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EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesPhysics
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Physics

The University of Groningen has a long-standing tradition of high-level physics research, with the highlight of the Nobel Prize awarded to Frits Zernike in 1953.

The Physics Master's degree programme is open to students who already have a solid background in physics and are eager to expand their knowledge and experience in an environment of modern physics research. The goal of the Master's degree programme in Physics is to train excellent researchers in the field of materials science, subatomic physics, isotope physics or theoretical physics.

The programme offers the following tracks:
* Quantum Universe
* Advanced Materials
* Science, Business and Policy

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Physics
Course type
Master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
60202
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Science and Engineering
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Wide spectrum of high-level research in Physics and related sciences
  • Our Materials Science Research ranks high in the THES world's Top 15 institutes in material science
  • Best master programme Physics in the Netherlands according to Elsevier
  • Our faculty is the home of the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa, and the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike
  • Gives access to the additional, highly selective High Systems and Materials Honours Master
Programme

Curriculum

This master degree programme consists of a programme of 120 ECTS. The first year (60 ECTS) consists of compulsory and elective courses. This allows much freedom and the possibility to put together a specific program that specializes in state of the art physics topics.

In the second year of your training you conduct a major research project matching the field of your specialization. This research project takes place in one of the research institutes of the University of Groningen that carry out research in physics:

  • Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
  • Van Swinderen Institute for Particle Physics and Gravity
  • Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG)
  • Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
  • KVI-Center for Advanced Radiation Technology

Each of these research institutes has its own fields of specialty. Together they constitute a wide spectrum of high-level research in physics and related sciences.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/fwn/vak/showpos?opleiding=5091

Programme options
Quantum Universe (track)

The Quantum Universe track emphasizes the relations between Theoretical Physics, Particle Physics and Astronomy in the study of nature on the different scales.

The track is offered for both the Physics and Astronomy Master programme.

The Quantum Universe programme consists of four mandatory physics courses (20 ECTS), four Quantum Universe courses (20 ECTS), four electives (20 ECTS), and a large master research project of 60 ECTS. The core physics courses are mandatory for all physics students, independent of the track that is followed. You will follow Computational Physics, Advanced Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, and Mathematical Methods of Physics. The Quantum Universe courses are followed by both physics and astronomy students: General Relativity, Electrodynamics of Radiation Processes, Particle Physics Phenomenology, and Student Seminar Quantum Universe. The elective courses range in a wide variety of subjects, and cover the broad spectrum between theoretical physics, particle physics and astronomy.

Your Master's research project is your own individual project, supervised by a staff member from one of the institutes: the Van Swinderen Institute for Particle Physics and Gravity, the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, or Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut (KVI-CART). The project is 60 ECTS, will take one year to finish, and is tailor-made to your interests.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showpos?opleiding=6387&ocasysyear=2019

Advanced Materials (track)

The track Advanced Materials emphasizes the design and scientific study of materials for functionality.

The track is part of the Physics Master programme and of the Chemistry Master programme and it is offered by the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (ZIAM).

The programme consists of four mandatory physics courses (20 ECTS), four Advanced Materials courses (20 ECTS), four electives (20 ECTS), and a large master research project of 60 ECTS.

The core physics courses are mandatory for all physics students, independent of the track that is followed. You will follow Computational Physics, Advanced Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, and Mathematical Methods of Physics. There are five courses in the category of Advanced Materials, out of which you have to choose four: Cross-disciplinary Materials Science, Functional Properties, Structure at Macro, Meso and Nano Scale, Supramolecular Chemistry, and Characterisation of Materials. The elective courses range in a wide variety of subjects, and can be chosen to specialize and design – along with your master's research project – a tailor-made programme for your master.

Your Master's research project is your own individual project, supervised by one of the high-quality research staff members of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (ZIAM); one of the Netherland's most-renowned research institutes. Here you can choose from research topics that range from organic solar cells, device nanophysics to materials for data storage, nano- and microelectromechanical systems (NEMS/MEMS) and laboratories on a chip.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showpos?opleiding=6388&ocasysyear=2019

Science, Business & Policy (profile)

Interested in the business side of science?

The Science, Business and Policy track within the Physics master's degree programme combines state of the art Physics with the business and policy sides of science. The SBP track includes a six-month internship as a scientific advisor.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showpos?opleiding=6389&ocasysyear=2019

More information about this option

High Tech Systems and Materials Honours Master (honours program)

This Master's degree programme gives access to the additional, highly selective, High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) Honours Master.

The HTSM Honours Master is organized in cooperation with Philips and other major industry partners.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 60 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

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
knowledge minimum

Sufficient English proficiency on VWO level is required.

previous education

Bachelor's degree in Physics, Applied Physics or Astronomy.

Information about admission possibilities and requirements for students from a Dutch HBO institute is published on: https://www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at https://www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Engineering PhysicsAll Universities of applied sciences

Deficiency program with a maximum of 60 EC

More information:

A special programme is available for holders of a Dutch HBO Bachelor's degree. For details, please contact the programme coordinator.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
PhysicsAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Applied PhysicsAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
AstronomyAll Research universities

Deficiency program with a maximum of 15 EC

More information:

Indicatie van het schakelprogramma:

  • Structure of Matter 2
  • Physics Laboratory 3
  • Electronics and Signal Processing

Neem contact op met de studie-adviseur voor meer informatie.

Physics and AstronomyAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Physics and Astronomy (joint degree)VU University AmsterdamNo additional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Physics and Astronomy (joint degree)University of AmsterdamNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

The Admissions Office will advise the Admissions Board on your application, after which the board will decide if you meet the admission requirements in terms of general level of previous education and specific background knowledge.

knowledge minimum

BEFORE YOU APPLY

Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at: http://www.rug.nl/fwn/fmns-programme/admissions/msc/ for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

language test

MAKE SURE TO VISIT http://www.rug.nl/fwn/fmns-programme/admissions/msc/language-requirements for all the necessary information about required language tests.

previous education

Bachelor's degree in Physics or Applied/Engineering 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 master programme for which you applied.

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

SCHOLARSHIPS

In cooperation with major national and international companies we welcome students with several scholarships

ASML Scholarship: ASML is one of the world's leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. The €5000 p/y scholarship is awarded every year to 25 exceptional students, who get the chance to become a Technology Ambassador within their scholarship period. More information can be found here: https://www.asml.com/careers/for-students/asml-scholarship/en/s32512?rid=30027

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
TOEFL paper based580
TOEFL computer based237
TOEFL internet based92

Registration procedure

The Admissions Board will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree programme. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
EU/EEA students15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
non-EU/EEA students15 October 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 15500full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

The Master's programme in Physics is primarily meant for students who want to become researchers. Most graduates will proceed with a PhD research project after their Master's programme, either in Groningen or elsewhere. Nevertheless, many physicists who have trained as researchers will find jobs that are less explicitly oriented towards research. This is because training as a researcher in physics also develops general competences that make graduates highly versatile.

During the Master's degree programme, teamwork, communication and presentation are important qualities. In many cases considerable IT skills are developed. In practice, physics graduates can be found in consultancy firms, in process management, in commercial positions, in financial jobs or as teachers.


Job examples

  • PhD research position
  • Consultant
  • Process manager
  • Teacher
  • Financial jobs
Research

Get involved in Research at the Zernike Institute - Ranked in the THES World's top 15

The research project in the second year of your training takes place in one of the research institutes of the University of Groningen that carry out research in physics:

  • Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
  • Van Swinderen Institute
  • Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG)
  • Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
  • Center for Advanced Radiation Technology (CART)

Each of these research institutes has its own fields of interest..

Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials in Groningen is one of the largest centres of materials research in the Netherlands and it belongs to the THES top 15 of best materials research institutes in the world. Basic research on materials is directed towards unravelling the relations between the properties that determine their functionality and their chemical composition and structure. The Zernike Institute is dedicated to a cross-disciplinary approach and in many research groups physicists and chemists work closely together. Research on surfaces, polymers, biomolecular materials, computational solid state physics, nanophysics, optical properties of the solid state and materials engineering are some of the fields of research. In addition to experimental research with state-of-the-art equipment, the Zernike Institute also studies theoretical solid state physics.

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, Large Hadron Collider and Beyond the Standard Model physics, holography, string theory and inflation.

Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG)

ESRIG focuses on two themes, of which the first is called 'Energy supply and energy conversion'. This includes the sustainable role of bio-fuels, also in connection to food and land use, energy transition, second (and later) generation bio fuel research; Organic Solar Cells, determination and monitoring of bio-fuel admixtures, natural gas and new gas mixture combustion research, innovative production methods for fossil fuels, underground coal gasification, geothermal energy, gas transition, hydrogen as energy carrier and (de-central) electricity production control design.
The second theme, 'Transition towards Sustainability' consists of carbon cycle and greenhouse gases research, CO2 emission monitoring, CO2 storage surveillance, CO2 storage in relation to underground characteristics, combustion efficiency and harmful emission reduction, development and evaluation of (inter)national climate policies, societal and ethical context of scientific/technical transitions towards sustainability.

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.

KVI-Centre for Advanced Radiation Technology

The mission of KVI-Center for Advanced Radiation Technology (KVI-CART) is to perform basic research on subatomic and astroparticle physics and application-driven research on accelerator physics and physics in medicine. We work, in close collaboration with the scientific community, healthcare and industry, on long-term solutions for science and society. Through the development of state-of-the-art detection techniques, CART fosters the cross-fertilization between basic and application-driven research. CART educates young researchers in physics and medical technology at BSc, MSc and PhD level.

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Contact

If you want to know more about the programme Physics, please contact:

  • Academic Advisor (For questions regarding the programme)
  • sciencemasters@rug.nl (For international students who are interested in a Campus Tour or have other practical questions)
    Email: sciencemasters@rug.nl