Master in Nanomaterials Science


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

  • The Dutch Master's Selection Guide (Keuzegids Masters 2017) ranked Utrecht University's Nanomaterials Science programme as the best in the field of Chemistry in the Netherlands.
  • Students chose the Master's programme Nanomaterials Science at Utrecht University as the best programme in the field in the yearly review 'Beste studies' by Elsevier.

Explore the Applications of Nanomaterials

Nanomaterials are essential building blocks that can produce chemicals in an environmentally friendly manner, harvest light to supply energy, and help develop faster computers and better medicines. In this two-year Master’s programme, you will gain in-depth knowledge on, and experimental experience with, novel nanomaterials and their synthesis, structure, and applications – for example, as catalysts or in nanophotonics.

Chemistry of the Future

The dimensions of systems at the microscopic level determine their physical and chemical properties and applications. Your studies will provide you with the tools to analyse and experiment with these properties and possibilities. In addition, the course content will introduce you to the nanomaterials of tomorrow, including colloidal crystals – a new tool for the manipulation of light in miniature lasers and optical devices – and new catalysts for more efficient and environmentally friendly chemistry.

Contribute to a Sustainable Society

The combined talents and expertise of chemists are essential for success in a number of subfields within science and technology. Our Master’s programme offers you the knowledge and training to work as a scientist who contributes to a more sustainable society. Through your courses and research work, you will participate in the exciting field of nanomaterial development and develop fundamental knowledge of various applications and industrial interests. Our staff members excel in research and in teaching, and they maintain close ties with partners in industry and academia. As part of your programme, you may opt to participate in an industry-based internship.

  • Debye Institute

The prestigious Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science provides teaching and research in the programme. The institute focuses on three research areas: colloids, catalysis, and nanophotonics.

Programme Objective

Nanomaterials Science is a two-year (120 ECTS) multidisciplinary programme in which you will explore the subject areas of catalysis, colloid science, and nanophotonics. The programme will provide you with a solid theoretical background and help you develop the experimental skills necessary to perform high-level research. Coursework is thus combined with research, allowing you the opportunity to put theory into practice.

After Graduation

This MSc degree will qualify you to do further postgraduate research leading to a PhD degree in chemistry, physics, or materials science. It will also be an excellent qualification for acquiring a research or development position in industries that are investing in innovation or in new companies at the interface of biotechnology, nanoelectronics, chemistry, and nanomaterials. The programme also provides a good background for working toward a career in management or consultancy, particularly in companies with a technology base.

Career Prospects

Academic Careers

As one of this master’s programme aims is to prepare students to pursue a PhD career, we see that the majority of our students continue with a PhD. Some of them will continue with an academic career, but the majority of our students find excellent positions in international R&D companies.

Professional Careers

About 25% of our graduates chose to leave the university after graduation without a PhD title and look for positions in companies, education, and institutions.

As we train academics who have learned to be critical, analytical, independent and problem solvers, we find them in different areas. Examples are:

  • Group leaders in large international companies such as Shell, Albemarle, DSM, Unilever, BASF, Bayer, Philips, etc.
  • Product specialists at small to medium-sized companies
  • Analyst or manager at banks or financial institutions
  • Senior research fellow at multinational research laboratories such as Amolf, DIFFER, Max-Planck Institute, FOM, Holst Centre, etc.
  • Teacher in secondary or higher education
  • Examiner at the European Patent Organisation
  • Associate account manager at an international company
  • Business Analytics at IBM Global Business Services
  • Library Head of a university

International Students

Learning Dutch

If you want to find a job or internship in the Netherlands, knowing Dutch will get you places. Even if you work within an international organisation, knowing at least some Dutch is always a benefit and in some cases even a requirement. In order to learn Dutch, free language websites such as or can get you started or take a look at the Dutch courses offered by Babel. As a student from Utrecht University, you receive a 25% discount on their course offerings.

After graduation

If you want to stay in the Netherlands after your graduation, you can apply for the ‘residence permit orientation year’. This permit can be submitted within 3 years after completing your studies and allows you unlimited working rights (hence: a work permit –TWV- is not required). For an overview of the conditions that apply for this permit, please visit the IND website.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of int ... Read More

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned European League of Research Universities. Read less