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

The curriculum and courses

Together with the programme manager, you will tailor an individual course load with a focus on either theoretical physics, particle physics or astrophysics.

GRAPPA has the following compulsory courses, to give you a solid foundation:

  • General Relativity
  • Particle Cosmology
  • High Energy Astrophysics
  • Particle Physics
  • GRAPPA student seminar
  • Academic skills courses

Besides these core courses, 24 EC is reserved for elective courses to allow you to develop your skills for your research project in the second programme year.

The remaining 12 EC you can freely devote to any other courses that interest you (even outside of physics or astronomy), or to make up for deficiencies.

For detailed information regarding the curriculum and courses, please see the UvA Course Catalogue via the link below.

  • Research topics

    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)

Master's thesis

The second year of the GRAPPA programme focuses on your chosen research project. You will work with one of the academic staff members on a timely and relevant topic, and apply the skills you developed during your courses to work on original research. Topics can range from fairly theoretical (such as cosmology) to experimental (such as building astroparticle physics detectors). Your total thesis work is worth 60 EC.

International experience

Within GRAPPA you can gain international experience in an educational setting, by:

  • attending the CERN summer-school
  • doing a project at the La Palma observatory
  • attending an international school
  • arranging your own astroparticle physics related international activity.

Extra scholarships available

For Physics and Astronomy only, we have in addition to our regular Amsterdam Science Talent Scholarships, extra scholarships available for excellent (non-Dutch) EU/EER students. The Amsterdam Physics and Astronomy Scholarship.

Pre-Master's programme

If you lack the required knowledge and skills to be admitted to the Master’s programme Physics and Astronomy, you can close the gap in our pre-Master's programme.

Majors and minors

At the UvA  you can choose to do your Master's programme with a society-/ business-oriented major or minor that focuses on other skills than doing research. In this case you will follow the programme of your chosen scientific discipline during the first year of your Master's (although slightly adjusted), and a society-/ business-oriented major or minor during the second year. You will graduate as a Master of Science. If you have the ambition to do a professional specialisation make sure to inform about conditions early in your Master's programme.   

Accreditation and title

GRAPPA is a track or specialisation within the UvA Master's programmes Physics and Astronomy. This is a joint degree programme of the University of Amsterdam and  VU University Amsterdam. Courses are taught at the two Faculties of Science. Graduates receive a diploma accredited by both universities. Therefore, as a Physics and Astronomy student you benefit from the expertise, networks and research projects at both universities.

Bring your own device

All students enrolled in the Physics and Astronomy Master's programme are requested to bring their own laptop. More information on specific system requirements can be found here.