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Masters Degrees (Mathematical Physics)

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Program highlights. The recent progress in several fields of theoretical physics (such as high energy physics, astrophysics, quantum and nonlinear optics or condensed matter physics) required numerous very sophisticated mathematical tools. Read more

Program highlights

The recent progress in several fields of theoretical physics (such as high energy physics, astrophysics, quantum and nonlinear optics or condensed matter physics) required numerous very sophisticated mathematical tools. In these frontline research fields, it became clear that a new understanding of physical systems going from cold atom gases to black holes is impossible without a new insight into underlying mathematical structures. This kind of problems requires a new interdisciplinary approach and specialists with double competence: in Physics and in different fields of modern Mathematics.

The main aim of the Master Program In Mathematical Physics (Math4Phys) is to provide advanced lectures on the mathematical methods of modern theoretical physics in the framework of a mathematical curriculum. Such an offer exists in France only in Dijon as the Mathematical Physics group of the IMB (Burgundy Mathematical Institute) provides a unique environment for a program requiring a double competence in Mathematics and Physics. The Mathematical Physics group of the IMB laboratory in Dijon is a unique research team in France with a capacity to provide advanced lectures in mathematical problems of modern physics. It permits to create a scientific environment for a master program focused on the most important problems of modern Physics from the mathematical perspective.

We offer lecture courses for the students with background in mathematics or mathematical physics giving an introduction to the mathematical methods used for such branches of theoretical physics as quantum field theory, statistical mechanics, general relativity, gauge theories, string theory, etc. The coursework covers different fields of mathematics (algebra, geometry, analysis) and highlights their applications to the problems of modern theoretical physics. The students are integrated from the very beginning into the mathematical physics group of the IMB and have to prepare by the end of each year a master dissertation.

The first year (M1) of the program is designed to provide the necessary background courses (mostly in mathematics but also in physics) to comply with the coursework of the more advanced second year. In particular, the M1 program includes the following subjects:

1.  Differential geometry

2.  Fourier analysis

3.  Functional analysis

4.  Groups and representations

5.  Mathematical methods of classical mechanics

6.  Partial differential equations

7.  Quantum physics

8.  Numerical methods

The second year lecture coursework includes the following lecture courses:

1.  Mathematical methods of quantum physics

2.  Riemann geometry and integrable systems

3.  Lie groups and Lie algebras

4.  Cohomological field theories

5.  Quantum groups

6.  Geometry and physics of blackhole spacetimes

We will also provide several mini courses by the research visitors of IMB. More detailed program of the second year courses can be found on the program webpage

Graduate destinations

The main aim of the master program is to provide sufficient training to start a PhD preparation.

Application

Maximum enrolment 20 in M1 and 15 in M2

To apply for the Master program in Mathematical Physics students should send a CV, a short description of their previous coursework (in Mathematics and Physics) and eventually a motivation letter to the program coordinator:

For M1: Giuseppe Dito ()

For M2: Nikolai Kitanine ()

Accepted students should proceed with the formal application procedure available here.

Requirements

The students applying for the M1 have to complete their undergraduate studies with major in Mathematics or Physics. The students can apply directly for the second year (M2) if they have completed at least one year of graduate courses in Mathematics or Mathematical Physics.

To follow the program the students should have a sufficient proficiency in English (we don’t require TOEFFL or an equivalent certificate but we can suggest an online interview to candidates). 

Grants

Several fellowship grants (600 € per month, during up to 9 months) will be awarded each year to high quality foreign students,



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Working at a frontier of mathematics that intersects with cutting edge research in physics. Mathematicians can benefit from discoveries in physics and conversely mathematics is essential to further excel in the field of physics. Read more

Working at a frontier of mathematics that intersects with cutting edge research in physics.

Mathematicians can benefit from discoveries in physics and conversely mathematics is essential to further excel in the field of physics. History shows us as much. Mathematical physics began with Christiaan Huygens, who is honoured at Radboud University by naming the main building of the Faculty of Science after him. By combining Euclidean geometry and preliminary versions of calculus, he brought major advances to these areas of mathematics as well as to mechanics and optics. The second and greatest mathematical physicist in history, Isaac Newton, invented both the calculus and what we now call Newtonian mechanics and, from his law of gravity, was the first to understand planetary motion on a mathematical basis.

Of course, in the Master’s specialisation in Mathematical Physics we look at modern mathematical physics. The specialisation combines expertise in areas like functional analysis, geometry, and representation theory with research in, for example, quantum physics and integrable systems. You’ll learn how the field is far more than creating mathematics in the service of physicists. It’s also about being inspired by physical phenomena and delving into pure mathematics.

At Radboud University, we have such faith in a multidisciplinary approach between these fields that we created a joint research institute: Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics (IMAPP). This unique collaboration has lead to exciting new insights into, for example, quantum gravity and noncommutative geometry. Students thinking of enrolling in this specialisation should be excellent mathematicians as well as have a true passion for physics.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/mathematics/physics

Why study Mathematical Physics at Radboud University?

- This specialisation is one of the few Master’s in the world that lies in the heart of where mathematics and physics intersect and that examines their cross-fertilization.

- You’ll benefit from the closely related Mathematics Master’s specialisations at Radboud University in Algebra and Topology (and, if you like, also from the one in Applied Stochastics).

- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups. This ensures that at Radboud University you’ll get plenty of one-on-one time with your thesis supervisor.

- You partake in the Mastermath programme, meaning you can follow the best mathematics courses, regardless of the university in the Netherlands that offers them. It also allows you to interact with fellow mathematic students all over the country.

- As a Master’s student you’ll get the opportunity to work closely with the mathematicians and physicists of the entire IMAPP research institute.

- More than 85% of our graduates find a job or a gain a PhD position within a few months of graduating. About half of our PhD’s continue their academic careers.

Career prospects

Mathematicians are needed in all industries, including the industrial, banking, technology and service industry and also within management, consultancy and education. A Master’s in Mathematics will show prospective employers that you have perseverance, patience and an eye for detail as well as a high level of analytical and problem-solving skills.

Job positions

The skills learned during your Master’s will help you find jobs even in areas where your specialised mathematical knowledge may initially not seem very relevant. This makes your job opportunities very broad indeed and is why many graduates of a Master’s in Mathematics find work very quickly.

Possible careers for mathematicians include:

- Researcher (at research centres or within corporations)

- Teacher (at all levels from middle school to university)

- Risk model validator

- Consultant

- ICT developer / software developer

- Policy maker

- Analyst

PhD positions

Radboud University annually has a few PhD positions for graduates of a Master’s in Mathematics. A substantial part of our students attain PhD positions, not just at Radboud University, but at universities all over the world.

Our research in this field

The research of members of the Mathematical Physics Department, emphasise operator algebras and noncommutative geometry, Lie theory and representation theory, integrable systems, and quantum field theory. Below, a small sample of the research our members pursue.

Gert Heckman's research concerns algebraic geometry, group theory and symplectic geometry. His work in algebraic geometry and group theory concerns the study of particular ball quotients for complex hyperbolic reflection groups. Basic questions are an interpretation of these ball quotients as images of period maps on certain algebraic geometric moduli spaces. Partial steps have been taken towards a conjecture of Daniel Allcock, linking these ball quotients to certain finite almost simple groups, some even sporadic like the bimonster group.

Erik Koelink's research is focused on the theory of quantum groups, especially at the level of operator algebras, its representation theory and its connections with special functions and integrable systems. Many aspects of the representation theory of quantum groups are motivated by related questions and problems of a group representation theoretical nature.

Klaas Landsman's previous research programme in noncommutative geometry, groupoids, quantisation theory, and the foundations of quantum mechanics (supported from 2002-2008 by a Pioneer grant from NWO), led to two major new research lines:

1. The use of topos theory in clarifying the logical structure of quantum theory, with potential applications to quantum computation as well as to foundational questions.

2. Emergence with applications to the Higgs mechanism and to Schroedinger's Cat (aka as the measurement problem). A first paper in this direction with third year Honours student Robin Reuvers (2013) generated worldwide attention and led to a new collaboration with experimental physicists Andrew Briggs and Andrew Steane at Oxford and philosopher Hans Halvorson at Princeton.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/mathematics/physics



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This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts. Read more

This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts.

The MSc programme is a core part of the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics, which has been created to mark the start of a new era in theoretical physics research, following the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN. You will take part in the centre’s activities, including weekly seminars, colloquia and workshops involving physicists from around the world, and you will be involved in research-level projects as part of your dissertation.

The partnership between mathematics and physics is an essential one. In theoretical physics we attempt to build abstract constructs that rationalise, explain and predict physical phenomena. To do this we need mathematics: the language of physics. The underlying structure of the physical world can be understood in great detail using mathematics; this is a never-ending source of fascination to theoretical physicists.

Programme structure

Taught courses

You will take two compulsory courses plus a selection of courses that will bring you to an advanced level in subjects such as general relativity, cosmology, statistical physics, condensed matter physics, quantum field theory and the standard model of particle physics. You may also take courses drawn from a wider pool including specialist courses in mathematics, computing and climate science. For the MSc in Mathematical Physics, mathematics courses can account for almost half of the taught course element.

Dissertation

Following the taught component of the programme, you will undertake a three-month research project, which leads to a dissertation.

Learning outcomes

By engaging with and completing the MSc in Mathematical Physics, graduates will acquire core knowledge of theoretical physics subjects and the research methodologies of modern theoretical and mathematical physics.

The programme aims to develop research skills and problem solving skills, especially in mathematics. It also aims to develop an attitude of mind conductive to critical questioning and creative thinking and the capacity to formulate ideas mathematically.

Career opportunities

These degrees are designed to prepare you for a research career by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable to a wide range of research areas and sectors including academia, industry, education and finance.

Scholarships and funding

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:



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Overview. MSc by research in Mathematical Physics. The objective of the structured research programme in Mathematical Physics is to provide. Read more

Overview

MSc by research in Mathematical Physics

The objective of the structured research programme in Mathematical Physics is to provide:

- A high quality research experience and training

- Enhanced arrangements for supervision and mentorship

- Structured arrangements for the development of generic and transferable skills

- Advanced discipline-specific taught courses

- Regular monitoring of progress

Closing date

Research applications are generally accepted at any time

Commences

September (or other agreed time)

Course Structure

Typically the MSc by research takes two years and the student must write a thesis under the supervision of a member of the academic staff. In addition students must take a minimum of 10 credits in taught modules (at least 5 in generic/transferable modules and at least 5 in subject specific/advanced specialist modules) from the Structured PhD programme.

Duration: 2 years Full-time, 3 year Part-time




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Overview. Master of Science in Mathematical Science. Students take modules in Mathematical Physics and Mathematics. At least 4 of the modules (at least 45 ECTS) must be taken at the Masters level (level 6 in Mathematical Physics and level 5 in Mathematics). Read more

Overview

Master of Science in Mathematical Science

Students take modules in Mathematical Physics and Mathematics. At least 4 of the modules (at least 45 ECTS) must be taken at the Masters level (level 6 in Mathematical Physics and level 5 in Mathematics). The remaining credits may be made up at levels 4, 5 or 6.

Course Structure

All module choices are subject to the approval of the Head of Department. Level 6 choices for Mathematical Physics are listed below. For other choices see the Mathematics Department modules at level 5 (see MSc in Mathematics MHR52) and Mathematical Physics Department modules at level 4. One of the Masters level modules may be replaced by a minor thesis subject to the approval of the Head of Department. Total credits 60.

Duration: 1 year Full-time



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Overview. Master of Science in Mathematical Science. Students take modules in Mathematical Physics and Mathematics. At least 4 of the modules (at least 45 ECTS) must be taken at the Masters level (level 6 in Mathematical Physics and level 5 in Mathematics). Read more

Overview

Master of Science in Mathematical Science

Students take modules in Mathematical Physics and Mathematics. At least 4 of the modules (at least 45 ECTS) must be taken at the Masters level (level 6 in Mathematical Physics and level 5 in Mathematics). The remaining credits may be made up at levels 4, 5 or 6.

Commences

September 2015

Course Structure

All module choices are subject to the approval of the Head of Department. Level 6 choices for Mathematical Physics are listed below. For other choices see the Mathematics Department modules at level 5 (see MSc in Mathematics MHR52) and Mathematical Physics Department modules at level 4. Total credits 60.

Duration: 2 years Part-time




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Overview. This is a one year full-time or two or more years part-time taught course. Course Structure. Students take 60 credits of Mathematical Physics from the level 4 and level 3 modules. Read more

Overview

This is a one year full-time or two or more years part-time taught course.

Course Structure

Students take 60 credits of Mathematical Physics from the level 4 and level 3 modules. Modules include Computational Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Mathematical Methods, Condensed Matter Theory, Astrophysics and Cosmology, Particle Physics, Quantum Information Processing, Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics, Electromagnetic Theory and Statistical Methods.

Students take 60 credits of Mathematical Physics from the level 4 and level 3 modules.

Duration:2 or more years Part-time



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Overview. This is a one year full-time or two or more years part-time taught course. Course Structure. Students take 60 credits of Mathematical Physics from the level 4 and level 3 modules. Read more

Overview

This is a one year full-time or two or more years part-time taught course.

Course Structure

Students take 60 credits of Mathematical Physics from the level 4 and level 3 modules. Modules include Computational Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Mathematical Methods, Condensed Matter Theory, Astrophysics and Cosmology, Particle Physics, Quantum Information Processing, Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics, Electromagnetic Theory and Statistical Methods.

Students take 60 credits of Mathematical Physics from the level 4 and level 3 modules.

Duration: 1 year Full-time




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Master's specialisation in Particle and Astrophysics. A physics programme that covers the inner workings of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale. Read more

Master's specialisation in Particle and Astrophysics

A physics programme that covers the inner workings of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale

Although Particle Physics and Astrophysics act on a completely different scale, they both use the laws of physics to study the universe. In this Master’s specialisation you’ll dive into these extreme worlds and unravel questions like: What did our universe look like in the earliest stages of its existence? What are the most elementary particles that the universe consists of? And how will it evolve?

If you are fascinated by the extreme densities, gravities, and magnetic fields that can be found only in space, or by the formation, evolution, and composition of astrophysical objects, you can focus on the Astrophysics branch within this specialisation. Would you rather study particle interactions and take part in the search for new particles – for example during an internship at CERN - then you can choose a programme full of High Energy Physics. And for students with a major interest in the theories and predictions underlying all experimental work, we offer an extensive programme in mathematical or theoretical physics.

Whatever direction you choose, you’ll learn to solve complex problems and think in an abstract way. This means that you’ll be highly appealing to employers in academia and business. Previous students have, for example, found jobs at Shell, ASML, Philips and space research institute SRON.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/particle

Why study Particle and Astrophysics at Radboud University?

- This Master’s specialisation provides you with a thorough background in High Energy Physics, Astrophysics, and Mathematical Physics and the interface between them.

- Apart from the mandatory programme, there’s plenty of room to adapt the programme to your specific interests.

- The programme offers the opportunity to perform theoretical or experimental research.

- During this specialisation it is possible to participate in large-scale research projects, like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN or the LOFAR telescope.

Career prospects

This Master’s specialisation is an excellent preparation for a career in research, either at a university, at an institute (think of ESA and CERN) or at a company. However, many of our students end up in other business or government positions as well. Whatever job you aspire, you can certainly make use of the fact that you have learned:

- Thinking in an abstract way

- Solving complex problems

- Using statistics

- Computer programming

- Giving presentations

Some of our alumni now work as:

- National project manager at EU Universe Awareness

- Actuarial trainee at Talent & Pro

- Associate Private Equity at HAL Investments

- Consultant at Accenture

- ECO Operations Manager at Ofgem

- Scientist at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

- Technology strategy Manager at Accenture

Working at a company

Other previous students have found jobs at for example:

- Shell

- KNMI

- Liander

- NXP

- ASML

- Philips

- McKinsey

- DSM

- Solvay

- Unilever

- AkzoNobel

Researchers in the field of Particle and Astrophysics develop advanced detector techniques that are often also useful for other applications. This resulted in numerous spin-off companies in for example medical equipment and detectors for industrial processes:

- Medipix

- Amsterdam Scientific Instruments

- Omics2Image

- InnoSeis

PhD positions

At Radboud University, there are typically a few PhD positions per year available in the field of Particle and Astrophysics. Many of our students attained a PhD position, not just at Radboud University, but at universities all over the world.

Our approach to this field

In the Particle and Astrophysics specialisation, you’ll discover both the largest and the smallest scales in the universe. Apart from Astrophysics and High Energy Physics, this specialisation is also aimed at the interface between them: experiments and theory related to the Big Bang, general relativity, dark matter, etc. As all relevant research departments are present at Radboud University – and closely work together – you’re free to choose any focus within this specialisation. For example:

- High energy physics

You’ll dive into particle physics and answer questions about the most fundamental building blocks of matter: leptons and quarks. The goal is to understand particle interactions and look for signs of physics beyond the standard model by confronting theoretical predictions with experimental observations.

- Astrophysics

The Astrophysics department concentrates on the physics of compact objects, such as neutron stars and black holes, and the environments in which they occur. This includes understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. While galaxies may contain of up to a hundred billion stars, most of their mass actually appears to be in the form of unseen ‘dark matter’, whose nature remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics.

- Mathematical physics

Research often starts with predictions, based on mathematical models. That’s why we’ll provide you with a theoretical background, including topics such as the properties of our space-time, quantum gravity and noncommutative geometry.

- Observations and theory

The Universe is an excellent laboratory: it tells us how the physical laws work under conditions of ultra-high temperature, pressure, magnetic fields, and gravity. In this specialisation you’ll learn how to decode that information, making use of advanced telescopes and observatories. Moreover, we’ll provide you with a thorough theoretical background in particle and astrophysics. After you’ve got acquainted with both methods, you can choose to focus more on theoretical physics or experimental physics.

- Personal approach

If you’re not yet sure what focus within this specialisation would best fit your interests, you can always ask one of the teachers to help you during your Master’s. Based on the courses that you like and your research ambitions, they can provide you with advice about electives and the internship(s).

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/particle



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This programme is aimed at graduates whose level of mathematical training is high, but below that of the BSc Degree Honours in Mathematics or Mathematical Physics, and who have demonstrated mathematical flair. Read more
This programme is aimed at graduates whose level of mathematical training is high, but below that of the BSc Degree Honours in Mathematics or Mathematical Physics, and who have demonstrated mathematical flair. It enables them to reach in one year a level of mathematical knowledge equivalent to that of BSc Honours graduates and thus, in particular, qualifies them to enter the MSc degree in Mathematics, Mathematical Physics or Mathematical Sciences.

Students in the programme choose one of two streams:

The Applied and Computational Mathematics Stream
The Mathematics Stream

The programme extends over two semesters and involves 60 credits of taught modules.

This programme runs full time for one academic year - September to May (2 semesters)
This programme runs part time for two academic years - September to May (4 semesters)

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The MSc in Mathematical Sciences is a one-year (12 months) full-time programme which allows a student to combine graduate-level modules in one or more of the disciplines of the school (Actuarial Science and Statistics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics/Mathematical Physics). Read more
The MSc in Mathematical Sciences is a one-year (12 months) full-time programme which allows a student to combine graduate-level modules in one or more of the disciplines of the school (Actuarial Science and Statistics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics/Mathematical Physics). It consists of 60 credits of taught modules in Mathematics, Statistics, Mathematical Physics or Applied Mathematics, and 30 credits assigned to the writing of a dissertation as well as active participation in a research seminar.

September to August (full time) - 1 year or 3 semesters
September to August (part time) - 2 years or 6 semesters

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Our MSc Theoretical Physics programme will provide you with exposure to a very wide range of world-leading teaching and research skills. Read more

Our MSc Theoretical Physics programme will provide you with exposure to a very wide range of world-leading teaching and research skills. As well as the wide range of modules offered by the Department of Mathematics, many optional modules are available from across the University of London, subject to approval. King's will offer you a unique module in 'General Research Techniques' which will prepare you for life as a research scientist. You will also undertake an extended research project supervised by one of our academic staff.

Key benefits

  • This intensive programme covers basic topics in theoretical and mathematical physics such as general relativity and quantum field theory, and leads to advanced topics such as string theory, supersymmetry and integrable quantum field theory.
  • Intimate class environment with small class sizes (typically fewer than 30 students per module) allows good student-lecturer interactions.
  • A full 12-month course with a three-month supervised summer project to give a real introduction to research.

Description

This programme covers topics like string theory, quantum field theory, supersymmetry, general relativity, and conformal and integrable field theory. Students gain a coherent, comprehensive introduction to the building blocks of modern theoretical physics. Students study at least eight taught modules and develop individual projects in areas of current research. The programme ideally prepares students for active research.

Course purpose

The MSc Theoretical Physics programme provides experience of research in rapidly developing areas of theoretical and mathematical physics and related disciplines. The programme provides experience of the planning, administration, execution and dissemination of research, and will equip you with the background knowledge and transferable and generic skills required to become an effective researcher.

Course format and assessment

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

Each module in your degree is worth a number of credits: you are expected to spend approximately 10 hours of effort for each credit (so for a typical module of 15 credits this means 150 hours of effort). These hours cover every aspect of the module: lectures, tutorials, labs (if any), independent study based on lecture notes, tutorial preparation and extension, lab preparation and extension, coursework preparation and submission, examination revision and preparation, and examinations. 

Assessment

Assessment methods will depend on the modules selected. The primary method of assessment for this course is written examination. You may also be assessed by class tests, essays, assessment reports and oral presentations.

Sign up for more information. Email now

Have a question about applying to King’s? Email now



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The course is run jointly by the. Mathematical Institute. and the. Department of Physics. It provides a high-level, internationally competitive training in mathematical and theoretical physics, right up to the level of modern research. Read more

The course is run jointly by the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Physics. It provides a high-level, internationally competitive training in mathematical and theoretical physics, right up to the level of modern research. It covers the following main areas:

  • quantum field theory, particle physics and string theory
  • theoretical condensed matter physics,
  • theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and physics of continuous media
  • mathematical foundations of theoretical physics

The course concentrates on the main areas of modern mathematical and theoretical physics: elementary-particle theory, including string theory, condensed matter theory (both quantum and soft matter), theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and the physics of continuous media (including fluid dynamics and related areas usually associated with courses in applied mathematics in the UK system). If you are a physics student with a strong interest in theoretical physics or a mathematics student keen to apply high-level mathematics to physical systems, this is a course for you.

The course offers considerable flexibility and choice; you will be able to choose a path reflecting your intellectual tastes or career choices. This arrangement caters to you if you prefer a broad theoretical education across subject areas or if you have already firmly set your sights on one of the subject areas, although you are encouraged to explore across sub-field boundaries.

You will have to attend at least ten units' worth of courses, with one unit corresponding to a 16-hour lecture course or equivalent. You can opt to offer a dissertation as part of your ten units. Your performance will be assessed by one or several of the following means: 

  • invigilated written exams
  • course work marked on a pass/fail basis
  • take-home exams
  • mini-projects due shortly after the end of the lecture course.

The modes of assessment for a given course are decided by the course lecturer and will be published at the beginning of each academic year. As a general rule, foundational courses will be offered with an invigilated exam while some of the more advanced courses will typically be relying on the other assessment methods mentioned above. In addition, you will be required to give an oral presentation towards the end of the academic year which will cover a more specialised and advanced topic related to one of the subject areas of the course. At least four of the ten units must be assessed by an invigilated exam and, therefore, have to be taken from lecture courses which provide this type of assessment. A further three units must be assessed by invigilated written exam, take-home exam or mini-project. Apart from these restrictions, you are free to choose from the available programme of lecture courses.

The course offers a substantial opportunity for independent study and research in the form of an optional dissertation (worth at least one unit). The dissertation is undertaken under the guidance of a member of staff and will typically involve investigating and write in a particular area of theoretical physics or mathematics, without the requirement (while not excluding the possibility) of obtaining original results.



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Applying the laws of physics in real-life situations, ranging from measuring brain activity to designing new materials and investigating space objects. Read more

Applying the laws of physics in real-life situations, ranging from measuring brain activity to designing new materials and investigating space objects .

Would you rather specialise in pure physics or discover the interface between physics and astronomy, mathematics, chemistry or biology? The choice is yours. At Radboud University, you can choose from six specialisations and within each specialisation you’ll have plenty of room to customise your programme. We guarantee the highest quality for all specialisation programmes, resulting in number one rates by the Dutch ‘Keuzegids Masters’ for three years running.

In your internship(s), you can dive into theoretical physics or perform your own experiments: discover new material properties in Europe’s highest magnetic fields or with unique free electron lasers, study space objects with the telescopes on top of the Huygens Building or unravel brain activity with MRIs. It’s all possible on the Radboud campus. That’s why many international physicists come here to perform their experiments. Take Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who revealed the amazing properties of graphene in our High Field Magnet Laboratory. In 2010, they received the Nobel Prize in Physics for those discoveries.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy

Specialisations of Physics and Astronomy

- Particle and Astrophysics

In this Master’s specialisation you’ll unravel questions like: What are the most elementary particles that the universe consists of? What did our universe look like in the earliest stages of its existence? And how will it evolve? One of the topics is the Higgs particle, which is partially a Nijmegen discovery.

- Physics of Molecules and Materials

This specialisation focuses on the structure and properties of materials. You’ll work at the ‘terra incognita’ between quantum and classical physics, which is of great importance for designing next-generation materials and devices.

- Neuroscience

In this specialisation you’ll use your physics background to understand the communication between neurons in the brain. This fundamental knowledge can be applied in all kinds of devices, including hearing aids or Google glasses.

- Science in Society

This specialisation will equip you with the tools and skills to become a professional intermediary between science and society. You’ll learn to analyse (governmental) science communication and connect scientific knowledge with divergent perspectives and interests of various stakeholders.

- Science, Management and Innovation

This specialisation will teach you what is happening in the world of business and public administration, how innovation is managed in company strategies, how government designs policy and how that interacts with societal challenges.

- Science and Education (in Dutch)

Do you want to become a secondary school teacher in the Netherlands? In this Dutch-taught specialisation you’ll get the necessary didactic background and extensive experience in the classroom.

Why study Physics and Astronomy at Radboud University?

- It’s the best Master’s programme of its kind in the Netherlands, according to the Keuzegids Masters.

- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups. This ensures that at Radboud University you’ll get plenty of one-on-one time with your internship supervisor.

- We have a multidisciplinary approach: you not only can specialise in Physics, but also in astrophysics, biophysics, mathematical physics, chemical physics or materials science.

- You’ll spend one year on research, and thus get an extensive experience in scientific methods.

- Radboud University hosts multiple state-of-the-art research facilities, such as the High Field Magnet Laboratory , FELIX laser laboratory, Nanolab and neuroimaging facilities (MRI, MEG, EEG, TMS). We also participate in the LHC particle accelerator in Geneva, the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina and various other large-scale research projects.

- On average, our graduates find a job within 2 months after graduating. A majority of these jobs are PhD positions at universities in the Netherlands and abroad.

Career prospects

All specialisations of this Master’s programme are an excellent preparation for a career in research, either at a university, at an institute or at a company. However, many of our students end up in other business or government positions as well. Whatever job you aspire, you can certainly make use of the fact that you have learned to:

- Think in an abstract way

- Solve complex problems

- Make accurate approximations

- Combine theory and experiments

PhD positions

If you would like to have a career in science, it’s possible to apply for a PhD position at Radboud University. Of course, you can also apply at any other university anywhere in the world.

Positions in business or governmental organisations

To get an idea the various career opportunities, a sample of jobs performed by our alumni:

- Actuarial trainee at Talent & Pro

- Consultant at Accenture

- ECO Operations Manager at Ofgem

- Scientist at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

- Technology strategy Manager at Accenture

- Consultant Billing at KPN

- Communications advisor at the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM)

- Systems analysis engineer at Thales

- Technical consultant at UL Transaction Security

- Business analyst at Capgemini

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy



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This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts. Read more

This MSc programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or industry by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable in a wide range of research areas, while emphasising the underlying physics concepts.

The MSc programme is a core part of the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics, which has been created to mark the start of a new era in theoretical physics research, following the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN. You will take part in the centre’s activities, including weekly seminars, colloquia and workshops involving physicists from around the world, and you will be involved in research-level projects as part of your dissertation.

The partnership between mathematics and physics is an essential one. In theoretical physics we attempt to build abstract constructs that rationalise, explain and predict physical phenomena. To do this we need mathematics: the language of physics. The underlying structure of the physical world can be understood in great detail using mathematics; this is a never-ending source of fascination to theoretical physicists.

Programme structure

Taught courses

You will take two compulsory courses plus a selection of courses that will bring you to an advanced level in subjects such as general relativity, cosmology, statistical physics, condensed matter physics, quantum field theory and the standard model of particle physics. You may also take courses drawn from a wider pool including specialist courses in mathematics, computing and climate science.

Dissertation

Following the taught component of the programme, you will undertake a three-month research project, which leads to a dissertation.

Learning outcomes

By engaging with and completing the MSc in Theoretical Physics, graduates will acquire core knowledge of theoretical physics subjects and the research methodologies of modern theoretical and mathematical physics. The programme aims to develop research skills and problem solving skills, especially in mathematics. It also aims to develop an attitude of mind conductive to critical questioning and creative thinking and the capacity to formulate ideas mathematically.

Career opportunities

These degrees are designed to prepare you for a research career by introducing advanced ideas and techniques that are applicable to a wide range of research areas and sectors including academia, industry, education and finance.

Scholarships and funding

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:



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