The studies that you can enrol in at the PMF are biology, physics, geophysics, geography, geology, chemistry, and mathematics. We can divide them into those intended for students who study for future work in education (primary and secondary schools), the so-called teaching programmes, and research programmes for students who want to work in industry, the private sector, and scientific research.

We should certainly emphasise here society’s general need for talented and motivated teachers in primary and secondary schools – it all starts with them. Teachers in so-called STEM fields play an important role in the development of these very fields because it is through them that students make their first contact with the aforementioned professions. And not only that, because of the nature of the subjects they teach, it is often they who encourage and/or demand from pupils to “turn on” their grey matter and creativity in the process of learning.


Biology

Biology is a fundamental natural science that studies the living world. It encompasses all areas of life, from molecular level and genetics, physiological processes and the behaviour of an individual to the complex interactions within an ecosystem. The goal of biological studies is to deconstruct and explain relationships within and between all life forms. Although divided into many disciplines, all biologists still have something in common: they study life!

The Department of Biology carries out scientific research on many scientific projects. The staff investigates the diversity of the living world at the molecular and cellular level (genetics, immunology, virology). Organisms ranging from bacteria, algae, and fungi to plants and animals are studied. Detailed research is performed through ecological studies on flora and fauna, which involves fieldwork and laboratory work, and the obtained insights are applied to protect biological and landscape diversity.


Chemistry

Chemistry is a natural science and the basis for understanding processes in the living and non-living world on molecular level. It is therefore understandable that it is irreplaceable in elementary and high school education. Knowledge of chemistry is required in the production of almost all the objects that surround us, which is why most industries as well as product quality controls are based on chemistry. Familiarity with chemical principles is also important in the conversion of different types of energy – from the implementation of the conversion process itself to testing the environmental impact of the power plants that perform it.

Historically speaking, scientific breakthroughs in the field of chemistry have enabled the rapid development of technology, medicine, and science in general, and without them our way of life would certainly be very different than it is today. The application of chemistry reaches into all forms of preserving the quality of life, from the production of food and drugs to work and leisure. Chemical research will continue to carry this important duty in the future, and in order to be able to do so successfully, highly skilled chemists are needed. It’s all chemistry – although it’s natural!


Geography

Geography is a science that describes and interprets the geospatial entirety with the aim of explaining the laws of spatial relations. It focuses on explaining the origin, appearance, and meaning of two fundamental spatial systems: the ecological, which connects humans and the environment, and the spatial, which connects a region with other regions, through the interactions and processes between them. Geographers are very curious about the world around them. They explore why and where different social and natural phenomena occur as well as their complex interrelationships. Of particular interest are studies involving urban and rural development, cultural landscapes and spatial identities, spatial and regional planning, environmental change, perception of space and imaginative geography, and demogeographic, geomorphological, geo-ecological, climatological, hydrogeographic, and many other subjects.

The goals of contemporary geography are to find regularities in the spatial relations on the Earth’s surface and predict processes in order to solve the problems of a population. What makes studying geography at our Department special is fieldwork, travels, student exchange, and networking among geographers, meticulously organised by the Department and the Geography Students Club. As of academic year 2005/2006, following the introduction of the Bologna Process, undergraduate and graduate studies were launched through a number of programmes. The purpose is to use emphasized specialization to facilitate the acquisition of appropriate knowledge and skills.


Geology

Geology is a discipline that studies the (solid) Earth – its structure, origin, and changes. We study minerals, the formation of rocks, migration of chemical elements, the origin of mineral deposits, the structure, systematics, and way of life of now-extinct animals and plants, evolution of life on Earth, processes in present and former seas, lakes, deserts, and glaciers, coasts, and mountains as well as the changes in and disappearance of particular environments. Furthermore, we investigate karst and karst processes, groundwater and surface water, changes to the Earth’s surface, the functioning of present-day environments and anthropogenic impact, i.e. problems of sustainable development and management of space, the movements of the Earth’s crust (tectonic processes), the movement of magma and its cooling, the melting and transformation of rocks in the depth of the crust, volcanoes, as well as many other phenomena and processes that we cannot cover here simply by listing them. In addition to the traditional application of geology in the extraction of mineral resources and drinking and thermal water, geology is very important today in assessing the environmental impact of various construction projects and solving issues in sustainable development and spatial management. Knowledge of geology is indispensable in assessing the risk of geological hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides, etc.) and planning safeguards to prevent disasters and mitigate their effects.


Geophysics

The Department of Geophysics of the Faculty of Science is the sole educational institution in Croatia that provides (higher) education in the fields of geophysics, i.e. seismology, solid Earth physics, meteorology, physical oceanography, geomagnetism, and aeronomy.

Our Department studies processes in the atmosphere, oceans, and solid Earth, as well as their impact on the environment and society. Work in small groups (especially during the senior years of study) or independently, problem solving using an analytical approach, (computer) programming, presenting one’s own achievements – it is because of this approach that a geophysicist can be successful even beyond the profession for which he or she was educated. Studies in geophysics encourage students to try to conduct their own research already while studying – within the scientific and professional projects carried out at the Department (and in collaboration with other institutions). We include our students in popularisation activities to help them develop communication skills and affirm their knowledge.


Mathematics

Mathematics was born out of need, arising in the everyday life of ancient Egyptians in the 20th century BC, which prompted reflections on the relationships between sizes and spatial forms. Today, “the queen of the sciences” enjoys a strong and rapid development, an extremely wide and complex field of research and applications, and a large number of scientists and experts. Its importance for modern society is reflected in the fact that, in addition to one’s mother tongue, it is the most widely taught subject almost all over the world. In a society so dependent on information and technology, it is necessary to contemplate complex topics critically, interpret available information, analyse and adapt to new situations, make informed decisions in everyday life, solve various problems, effectively apply technology, and exchange ideas and opinions. As mathematics studies quantitative relationships, structures, forms and space, regularities and laws, analyses random phenomena, observes and describes changes in different contexts, and provides a precise symbolic language and system for describing, presenting, analysing, questioning, interpreting, and mediating ideas, our mathematics study enables the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, abilities, ways of thinking, and attitudes necessary for a successful and useful participation in just such a society.


Physics

Physics is a challenge for the ages and to all generations, as it studies the world around us, from the smallest bits of matter to the farthest corners of the universe. Keeping up to date with the theoretical and experimental achievements in the field, our study of physics takes a young person right to the centre of these achievements. Students are introduced to the laws of nature; from those that prevail deep within an atom to those that determine the behaviour of stars, galaxies, and the entire universe! The study consists of lectures, exercises, and practicums, while computer skills are broadened and intensified. In addition to the basic courses, there is a wide variety of obligatory (programme-dependent) and elective subjects in the fields of solid state physics, atomic and molecular physics, nuclear physics, elementary particle physics, astrophysics, medical physics, biophysics, philosophy of science, etc. The Department has modern scientific equipment (NMR, electronic microscope, X-ray diffractometer, SQUID, demo PET device, cluster-computer, etc.) where state-of-the-art research is carried out in which students can get involved already during their studies.