Revealing the ‘terra incognita’ between quantum mechanics and the classical world and inspiring new technologies.
As a scientist, you’re a problem solver. But how do you tackle a problem when there are no adequate theories and calculations become far too complicated? In the specialisation in Physics of Molecules and Materials you’ll be trained to take up this challenge in a field of physics that is still largely undiscovered: the interface between quantum and classical physics.
We focus on systems from two atoms to complete nanostructures, with time scales in the order of femtoseconds, picoseconds or nanoseconds. One of our challenges is to understand the origin of phenomena like superconductivity and magnetism. As theory and experiment reinforce each other, you’ll learn about both ‘research languages’. In this way, you’ll be able to understand complex problems by dividing them into manageable parts.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/physics
- At Radboud University there’s a strong connection between theory and experiment. Theoretical and experimental physicists will teach you to become acquainted with both methods.
- In your internship(s), you’ll have the opportunity to work with unique research equipment, like free electron lasers and high magnetic fields, and with internationally known scientists.
- We collaborate with several industrial partners, such as Philips and NXP. This extensive network can help you find an internship or job that meets your interests.
If you’re successful in your internship, you have a good chance of obtaining a PhD position at the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM).
1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Physics
2. A proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
- A TOEFL score of ≥575 (paper based) or ≥90 (internet based
- An IELTS score of ≥6.5
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher.
This Master’s specialisation is an excellent preparation for a career in research, either at a university or at a company. However, many of our students end up in business as well. Whatever job you aspire, you can certainly make use of the fact that you have learned to:
- Solve complex problems
- Make accurate approximations
- Combine theory and experiments
- Work with numerical methods
Graduates have found jobs as for example:
- 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
At Radboud University, we’re capable of offering many successful students in the field of Physics of Molecules and Materials a PhD position. Many of our students have already attained a PhD position, not just at Radboud University, but at universities all over the world.
In this specialisation, you’ll discover the interface between quantum mechanics and the classical world, which is still a ‘terra incognita’. We focus on two-atom systems, multi-atom systems, molecules and nanostructures. This is pioneering work, because these systems are often too complex for quantum calculations and too small for the application of classical theories.
- Theory and experiment
At Radboud University, we believe that the combination of theory and experiments is the best way to push the frontiers of our knowledge. Experiments provide new knowledge and data and sometimes also suggest a model for theoretical studies. The theoretical work leads to new theories, and creative ideas for further experiments. That’s why our leading theoretical physicists collaborate intensively with experimental material physicists at the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM). Together, they form the teaching staff of the Master’s specialisation in Physics of Molecules and Materials.
This specialisation is focused on two main topics:
- Advanced spectroscopy
Spectroscopy is a technique to look at matter in many different ways. Here you’ll learn the physics behind several spectroscopic techniques, and learn how to design spectroscopic experiments. At Radboud University, you also have access to large experimental infrastructure, such as the High Magnetic field Laboratory (HFML), the FELIX facility for free electron lasers and the NMR laboratory.
- Condensed matter and molecular physics
You’ll dive into material science at the molecular level as well as the macroscopic level, on length scales from a single atom up to nanostructure and crystal. In several courses, you’ll get a solid background in both quantum mechanical and classical theories.
We’re not aiming at mere evolution of current techniques, we want to revolutionize them by developing fundamentally new concepts. Take data storage. The current data elements are near the limits of speed and data capacity. That’s why in the IMM we’re exploring a completely new way to store and process data, using light instead of electrical current. And this is but one example of how our research inspires future technology. As a Master’s student you can participate in this research or make breakthroughs in a field your interested in.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/physics
The Quantum Technologies MSc will take students to the cutting-edge of research in the emerging area of quantum technologies, giving them not only an advanced training in the relevant physics but also the chance to acquire key skills in the engineering and information sciences.
Students learn the language and techniques of advanced quantum mechanics, quantum information and quantum computation, as well as state-of-the-art implementation with condensed matter and quantum optical systems.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research project (90 credits).
All students take the following core modules:
Students choose one optional module from any of the Physics MSc degrees as well as two of the following optional modules:
Research project and case studies
The MSc programme culminates in the quantum technologies project and attached case studies. All students undertake two case studies related to quantum technologies as well as an independent research project (experimental or theoretical), which will be the subject of a presentation and a dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words. Research-active supervisors will provide topics which will enable the students to make contributions to research in the field.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars, with self-study on two modules devoted to the critical assessment of current research topics and the corresponding research skills. Assessment is through a combination of problem sheets, written examinations, case study reports and presentations, as well as the MSc project dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Quantum Technologies MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The programme prepares graduates for careers in the emerging quantum technology industries which play an increasingly important role in: secure communication; sensing and metrology; the simulation of other quantum systems; and ultimately in general-purpose quantum computation. Graduates will also be well prepared for research at the highest level in the numerous groups now developing quantum technologies and for work in government laboratories.
Graduates will possess the skills needed to work in the emerging quantum industries as they develop in response to technological advances.
UCL offers one of the leading research programmes in quantum technologies anywhere in the world, as well as outstanding taught programmes in the subjects contributing to the field (including physics, computer science, and engineering). It also hosts the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Delivering Quantum Technologies.
The programme provides a rigorous grounding across the disciplines underlying quantum technologies, as well as the chance to work with some of the world's leading groups in research projects. The new Quantum Science and Technology Institute ('UCLQ') provides an umbrella where all those working in the field can meet and share ideas, including regular seminars, networking events and opportunities to interact with commercial and government partners.
The Master’s programme in the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) offers a unique opportunity to study the foundations, practices, and culture of the sciences and humanities from a historical and philosophical perspective. Our two-year research programme addresses the historical development of scientific thought and practice with a broad approach that investigates the interplay of science or the humanitites with cultural, social, and institutional factors. Students will also learn to analyse the structure and concepts of theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution, and modern genetics.
HPS has twice been judged ´best in category´ by the national Master guide (Keuzegids Masters): in the category ‘Science and Policy’ (Bèta en Beleid, 2012) and in the category ‘Philosophy’ (Wijsbegeerte, 2013).
The curriculum covers courses on selected subjects in:
The general aim of the Master’s programme HPS is to offer you a thorough training in the history and/or philosophy or foundations of the sciences and humanities. You'll learn to develop and research historical or philosophical research questions. You will be educated in developing a professional attitude which enables you to enroll in a PhD programme in the HPS field, or start (on the job training) for a career in science education and communication, in museums, in science policy or science management.
The principal component of this degree is an intensive novel research project providing 'hands-on' training in methods and techniques at the cutting edge of scientific research. The programme is particularly suitable for those wishing to embark on an academic career, with a strong track record of students moving into graduate research at UCL and elsewhere.
Students develop a systematic approach to devising experiments and/or computations and gain familiarity with a broad range of synthetic, analytical and spectroscopic techniques, acquiring skills for the critical analysis of their experimental and computational observations. They also broaden their knowledge of chemistry through a selection of taught courses and are able to tailor the programme to meet their personal interests.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of one core module (30 credits), four optional modules (15 credits each) and a research project (90 credits).
All students undertake a literature project (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits), which are linked.
Students choose four optional modules from the following:
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words and a viva voce examination (90 credits).
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and research supervision. Assessment is through the dissertation, unseen written examinations, research papers, a written literature survey, and an oral examination. All students will be expected to attend research seminars relevant to their broad research interest.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Chemical Research MSc
This MSc is designed to provide first-hand experience of research at the cutting-edge of chemistry and is particularly suitable for those wishing to embark on an academic career (i.e. doctoral research) in this area, although the research and critical thinking skills developed will be equally valuable in a commercial environment.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
With departmental research interests and activities spanning the whole spectrum of chemistry, including development of new organic molecules, fundamental theoretical investigations and prediction and synthesis of new materials, students are able to undertake a project that aligns with their existing interests.
Students develop crucial first-hand experience in scientific methods, techniques for reporting science and using leading-edge research tools, as well as further essential skills for a research career.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Chemistry
94% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Degree: Master of Science (two years) with a major in Applied Physics or Master of Science (two years) with a major in Physics
Teaching language: English
The Material Physics and Nanotechnology master's programme provides students with specialist knowledge in the area of new materials. Huge advances in modern technology and products in recent decades have to a large extent relied on developments in this field.
The importance of advanced materials in today’s technology is best exemplified by the highly purified semiconductor crystals that are the basis of the electronic age. Future implementations and applications of materials in electronics and photonics involve such subjects as nano-scale physics, molecular electronics and non-linear optics.
With support from internationally competitive research activities in materials physics at Linköping University, the programme has been established with distinct features that offer students high‑level interdisciplinary education and training in fundamental solid state physics and materials science within the following areas:
The programme emphasises the comprehension of scientific principles and the development of personal and professional skills in solving practical engineering problems. Studies begin with mandatory courses, including nanotechnology, quantum mechanics, surface physics and the physics of condensed matter, in order to provide students with a solid knowledge foundation for modern materials science and nanotechnology. Moreover, through courses in experimental physics and analytical methods in materials science, students gain extensive training in operating the advanced instruments and equipment currently used in the research and development of new materials.
A variety of elective courses is offered from the second term onwards, many of them involving the use of cutting-edge technology. These courses give students a broad perspective of today’s materials science research and links to applications in semiconductor technology, optoelectronics, bioengineering (biocompatibility), chemical sensors and biosensors, and mechanical applications for high hardness and elasticity. Students will also be instructed through in-depth CDIO (Conceive – Design – Implement – Operate) project courses, to develop abilities in creative thinking and problem solving.
Students complete a thesis project in the area of materials science and nanotechnology, either with an in-house research group or the industry.
This is a one year advanced taught course. The aim of this course is to bring students in 12 months to the frontier of elementary particle theory. This course is intended for students who have already obtained a good first degree in either physics or mathematics, including in the latter case courses in quantum mechanics and relativity.
The course consists of three modules: the first two are the Michaelmas and Epiphany graduate lecture courses, which are assessed by examinations in January and March. The third module is a dissertation on a topic of current research, prepared under the guidance of a supervisor with expertise in the area. We offer a wide variety of possible dissertation topics. The dissertation must be submitted by September 15th, the end of the twelve month course period.
The main group of lectures are given in the first two terms of the academic year (Michaelmas and Epiphany). This part of the lecture course is assessed by examinations. In each term there are two teaching periods of four weeks, with a week's break in the middle of the term in which students will be able to revise the material. Most courses are either eight lectures or 16 lectures in length. There are 14 lectures/week in the Michaelmas term and 14 lectures/week in Epiphany term.
Optional Modules available in previous years included:
This is a full-year degree course, starting early October and finishing in the middle of the subsequent September. The aim of the course is to bring students to the frontier of research in elementary particle theory.
The course consists of three modules: the first two are the Michaelmas and Epiphany graduate lecture courses. The third module is a dissertation on a topic of current research, prepared under the guidance of a supervisor with expertise in the area. We offer a wide variety of possible dissertation topics.
The lectures begin with a general survey of particle physics and introductory courses on quantum field theory and group theory. These lead on to more specialised topics, amongst others in string theory, cosmology, supersymmetry and more detailed aspects of the standard model.
The main group of lectures is given in the first two terms of the academic year (Michaelmas and Epiphany). This part of the lecture course is assessed by examinations. In each term there are two teaching periods of 4 weeks, with a week's break in the middle of the term in which students will be able to revise the material. Most courses are either 8 lectures or 16 lectures in length. There are 14 lectures/week in the Michaelmas term and 14 lectures/week in Epiphany term they are supported by weekly tutorials. In addition lecturers also set a number of homework assignments which give the student a chance to test his or her understanding of the material.
There are additional optional lectures in the third term. These introduce advanced topics and are intended as preparation for research in these areas.
The dissertation must be submitted by mid-September, the end of the twelve month course period.
This course aims to bring you, in 12 months, to a position where you can embark with confidence on a wide range of careers, including taking a PhD in Mathematics or related disciplines. There is a wide range of taught modules on offer, and you will also produce a dissertation on a topic of current research interest taken from your choice of a wide range of subjects offered.
Modules: Six of available options
In previous years, optional modules available included:
Modules in Pure Mathematics:
Modules in Probability and Statistics:
Modules in Applications of Mathematics:
This is a full-year degree course, starting early October and finishing in the middle of the subsequent September. The aim of the course is to give the students a wide mathematical background allowing them to either proceed to PhD or to apply the gained knowledge in industry.
The course consists of three modules: the first two are the Michaelmas and Epiphany lecture courses covering variety of topics in pure and applied mathematics and statistics. The third module is a dissertation on a topic of current research, prepared under the guidance of a supervisor with expertise in the area. We offer a wide variety of possible dissertation topics.
The main group of lectures is given in the first two terms of the academic year (Michaelmas and Epiphany), there are also two revision lectures in the third term (Easter). This part of the course is assessed by examinations. Students choose 6 modules, each module has 2 lectures per week and one fortnightly problems class. There are 10 teaching weeks in the Michaelmas term and 9 teaching weeks in Epiphany term. In addition lecturers also set a number of homework assignments which give the student a chance to test their understanding of the material.
The dissertation must be submitted by mid-September, the end of the twelve month course period
This programme reflects and benefits from the strong research activities of the Department of Mathematics.
The taught modules and dissertation topics are closely aligned with the interests of the Department’s four research groups:
During the first two semesters you will take a range of taught modules from an extensive list of options, followed by an extended research project conducted over the summer under the supervision of a member of the department, culminating in the writing of a dissertation.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Mathematics is not only central to science, technology and finance-related fields, but the logical insight, analytical skills and intellectual discipline gained from a mathematical education are highly sought after in a broad range of other areas such as law, business and management.
There is also a strong demand for new mathematics teachers to meet the ongoing shortage in schools.
As well as being designed to meet the needs of future employers, our MSc programme also provides a solid foundation from which to pursue further research in mathematics or one of the many areas to which mathematical ideas and techniques are applied.
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.