Studying in the Programme

Applied Acoustics : Education : International Master's Programme : Studying in the Programme

This page will give you a more global overview how your time as a master's student at our division would look like. The following descriptions assume that you have been admitted and the day has come when you join Chalmers.

Chalmers master's programmes are designed in such a way that 24 month after the official start you could hold the degree in your hands. These 24 month are split in two parts:

  • A learning part, where you follow courses (about 18 month)
  • and the thesis part, where you work on your own on a subject (typically 6 month of work).

However,this also includes a well deserved break of some weeks before starting the thesis. Thus, the total time between joining the program and being finished varies from student to student.

The learning part

... starts every year in late August, early September and - after four terms/semesters - is finished around May of the next following year. During that time you read the courses of your choice in the programme. Each successfully finished course will add a number of credits to your record. A credit tells something about how much work you had to do before you could pass the exam. If you look at the course description pages, you will find a "credits" entry for each course. As you will see we have planned the courses in such a way that most of them correspond to 7.5 credits "work load". Thus the different topics are considered to be equally important, and it is really your choice, which path to follow.


The Swedish academic year is subdivided into four quarters. Each quarter runs for seven weeks followed by an exam week.

You will be asked to arrive some weeks before the start of the first quarter (see Chalmers we page). During these weeks you should be able to manage all official formal tasks like registration at Chalmers, finding accomodation, applying for the Swedish personal number, etc ... More info on these things will be send to you with the letter of admission.

In autumn, during the first two quarters, we provide basic courses in acoustics. These courses are compulsory.

Christmas holidays will be after the second quarter. It will be about four weeks, giving you time to relax, visit your family and friends or have a look at the Swedish snow-landscape.

Before the beginning of the second term, Chalmers provides a so called re-exam period. This is one week, where courses provide another chance for students to improve their results. Whether there will be a re-exam or not depends on the number of students who ask for such a second chance and how long back in time the previous exam has been. Detailed information will be provided during your studies and in contact with the lecturers and examiners.

The second term - i.e. quarter 3 and 4 - is filled with courses on specific topics. Most courses are built around engineering tasks to introduce you to the feeling of project work, i.e. you will be more and more asked to work on your own, develop your own strategies to find out and solve the acoustical problems that can appear in real life.

This continues in the third term (quarter 5 and 6). From the programme you have to choose at least 2 courses in quarter 3-6.

The third and fourth quarter also provide chances to get in contact with the industry during the so called CHARM days. More info on that will be provided at the begin of quarter 3. We will then also gather our students to introduce you to the master thesis. After that introduction you should be able to search and decide for the topic of your work and can prepare that last phase of your master studies after the third term.

The thesis

Normally our students are supposed to start their thesis after they finished quarter 6, or better when they completed their course work, so that their mind is free and open for the "big challenge". However, it is allowed to begin working on it as soon as the master student collected 60 credits from the program.

Before you start your thesis you have to contact in any case the master programme co-ordinator. He will decide if the thesis will be acceptable for finalising the programme and decide on supervisor and examiner or the thesis.

For this process special forms will be provided at the web page of Chalmers.

After successfully reading our courses you should be able to independently work on a larger project in acoustics. You will proof this with your master thesis. The topic has to be agreed on with the teaching staff at the division, but you will experience that there is a wide range of problems one could tackle.

Together with your supervisor (and before you start working on the problem), you will define the goal of your work and create a working plan. The working plan is a help to organise the following six month of work. After major steps you will have meetings with your supervisor, presenting intermediate results and getting feedback to know that you are on the right track.

The work ends with the written report and once this report is accepted you will have a final presentation.

The end

As soon as you filled the 90 credits from courses plus the 30 for the thesis (i.e. you succesfully defended the work) you can apply for your degree and head for other steps in your life, carrying a masters in sound and vibration in your bag.