MSc Physics and Astronomy: Science for Energy and Sustainability

University of Amsterdam

Program Description

MSc Physics and Astronomy: Science for Energy and Sustainability

University of Amsterdam

Science for Energy and Sustainability is a track in the Master's programme Physics and Astronomy, a joint degree programme of the University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Courses are taught at locations of both universities. UvA and VU jointly issue a degree certificate in Physics and Astronomy to graduates. As a Physics and Astronomy student in Amsterdam you benefit from expertise, networks and research projects at both universities and affiliated research institutes.

What does Science for Energy and Sustainability in Amsterdam have to offer me?

Science for Energy and Sustainability (SES) is an interdisciplinary 'track' or specialisation within the UvA Master's programmes Chemistry and Physics and Astronomy. It combines ‘hard’ scientific research with the analysis of societal issues, business models and government regulations. The programme allows for a flexible curriculum containing mostly physics or additional chemistry or business oriented courses; as such it covers a broad area of hot topics, such as:

  • renewable energy technologies
  • green chemistry
  • photophysical and photochemical energy conversion
  • biosolar cells and catalysis for sustainable synthesis and energy conversion.

SES is an outward-looking programme, geared towards the cutting edge of energy and sustainability research. It gives you the skills and knowledge to move from understanding the state-of-the-art, to actually developing new sustainable technologies that can be implemented in society.

Is Science for Energy and Sustainability in Amsterdam the study for me?

It is , if you:

  • are interested in experimental physics with focus on renewable energy and sustainability
  • want to become (more) aware of the scientific, technological and societal challenges for our future
  • want to learn how to advance renewable energy resources, promote sustainable development, and use resources more efficiently
  • want to study the development of technological solutions to global energy and sustainability problems, as well as the societal context of global developments in this field
  • want to pursue a career that focuses on developing sustainable solutions to our current pressing global situation with regard to energy, climate and sustainability.


The programme has a course load of 60 EC, all of which take place in the first year. Your courses will be carefully chosen in consultation with the programme manager.

The following courses are compulsory:

  • Current Sustainable Energy Technologies (6 EC)
  • Project Sustainable Future (6 EC)
  • Academic Skills courses (6 EC in total)

Besides these core courses, four restricted choice courses (24 EC) are required. For example:

  • Big issues in Emergent Energy Materials (6 EC)
  • Photovoltaics (6 EC)
  • Photosynthesis for Energy (6 EC)
  • more chemistry-related courses (such as Biosolar Cells, Environmental Chemistry, Green Chemistry)
  • more society-related courses (such as Bio-based Economy, Management of Sustainable Innovation, Open Innovation in Science and Sustainability)

In addition, 18 EC of free choice can be used to fulfil specific requirements, e.g. for advanced courses or deficiencies.

Thesis and research project

The second year of the programme consists of:

  • a literature thesis (12 EC)
  • a research project (48 EC)

You conduct your research project within one of the track's participating research groups, at another university (in the Netherlands or abroad), or in industry. It is concluded with a Master's thesis, which you present during a colloquium.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 30, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
24 months
Full time
13,300 EUR
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info