Physics and Astronomy: Gravitation, Astro-, and Particle Physics (track)

The two-year track Gravitation, Astro-, and Particle Physics (GRAPPA) in the Master’s programme Physics and Astronomy, a joint degree with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, stands at at the intersection of theoretical physics, experimental (astro)particle physics and astrophysics. Students benefit from a highly collaborative international research environment. Current research topics include gravitational waves, collider-based particle physics experiments and dark matter detection, and staff is involved in several large international research projects.

Is GRAPPA in Amsterdam the track for me?

The GRAPPA track is for ambitious students interested in gravitation, astroparticle and particle physics. You are intrigued by both the subatomic scale (e.g. the Standard Model, particle interactions) and the largest scales (e.g. astrophysical objects, the Universe), and are particularly interested in combining the two to address some of the biggest puzzles in science. Furthermore, you:

  • Are interested in fundamental research
  • Have thorough knowledge of quantum mechanics, calculus and electrodynamics
  • Have a theoretical or experimental background

What does Gravitation, Astro-, and Particle Physics in Amsterdam have to offer me?

The GRAPPA track offers a broad curriculum. Members of the research group are theorists and experimentalists, and you will be able to specialise in either theoretical, experimental (astro)particle physics or astrophysics. The curriculum is designed to challenge you and to give you the tools to work on your research topic in your second year. Current GRAPPA research topics include:

  • Gravitational waves
  • Collider-based particle physics experiments
  • Dark matter detection
  • Multi-messenger techniques (i.e. neutrinos, radio through gamma-ray signatures)
  • Particle acceleration in astrophysical sources
  • Cosmology
  • Beyond the Standard Model physics

GRAPPA staff members are involved with several international research projects, such as:

  • CERN-based ATLAS and LHCb experiments
  • ​KM3NeT neutrino telescope
  • ​KamLAND reactor neutrino experiment
  • ​XENON dark matter experiment
  • Cherenkov Telescope Array
  • VIRGO gravitational wave interferometer
  • Existing and upcoming astrophysical facilities from the radio waves (e.g. LOFAR) through the X-rays (e.g. Chandra, XMM, LOFT)

Joint degree programme with VU University Amsterdam

GRAPPA 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.

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Degree programme
MSc Astronomy and Physics
Regular study programme
120 ECTS, 24 months
Language of instruction
Starts in
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Published by  Faculty of Science