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FSH3900 Physics, the PhD student and Society 9.0 credits

The course offers a broad foundation for PhD students in physics and applied physics regarding subject knowledge, ethical and equality perspectives in research, and the PhD student's role in society.

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


For course offering

Spring 2024 Start 16 Jan 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSH3900 (Autumn 2023–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course disposition

The course is taken continuously during the PhD studies in order to secure progression, which means that students are passed once all course modules have been completed. The modules test specific course aims and can be completed in different ways. It is up to the examiner to decide whether an activity satisfies the requirements for a specific module. Examples of how the modules can be completed

are given below:

1) Research ethics and the role of research in society

* Active participation in a module course

2) Critical review and evaluation

* Active participation in a journal club

* Act as pre-opponent for another PhD student's dissertation

* Peer review of an article for an internationally well renown journal

3) Broad knowledge in physics

* Active participation in the physics conference for PhD students at KTH

* Active participation in physics colloquia or similar

4) The presentation module has two branches (a- scientific och b- popular)

* a- Presentation at a national or international conference or workshop

* a- Scientific technical presentation at the physics conference for PhD students at KTH

* b- Popular scientific presentation of own research at the physics conference for PhD students at KTH

* b- Popular scientific presentation in society (high school, outreach activity, etc)

5) Equality, diversity, and equal treatment aspects in physics

* Active participation in equality, diversity, and equal treatment within phycis meeting or other JML activity within the departments of Physics and Applied physics

Course contents

The course consists of five modules

1. Research ethics and the role of research in society

2. Critical review and evaluation

3. Broad knowledge in physics

4. Presentation

5. Equality, diversity, and equal treatment aspects in physics

The modules can be completed in several ways such that the course can be taken within the framework of the different traditions within the Physics and Applied Physics subjects at KTH.

In order to collect a large part of the conference in a structured manner, a physics conference for PhD students is arranged biannually. At this conference, the PhD students may present their work and broaden their subject knowledge.

Intended learning outcomes

With this course as well as other courses taken during the PhD studies, the thesis work, and dissertation, the formal requirements for the PhD degree should be satisfied. Upon completion of the course, the student should:

• show broad knowledge within physics and a systematic understanding of the subject

• show the ability to analyze and summarize research, perform independent critical review, and assess new issues and situations

• show intellectual independence, scientific honesty, and the ability to perform assessments within research ethics

• show deepened insight regarding the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in society, and people's responsibility for how it is used with specific focus on sustainability issues

• show the ability to clearly present and discuss research and research results with both experts and in a popular scientific manner

• show knowledge and awareness regarding questions within research ethics

• show awareness of aspects regarding equality, diversity, and equal treatment within the physics subject and its history

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted to doctoral studies in either of the subjects Physics or Applied physics

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

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

Grading scale

P, F


  • INL1 - Hand-in assignments, 9.0 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.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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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 room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

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 (

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Physics