Master's Degree in Physics of Complex Systems

Academic year 2019-20 | 60 credits | 20 places

New student profile and admission criteria

In accordance with that which is established in Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007 (modified by Royal Decree 861/2010):

  • In order to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in physics of complex systems, applicants must be in possession of an official degree issued by an institution of higher education from a state pertaining to the European Higher Education Area that allows for holders to access Master's-level studies in the issuing country.
  • Additionally, holders of degrees issued by institutions outside of the European Higher Education Area may also access this programme without having to have their degree officially recognized as equivalent to a Spanish degree as long as the university ensures that the degree confirms that the holder has reached a level of training equivalent to that which would be provided by corresponding official Spanish degree programmes and the degree allows the holder to access postgraduate-level studies in the issuing country. Admission via this route in no way implies the official recognition or equivalence of the foreign degree for any effect other than to participate in the Master's programme.
  • Given that English is the language used throughout this programme, and in accordance with Executive Agreement 9617 of 2 November 2010 which sets regulations regarding English language knowledge in undergraduate-level study programmes, students in the Master's degree programme must meet one of the following four requirements:
    • having passed a particular English subject in the undergraduate study programme that allowed access to these Master's studies,
    • passing an English level test or interview,
    • presenting a certificate or diploma, recognized by the UIB, that accredits a minimum level of English language knowledge equivalent to a CEFR B2, or
    • having passed at least 18 credits worth of undergraduate subjects that were taught in English.

This Master's degree programme is especially recommended for holders of degrees in physics, physical engineering, or similar. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the Master's programme, it is also possible for holders of degrees in other disciplines related to the lines covered in this programme to participate.

In accordance with Regulatory Agreement 9386 of 16 March 2010, decisions about the applications presented to the Master's degree programme in physics of complex systems will be made by the programme's studies council, which is made up of the director of the programme, involved professors, and the head of subjects. The studies council will also carry out the necessary procedures in accordance with current regulations and will meet in the 15 days following the application deadline to evaluate applications based on the established requirements (Royal Decree 1393/2007, modified by Royal Decree 861/2010) as well as the criteria indicated below. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of seats available, the studies council will create a waitlist of students, ordered based on their merits, who will be given the opportunity to fill any vacancy in case an applicant who has been awarded a seat renounces their right to enrol.

Students wishing to enter the study programme after the first semester will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the body in charge of the Master's programme, and the university's governing regulations will be followed at all times. In all cases, the decision to admit students will be conditioned on the availability of seats.

The following criteria will be considered for assessing the merits of students who apply to this Master's programme, as will the corresponding accreditation of abilities related to this Master's degree:

  • The academic transcript from previously undertaken study programmes,
  • Professional experience, and
  • A statement of purpose, including a candidate's personal reasons and objectives that have led him/her to apply to this programme.

The academic transcript and professional experience will have a combined weight of no less than 70%. Candidates should present all required documentation, duly accredited when necessary, in accordance with that which is established by the body responsible for admissions.

Support and advice systems for students after they register

Support and guidance for registered students on the master's programme goes beyond that offered as part of teaching activity and is based on tutorial sessions throughout the university programme. This activity aims to guide students' learning processes and help them make decisions independently. Tutorials have the following specific objectives:

  • Provide appropriate information to students to enable their integration at the university
  • Help students take decisions, where relevant
  • Guide students to optimise their studies based on their personal traits
  • Provide direct or indirect support with students' personal problems
  • Inform students about academic and cultural activities at the university
  • Inform students about extra-curricular activities outside the university that may help with their academic training
  • Promote student participation in university life
  • Guide students in decision-making to supplement their academic training though a PhD or to transition to the world of business.

Tutors play an essential role this process. Their goals include the following:

  1. Being a support for students at the university
  2. Monitoring students' progress personally
  3. Being a bridge between students and the IFISC.

The academic committee for the master's programme shall assign a tutor to new students. Lecturers who take on a tutoring role shall guide and inform students about academic issues prior to registration and throughout their studies (degree tutoring). Tutorials may be held in groups, online or individually at the tutor's or student's request to cover more specific topics. Tutors shall hold a student progress monitoring file. The exit tutorial for entering the business world shall be done in coordination with the Careers Guidance and Placement Department (DOIP) at the University-Enterprise Foundation of the Balearic Islands. The more specific duties of tutors include:

  • Guidance on possible places to continue scientific training through a PhD programme
  • Ensure students' academic progress to enable them to attain the planned aims and skills
  • Guide students in mobility processes in collaboration with the UIB International Relations Office
  • Inform students about available resources at the IFISC, services at the UIB and facilities they can access through the Spanish Research Council (CSIC)
  • Advise on and monitor their master's thesis.

A welcome session will be organised for new students to help their arrival at the university in general and on the degree programme. The master's programme director and lecturers offering tutorials will produce the content and information for this session.

Student mobility

The University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) is part of national and international networks, and has collaboration agreements with universities and higher education institutions around the world. Thanks to this, the UIB welcomes international students taking part of their degree studies here or even their full qualifications. The UIB has introduced different activities aimed at those joining our academic community for the first time, offering basic useful information to help them settle into into university life and improve their learning and performance.

Although the Centre for Postgraduate Studies (CEP) is responsible for managing, coordinating and centralising postgraduate courses, the UIB has also implemented a welcome programme for overseas students through the International Relations Office (SRI), which reports to the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor for International Relations; the activities can be viewed on both the CEP and SRI websites. The International Relations Office (SRI) at the UIB is mainly responsible for promoting and managing student and lecturer mobility and exchanges.

Tutorials for these students will follow the same lines as those for all students. The supervising lecturer for the tutorial will hold periodic meetings with students and facilitate contact with staff at the International Relations Office to help overseas students settle down at the university.

In turn, the IFISC has lots of experience in research staff and training mobility and exchanges. Indeed, 36% of PhD students linked to the IFISC are from overseas universities and 42% are from other Spanish universities.

Special assistance is provided for students with disabilities.

This assistance is provided through the Support for People with Special Needs Office that reports to the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student and Campus Affairs. Its priority goals include promoting equal opportunities for those with any disability and, therefore, its work focuses on guaranteeing and ensuring:

  • Application of the principles of universal accessibility and design for all in physical and virtual environments, services, information procedures, etc. so that all activities run smoothly for all members of the community
  • Tailored assistance for students with any kind of disability
  • Adaptation of the curriculum based on the requirements of those students with any type of disability
  • The participation of students with special needs in all areas of university life.

The Support for People with Special Needs Office shall be responsible for assessing the needs of this collective and advising lecturers who teach on the master's programme so that they can undertake the appropriate adaptations, and it shall ensure accessibility to facilities and equipment, and the acquisition and implementation of support resources where necessary. In turn, it shall monitor students with special needs to plan for new adaptations as the circumstances of this collective evolve.

In accordance with the principle of standardisation, tutorials for these students shall follow the same lines as those for all other students. The supervising lecturers for tutorials shall hold periodic meetings with staff from the Support Office to ensure the right to real effective equality in all senses, as well as to roll out any adaptations where necessary.

Academic and professional goals

The objective of the Master's degree programme in physics of complex systems is to provide students with an advanced level of specialized and multidisciplinary education, focused on the various areas in which complex systems play an important role, learning how to utilize and apply physics-based methods. This knowledge and training, along with the possibility of taking subjects that serve as an introduction to and offer support for research, aim to put students in an ideal position for applying their acquired abilities to the field of research work.

This Master's degree programme has an exclusively research-based focus and as such is directed toward students who wish to undertake doctoral studies in the field of complex systems. However, although there is no specifically career-focused guidance, some of the techniques and subjects covered in the programme are applicable to certain professional fields, such as, computing, electronics, telecommunications, finance, and healthcare, and they are especially useful in companies with R&D departments.

Access to other study programmes and career opportunities

Holders of the Master's degree in physics of complex systems are able to apply to further postgraduate studies, i.e., those leading to the attainment of a UIB-issued doctoral degree in the technological and experimental sciences programme.

Structure of the study programme

You can find the course guides and information on the languagesin which classes are taught in the 'Subjects' section.

Further information can be found on the following webpage:

Credit Recognition

Credits obtained from official university study programmes that accredit the attainment of skills and knowledge associated with subjects in a programme curriculum may qualify for credit recognition, as long as the recognised credits can be equated with subjects or modules included in the specific curriculum and no other. Specifically, a maximum of 6 credits will be recognised for the following subjects from other official Master's programmes at the University of the Balearic Islands:

  • Master's in Physics. Subjects: Distributed Computing and Massive Data Processing; Data Analysis and Simulation in Fluid Dynamics
  • Master's in Human Cognition and Evolution. Subjects: Research Training into Cognitive and Social Sciences; The Evolution of Language
  • Master's in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling. Subjects: Chemical and Molecular Dynamics and Computer Simulation and Modelling; Advanced Electron Structure and Condensed Matter Theory; Methods in Quantum Chemistry and Statistical Mechanics; Mathematical Fundamentals of Theoretical Chemistry.
  • Master's in Biotechnology, Genetics, and Biology. Subjects: Cell Expression Regulation; Cell Communication; Conservation Genetics
  • Master's in Information Technology. Subjects: Methods in Probability; Mathematical Processing of Fuzzy Data; Digital Communication Systems and Applications.

Credits that students were awarded for classes taken during exchange programmes may also be eligible for recognition. Classes covering contents that do not match those of the elective subjects offered may be recognised, as long as this is specifically stated in the exchange agreement.

Final Exam

Public presentation and defence of the Master's thesis.

Evaluation criteria and exams

Assessment criteria and exam information are detailed in the syllabus available for each subject in the Subjects section.

Study programme leadership

Dr. Raúl Toral Garcés
(34) 971 17 3235



The body responsible for the academic coordination of the programme includes: the director, Dr. Raúl Toral and the Academic Committee of the degree programme which includes doctors Damià Gomila, Tomàs Sintes, and Pere Colet.