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Physics and Astronomy: General Physics and Astronomy (track)

Study programme

The schedule of this track is more flexible, and is especially suited for students opting for a major.

Components Regular programme Programme with a major Programme with a minor
Restricted-choice elective components discipline 36 EC 24 EC 36 EC
Research Project (incl. thesis and colloquium) 60* EC 36 EC 54 EC
Free elective components 18 EC    
Academic skills in the Masters 6 EC    
Major or minor programme   60 EC 30 EC
Total EC 120 EC 120 EC 120 EC

* The research project is 60 EC. A different organisation of the research project requires permission of the Examinations Board. The research project can be split in maximally 2 projects, 1 project is at least 36 EC. Each project is a multiple of 6 EC. The second research project is at least 18 EC.

Restricted-choice elective components of the discipline Physics and Astronomy can be chosen from the compulsory and the restricted-choice elective courses of the tracks

In addition, for students that are interested in Computational Physics it is recommended to choose courses from the Computational Physics of Complex Systems route.

Computational Physics of Complex Systems

The two-year specialisation route in Computational Physics of Complex Systems, within the General Physics and Astronomy track, offers exciting and cutting-edge education which focuses on the physics of complex systems, with topics ranging from the collective dynamics of animal flocking to the mechanics of meta-materials.

This programme places substantial emphasis on computational research methods, and offers a unique balance between fundamental, computational and applied sciences. It provides students with a skill-set relevant both for careers in academia as well as in various high-tech/data-based industries.

  • First year

    The first year of the programme consists mainly of restricted choice elective courses. In consultation with the track coordinator, you choose an individually tailored set of elective courses from physics and related disciplines (36 EC in total). Examples are:

    • Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics
    • Physics of Complex Systems: Dynamics and Information
    • Theory of complex systems
    • Stochastic simulation
    • Soft Condensed Matter & Biological Physics
    • Advanced Computational Condensed Matter
    • Machine learning for Physics and Astronomy
    • Understanding Molecular Simulation
    • Hydrodynamics

    In the General Physics and Astronomy - Computational Physics of Complex Systems route you get to choose 18 ECs from any MSc programme in Amsterdam. Some recommendations are:

    • Numerical Algorithms
    • Statistical Theory of Complex Molecular Systems
    • Scientific Computing and Programming
    • Complex System Simulation
    • Information Theory
  • Second year

    At the end of the first year of the programme, you will kick off work on your Master's project, which will take your second year. This project amounts to 60 ECs, and

    • trains you to carry out hands-on computational physics research on a contemporary subject in statistical physics of complex systems, such as in polymer or molecular physics, physics of glassy systems, biophysics, physics of collective behavior, computational condensed matter, or statistical physics of high-dimensional data.
    • takes place within one of the participating research groups, or in industry under the supervision of a faculty staff member.

    Your Master's project culminates in a written Master's thesis and an oral presentation of your research in the computational soft matter group seminar.

Detailed course information

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

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.