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Education Bachelor's degree programmes Applied Physics
Header image Applied Physics

Applied Physics

Physics is concerned with describing and predicting natural phenomena. Applied physics is concerned with applying physics in technical solutions. Design and construction are important aspects of this.

Applied physics is at the heart of society. It forms the basis for many of the products we use in daily life. The programme has a strong interdisciplinary orientation, with an emphasis on combinations of subjects: physics with design studies, nanotechnology, new materials and systems and control engineering

Applied physics involves studying not only how phenomena come about, but also how to use them for technical solutions. The programme focuses on theory and practice.

Critical appraisal skills

Applied physics is an academic subject, which means that you acquire not only knowledge, but also skills such as presentation, working in a team and setting up and conducting research. We teach you critical appraisal skills, which you will learn to apply to your own and other's work.

Tough subject

Applied physics can certainly be described as a 'tough' subject. In order to study it you need to have an affinity for sciences and you need to have an enquiring and creative mind that wonders how things work.

Listen to the podcast!

Want to know more about this Bachelor's programme? Listen to the podcast with one of our students and the programme director. You can listen to the podcast here. (Please note: podcast is in Dutch).

Facts & Figures
BSc in Applied Physics
Course type
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Science and Engineering
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • In Groningen you can study Physics alongside Applied Physics, and you don't have to choose between them right away. Groningen is the only university in the Netherlands to offer a broad Bachelor's programme that allows you to explore various natural sciences.
  • In Groningen you will be taught by researchers who have gained a worldwide reputation. The linked Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials is ranked in the top 15 of its kind worldwide.
CoursesCourse Catalog >
Calculus 1 & 2
Electricity and Magnetism
Linear Algebra
Mathematical Physics
Mechanics and Relativity
Physics Laboratory 1 & 2
Physics of Modern Technology
Python for Physicists


The Groningen science and engineering programmes stand out for their academic excellence. The work pace in the first year is generally high and the courses contents demanding. The first year curriculum concentrates on laying a sound basis for our engineering and natural science disciplines. This allows our students to choose their specialization tracks already in their second Bachelor's year.

Credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programmes offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programmes have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • VWO Natuur & Techniek
  • VWO Natuur & Gezondheid

    wiskunde B + natuurkunde

  • VWO Economie & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B + natuurkunde

  • VWO Cultuur & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B + natuurkunde

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Language proficiency certificate for English (except for applicants with a Dutch vwo-diploma as well as the exemptions listed on the language exemptions webpage). More info:

other admission requirements

Before you apply!

When you cannot fulfil the vwo requirement, due to deficient profile or if you want to be admitted on the basis of a successfully passed first year of HBO or colloquium doctum, you need to submit an additional admission request via the Admission Board Bachelor programmes. Please go to this website for more information.

Please note! The admissions procedure is independent of the matching procedure. Information about the matching procedure can be found here

Choice of degree programme check

More information about matching:

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023

Choice of degree programme check

More information about matching:

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

Mathematics and Physics.

This is merely an indication of required background knowledge. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the bachelor programme for which you applied.

language test

Language proficiency certificate for English (except for applicants with a Dutch vwo-diploma as well as the exemptions listed on the language exemptions webpage):

previous education

Secondary education equivalent to Dutch pre-university education is required.

This is merely an indication of the required general level of applicants' previous education.

FOR MORE INFORMATION please visit the 'BSc Application Procedure' pages at:

other admission requirements

Before you apply!

In addition to the general end level requirements, the Bachelor's programme applies subject-specific requirements . The Admissions Board also needs to determine whether a student possesses the required background knowledge in subjects relevant to the Bachelor's programme.

Please note! The admissions procedure is independent of the matching procedure. Information about the matching procedure can be found here

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202301 September 2023
EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202301 September 2023
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2022-2023€ 2209full-time
non-EU/EEA2022-2023€ 15080full-time

The Dutch government is halving tuition fees for first-year students in higher education.

Practical information for:

After your studies

Applied Physics is a broad Bachelor's programme, after which you can specialize with a Master's degree programme. You can then continue in the academic world or opt for a career in the business world. Many applied physics graduates find work developing new products.

Job prospects


Many applied physics graduates choose a job in industry, contributing to technical innovations and product development. In the SME sector, consultancy and engineering firms are also increasingly looking for applied physicists.

== Research and advising ==
When you have your Master's degree you can carry out PhD research at a university. You could also work for a research institute such as TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) or the NLR (National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands). Other openings include managerial and policy positions in a range of fields, for example in environmental protection or the service sector.

== Not quite the same as technology ==
Applied physicists, like 'ordinary' physicists, are sought after by large organizations such as banks and insurance companies, which value their analytical skills. Management consultancy firms frequently recruit applied physicists too.

Job examples

  • Analist
  • Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Technical innovator

Our Bachelor's degree programme in applied physics is connected to the following research institutes of the University of Groningen.

Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Basic research on materials is directed towards unravelling the relations between the properties that determine their functionality and their chemical composition and structure. The quest for in-depth understanding of these constitutive relations often leads to unexpected boundaries signifying fundamental gaps in our knowledge. Although the structure-property relationship is in itself a truism, the actual linkage between (micro) structural aspects in a material and its physical/chemical properties is elusive. The reason is that various properties are determined by the collective behaviour of molecules, atoms and electrons and their behaviour may be extremely non-linear on different time and length scales.

The classic materials triangle concerns an integrative approach in the three aspects of structure, property and chemical composition. The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials adds an extra dimension to this traditional view by an unconventional linkage to the field of biomolecular sciences, which includes the design aspects as well.

Van Swinderen Institute

The aim of the Van Swinderen Institute for Particle Physics and Gravity is to study the fundamental forces of Nature with implications for our Universe. These investigations connect through close similarities in physics from Planck-scale physics (quantum gravity) via sub-atomic scales (particle physics) to cosmic dimensions. There are both theoretical as well as experimental efforts in more specialized topics such as the test of fundamental symmetries and forces, LHC and Beyond the Standard Model physics, holography, string theory and inflation, emission reduction, development and evaluation of (inter)national climate policies, societal and ethical context of scientific/technical transitions towards sustainability.

ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen

Although ESRIG is a Research Institute, bundling strengths leads to new educational possibilities as well in the Master phase the Energy and Environmental Sciences (EES) programme has been operational for several years, under responsibility of IVEM and CIO. At present, this programme offers two tracks: The IVEM track ("Energy and Environmental Sciences"), and the CIO-track ("Experimental studies of greenhouse gases and climate history"). The IVEM track will be extended by elements of SSG research. The CIO-track will be enforced and broadened by the other experimental groups inside ESRIG.

In the Bachelor phase the curriculum of Physics and Chemistry will start with an "energy and environmental" track form the year 2010-2011 onwards. As ESRIG is the central institute for this subject, ESRIG scientists take the lead in both the track design and the actual teaching.

Kapteyn Astronomical Institute

The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute is the department of Astronomy at the University of Groningen. The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute uses the most advanced instrumentation on the ground and in space, as well as the most advanced computing facilities. Kapteyn staff are involved in the operation as well as planning and construction of major astronomical instrumentation efforts, again on the ground and in space. Master students at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute work in research groups which are currently shaping 21st-century astronomy and astrophysics. The Kapteyn Institute has close connections with the two major national foundations dealing with astronomical instrumentation: ASTRON and SRON.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Bachelor's Open DayBroerstraat 5More information
Online BachelorweekMore information
Bachelor's Open DayBroerstraat 5More information


  • Academic Advisors FSE (For questions regarding the programme)
  • Ask Our Students! (Like to talk about the programme with someone currently studying Physics?)
    Email: physicsstudents
  • Studyscience (For general questions for all prospective students)
    Email: studyscience
						Testimonial of Mare Dijkstra

    Physics is learning about everything around you

    – Mare Dijkstra
    Read more

    My name is Mare and I chose to study Physics since I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. In secondary school, I enjoyed many subjects, making my choice even more difficult.

    I knew that I wanted to study something that involved maths but not Mathematics itself, since that is too abstract for my liking. That is why, in the end, I chose Physics. For me, physics is learning about everything around you and trying to understand it by linking it to mathematics.

    Along the way, I realized that I wanted to get into the technological side of things and put the physics that I know to use. I’d rather try to find new applications or develop some new device using physics than invest my time into the more abstract side of physics. This is the reason why I switched to Applied Physics in my second year.

    I just finished a project in Cambodia involving solar cells and I am now starting my Bachelor’s project on the degradation of perovskite LEDs. In the future, I hope to do more research, possibly on (perovskite) solar cells. What is certain is that I want to do something that contributes to our future with clean energy.

    I am also a member of the lacrosse association; I play lacrosse and enjoy all the activities connected to my student association.

						Testimonial of Rutger Haan

    I'm interested in science and I love technology

    – Rutger Haan
    Read more

    Ever since I was a little boy, I was very interested in science and had an insatiable curiosity about how the world works. I also love technology and that is why I chose to study Applied Physics.

    You learn about topics ranging from how electricity and magnetism are related, for example, to what the structure of matter entails and, moreover, how these subjects are related through quantum mechanics. Furthermore, you learn how to solve equations analytically in the numerous Calculus course units as well as numerically through programming.

    What I struggled with during my degree programme was the huge difference in solving equations compared to what was taught in secondary school, but that can surely be overcome if you invest enough time and effort.

    Besides studying Applied Physics, I also have an active social life. Most often you can find me at my study association, T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’, where I can just have a quick chat with my friends and play a round of cards. I also play squash at the UG’s sports facility, ACLO, and I train there once a week.

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						Testimonial of Friso Resink

    I want to play a part in the move towards a CO2-free society

    – Friso Resink
    Read more

    When I left school, I couldn't decide whether to study economics or technology. One thing that I was sure of was that whatever it was, it had to involve maths. I'd always been interested in finding out how things work, and this is what finally tipped the scales towards choosing Applied Physics. The programme examines the workings of everyday concepts.

    We learn about practically everything, from generating electricity to deciphering quantum mechanics data. It was this broad-based, in-depth approach that clinched it for me. So that’s what I like best about the programme; it gives you a fundamental understanding of the things around you. But it also has practical elements, so you’re challenged at various levels.

    The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge can best be described as the world championship for cars powered exclusively by solar energy. Teams of students design cars that run on solar energy with the aim of getting from northern to southern Australia as quickly as possible; 3,000 km through the desert. I was looking at the Top Dutch Solar Racing website and saw that they needed someone for the strategy part of the challenge, so I got in touch.

    Last year, I mainly worked on developing a mathematical model to determine the strategy during the race. I had to use the data from our car, the route and weather models to predict how fast we needed to drive to finish in the fastest possible time. The fact that this was the first time that Groningen had taken part made it even more exciting. As you can imagine, we’re incredibly proud of achieving 4th place (behind Belgium, Japan and America). We’re now looking for students for the team that will take part in next year’s edition in October 2021.

    The degree programme in Applied Physics and the Top Dutch Solar Team adventure convinced me that I should specialize in energy and optimization, so the Master’s programme in Energy and Environmental Sciences was a logical choice. I find energy a fascinating concept and I think that global warming will bring many changes in the years to come. I want to play a part in the move towards a CO2-free society.


Study associations

T.F.V. Professor Francken

T.F.V. 'Professor Francken' is the study association for students of Applied Physics at the University of Groningen.
The association is named after Groningen's first ever professor of applied physics, and focuses on students and staff from the applied physics departments. The association has more than 700 members and organizes annual events including a symposium, excursions in the Netherlands and a foreign trip, as well as more informal activities, such as regular drinks parties.
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(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be issued a study advice at the end of your first year of study. You can expect a positive study advice if you have earned at least 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS; most course units are 5 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative study advice, you will not be allowed to continue your degree programme.

You will receive a preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you are. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system.

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