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Physics and Astronomy: Theoretical Physics (track)


Einstein, Bohr, Feynman, Hawking... Theoretical physics has captured the imagination for many generations. The two-year track Theoretical Physics in the Master's programme Physics and Astronomy, a joint degree with VU Amsterdam, offers education and training from researchers of one of Europe's leading institutes in this challenging and exciting field. Requiring a high level of conceptual and technical sophistication, it seeks to answer deeply fundamental questions such as: What is matter made of? What is the nature of space and time?

What is this programme about?

Students and lecturers from Theoretical Physics tell you in this video what to expect from this programme and discuss career opportunities once you have graduated.

Discover the Master's programme & tracks

The Master's programme Physics and Astronomy offers specialisations in offers specialisations in seven tracks. Theoretical Physics is one of them. The other tracks are:

The study programme

Courses in this track are conducted by researchers from the UvA Institute for Theoretical Physics, one of Europe's leading theoretical physics institutes. They specialise in quantum matter and complex systems; particle physics, cosmology and quantum gravity; and history of physics. The track offers you a broad spectrum of advanced courses on these and other current research topics. Its backbone is formed by training in quantum field theory, statistical physics and condensed matter theory. In addition, you can take elective physics and mathematics courses on different topics.

Shape your own curriculum

There are a lot of electives in the programme, and lots of specialised Theory courses you can choose from.

Large MSc research project

Research project of one year, embedded in an ongoing project of a local research group. 

Internationally renowned experts

Lectures by renowned experts conducting innovative research in theoretical physics.

Is Theoretical Physics for you?

If you are fascinated by physics and the laws of science, Theoretical Physics might be the track for you. You will need to have a profound knowledge of the special theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, statistical physics, electrodynamics, calculus and linear algebra (a basic knowledge of condensed matter and particle physics is an advantage). Furthermore, you:

  • want to understand at a fundamental level why matter is what it is, and how this affects the world around us;
  • enjoy exploring and developing mathematical models;
  • have a high ability for abstraction;
  • are willing to dig deep to find solutions to physics problems.

Joint degree programme with VU Amsterdam

Theoretical Physics 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.

UvA-VU logo
Facts & Figures
Degree programme MSc Physics and Astronomy
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 120 ECTS, 24 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 65016
Location Science Park