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FSH3000 Width and Ethics in Physics 7.5 credits

This course addresses the aspects of research in physics that are included as goals of the education in the "Examensordning" at KTH but that are not traditionally or automatically covered by the thesis work and the dissertation. The course is modular and covers:

* Research ethics and the role of science in society

* Critical review and evaluation

* A broad knowledge in physics

* Scientific and popular presentation

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSH3000 (Spring 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course has an umbrella structure containing four modules:

  1. Research ethics and role in society
  2. Critical review and evaluation
  3. Broad knowledge in physics
  4. Presentation

Each of these modules can be passed in different ways in order to accommodate the large variety of traditions and academic environments present in the physics program. In order to collect a large part of the course goals into one structure, an annual PhD student physics conference is organized. At this conference, the students will present their work. To fulfil modules 3 and 4, senior students will give invited general talks about a number of front line research topics. The conference will also serve as course introduction.

The content of the course can be broken down to:

  • General knowledge of the goal for PhD-studies
  • Basics of ethical issues in research
  • Research front-line phenomena in physics
  • Critical review of others' research
  • Organization of and participation in a conference in physics for the PhD-students in the program

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to certify that all PhD-students in the program have a common base of knowledge and understanding, skills and abilities, ethical values and attitudes at the profound level required for a PhD degree. In particular, the course shall give the PhD-students the skills and abilities to analyse, and in a constructive and critical manner review others work of research. This course, together with the other courses taken by the student, the thesis and its public defense aim at ensuring that the formal requirements as stipulated by regulations ("examensordning" at KTH) are satisfied. By taking this course the student shall be able to:

  • demonstrate a wide knowledge in physics and a systematic understanding of the field
  • demonstrate the ability of scientific analysis and synthesis, independent critical review and assessment of new issues and situations
  • demonstrate intellectual independence, scientific integrity and the ability to make ethical assessments in research
  • demonstrate deeper insight in the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in society and human responsibility for its use
  • demonstrate the ability to present clear and concise, oral and written presentations and discussion of research and research results
  • demonstrate knowledge and awareness of ethical issues in research

Course disposition

The course will be given on a continuous basis, meaning that students pass the course when they have fulfilled the examination criteria of the four modules. There are, for most modules, several ways of passing them:

1) The research ethics and role in society module can be passed by
* Active participation in the module course

2) The critical review and evaluation module can be passed by
* Regularly participating in a journal club
* Acting as pre-opponent for another PhD student
* Giving pre-colloquia where a general introduction of a colloquium is presented

3) The broad knowledge in physics module can be passed by
* Active participation in the physics conference
* Active participation in physics colloquia or similar

4) The presentation module has two branches (a- scientific and b- popular) and can be passed by
* a- Presenting at national or international conferences or workshops
* a- Presenting at the physics conference
* b- Presenting a general introduction of a front-line research topic at the physics conference
* b- Presenting in a popular scientific context (high schools, etc)

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted to the doctoral program in physic.

Recommended prerequisites

Admitted to doctoral program in physics


No information inserted


Course compendium

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • DEL1 - Participation, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • DEL2 - Participation, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • DEL3 - Participation, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminars, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

All four modules have been passed

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FSH3000

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Mats Ahmadi Götelid (

Supplementary information

The course if of wide character and covers several areas in physics and also ethics. The course intends to certify that the students fulfill the requirements, as stipulated by the "Högskoleförordningen" for a doctoral degree. In particular, a wide knowledge in the field should be demonstrated as well as other aspects not traditionally covered by the thesis and the dissertation.
The director of the doctoral program is the examiner and the directors of research studies at the departments involved in the program are heavily implicated.

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Physics