MSc Physics and Astronomy: Physics of Life and Health

University of Amsterdam

Program Description

MSc Physics and Astronomy: Physics of Life and Health

University of Amsterdam

The track Physics of Life and Health focuses on the physics aspects of systems at molecular, cellular, and larger (e.g. organ) scales. It combines two areas:

  • biomedical physics (physical processes in the human body at cellular to organism levels, and the development of technology for diagnostics and therapy)
  • biophysics (physics of biological processes down to the single-molecule level, and down to timescales of tens of femtoseconds).

Is Physics of Life and Health at the UvA the study for me?

It is, if you:

  • have a profound knowledge of physics (mechanics, electricity, magnetism, optics, quantum mechanics) and mathematics (calculus, linear algebra, partial differential equations, statistics)
  • enjoy doing research in a multidisciplinary environment
  • can quickly absorb and integrate biological and physics concepts
  • and if you are interested in one or more of the following subjects:
  • physical processes in the human body, organs, cells and macromolecules
  • use of advanced biophysical methods to study macromolecules at the single-molecule level and to study biological processes down to femtosecond timescales
  • development and improvement of technology for medical diagnostics and therapy
  • interaction of light and/or radiation with cells and tissues (biomedical photonics)
  • manipulation of tissues and cells by light or radiation to improve diagnosis and monitoring.

What does Physics of Life and Health at the UvA have to offer me?

This Master's track focuses on current research topics such as:

  • quantitative functional monitoring and imaging of living tissue
  • working in multidisciplinary research teams with physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers and medical professionals
  • biomedical imaging, molecular and cellular biophysics and photonics
  • new methods for diagnosis and monitoring (such as optical coherence tomography and magnetic resonance imaging)
  • new methods for research in molecular and cellular biophysics (such as single-molecule fluorescence, optical tweezers, stimulated emission depletion microscopy and femtosecond spectroscopy).

The programme is unique in that it involves leading research groups from two major research hospitals (AMC, the Academic Medical Center of the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and VUmc, the VU University Amsterdam Medical Center), along with several research groups of VU University Amsterdam and allied para-university and medical centers in Amsterdam (AMOLF, FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Phyics, NIN, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience of the KNAW, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; and NKI, Netherlands Cancer Institute).

Joint degree programme with VU University Amsterdam

This is a joint degree programme of the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam. Courses are given at the two Faculties of Science. Graduates receive a diploma accredited by both universities. Therefore, as a Physics and Astronomy student you benefit from the expertise, networks and research projects at both universities.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 22, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
1,984 EUR
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
EU/EEA students. Non-EU/EEA students €13,300 per year.