MSc in Physics and Astronomy

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

  • This programme is designed for students with a background in Physics, Astronomy or related disciplines
  • Gain the theoretical understanding within your field to apply to your research projects
  • Explore the properties of materials and molecules in state-of-the-art facilities, surrounded by world-class researchers and lecturers
  • Prepare yourself for a career as a researcher, consultant, policymaker, technology manager, project supervisor and more

Why study Physics and Astronomy at Radboud University?

The Master's programme for Physics and Astronomy at Radboud was awarded 'Top Programme' in the Netherlands five of the last seven years by Keuzegids Guide. In addition to our excellent reputation, Radboud is also home to a large array of state-of-the-art research facilities, including the High Field Magnet Laboratory, and the FELIX laser laboratory Nanolab and neuroimaging facilities.

Radboud also participates in research at the LHC particle accelerator in Geneva, and the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina; and we are also home to a number of excellent research institutes, including the Institute for Molecules and Materials, the Institute of Mathematics(IMM), Astrophysics and Particle Physics (IMAPP), and the Donders Centre for Neuroscience.

Our newest acquisition, a Free Electron Laser, was built with a 23m Euro subsidy from the Dutch government and now the Nijmegen Centre for Advanced Spectrometry is attracting top researchers from all over the world.

You will also benefit a worldwide network, allowing you to find internship opportunities during your education, as well as connections to the job market afterwards. On average, our graduates find a job within 2 months of graduation.

At Radboud, you will be encouraged to take a multidisciplinary approach, allowing you to specialise in a number of different subfields. You will also have plenty of one-on-one time with your internship supervisor.

What will you learn?

The physicists and astronomers at Radboud University are internationally renowned. They attract attention worldwide with spectacular discoveries - from the origin of cosmic particles to magnetism with light.

Under the guidance of a personal tutor, you can choose between four specialisations: Biophysics, High Energy Physics, Astrophysics, and Molecules and Functional Materials. Within the framework of your specialisation, you will have the opportunity to develop your own programme based on the topics you are passionate about. You’ll spend one year on research, and thus get extensive experience in scientific methods.

You can explore these topics with the support of our world-class facilities and staff who will encourage you to develop your ideas and be there to support you every step of the way.

Specialisations

You are able to choose from 5 specialisations within this programme:

  • Neurophysics
    Our brain contains many ingenious networks of millions of interconnected neurons. Together, they have an information processing capacity and flexibility that far exceeds modern supercomputers or any artificially intelligent system. In this specialisation, we aim at unravelling the neuro-computational mechanisms of this fascinating, complex system.
  • Particle and Astrophysics
    Although Particle Physics and Astrophysics act on completely different length and time scales, they both use the laws of physics to study the universe. In this Master’s specialisation, you’ll dive into these extreme worlds and unravel questions like: What did our universe look like in the earliest stages of its existence? What are the most elementary particles that the universe consists of? And how will it evolve?
  • Physics of Molecules and Materials
    Revealing the ‘terra incognita’ between quantum mechanics and the classical world and inspiring new technologies. As a scientist, you’re a problem solver. But how do you tackle a problem when there are no adequate theories and calculations become far too complicated? In the specialisation in Physics of Molecules and Materials, you’ll be trained to take up this challenge in a field of physics that is still largely undiscovered: the interface between quantum and classical physics.
  • Science and Society
    Science and technology have a profound influence on society, but the reverse is also true: society significantly shapes the ways in which science and technology evolve. However, experience shows that scientists on the one hand and the general public, government and businesses on the other aren’t always able to clearly understand one another. That is why experts with a background in science and an understanding of social processes are indispensable. This specialisation will equip you with the knowledge, tools and skills to be a professional intermediary between science and society whilst getting a broader societal perspective.
  • Science, Management and Innovation
    All organisations struggle with challenges such as sustainability, health, energy, and IT security. Many of the challenges that society faces are rooted in the natural or computer sciences but have strong links to other disciplines. Solutions require scientists with an analytical as well as a societal understanding of these issues. This Master’s specialisation will provide you with expertise in a societal challenge and the ability to speak the language of policy and business.

The programme is structured as follows:

  • Major internship (60 EC)
  • Major courses (30 EC)
  • Philosophy and professional preparation (7 EC)
  • Elective courses (23 EC)

Career prospects

Seventy per cent of graduates continue to do a PhD project in Nijmegen or elsewhere in the world. Within our research institutes, there are vacancies that come up every year. In addition, graduates also find work as researchers and managers within international companies such as Philips, McKinsey and ASML and research institutes such as ESA and CERN.

Graduates could also find work as:

  • Private consultants
  • Operations managers
  • Technology managers
  • Actuaries
  • Researchers and various institutes
  • Policymakers
  • Systems analysts
  • Technical consultants

Admission requirements

Would you like to know if you are eligible to be admitted to this programme? Take our E-Check and instantly get an insight into your eligibility: echeck.ru.nl 

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Physics

Entering the Master’s specialisation in Physics and Astrophysics requires a Bachelor’s degree in:

  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Applied Physics
  • or equivalent

Your degree has to be equivalent to a Dutch university diploma. The Admission Office will determine if an international student has the required knowledge to be admitted. The Admission Office will also indicate if the student is required to follow specific courses from the Bachelor's programme to eliminate possible deficiencies.

Master's specialisation in Particle and Astrophysics

A completed Bachelor's degree in Physics; Entering the Master’s specialisation in Physics and Astrophysics requires a Bachelor’s degree in:

  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Applied Physics
  • or equivalent, provided that you comply to the admission criteria below

Your degree has to be equivalent to a Dutch university diploma. The Admission Office will determine if an international student has the required knowledge to be admitted. The Admission Office will also indicate if the student is required to follow specific courses from the Bachelor's programme to eliminate possible deficiencies.

Students must have passed preliminary examinations containing the following subject matter:

  • Experimental skills: at least 9 EC of practical courses on physics, and physics instrumentation
  • Mechanics: at least 9 EC, e.g. covering the level from Serway (Physics for Scientists and
  • Engineers) to Taylor (Classical Mechanics)
  • Quantum Mechanics/Physics: at least 16 EC, e.g. covering the level of Griffiths (Introduction to Quantum Mechanics)
  • Electricity and Magnetism, Electromagnetism: at least 9 EC, e.g. covering the level from Serway (Physics for Scientists and Engineers) to Griffiths (Introduction to Electrodynamics)
  • Thermodynamics/ Statistical Dynamics: at least 6 EC, e.g. covering the level from Serway (Physics for Scientists and Engineers) to Adkins, Equilibrium Thermodynamics, and Bowley and Sanchez, Statistical Mechanics
  • Mathematics: at least 12 EC, topics including Calculus, Linear Algebra, Complex Analysis, Fourier Theory, Statistics, and Differential Equations at the university level

Basic understanding in topics such as

  • Molecular Physics: at least 3 EC
  • Condensed Matter Physics: at least 3 EC
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics: at least 3 EC

For students interested in following the Master's specialisation in Particle and Astrophysics with a focus on astronomy, a basic knowledge of some of the topics listed below may be advisable. Depending on the specific interests of the students, these may include:

  • Stellar structure, evolution, and nucleosynthesis
  • The interstellar medium
  • Galaxies
  • Radiative processes
  • Observational astronomy (optical/radio/space-based)

Master's specialisation in Physics of Molecules and Materials

A completed Bachelor's degree in Physics

Entering the Master’s specialisation in Physics for Molecules and Materials requires a Bachelor’s degree in one of the subjects below. Please note that an international degree has to be equivalent to a Dutch university diploma. The Admission Office will determine if an international student has the required knowledge to be admitted and if the student is required to follow specific courses from the Bachelor's programme to eliminate possible deficiencies. Relevant subjects are:

  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Applied Physics
  • or equivalent provided that you comply with the admission criteria below

Master's specialisation in Neurophysics

A completed Bachelor's degree

You’ll need a completed Bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields of science:

Your degree has to be equivalent to a Dutch university diploma. The Admission Office will determine if an international student has the required knowledge to be admitted. The Admission Office will also indicate if the student is required to follow specific courses from the Bachelor's programme to eliminate possible deficiencies.

  • Science
  • Physics
  • Applied physics
  • Physics & Astronomy
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • or a related programme

Language Requirements

In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:

  • A TOEFL score of >575 (paper-based) or >90 (internet-based)
  • An IELTS score of ≥6.5
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

* Applicants are considered to be a native speaker of English if they are from Australia, Canada (with exception of Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, USA or South Africa.

Deadlines

Programmes starting in September

  • Non-EEA students: 1 April
  • EEA students: 1 May

Quality label

This programme was recently rated ‘Best Programme’ and 'Top rated programme' in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2018 (Guide to Master's programmes). For the third time in a row, this programme was rated number one in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2015 (Guide to Master's programmes).

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

At Radboud University in the Netherlands, you can obtain a high-quality and internationally accredited Master’s degree. Leading academics and excellent professors offer you what you need a a top-200 r ... Read More

At Radboud University in the Netherlands, you can obtain a high-quality and internationally accredited Master’s degree. Leading academics and excellent professors offer you what you need a a top-200 research university. We offer 11 English-taught Bachelor's programmes and 35 English-taught Master’s programmes with many specialisations which will give you the necessary skills and insights into research and practice within your own subject area. You will benefit from our personal teaching style, our top research institutes, and a green and friendly student city. Read less