Master's Degree in Physics of Complex Systems (MFS2)
Along the last century scientific research was characterized by a progressive specialization and a knowledge compartmentalization, leading to an increasing difficulty in being an expert in more than one scientific ambit. Despite the success of this program based on a reductionist approach, new scientific challenges require a broader view and the establishment of synergies between different disciplines to go beyond the traditional borders of knowledge. Complex systems, characterized by the existence of collective emergent properties generated by the interaction of a large number of elements, are prototypical systems in which this crossdisciplinary approach is being successfully applied.
Complex phenomena are ubiquitously present around us. Examples include emergence of memory and conscience in the brain, formation of consensus in social opinions, stock market collapses, sudden traffic jams, chaotic dynamics in lasers, turbulence in fluids, vegetation patterns in savannas, etc.. Complex system methodologies are also helpful in speech and image recognition, big data analysis, human mobility understanding or quantum cryptography, among other examples. In this context the postgraduate training offered by this Master, open to students world-wide, provides the necessary tools to address complex problems from an interdisciplinary perspective with a solid mathematical background.
Students who pursue the Master in Physics of Complex Systems will acquire a solid interdisciplinary background, which includes, on one hand, fundamental and methodology aspects in the areas of complex networks, critical phenomena, dynamical systems and stochastic processes and, on the other, its application to many areas where complex systems play an important role, including social dynamics, economics, information theory, biological processes (cell signaling networks, metabolic or neural, ecology and evolution), or optoelectronic systems.
The Master syllabus also emphasizes the ability to synthesize and publicly expose scientific ideas and results, by including an specific course on Scientific Presentation and Communication. Furthermore, students are encouraged to embrace scientific research by studying relevant original articles as well as attending weekly IFISC seminars. Owing to its international character, the Master is fully taught in English which the student has to use as working language.
Legislation requires that official Spanish degree programmes receive a positive assessment from the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA, by its Spanish acronym). This process is known as verification, and it serves to ensure that education programmes are properly designed to provide the competencies and reach the learning goals around which the programmes are built. In the technical details you can find reports on official study programmes.
The European Higher Education Area requires that there be a system in place to ensure the quality of degree programmes.
The Master's programme is subject to constant assessment and improvement processes that guarantee that it maintains a certain level of prestige and renown in Europe. You can see the results of the assessment processes in the section on quality.