MSc in Applied Physics


Program Description

University of Groningen

Do you want to contribute to the development of computer devices that operate like a human brain? Design semi-conductor materials for the future's high-efficiency solar cells? Create an anti-icing coating for drones and airplanes? Fabricate materials that transform waste heat into electricity?

Understand why ceramic micro-/nanostructures do not break easily? Make graphene nano-devices for next-generation high-speed electronics?

The Master's degree program in Applied Physics focuses on materials engineering and device physics. It offers an excellent combination of fundamental research on the one hand and an open eye to possible industrial applications on the other. Teaching and research are embedded in the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, which belongs to the best materials research institutes in the world. The international environment of the program, and especially within the research groups, is inspiring and challenging.

The Master's degree program in Applied Physics is open to students who already have a solid background in physics or applied physics, and who are eager to expand their knowledge and skills to obtain a Master's degree in a modern applied physics research environment.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • Awarded 'Top Rated Programme' label (Higher Education Guide 2017)
  • Our Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials is ranked high in the world's top 15 materials research institutes by the Times Higher Education
  • Gives access to the highly selective HTMS Honours Master
  • Specializes in advanced materials at the renowned Zernike Institute, named after our Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike
  • Nearly all of our graduates find relevant high-level jobs within 3 months after graduating.



2-year program; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Study abroad

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

Exchange: All our science and engineering programs offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, the UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programs have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Internship: This program offers you the opportunity to carry out an internship at a company in the Netherlands or abroad. Our choice of industry partners ranges from large multinationals (such as Shell, Philips, Unilever) to dynamic small-medium enterprises in the Groningen area. The internship has a typical duration of 3 to 4 months and counts towards your final degree.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Specific requirements More information
Knowledge minimum

Sufficient English proficiency on VWO level is required.

Previous education

A university Bachelor's degree in Applied Physics, or Physics or Astronomy (to be decided by the admissions board).

International diploma

Specific requirements More 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 the general level of previous education and specific background knowledge. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Previous education

At least a Bachelor's degree in Applied Physics.

This is merely an indication of the required background knowledge. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the master program for which you applied.

Language requirements

Exam Minimum score
IELTS overall band 6.5
TOEFL paper-based 580
TOEFL computer-based 237
TOEFL internet-based 92

Registration procedure

The Admissions Board will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree program. The Board may decide that you have to take supplementary courses or follow a bridging program before being admitted.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

non-EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 17500 full-time

Job prospects

The Master's degree program in Applied Physics is primarily meant for students who want to become researchers and developers in an industrial environment.

Most of our graduates find immediate employment in industry, sometimes in the same company where they have done their Industrial Internship. The alumni in the industry often work as engineers or R&D scientists (ASML, Philips, Lambert Instruments, Thales, etc.) but also in the ICT sector of very different companies, including ABNAMRO, KPN, Deloitte, and others go into consulting (Ecofys, Witteveen & Bos). Next to industry our graduates also often continue on to a Ph.D. project after obtaining their Master's degree, to specialize further in a specific research topic, either in Groningen or elsewhere.

During the Master's degree, teamwork, communication, and presentation are important qualities to be developed. In many cases, considerable IT skills are developed as well. These general competences, together with the analytical skills typical of researchers, for example, problem-solving abilities, guarantee that graduates are widely employable. Most applied physicists find jobs in an entrepreneurial environment where a strong background in physics is necessary.

Job examples

  • Ph.D. Research Project
  • R&D in an industrial or entrepreneurial environment


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

Applied physics research at the University of Groningen is embedded in the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials and focuses on materials engineering and device physics. There are six main research groups in these fields.

Materials Science

The principal aim of the research program of the Materials Science group is to search for the relation between the microstructure of materials and its physical properties. The program concentrates on experimental and theoretical work of the characterization of line defects (dislocations and disclinations) and homo-/heterophase interfaces so as to draw conclusions about the correlation between atomic structure, electronic charge transfer, and physical properties, both structural and functional.


The mission of this research group is to develop new models and computational tools for the micromechanics of (bio)materials and to employ these to develop relationships between the internal structure of a material and its mechanical properties. We study (bio)materials and biological processes at a range of length scales, placing special emphasis on multiscale modeling and scale transitions. We cover a wide variety of biological and engineering systems, considering and exploiting the similarities and differences in their behavior.

Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces

The aim of this research group is on investigating the relationship between the nanostructure and functional properties of materials. Our research focus is on material structures, surfaces/interfaces, and surface interactions at the nanoscale, including phase change materials, nanoclusters/nanoparticles, nanoresonators, surface forces, friction, and adhesion. Experimental facilities include scanning probe, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopy. Applications of our research are connected with hydrogen storage, novel NEMS devices, and phase change memories.

Photophysics and Opto-electronics

Our group aims to develop novel materials for solar cell and microelectronics applications. The materials we work on have in common that they are solution processable. This property holds the promise of cheap production methods with low energy demand. Our research focusses on the properties of organic semiconductors and organic/organic interfaces and their application in optoelectronic devices, the physical and optoelectronic properties of carbon nanotubes and hybrid systems, and fabrication of hybrid optoelectronic devices composed by inorganic nanocrystals and organic molecules.

Physics of Nanodevices

We explore new physical phenomena that occur in electronic and optoelectronic device structures with nanoscale dimensions. The dynamics of such devices is often quantum mechanical in nature, but much richer than the dynamics of isolated atoms due to interactions with the solid-state environment. Our research investigates this quantum dynamics and aims to apply it for new device functionalities.

Device Physics of Complex Materials

Device physics contributes to our present knowledge of the emergent behavior of complex materials and probes its properties by making use of modern experimental tools and techniques based on nanotechnology. Emergent behaviour is prevalent in many complex materials and originates from competing interactions of electronic, magnetic and structural origin.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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