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Physics and Astronomy: Theoretical Physics (track)

Study programme


The first year of the programme consists mainly of courses. The following courses are compulsory:

  • Statistical Physics and Condensed Matter Theory I (6 EC, first block)
  • Quantum field theory (6 EC, second block)
  • Quantum field theory extension (3 EC, third block)
  • Academic skills courses (6 EC in total, throughout the first year)
  • Student seminar Theoretical Physics (6 EC, first semester second year)

In addition, you choose an individually tailored set of elective physics and mathematics courses (21 EC in total), under compulsory guidance. Examples are:

  • Cosmology
  • ​General Relativity 
  • ​Mathematical Methods 1 and 2
  • ​Advanced Numerical Methods in Many-Body Physics
  • Particles and Fields
  • Statistical Physics and Condensed Matter Theory 2
  • Statistical Physics of Soft and Living Matter
  • Advanced QFT
  • ​String Theory.

Master's project and thesis

At the end of the first year of the programme, you make a start with your Master's project, which will take most of your second year. This project:

  • provides your research training
  • comprises independent research on a contemporary subject in theoretical physics
  • takes place within one of the participating research groups, or in industry under the supervision of a faculty staff member.

During your Master's project you can still take one or two elective courses, and you receive some training in career planning and presenting.

Your Master's project culminates in a written Master's thesis, and an oral presentation of your project results completes the programme. A few recent examples of Master's theses in Theoretical Physics from the UvA are:

Other Physics Master's theses can be found in the digital theses library of the UvA Faculty of Science.

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.