International students in the new internship laboratory of the Quantum Science & Technology Master's program.

Foray into new dimensions

The Abbe School of Photonics at Friedrich Schiller University Jena establishes the international Master’s degree programme Quantum Science & Technology
International students in the new internship laboratory of the Quantum Science & Technology Master's program.
Image: Anna Schroll
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Published: | By: Stephan Laudien
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The Abbe School of Photonics is launching the new international Master's degree programme “Quantum Science & Technology” in the winter semester 2024/25. The programme is aimed at students from Germany and abroad who are passionate about quantum physics and its technical applications. The new degree programme has a strong practical focus and is taught exclusively in English. The application process for the two-year Master's programme has been opened and the first applications have already been submitted. The application deadline is 15 September.

“We offer a perspective for life”

With quantum technology, we are on the threshold of new technological developments that have enormous social and economic potential,” says Dr Frank Setzpfandt, who is coordinating the new programme at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy. Examples include quantum computers and quantum cryptography, both technologies that have already made the leap into new technical dimensions. The crux of the matter: there is a lack of skilled personnel, as there are not enough experts for the new technologies either at research institutions or in the industry. “This is where we come in with the new degree programme,” says Dr Christian Helgert. The Chief Executive Officer of the Abbe School of Photonics also emphasizes the high level of responsibility that comes with the new programme: “We are offering young people prospects as scientists in a dynamic and exciting field of the future.” Not only the best minds from the field of physics are invited, but also engineering graduates with a passion for technology. “We have designed the programme with a strong practical focus,” says Frank Setzpfandt, meaning “less blackboard and chalk” and more practical experience directly in the lab. The in-house research laboratories offer students optimal conditions for carrying out and realizing their own experimental research. The strong practical component makes the degree programme particularly attractive in an international comparison.

Jena as a globally established hub for photonics research

 Of course, quantum physics is already part of the conventional physics degree programme, says Christian Helgert. However, the new Master's programme focuses on the latest technological developments. It was therefore important to be sensitive when designing the programme so as not to weaken the Jena physics programme in favour of the new direction. As many applications have already been received despite the short notice, the new Master's degree course is to be launched in autumn 2024 with a hand-picked group of students and then grow from year to year. Christian Helgert draws a parallel with the Photonics degree programme, which was launched in 2009 and now enjoys an excellent international reputation. “As a research location with over 100 years of history in optics and photonics, Jena is a globally renowned address,” says Christian Helgert. And the Abbe School of Photonics has long since established itself as an international brand for first-class training prospects.


Frank Setzpfandt, PD Dr