Master in Physics: Specialization in Non-Destructive Characterization with Applications for Cultural Heritage

•    Programme duration: 2 years
•    Delivery language: English
•    Degree awarded: Master in Physics: Specialization in Non-Destructive Characterization with Applications for Cultural Heritage
•    Accreditation: The curriculum follows the European ECTS system and the degree is awarded by Sorbonne University. This programme is officially accredited by the UAE Commission for Academic Accreditation.
•    Admission deadline: 25 August 2024
•    Interview dates: 16 January 2024 | 20 February 2024 | 20th March 2024 | 16 April 2024 | 21 May 2024 | 18 June 2024 | 2 July 2024

The Master in Physics: Specialization in Non-Destructive Characterization with Applications for Cultural Heritage is a 2-year programme, taught in English.

A Bachelor degree earned in Physics (possibly with a minor in Mechanics, Material Engineering, Mathematics, or Computer Sciences) is required for admission to this programme. The dual focus of this programme makes it as a unique cross–disciplinary master degree programme in the UAE that addresses scientific research subjects relating to cultural heritage. It allows young ambitious students to pursue a scientific career where they will be able to use and develop state-of-the-art instruments in many research activities needed in the UAE and abroad: from purely scientific fields as material physics for research and development and innovation, to more specific cultural heritage sectors such as archaeometric studies, non-destructive characterisation, or preservation processes. The degree is awarded by Sorbonne University in Paris.

The curriculum is taught mainly by Abu Dhabi based faculty members, specialists in their fields, and by visiting professors coming from the Laboratory of Molecular and Structural Archeology and the Department of History of Art and Archeology at Sorbonne University in Paris.

The curriculum is a well-balanced blend of core courses, seminars, lab sessions and projects. It introduces students to a unique assembly of disciplines (Physics, Archeology and History of Art, Data Sciences & Artificial Intelligence) and equips them with a strong background in Non-Destructive Characterisation and its applications in Cultural Heritage or other domains, with methods widely used in many fields, like ultra-sound testing, several spectroscopy techniques, XR and XR Fluorescence analysis or hyperspectral analysis.

During the Long-term project, lead on genuine archeological findings, and the 6-month full time internship, the students are exposed to real-life data challenges associated with their core studies: they build on the skills mastered in the programme, and learn how to manage interdisciplinary collaborations.

Graduates of this programme will have the ability to contribute to R&D projects, and to perform cross-disciplinary and innovative analysis, this makes them excellent candidates for employment in Cultural Heritage, Archeology and Art domain, as well as in all the fields requiring thorough and innovative analysis, like Material Science, Oil and Gas, Aerospace, Environment, Forensic Sciences or Architecture Engineering.

Typical delivery format of the courses*

Day Morning
Monday 8:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday 8:00am – 6:00pm
Friday 8:00am – 12:00pm

*This is the usual pattern of the courses, changes may sometimes occur.

Year 1 – Semester 1

  • Quantum Physics: Basis and Applications
  • Fundamental of Statistical Physics
  • Experimental Methods in Material Physics
  • Scientific Computing (Python & MATLAB)
  • Experimental or Numerical Group Project in Heritage Sciences 1
  • Heritage Science course 1 (History of Art, Archaeology, Physical Geography)
  • Non-Destructive Characterisation in Heritage Sciences
  • Language 1 (French or another foreign language for French speakers)

Year 1 – Semester 2

  • Introduction to Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Project Management
  • Vibrations, Acoustics and Control Sensor
  • Spectroscopy Techniques and Applications
  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence for Big Data and Signal Processing
  • Experimental or Numerical Group Project in Heritage Sciences 2
  • Heritage Science Course 2 (History of Art, Archeology, Physical Geography)
  • Language 2 (French or another foreign language for French speakers)

Year 2 – Semester 3

  • Ultrasonic Non-Destructive Testing
  • Materials Characterisation in Cultural Heritage
  • Applications of Non-Destructive Characterisation for Society (forensics science, oil and gas prospect and transportation, environment, aerospace)
  • Experimental Study for the Characterisation of Real Materials related to Archaeological and Art Interest
  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence for Cultural Heritage Science
  • Long term Practical On-site Project (cross-group, course common to the Master students in Archaeology)
  • Language 3 (French or another foreign language for French speakers)

Year 2 – Semester 4

  • 6-month full-time internship – Master thesis
  • Bachelor in a relevant field with a CGPA of 3 out of 4 or equivalent.
    Candidates with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 (or equivalent scores as per the equivalency table) may be conditionally admitted under probation during the first semester. The student will be authorized to continue in the program only if they secure an average of at least 12 out of 20 which is obtained by the end of the first semester. The decision is based on academic performance and will be made official after the completion of the first semester
    or Bachelor with minimum of 2nd class honours
    or Bachelor with an average of 12 out of 20
    • Bachelor students with a GPA below 3 may be admitted on the ground of their professional and/or personal experience, in case they are granted a VAPP by SU’s or UP’s VAPP commission
  • IELTS certificate with minimum overall band of 6.0 with a validity of 2 years or TOEFL certificate with minimum score of 79 (or equivalent) with a validity of 2 years or Minimum EmSAT English score of 1400 with a validity of 18 months or, Native English speaker who completed 3 full years in an English-medium institution within a maximum period of 3 years

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend an interview to assess the candidate’s motivation, career expectations and relevant professional experience in the degree area.

Applicants who earned their undergraduate degrees from universities outside the UAE must present a Certificate of Equivalency for their graduation certificates from the UAE Ministry of Education. Applicants, who are holders of undergraduate degrees issued by a licensed higher education institution in the UAE, are required to submit a copy of their degrees attested by the UAE Ministry of Education. For details on requirements, kindly visit the Ministry’s website: Ministry of Education.

•    Programme tuition fees (over 2 years):
AED 166,400 (approximately US$ 45,344)
•    Payment of fees:
Click here


3 programme specific full scholarships

Q. Who is eligible?

A. All applicants applying for Masters in Physics are eligible to apply for 3 full scholarships available

Q. What is the selection criteria?

A. The scholarship will be awarded to 3 applicants with an outstanding academic record and overall profile

Q. What does the scholarship cover?

A. Full tuition fees for the 2 year duration of the programme will be granted to each of the 3 successful applicants

Q. What is the deadline and how can I apply?

A. To apply, you must complete and submit the online application form and upload supporting documents by 31 May 2022. Application link available below.

Kindly note that you can apply for scholarship by confirming that you are interested in full scholarship during the application process.

25% academic excellence scholarship

New joiners are eligible to 25% scholarship on tuition starting from the 1st semester. To be eligible, applicants are required to meet one of the below criteria:

  • Bachelor CGPA average of 3.6/4.0 and above, or equivalent
  • Bachelor with Final Average of 15/20 above
  • Bachelor with first class honors
  • Candidates graduating as the top of class, despite the average

A minimum average of 14/20 is required to maintain the scholarship for the following semesters.

For programmes taught in English: an English Proficiency level with a minimum of 7.0 for IELTS or 94 for TOELF IB

Preferential rates

20% Alumni preferential rate

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi alumni are eligible to a 20% waiver on tuition fee.

25% preferential rate upon enrolment on a second master’s degree

Applicants holding a master degree from SUAD and enrolling for a second master degree at SUAD are entitled to a 25% waiver on tuition.

5%-15% corporate rate

Companies and organizations benefit from a special discount, based on the number of employees enrolling in programmes. For more details, please contact +971(0) 2-6569311

10% Family discount

Students who have a first-degree relative currently enrolled in an undergraduate or a postgraduate programmes are eligible for a 10% discount.

*Conditions apply