Education & Outreach

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Master’s Degree Programme: Fusion Science and Technology (FUSENET project)

Duration: 4 Terms

Form of Education: Full time
Start: Winter semester

Programme Chair: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Evgenia Benova

The applicants for the master’s programme Fusion Science and Technology should have a bachelor’s degree in Physics or in Engineering Physics, Nuclear Technology and Nuclear Power Engineering, Physics and Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, or a bachelor’s degree in the area of engineering with good background in physics. (Students with a bachelor’s degree in the field of engineering, computer science or mathematics who need more firm background in physics, will have to study university physics courses in the frame of one preliminary term.) The programme is developed within the FUSENET project (The European Fusion Education Network, FP7 No224982,, whose aim is the establishment of integrated fusion educational system in Europe. The programme covers the common European educational goals and standards for master’s degree in this field. Students applying for this programme follow the standard procedure at the University of Sofia. The entrance exam is a common test valid for all master’s programmes at the Faculty of Physics. Admission procedure without entrance exam is possible for students paying full annual tuition fee as for the other master’s programmes at the Faculty of Physics.

In order to maintain the expertise that has placed the EU fusion programme at the forefront of the international fusion research and engineering and to ensure the availability of competent staff to construct and operate ITER and DEMO, a long-term Human Resource Management plan for the European Fusion Programme is needed. A key element of such a plan is a coordinated education system in fusion science and technology across Europe.

The FUSENET project aims at the establishment of an European network for education in fusion science and technology, in order to preserve, enhance and strengthen fusion knowledge in Europe. The network is based on the strong links between fusion institutes and higher education institutes (altogether 36 participants from 18 countries, from which 22 universities and 14 Euratom associations. The University of Sofia is one of the participants in this European network and the master’s programme develops learning opportunities and links of Bulgarian students to the European fusion programme.

The master’s programme is aimed at better qualifications in fusion plasma physics and engineering, strengthening the cooperation and integration with higher education communities providing master’s and PhD studies in subjects related to fusion science and engineering, strengthening connections with related fields, fostering international cooperation, and attracting more students to the programme. The students’ mobility requires good knowledge of English (CEFR level B2 or higher).

Graduates in this programme will receive a master’s degree gaining advanced knowledge and skills in important and perspective fields as fusion plasma, fusion processes on sub-atomic level, plasma heating by means of different techniques like RF waves or injection of neutral particles, plasma-wall interactions, materials engineering, nuclear technology, magnetohydrodynamics, plasma diagnostics, design and master plasma technological applications. Students will be able to develop and validate mathematical models and methods, as well as to select the best fitting simulation models and apply them to the field of plasma.

The duration of the programme is 4 terms which is equivalent to 120 ECTS, each term having 30 ECTS. The programme provides for both compulsory basic courses and practicum, and elective courses divided into several groups: computational methods; theory; experiment and applications. Many elective courses in the third and fourth terms are held by foreign teachers or the training is conducted at universities abroad in the frame of students’ mobility. According to their preliminary bachelor training, students can attend elective courses offered by the existing programmes at the Faculty of Physics, but only in coordination with the head of the Fusion Science and Technology programme.

The Plasma diagnostics practicum is conducted at the Optics and Spectroscopy Department. It is based on the available equipment and devices, including the Plasma Focus device which is the only high-temperature plasma source operating in Bulgaria at the moment. The fourth term is foreseen for research work at the experimental facilities throughout Europe under supervision of senior tutors (150 academic hours, 15 ECTS) and MSc thesis preparation and defense (15 ECTS).

Tangible recognition of the quality of education in the programme will be realized if students have obtained parts of their education in different countries across Europe and fulfill the criteria required for “European Master of Magnetic Fusion Science and Engineering”.