Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Education Bachelor's degree programmes Physics
Header image Physics


How does nature work? How can we use its concepts? By making models and formulating natural laws, we can describe and predict the natural world.

Physics is a 'hard' science: it is concerned with hard figures, precise and pure measurements. These are used to produce models and explain natural phenomena.
The Bachelor's programme in Physics lasts three years. During your first year, you will study basic subjects such as mechanics, special relativity, and electricity & magnetism. You will also take practical courses. During this year, you can choose between four tracks:

- Biophysics & Medical Physics
- Energy & Environmental Physics
- Nanophysics
- Particle Physics


Physics graduates have excellent opportunities on the job market. You can work as a researcher at a company or an institute, or for example as a consultant, because you will have the analytical skills that are both needed and wanted to solve complicated questions in such environments.

Facts & Figures
BSc in Physics
Course type
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Science and Engineering
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • At the University of Groningen you will study under researchers who have gained a worldwide reputation in their field. The linked Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, for example, is ranked in the top 15 of its kind worldwide.
  • The first semester of this programme offers you the opportunity to orientate broadly. You can easily switch to the Bachelor's programme Astronomy after the first semester, or Applied Physics within the first year.
  • The University of Groningen is the only Dutch university who offers a Physics Bachelor's programme in English.
  • Our faculty is the home of the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa, and the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike.
CoursesCourse Catalog >
Calculus 1 (for Physics)
Calculus 2 (for Physics)
Computational Methods 1
Electives semester 1: Introduction Astronomy; Medical Physics and Biophysics; Introduction to Energy and Environment; Introduction to Nanophysics; Physics of Modern Technology; Physics of the Quantum Universe
Electricity and Magnetism
Linear Algebra (for Physics)
Mathematical Physics
Mechanics and Relativity
Physics Laboratory 1 & 2
Physics Laboratory 2


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 the second half of the first year.

Talented and highly motivated students have the opportunity to receive a Bachelor's degree in Physics as well as a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. This normally requires one additional year. More information can be found here:

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

Please be advised that students of the Faculty of Science and Engineering are expected to adhere to our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, ensuring seamless integration of personal electronic devices for academic purposes. For more detailed information on our BYOD policy, please visit our webpage.
Programme options
Nanophysics (track)

Nanophysics is the study of materials on nano scales (one billionth of a metre).

Some materials are known to have very special properties on these small scales. The application of nanophysics is gaining in importance, for example in processing polluted water into drinking water.

Particle Physics (track)

An introduction to the smallest constituents of materials. It deals with 'fundamental' questions such as Where is anti-matter in the Universe?

You will also study practical applications for nuclear energy and medical applications such as MRI.

Energy & Environmental Physics (track)

This track involves the study of energy consumption, its consequences for the climate and what can be done about this. Physics in its purest form, and at the heart of society.

How are greenhouse gasses generated and what effects do they have? How can we make better use of alternative energy sources?

Biophysics & Medical Physics (track)

Biophysics & Medical Physics is a track where you learn how fundamental physics is used to understand life from the nanoscale to the size of humans.

Furthermore, physical techniques for diagnosis and treatment in health care are discussed. For example, how does a CT scan or a PET scan work? What does radiation do, and what are its side effects?

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 pre-university education (VWO) 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 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025

Choice of degree programme check

More information about matching:

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

Sufficient background knowledge in Mathematics and Physics is required.

The Admissions Board will determine whether your background knowledge in these subjects is sufficient to start the Bachelor's degree programme of your choice.

language test

You will need to submit proof of English proficiency in accordance with the requirements of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Please find our English language requirements (exemptions, IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge and more) on this page:

other admission requirements

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 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 19300full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Research, advising or teaching… there are many fields open to you! Physics consists of a broad Bachelor's programme, after which you can specialize with a Master's degree programme. You can then pursue a career in business or continue in the academic world.


If you opt for the business sector, you could pursue a career in industry, helping to develop technological innovations. Automation companies also like to employ physicists. The SME sector, consultancy and engineering firms are also increasingly looking for physicists.


Once you have your Master's degree, you could find employment with research institutes such as TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) and the KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute). You can also carry out PhD research at a university.

Not the same as technology

Large organizations such as banks and insurance companies like to employ physicists because of their analytical skills. As a physicist you can formulate a model to describe, predict and solve an issue. This is useful in positions that involve conducting analyses. There was a period during which McKinsey, the global consultancy firm, preferred to recruit only physicists!

Job examples

  • Product developer
  • Technical innovator
  • Researcher
  • Analyst
  • Consultant

Our Bachelor's degree programme in 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.

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.

As ESRIG is the central institute for energy and environmental studies, ESRIG scientists take the lead in both the track design and the actual teaching.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Campus TourMore information
open dagdiverse locatiesMore 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
  • Study Science (For general questions for all prospective students)
    Email: studyscience
						Testimonial of Diana Ionescu

    I have been drawn to physics out of curiosity how the world around us works

    – Diana Ionescu
    Read more

    I am a first-year student from Romania and I have been drawn to physics ever since secondary school, out of curiosity about how the world around us works and why it is the way it is. So, wanting to follow a science-related Bachelor's degree, Physics was the perfect, most fulfilling choice for me.

    Groningen caught my attention due to its international environment. I had hoped that a student city like this was where I would be able to make the most out of my university years—which I can gladly state that I was right about.

    Besides the international extent of this degree programme, an aspect that I notably appreciate is its structure and content. Each of the four blocks per year comprises course units that tie in together because they are either mainly physics-oriented or provide essential tools for physicists, such as the course units in mathematics or programming.

    The programme also allows for a dynamic life outside study hours. I am an active member of two committees of the FMF, the study association for Physics and Mathematics. I try to keep an active social life and always enjoy going out with friends. I also spend time taking part in cultural or sports-oriented activities, such as going to the theatre, reading, jogging, and sometimes travelling.

    After my studies, I plan on staying in academia, and so a career in research or teaching seems particularly appealing to me at the moment.

						Testimonial of Jasper Pluijmers

    There's plenty to discover and develop, and that's what I find most important in a job

    – Jasper Pluijmers
    Read more

    After obtaining Bachelor's degrees in Physics and Astronomy, I thought I wanted to become a researcher but, during my Master's, I decided to look beyond the academic world.

    I still find astronomy and physics very fascinating topics. It’s exciting to study the world and the universe. Someone from the company Nedap came to hold a talk for my study association and I ended up doing a traineeship with them. They gave me further training to become a software engineer.

    Nedap works on technological solutions for various markets. I work in the retail department, in which we make anti-theft tags for clothes shops, for example. These tags work through small antennas and chips that are worked into every piece of clothing. Each piece of clothing has a unique number that can also be used for inventory management and data analysis.

    I work on the software for these tags and the corresponding anti-theft gates, which actually has a lot more to do with physics and astronomy than you might think because this software uses radio antennas. We might not be picking up signals from light years away but many principles are the same. What I like about this work is the fact that it’s useful and can be used in the real world. There’s plenty to discover and develop, and that’s what I find most important in a job.

    My tip for prospective students: make sure to go on company visits. Many companies are looking for science graduates but they don’t always know how to get in touch with you. So, if you see an interesting company, just give them a call and I’m sure you’ll be invited to come around for a chat.

						Testimonial of Marcel van den Broek

    These subjects changed the way I saw the world around me

    – Marcel van den Broek
    Read more

    I was always curious about how everything around me worked. At first, I was interested in devices like cars and computers. But eventually, if you ask 'why' enough times, you end up at the fundamentals – which is physics.

    It turns out that nature does not operate in as straight forward a manner as it seems. Quantum mechanics and relativity can be very counterintuitive. That made me want to learn all about it. I looked up the statistics on job security after completing the degree programme and they were reasonably high. Because the subject is interesting to me and because the job prospects looked good, I enrolled in the degree programme in Physics.

    We started with special relativity, which turned out to be a nice introduction to the type of insights that would be uncovered during the rest of the degree programme. It did not require any advanced mathematics and it also explored interesting concepts about the perception of time.
    In the second year, quantum mechanics was taught. This required a bit more work but the insights that were obtained were very interesting and strange. These subjects stood out since they really changed the way that I saw the world around me.

    The most difficult subjects for me were some of the course units in mathematics. Not because they were particularly hard but because I could not immediately see why I needed to learn those subjects. However, later in my studies, these subjects came back and their value became clear.

    Besides studying Physics, I joined the Mayday student sailing society. I do recommend joining some kind of student or sports organization when starting your student life in Groningen. It is a great way to make friends quickly and to make the most out of student life. I also worked as a teaching assistant (TA) for a programming course unit on Python. TA jobs let you work in the field of your interest and provide a decent salary.

    I will do my Master’s degree programme in Applied Physics. The other Master’s programmes are more research oriented. However, I would like to go into industry after my studies. Applied Physics seems to be the programme that best suits that interest, while still teaching subjects in physics that I find interesting.

						Testimonial of Nithesh Balasubramanian

    Physics is amazing

    – Nithesh Balasubramanian
    Read more

    I decided to study Physics, because Physics is amazing! I'm from Chennai, India, and I decided to study in Groningen, because it seemed like the course structure was tailored for me in terms of specializations and academic rigour. I find Physics intuitive and the course isn't that difficult. There are just many tasks in very small time scales, which makes the program time intensive if you wish to perform well.

    So the biggest advice I can give you: University is not an extension of school, no matter where you're from. You will need to develop effective systems if you want to perform well, even if you didn't need one back in school.

						Testimonial of Machteld Kamminga

    I like the idea of working on an unsolved problem

    – Machteld Kamminga
    Read more

    'I had to write a research proposal as part of a Master's in Nanoscience. I submitted the proposal to NWO and they gave me a grant for my research!

    I work at the interface of Physics and Chemistry, studying perovskite materials which are used in solar cells. We are not sure exactly how they work, which is why we are studying their structural properties. I’m regularly at my desk reading or drawing graphs, but I also use several laboratories on a daily basis to do chemistry experiments, X-ray diffraction or to measure the electrical properties of the material. I also give tutorials and I’m supervising a Master’s student. I like it here; I like the idea of working on an unsolved problem. And we have a close-knit research team; we have lunch together every day.’

    Machteld Kamminga - PhD student at Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

  • Watch this videoClose

Study associations


The FMF is an association for the Bachelor's programmes Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, Applied Physics, Physics, Astronomy and all of the subsequent Master's programmes at the University of Groningen.
The association pursues three objectives. The first objective is that it wants to contribute to the broadening of the scientific education of its members. This is done by organizing various activities in the scientific field, such as study excursions, lectures and symposiums.
Read more
(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.

Related master's programmes