Postgraduate training in Spain is structured in the form of Master's studies followed by doctoral studies. One of the fundamental criteria of all universities in order to authorise a Master's programme is the enrolment of a minimum number of students (ranging between 20 and 30 students). Accordingly, it is practically unfeasible for a university to offer specific Master's programmes within minority degree courses such as Physics or Mathematics. As a result, the current Master's programmes of many universities have generic descriptions such as 'Physics' or 'Advanced Physics'. This means that, for many postgraduate students with a defined research project in a specific area such as Nuclear Physics, these general master's programmes do not meet their need for adequate specific training.
The Inter-University Master's Degree in Nuclear Physics seeks to meet the need to foster postgraduate studies in the field of Nuclear Physics at a nationwide level with two fundamental objectives: to pool teaching efforts in this area under the different postgraduate programmes offered by Spanish universities and favour scientific exchange between doctoral students and teaching staff in this field.
The Inter-University Master's Degree in Nuclear Physics aims to provide students with solid training that covers not only fundamental aspects of the discipline but also applied areas, as well as both theory and experimental aspects. The intention is for students who complete the Master's Degree course, regardless of the specific field in which they carry out their professional careers, to have an extensive understanding of Nuclear Physics which will help them to carry out creative research work in the future.
The training under the Inter-University Master's Degree in Nuclear Physics is not only relevant for future researchers, it is also important for those who carry out their professional activities in the fields of medical physics, radiology, environmental radioactivity, nuclear analysis techniques, dating techniques using radioactive isotopes and nuclear power plants. In all these cases, a solid background in nuclear physics is essential. Current initiatives such as the ITER project (with major involvement by Spain) for the generation of clean energy using nuclear fusion depend largely on the existence of young people with adequate training in the field of nuclear physics.