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Master
Physics and Astronomy: Advanced Matter and Energy Physics (track)
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Study programme

The two-year Master's track Advanced Matter and Energy Physics covers topics in condensed matter physics ranging from soft matter to quantum materials and quantum gases. The programme consists of a mix of theoretical and experimental courses that bring you to the forefront of physics. Using state-of-the-art equipment and under the supervision of top-ranked physicists you will work on the topic of your interest in the second year research project.

The curriculum and courses

Experimental physics in Amsterdam is among the best in the world. This two-year track offers challenging courses and research opportunities focused on current trends in the field. For example, you can participate in research projects on:

  • Next generation energy materials and processes (such as nanocrystals, nanowires and nanophotonic systems for tomorrow's solar energy conversion)
  • Complex condensed matter systems (with properties like unconventional superconductivity)
  • Complex liquids, granular, soft and biomatter (with properties like jamming and self-organisation)
  • New forms of ultracold atomic quantum matter (with properties like strong correlations and entanglement)
  • Precision measurements on (cold) atoms and molecules, to test fundamental physics theories
  • 2D metallic states at the surface of 3D topological insulators, and the phenomena these states can be used to explore (such as Majorana fermions and magnetic monopoles)

Study paths

The AMEP programme is loosely organised into three study paths:

  • Emergent and energy materials
  • Soft matter
  • Atomic quantum physics

Mixing study paths is no problem at all. The track coordinator and research staff are happy to advise on course choices.

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

  • Compulsory courses

    The AMEP programme comprises the following compulsory courses:

    • Condensed Matter Theory 1 (3 EC)
    • Fundamental Topics in Statistical Physics 1 (3 EC)
    • AMEP seminar (3 EC)
    • Programming in AMEP
    • Academic Skills (6 EC in total)

    In addition you choose 12 EC from these three courses:

    • Emergent Energy Materials (6 EC)
    • Quantum Optics (6 EC)
    • Hydrodynamics (6 EC)
  • Restricted-choice electives

    Next to the compulsory courses, you will follow a total of 18 EC of physics-oriented restricted-choice elective courses. You have choice of courses from the following list:

    • Bose Einstein Condensates
    • Condensed Matter Theory 2
    • Fundamental Topics in Statistical Physics 2
    • Machine Learning for Physics and Astronomy
    • Nanophotonics
    • Photovoltaics
    • Quantum simulations with atoms and molecules
    • Soft and Porous Matter
    • Soft Condensed Matter and Biological Physics
    • Superconductivity
    • Surface and Interface Science
    • The Science and Technology of Nanolithography
    • Topological Materials
    • Ultrafast Laser Physics
  • Free-choice electives

    You are free to choose 12 EC of MSc. level courses as your free-choice electives. 

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.

Extra scholarships available

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

Research training

The AMEP course load as mentioned above equips you with a strong theoretical background tailored to your research project in the second year. To better prepare you for the connection to the research project, you will follow the AMEP seminar series (3 EC).  Your research project generally takes place in one of the participating research groups at the UvA, VU, AMOLF or in the laboratories of a national or international research partner. 

AMEP research takes place at the very forefront of the field. The programme is built up to provide you with:

  • hands-on experience with high tech systems and techniques used worldwide in science and industry 
  • access to cutting edge experimental facilities covering the whole spectrum - from table-top systems, via complex laser and ultrahigh vacuum set-ups, through to international large scale research facilities (such as synchrotron light sources, x-ray lasers and centres for muon and neutron research)
  • training in the formulation of a research proposal, design of the appropriate experiment(s), dealing with the data, through to tips and guidelines for writing scientific papers and getting them  published in international journals.

To facilitate your data analysis skills, we offer you the Programming for AMEP course (3 EC). Here you will be introduced to the basics of Python and Mathematica programming, concluded by a final assignment offered during the other courses in the program. Open problems in AMEP (3 EC) offers you insight in the broader societal relevance of the program as well as how to critically read current literature.

A few recent examples of AMEP Master's theses are:

Research institutes

AMEP is powered by strong players in experimental physics research in the Amsterdam area:

Top researchers from these institutes teach groundbreaking topics in each of the three study paths, and offer challenging research projects at the forefront of ongoing and new research.

International experience

If you display the necessary initiative and motivation, (part of) the research project in your second Master's year can be used to gain international experience, in the form of a research outplacement abroad. The extensive international network of AMEP scientists can be used as your launchpad: contacts include top physicists at the world's most prestigious science institutions in Europe, the US, Japan and Australia.

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

This Master's programme has been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). Upon successful completion of the programme (a total of 120 ECTS), students will receive a legally recognised Master's degree in Physics and Astronomy and the title of Master of Science (MSc).

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.