Parcours noyaux, particules, astroparticules et cosmologie

The Master’s degree M2 NPAC is intended for students training towards research in nuclear physics, particle physics, astroparticles and cosmology. It seeks to prepare students for an experimental or theoretical PhD in the main research centres such as the CNRS, the Universities or the CEA. This training is designed to provide students with the fundamental knowledge in the world of the infinitely large (cosmology and astroparticles) and the infinitely small (particle and nuclear physics).


Candidates should have a strong background in modern physics subjects such as quantum mechanics and statistical physics. It is strongly recommended to have already studied one of NPAC main fields.

Objectifs pédagogiques

This program has a dual objective of, on the one hand introducing the physics of the elementary particles, their fundamental interactions as well as their assembly in atomic nuclei and the properties of these nuclei; and on the other hand, teaching the students on the understanding of the Universe, its geometry and its contents in  terms of dark matter and dark energy. The students are also taught about astroparticles, which are alternative cosmic messengers opening new windows on still opened questions. The scientific topics linked to this training are very active and at the frontier of knowledge. For particle physics, the most visible success is the  recent discovery of the Higgs boson (2013 Nobel Prize) at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. In the cosmology and astroparticles domain, the 2011 Nobel Prize has recognized research linked the Universe expansion and to dark energy. The field of nuclear physics is also very active with the starting up of SPIRAL2, an accelerator that should, among other issues, provide some understanding of the origin of the elements and their abundance on earth.


The Master 2 NPAC trains the future researchers of tomorrow. One of NPAC main assets is its strong link with research. All the teachers are leading- edge researchers in their domain. The students work in laboratories, during their internships and also when studying a selected researchers’ work, particularly in  instrumentation. Indeed, these areas of research require increasingly powerful and sophisticated instruments, their performances determining the advances of the  discipline. The Master 2 NPAC program thus includes lectures in both the detector physics and the accelerator physics fields. This training is recognized for its  academic quality by the IN2P3 laboratories in the Paris region, and all over France. NPAC students are also welcome in theoretical and astrophysics laboratories.
After the NPAC 1-year training, about 90% of the students obtain a grant to begin a PhD thesis. Most of the hosting laboratories are in Paris area, but also elsewhere in France or abroad.

Lieux d'enseignements

Université Paris-Sud, Orsay
Paris 6 UPMC et Paris 7 Diderot


• Catherine BOURGE bourge @

• Marie-Hélène SCHUNE, schunem @
• Iolanda MATEA, matea @