Master of Science in Physics and Astronomy: Theoretical Physics

University of Amsterdam

Program Description

Master of Science in Physics and Astronomy: Theoretical Physics

University of Amsterdam

Einstein, Bohr, Feynman, Hawking... Theoretical physics has captured the imagination for many generations. The two-year track Theoretical Physics in the Master’s programme Physics and Astronomy, a joint degree with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, offers education and training from researchers of one of Europe's leading institutes in this challenging and exciting field. Requiring a high level of conceptual and technical sophistication, it seeks to answer deeply fundamental questions such as: What is matter made of? What is the nature of space and time?

Is Theoretical Physics in Amsterdam the study for me?

If you are fascinated by physics and the laws of science, Theoretical Physics might be the track for you. You will need to have a profound knowledge of the special theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, statistical physics, electrodynamics, calculus and linear algebra (a basic knowledge of condensed matter and particle physics is an advantage). Furthermore, you:

  • Want to understand at a fundamental level why matter is what it is, and how this affects the world around us
  • Enjoy exploring and developing mathematical models
  • Have a high ability for abstraction
  • Are willing to dig deep to find solutions to physics problems

What does Theoretical Physics in Amsterdam have to offer me?

Courses in the track Theoretical Physics in Amsterdam are conducted by researchers from the UvA Institute for Theoretical Physics, one of Europe's leading theoretical physics institutes. They specialise in quantum matter and complex systems; particle physics, cosmology and quantum gravity; and history of physics. The track offers you a broad spectrum of advanced courses on these and other current research topics. Its backbone is formed by training in quantum field theory, statistical physics and condensed matter theory. In addition, you can take elective physics and mathematics courses on topics such as:

  • Computational methods
  • Quantum optics
  • Group theory
  • General relativity
  • Nonlinear dynamics and chaos

In further seminars and informal meetings you get a taste of the original creative and imaginative spirit of the field and learn the craft of explaining things to other (lay) people.

Joint degree programme with VU University Amsterdam

Theoretical Physics 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.

Career prospects

Graduates of the Master's programme Physics and Astronomy typically pursue careers:

  • as PhD students at physics and astronomy institutes around the world, progressing from there to careers in academia or industry
  • in research, within the industry (e.g. Philips, Shell, Océ, ASML)
  • in research, within research institutes (e.g. Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM))
  • as teachers, within high schools or universities
  • as (technical) policy officers, within (science-oriented) governmental and non-profit organisations
  • in business (e.g. ICT companies, telecommunications companies, investment banks, consultancy firms)
  • as writers, for (science-oriented) media
  • as entrepreneurs.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 11, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
24 months
Full time
2,060 EUR
EU/EEA students. Non-EU/EEA students €12,320 per year.
Netherlands - Amsterdam, North Holland
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
Netherlands - Amsterdam, North Holland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info