Applied Physics

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 programme 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 programme, and especially within the research groups, is inspiring and challenging.

The Master's degree programme 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. 
 

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Overview

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?

The Master's degree programme 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 programme, and especially within the research groups, is inspiring and challenging. 
 

Course details

Programme

The Applied Physics Master's degree programme (totalling 120 ECTS) consists of compulsory and elective courses, followed by an industrial internship and a large, final Master's research project.

The compulsory part of the programme (35 ECTS) comprises advanced physics courses, dealing with state-of-the-art topics in academic and industrial research. The electives (20 ECTS) include one course (5 ECTS) that you choose from a list of Business and Management courses, and three courses (15 ECTS) chosen from a list of courses in applied or theoretical physics, mechanical/electronic engineering, advanced mathematics and chemistry/chemical engineering. The electives, together with the industrial internship (20 ECTS) and the final Master's research project (45 ECTS) offer you the unique opportunity to create a tailor-made programme, based on your own specific interests within Applied Physics.

Through your electives, you can specialize in the specific field in which you want to conduct your Master's research project or take a broader perspective and simply choose courses in the fields that you are interested in. For example, if you want to develop new types of solar cells in your Master's research project, you might choose 'Ultrafast Time-Resolved Spectroscopy' as elective course; if instead you wish to study novel materials for next generation hard disks, you might decide to follow 'Surfaces and Interfaces'. If you want to do your internship within a company that develops soft robots, your choice of electives might include 'Polymer Physics' and 'Mechatronics', while for an internship in a firm producing high-speed single photon counting systems, you might select 'Statistical Methods in Physics'.

Your Master's research project is your own individual project, supervised by one of our high-quality research staff, working at one of the Netherland's most-renowned research institutes, the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (ranked in the top 15 of the best materials institutes in the world). Here you can choose from research topics that range from organic solar cells, device nanophysics to materials for data storage, nano- and microelectromechanical systems (NEMS/MEMS), functional coatings and laboratories on a chip.

The Industrial internship is carried out at a research laboratory in industry, within a company or institute in the Netherlands or possibly abroad. Recent hosts include companies like Philips, Photonis, Shell, Thales, research institutes like TNO, the Netherlands Aerospace Centre, Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany or the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado and NGOs like Engineers without borders. The industrial internship highlights the practical approach of the Applied Physics programme through the development of a product or a process, while you operate within a professional team. 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • At least a Bachelor's degree in Applied Physics
  • Proof of English proficiency
Career outcomes

Nearly all of our graduates find relevant high-level jobs within three months after graduating. The majority of alumni of recent cohorts continued their careers as R&D engineers in an industrial or entrepreneurial environment with job qualifications like product & process development engineer at Johnson & Johnson, design engineer at ASML, project leader at Philips, R&D scientist at Photonis, data scientist at Shell, metrology engineer at FMI Industries, just to name a few.

About 30% of the alumni went on to do a PhD Research Projects in the Netherlands (University of Groningen, TU Eindhoven, Erasmus Medical Center) and abroad (KU Leuven, University of Cambridge, Victoria University in Wellington).

Others became a high school teacher, consultant at Liandon, analyst at NPM Capital, or opened their own start-up company.

Job prospects
The Master's degree programme 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 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 PhD 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.    

 

Qualification
Master of Science
Duration
24
Duration period
Months
Study mode
Study level
Attendance
Start Dates
City
Groningen
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