Undergraduate Degrees

Oferta 2016/2017

  • Degree in Physics

    General Information

    Description:

    The duration of the Degree in Physics is of 4 years. The minimum number of credits needed to obtain the degree is 240 ECTS credits.

    Responsible Center:

    Modality: Attendance required

    Teaching Languages: Spanish

    Distribution and Credits:

    • Formación Básica: 60
    • Obligatorias: 144
    • Optativas: 18
    • Trabajo Fin de Grado: 18

    Admisión: 55 plazas. Necesaria preinscripción

    Registration fees for first-time enrollment in a full course:  1068,54 €

    Access and Career Opportunities

    Profile of the New Student
    • Recommended High School modalities with the PAU examination passed: Scientific-Technical.
    • Higher Grade formative cycle: Energy efficiency and thermal solar energy.
    • Access examination for people Older than 25, 40 or 45.
    • University degree.

    The Degree in Physics is designf for students how have the skill of abstract reasoning and problem solving, apart from the compulsory work habit, dedication to studying, scientific curiosity and love for Physics.

    Professional Opportunities

    Graduates will be able to solve problems applied to areas such as spacial and aeronautical technology, information and communication technologies, acoustics, magnetism, energy production, atmospheric sciences, radiological protection, defense, metrology and calibration, geodesics and prospection, or scientific technichal instrumentation.

    Professional profiles:

    • University teaching and research.
    • Non-university teaching.
    • IT and telecommunications.
    • Industry, energy, banking and finances.
    • Consultancy.
    • Meteorology.
    • Healthcare: Hospital radiophysics - FIR, Medical Physics.

    Characteristics of the Center

    Premises and services

    The Faculty is equipped with computer rooms for teaching and use by the students, several laboraties for experimental practices, lunchroom, study room and meeting room. Moreover, it has a library with two reading rooms and a students' delegation.

    Mobility and international relations

    There are ERAMUS agreements with the universities of Tubinga (Germany), Paris and Grenoble (France), and L'Aquila and Trieste (Italy), as well as an international agreement with the University of Virginia (USA). Moreover, there are SICUE agreements with several Spanish universities.

    Internships, employment and tutorial action plan

    Students have the possibility of coducting external internships at the Central University Hospital of Asturias, the CERN, Ingenieros Asesores S.A., and the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET). They will also have the Employment Service of the University of Oviedo at their disposal.

    Further information

    Justification of the Degree

    Historical reasons

    Physics is a scientific discipline that studies the structure of matter and its movement. As such, it has a fundamental facet, whose objective is to acquire knowledge on the Universe, and another one that is more applied and consists of the study of matter to obtain new materials that help to improve the quality of life of humanity. To do so, Physics is one of the disciplines with the oldest academic tradition in Europe and it is part of the university curriculum since the foundation of the first European universities in the Middle Ages, so that all of the oldest universities of the different countries currently offer a Degree in Physics.

    Despite its aforementioned long-standing tradition, Physics is, probably, the most developed science during the 20th century. thus, from a basic point of view, we have gotten to know better the microscopic structure of matter and the macroscopic structure of the Universe, thanks to Quatum Mechanics and the Theory of Relativity. Maybe because of this, TIME Magazine named Albert Einstein "Man of the 20th Century". The technological research conducted by physicists has led to the discovery of the transistor, the laser, the optic fiber, the nuclear magnetic resonance or web browsers.

    Modern Physics in Spain has a relavitely recent history, but also very intense, that probably starts with the return to Spain of researcher Nicolás Cabrera in 1970. Since then, the number of educational and research centers related to Physics has significantly grown, alongside the importance of Spanish physicists among the Spanish and internationa scientific communities. In particular, several of them have been awarded with the Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research: Manuel Cardona (1988), Federico García Moliner (1990), Emilio Méndez y Pedro Echenique (1998), y Juan Ignacio Cirac (2006).

    Universality

    Given the its aforementioned nature as a fundamental science, university Degrees in Physics, both Undergraduate and Postgraduate, appear in virtually all of the countries that have a higher education system and, of course, in those that form the European Higher Education Area. In the case of Spain, the university Degree, either named Physics or Physical Sciences, is currently being offered by the universities of 14 of our autonomous communities.

    Social demand and employability

    As a consequence of the diverse and complete formation received, the demand of young graduates in Physics by Spanish society is very high, so that the professional profiles are also very diverse, as seen in both the White Book (www.aneca.es) and the documents of the study by the Official College of Physicists (www.cofis.es).

    In terms of the sector of industry and services, in which, to a lesser or greater extent there are activities that mainly depend on the scientific knowledge, there is a sizable amount of physicists working the most diverse fields, even if the demand is specially high in the areas related to the new technologies. Therefore, considering the specific sectors, the participation of physicists can be seen as noteworthy in areas such as spacial technology and aeronautics, the new information technologies, electronics, acoustics, magnetism, the production of energy, the environment, the atmospheric sciences, radiological protection, the prevention of labor risks, defense, metrology and calibration, geodesics and prospection, or the scientific-technical instrumentation. In this framework, physicists carry out a good part of the technical tasks: development of new productive systems, or systems to ensure the quality and management of the environment, application of new information technologies, installation projects, or management of laboratories of callibrations or product testing. Moreover, they carry out tasks in management of sales departments or project management that demand a technical knowledge of the product or service offered.

    They also develop their professional career in the field of banking, finances and insurance, which is the result of the capacity of physicists to construct models that describe complex process (like the evolution of financial markets) and, through said models, predict their future evolution. In relation to this, they also find jobs at the public administration.

    Healtcare is another sector that features the presence of physicists. This is due to the fact that medical physics is in charge of offering the scientific base to use new technologies for diagnostics and therapy (radiology, tomography, particle accelerators), or of establishing the criteria needed to properly use the physical agents employed by medicine (ionizing radiations, microwavez, laser, etc.). This way, physicists perform concrete tasks of an assistance type in hospitals. This professional figure is regulated by the program that offers access to the Resident Internal Physicists.

    Research is one of the main activities of physicists, conducted mainly in the public sector, in the public entities of research, such as the Higher Council of Scientific Research (CSIC), the Spanish Center of Metrology (CEM), the Center of Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT), the National Institute of Aerospacial Technique (INTA), the State Agency of Meteorology (AEMET), as well as the different universities in our country. Apart from research, they offer teaching activities, not only in terms of Physics but also other Degrees in Sciences and Engineering, tasks that are enrichened by the new knowledge derived from the research activity. Furthermore, another of the traditional employment of physicists is secondary education, although the number of new graduates that enter this field has been severely reduced during the past few years.

    Finally, it is worth pointing out that physicists also find a space to develop their career as a self-employed professional, carrying out projects in low and high voltage, climate, heating, acoustic installations and modification of fuel deposits, as well as in electromagnetic or atmospherical pollution measurements.

    All of this shows that graduates in Physics have been fully employed for years within the Spanish business landscape. In this sense, taking as a reference the study conducted by Professor J. G. More of the University of Valencia within the Fifth Framework Program of the European Union, that compares the different Degrees with a survey made to several thousands of graduates from different universities, Physics appear in the second place in the classification in terms of its high level of employability and is found in the group of Degrees with the least under-employment. On the other hand, many physicists claim to be very satisfied with their work, even when they are among the graduates from higher education with an average salary. This is way Physics appear in the second place in the ranking of Degrees in terms of adaptability to the labor market.

    Research

    An important part of the current cutting-edge technologies are based on Physical research. These include, among others, Nanotechnology (especially Nanoelectronics) and Material Science.

    Moreover, as it has been previously pointed out, several of the main tools for diagnosis in medicine are based in physical or physical-chemical techniques born from research: X-rays, ecography, magnetic resonance, thermal sensors, molecular sensors, etc. Furthermore, the latest advances in surgical instruments use physical techniques, like lasers, optic fiber used in arthroscopic surgery, or the microcapsules guided by magnets to deposit drugs in a non-invasive way.

    An important part of the most important discoveries made during the 20th century have been done by physicists. These include not only quatum physics, the theory of relativity, the Big Bang or the tunnel effect microscope, but also all the tools for medical diagnosis already mention, the molecular structure of the DNA, the transistor, the webpags and many more.

    Physics is one of the most competitive branches of Spanish science, according to the different statistic of global production published by the ISI Web (http://www.webofknowledge.com). In the latest one, Physics appears with a relative impact of +17%, followed by the Agricultural Sciences (+8%) and Chemistry (+1%).

    Future

    The driving forces of economy in the most advanced countries of the OECD are activities related with cutting-edge technology. The driving forces of Spanish economy are tourism, civil engineering and construction. This economic activities do not require a profile of a high formation in science and technology. It is yet to be seen if the economic model will be able to resist the cease of funding by the European Union, the economic recessions and the general challenges of today.

    For example, in Spain there is no producer of modern components of microelectronics. Enterprises like INDRA buy components and assemble them later on. Companies like Telefónica buy technology and homologate it to be compatible with the Spanish network. There are almost no small and medium-sized companies that develop new technologies to use renewable energies. The technology used by Spanish enterprises in this field has been, as a rule of thumb, developed abroad and assembled here.

    If our society wants to start developing an industrial tissues truly based on this cutting-edge technologies, it first needs to educate cutting-edge scientists who are able to compete in the international sphere and create a dense tissue of spin-offs. This is a safe bet for quality in the long term, and it includes the support of Physics.

    The Degree in Physics of teh University of Oviedo

    The Degree in Physics was created in 1992, so there have been 12 classes graduated from it, including that of the current academic year. The total number of graduates is of 335 students. Since then, the Bachelor's Degree was given two Institutional Evaluations of the Degree (in 1997 and 2003) and has reformed it Teaching Plan (BOE from July 30, 2002).

    The Degree has one of the Master's Degree of the University awarded with the "Mención de Calidad" (Master's Degree in Physics of Condensed Matter and Nanotechnology).

    The Department of Physics is in charge of teaching in the Degree, divided into the sections of Theoretical Physics; Atomical, Nuclear and Molecular Physics; Physics of Condensed Matter; Applied Physics, and Astronomy and Astrophysics. Other areas involved are Applied Mathematics; Mathematical Analysis; Algebra; Physical Chemistry; Electronics and Fluids Mechanics.

    The Degree has a vocation committed to research. Proof of that, despite its short life, is that some of its graduates have already published in high-impact scientific journals or high-profile seminars:

    • Javier Junquera, Nature 422, 506 (2003)
    • Víctor García Suárez, Nature Materials 3, 335 (2005)
    • Cover of the April issue of the journal
    • José Miguel Alonso Pruneda, Nature 445, 410 (2007)
    • Lucas Fernández Seivane, The Economist, June 18, 2005
    • Several contributions to Physical Review Letters, reference journal in the field of Physics.

    Finally, it is worth mentioning that some graduates that have been selected for the prestigious Ramón y Cajal Program. Doctor Víctor García Suárez, alumnus of the Class of 2000, has been selected for the Juan de la Cierva Program in 2008 with the first position in the area of Physics and Space Sciences.

    CONCLUSION

    The existence of a social and labor demand, the prestige of its Master's Degrees, the relevance of Physics in the development of an economy based on cutting-edge technologies, its universal acceptance, its cross-curricular nature, and the quality of some of its research groups justify the need to establish an Undergraduate Degree in Physics at the University of Oviedo.

    Termination of the Curriculum

    Adaptation to the Undergraduate Degree

    During the time when the characteristics of the regulations that, in general terms, will be created by the University of Oviedo are not yet know, and always seeking to avoid that the students may be negatively affected by this process, a procedure for the adaptation to the Degree has been designed, as detailed in the following table:

    Bachelor's Degrees that are supressed by the establishment of the proposed Undegraduate Degree:

    The establishment of the Undergraduate Degree in Physics of the University of Oviedo means the conclusion of the current studies of the Bachelor's Degree in Physics, Plan 2002 (Resolution of July 8, 2002, BOE 30-07-02).