industry, environmental agencies, consulting companies and the biomedical industry. Your insight into high level programming and data mining also makes you sought after by the Information technology sector as well as finance and banking.


The specialisation in Physical Chemistry is set at 120 ECTS and consists of the following:

  • Compulsory courses, 30 ECTS.
  • Elective courses, 30 ECTS.
  • Thesis, 60 ECTS.

Regarding the elective courses, most students choose chemistry courses – but if you have special interests you may choose freely from the entire curriculum of University of Copenhagen, provided you obtain advance approval for your course of choice.

The specialisation in physical chemistry looks like this:

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Year 1 Elective course Elective course Elective course Elective course
Computational Chemistry Advanced Physical Chemistry
Year 2 Thesis

As a chemistry graduate with the specialisation in physical chemistry you will gain knowledge of:

  • computational chemistry.
  • experimental and theoretical advanced physical chemical methods.
  • experimental techniques used in gas, liquid and solid phase spectroscopy.

You will also be able to:

  • establish, evaluate and complete a theoretical investigation of a chemical problem using modern scientific computing software within chemistry.
  • use of basic spectroscopic instruments and to describe different techniques and the theory behind them.

Furthermore, you obtain the skills to:

  • critically read papers in current international computational and physical chemistry journals.
  • discuss a concrete computation chemistry problem and utilize the most efficient and suitable calculation method to solve the problem.
  • assess the usefulness of different spectroscopic techniques to solve different research questions.