M.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy: Science for Energy and Sustainability



En Amsterdam (Netherlands)

$ 16.678

*Precio estimado

Importe original en EUR:

14.026 €


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    Amsterdam (Netherlands)

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Physics is an indispensable part of today’s society. Modern life would be entirely different without computer chips, lasers or MRI screening. In the Physics and Astronomy Master’s programme, you’ll engage in ground-breaking fundamental research and its applications, whether you’re interested in physical processes within cells, creating artificial photosynthesis or studying astroparticle physics.

Physics and Astronomy in Amsterdam is a joint degree between the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. As a student, you will therefore benefit from the expertise, networks and research projects at both universities. UvA and VU jointly issue a degree certificate to graduates.

Información importante

¿Qué objetivos tiene esta formación?:

During this Master’s programme, you’ll learn to test, explain and develop theories of physical phenomena. You’ll analyse problems and solve them using a scientific approach. Your studies will combine a broad understanding of physics and astronomy with in-depth knowledge of specific areas as well as the ability to reason and work at an academic level.

¿Esta formación es para mi?:

As a graduate in Physics and Astronomy in Amsterdam, your training in physics research will make you highly sought-after in the market for PhD candidates and research groups. Your strong analytical and problem-solving skills, along with your ability to design, set up, exploit and communicate successful experimental solutions to important scientific questions, will also make you highly attractive to the world beyond physics.

Our alumni have gone on to work in the knowledge-based sector (Philips, Philips Medical Systems, ASML, Océ, TNO, ESA), the financial sector, the IT and consultancy sector (KPN, McKinsey, ING, ABN AMRO), as well as in government (Dutch ministries of EZ, VROM, OCW). If you have strong writing and communication skills, you’ll be well prepared for a career with a newspaper, magazine or science-oriented non-profit organisation.

You can also pursue a science teacher degree. Science education is the foundation of innovations that improve our world. The shortage of certified science teachers, coupled with a knowledge-based economy, means you’ll be highly valued both in and out of the classroom. With a science teaching degree, you can get involved in improving science education as a teacher or in other educational positions. Practical and scientific knowledge of teaching methods and educational psychology can steer your career in many directions.

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  • Biophysics
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Materials
  • Imaging
  • University
  • Project
  • Systems
  • Medical
  • Joint
  • Medical training
  • Biomedical
  • GCSE Physics
  • Particle Physics



Choose the path to your future in physics and astronomy

Within the Physics and Astronomy Master's programme, you’re sure to find an area suited to your individual talents and ambitions. There are six tracks to choose from:
  • Advanced Matter and Energy Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Biophysics and Biophotonics
  • Gravitation, Astro- and Particle Physics
  • Science for Energy and Sustainability
  • Theoretical Physics
The two-year programme comprises compulsory and elective courses in your chosen track, plus two free elective courses. In your second year, you’ll join one of the many experimental or theoretical research groups affiliated with the two universities. Your research will culminate in a Master’s thesis and a final presentation.

VU and UvA score highly on the organisation of their curriculum, their working methods and their facilities such as the LaserLaB. Personal guidance plays an important role in the Master’s programme. You’ll remain in close contact with your tutor throughout, helping you get the best results you can.

VU and UvA are internationally renowned for their physics and astronomy research. Several winners of the Spinoza Prize – often called the Dutch Nobel Prize – are or have been professors of ours: Ed van den Heuvel (Astronomy, 1995), Robbert Dijkgraaf (Mathematical Physics, 2003), Michiel van der Klis (Astronomy, 2004) and Erik Verlinde (Theoretical Physics, 2011).

You’ll be working with leading international researchers in advanced laboratories. The Physics department has strong ties with Chemistry, Biology and Medicine, and is home to leading research groups working on physics of the cell, biophysics, physical chemistry and laser-related sciences. Through its participation in the National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef), the department is involved in experiments such as at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva. Our department also cooperates in projects at renowned institutes such as the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF) and the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL).

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

First and second year

Within the Physics and Astronomy Master's programme, you’re sure to find an area suited to your individual talents and ambitions. There are six specialisations to choose from:
  • Advanced Matter and Energy Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Biophysics and Biophotonics
  • Gravitation, Astro- and Particle Physics
  • Science for Energy and Sustainability
  • Theoretical Physics
In your second year, you will continue in your chosen track and you’ll join one of the many experimental or theoretical research groups affiliated with the two universities. Your research will culminate in a Master’s thesis and a final presentation.

Advanced Matter and Energy Physics


The Advanced Matter and Energy Physics track gives you a solid understanding of gas phase, soft condensed matter and hard condensed matter physics. Using state-of-the-art equipment and under the supervision of top-ranked physicists, you’ll delve into research topics like:
  • Testing fundamental physics theories at the atomic scale; Quantum measurement, simulation and computation with (ultra)cold atoms, molecules and trapped ions; properties of new forms of ultracold atoms and molecules.
  • Artificial photosynthesis; bio-fuels; next generation energy materials, such as nanocrystals, 2D materials, nanowires and nanophotonic systems for tomorrow's solar energy conversion.
  • Quantum materials; strongly interacting electron systems; topological phases of matter; unconventional superconductors. 
  • Emergent phenomena (phase transitions, self-organisation, mechanics) in soft- and bio-materials (polymers, porous media, active systems) and in high-tech designer materials (colloids, metamaterials).
The Advanced Matter and Energy Physics track has three study paths: Emergent Materials, Atomic Quantum Physics, and Soft and Complex Matter. Each path comprises compulsory courses, a selection of guided-choice electives and free-choice electives – equipping you to conduct your research project in one of the participating groups. You can also combine study paths. The programme coordinator will help you design a coherent study programme tailored to your own interest and preparing you for your research project. 

A one-month, exploratory lab project and an extensive one-year research project form an essential part of the programme. Usually these projects are conducted at one of the associated research groups, but you can also go to a research laboratory abroad or an industrial lab. The VU Amsterdam research groups are all part of LaserLaB Amsterdam, which is a member of a consortium of 27 leading laboratories in laser-based research throughout Europe. 

The Advanced Matter and Energy Physics track is powered by three major players in experimental physics research in Amsterdam: the Physics Department of VU Amsterdam, the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute for Experimental Physics of the University of Amsterdam, and the premier NWO institute AMOLF. Top researchers from all three institutions teach groundbreaking topics in each of the three study paths. Challenging research projects at the forefront of ongoing and new research are offered by all three partners.

Astronomy and Astrophysics


Do you have a solid background in physics and mathematics with some basic knowledge of astronomy? Are you interested in the birth of planetary systems and stars, the history of the universe, and the origin and nature of extreme physical processes occurring around black holes and neutron stars? And are you eager to explore how the laws of physics play out in the universe? Then Astronomy and Astrophysics is the perfect track for you.

The dynamic field of astronomy and astrophysics is gaining traction worldwide. New generations of instruments – situated on the earth's surface and in space – enable us to study the origin, structure and evolution of planets, stars, star systems and the universe in a more profound way than ever before.

The Astronomy and Astrophysics track provides you with thorough training in both the observational and theoretical aspects of modern astronomy and astrophysics. It focuses on current international research topics, such as X-ray binaries and compact objects, gamma ray bursts and radio transients, advanced instrumentation, and planet and star formation and evolution.

You’ll use a wide range of theoretical and applied tools to define the properties of astrophysical objects, and to identify the fundamental laws that govern their behaviour. These include:
  • Supercomputers (the faculty campus houses the premier data and computing hub of the Netherlands)
  • Ground-based telescopes, operating at wavelengths from radio to optical (such as ESOs VLT, ALMA and LOFAR)
  • Space observatories (such as Hubble, Chandra, XMM-Newton, JWST, Swift and Fermi)
The study programme is firmly embedded in the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, which has a long track record of world-leading research in both observational astronomy and theoretical astrophysics.

Biophysics and Biophotonics


If you enjoy working in a multidisciplinary environment where you’re challenged to bridge the gap between fundamental physics and life sciences, then Biophysics and Biophotonics is the track for you. You’ll use the language of physics to explore the secrets of life processes. Supported by the cutting-edge technologies available in our laboratories and by a series of theoretical classes delivered by our enthusiastic staff members, you’ll dive into the fascinating world of DNA unfolding, protein function, cell mechanics, tissue engineering and organ function. You’ll learn about photonics and its use in the development of new imaging techniques. Alternatively, you can choose to deepen your knowledge in the application of physics in the area of biomedical imaging and therapy, in close collaboration with the medical doctors at the two academic medical centres in Amsterdam. In the Entrepreneurship in Biomedical Physics and Technology course, you’ll learn about innovation in the field.

The Biophysics and Biophotonics track is unique in that it involves leading research groups from the Academic University Medical Centres (AUMC) of the UvA and the VU, along with several research groups at VU Amsterdam (LaserLaB) and allied research and medical centres in Amsterdam (AMOLF, FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI)). Research institutes involved in the track include:
  • Biomedical Engineering & Physics, AUMC/UvA
  • Institute for Lasers, Life and Biophotonics (LaserLaB), BETA, VU
  • Department of Radiology and Radiotherapy, AUMC/VU
Thanks to this broad network, you’ll get the opportunity to see what it’s like to work in multidisciplinary research teams in which physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers and medical professionals come together to further develop and improve underlying physical principles, theories and methods. Topics include:
  • Quantitative functional monitoring and imaging of living tissue
  • Biomedical imaging, molecular and cellular biophysics and photonics
  • Diagnosis and monitoring, such as optical coherence tomography and magnetic resonance imaging
  • Research in molecular and cellular biophysics, such as single-molecule fluorescence, optical tweezers, stimulated emission depletion microscopy and femtosecond spectroscopy
Gravitation, Astro-, and Particle Physics


How did the universe come to be? What is dark matter? What is gravity? What are the properties of the Higgs particle? Is there something beyond the Standard Model of particle physics? And what are the origins of cosmic rays? You’ll answer all these questions and more in the Gravitation, Astro- and Particle Physics track, which is unique in the Netherlands. 

You’ll investigate particle physics, astroparticle physics and cosmology at the intersection of theory, particle physics and astrophysics. Members of the Gravitation, Astro- and Particle Physics research field include theorists and experimentalists. This experimental track is carried out at Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics. 

The Gravitation, Astro- and Particle Physics track spans two years, with the first year dedicated to courses and the second year fully devoted to your research project. The compulsory courses give a solid foundation in cosmology and (astro)particle physics, while the electives are geared to further develop your interests and skills in theory or experimental (astro)particle physics. Your research in the second year could be theoretical or observational research, building and testing new models in particle and astroparticle physics. It could also involve building new detectors or analysing data from experiments at CERN or the underground LNGS laboratory in Italy.

Science for Energy and Sustainability


Scientific research in the field of energy and sustainability is crucial to reaching a sustainable society. The Science for Energy and Sustainability track is an interdisciplinary track within the Master’s programmes Chemistry, and Physics and Astronomy, both joint degrees of VU and UvA. It combines ‘hard’ scientific research with the analysis of societal issues, business models and government regulations. In addition to your scientific involvement in the development of new technological solutions to problems, you’ll be trained to analyse the societal context of global developments in the field.

The programme comprises core compulsory courses, restricted choices, a science project and a research project. The research project may be divided into a major project and a minor project if you prefer. In addition, you’ll learn important academic skills and have a choice of electives. You can build your study programme to suit your own interests – from full physics to a mixture of physics and chemistry courses and/or innovation and policy sciences.

After graduating from this track, you’ll be well equipped to pursue a career as a physicist in academic research groups, or in industry, such as Shell, ECN and energy start-ups. You could also work in advisory, consultancy and policy functions of companies and governments concerning the science, energy and sustainability sectors.

Theoretical Physics


How are space and time formed? What is matter made of? How does physics change in extreme conditions? What are the fundamental forces of nature? What laws of physics can emerge in collections of interacting particles? And can physical principles explain the organisation and dynamics of complex, living systems?

The work of theoretical physicists has captured people's imaginations for many generations – partly due to the fundamental nature of the questions it seeks to answer. In order to address these questions, mathematical descriptions need to be explored and developed. This makes present-day theoretical physics an advanced subject that requires a high level of conceptual and technical sophistication. It’s a challenging but exciting field of study.

The Theoretical Physics track offers a wide range of advanced courses in all aspects of the field. Extensive training in areas such as quantum field theory, statistical physics and condensed matter theory form the backbone of the Master’s programme. In addition, you can take optional physics and mathematics courses, such as string theory, computational methods, quantum optics, group theory, general relativity and quantum computation. At the same time, seminars and other informal meetings give you a taste of the original, creative, imaginative spirit of the field.

Información adicional

Tuition fee EU: €1,084

M.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy: Science for Energy and Sustainability

$ 16.678

*Precio estimado

Importe original en EUR:

14.026 €