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Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering MSc

Course content

What's the Master of Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering all about? 

Nanoscience is the study of phenomena and manipulation on the atomic and molecular scales (nanometers: i.e., one billionth of a meter). Important material properties such as the electrical, optical and mechanical are determined by the way molecules and atoms assemble into larger structures on the nanoscale. Nanotechnology is the application of this science in new nanomaterials and nano-concepts to create new components, systems and products. Nanotechnology is the key to unlocking the ability to design custom-made materials which possess any property we require. These newborn scientific disciplines are situated at the interface of physics, chemistry, material science, microelectronics, biochemistry and biotechnology. Consequently, control of the discipline requires an academic and multidisciplinary scientific education.

In the Master of Science in Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering, you will learn the basics of physics, biology and chemistry on the nanometer scale; these courses will be complemented by courses in technology and engineering to ensure practical know-how. The programme is strongly research oriented, and is largely based on the research of centres like imec (Interuniversity Microelectronics Center), the Leuven Nanocenter and INPAC (Institute for Nanoscale Physics and Chemistry) at the Faculty of Science, all global research leaders in nanoscience, nanotechnology and nanoengineering. In your Master’s thesis, you will have the opportunity to work in the exciting research programmes of these institutes.

The objective of the Master of Science in Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nano engineering is to provide top quality multidisciplinary tertiary education in nanoscience as well as in the use of nanotechnologies for systems and sensors on the macro-scale.


Students follow a set of introductory courses to give them a common starting basis, a compulsory common block of core programme courses to give them the necessary multidisciplinary background of nanoscience, nanotechnology and nanoengineering, and a selection of programme courses to provide some non-technical skills. The students also select their specialisation option for which they choose a set of compulsory specific programme courses, a number of elective broadening programme courses and do their Master’s thesis research project.

  1. The fundamental courses (max 15 credits, 6 courses) introduce the students to relevant disciplines in which they have had no or little training during their Bachelor’s education. These are necessary in order to prepare students from different backgrounds for the core programme courses and the specialisation programme courses of the Master’s.
  2. The general interest courses (9-12 credits) are imparting non-technical skills to the students in domains such as management, economics, languages, quality management, ethics, psychology, etc.
  3. The core courses (39 credits, 8 courses) contain first of all 6 compulsory courses focusing on the thorough basic education within the main disciplines of the Master’s: nanophysics, nanochemistry, nanoelectronics and nanobiochemistry. These core programme courses deliver the basic competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) to prepare the students for their specialisation in one of the subdisciplines of the Master. Next all students also have to follow one out of two available practical courses where they learn to carry out some practical experimental work, which takes place in small teams. Also part of the core courses is the Lecture Series on Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering, which is a series of seminars (14-18 per year) on various topics related to nanoscience, nanotechnology and nanoengineering, given by national and international guest speakers.
  4. The specific courses (21 credits) are compulsory programme courses of the specialisation option. These programme courses are deepening the student’s competences in one of the specialising disciplines of the Master’s programme and prepare them also for the thesis work.
  5. The broadening courses (9-27 credits) allow the students to choose additional progamme courses, either from their own or from the other options of the Master’s, which allow them to broaden their scope beyond the chosen specialisation. They can also choose to do an industrial internship on a nanoscience, nanotechnology or nanoengineering related topic at a nanotechnology company or research institute.
  6. The Master’s thesis (24 credits) is intended to bring the students in close and active contact with a multidisciplinary research environment. The student is assigned a relevant research project and work in close collaboration with PhD students, postdocs and professors. The research project is spread over the two semesters of the second Master’s year, and is finalised with a written Master’s thesis report, a publishable summary paper and a public presentation.

 You can also follow a similar programme in the frame of an interuniversity programme, the Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Career perspectives

In the coming decades, nanoscience and nanotechnology will undoubtedly become the driving force for a new set of products, systems, and applications. These disciplines are even expected to form the basis for a new industrial revolution.

Within a few years, nanoscience applications are expected to impact virtually every technological sector and ultimately many aspects of our daily life. In the coming five-to-ten years, many new products and companies will emerge based on nanotechnology and nanosciences. These new products will stem from the knowledge developed at the interface of the various scientific disciplines offered in this Master's programme.

Thus, graduates will find a wealth of career opportunities in the sectors and industries developing these new technologies: electronics, new and smart materials, chemical technology, biotechnology, R&D, independent consultancies and more. Graduates have an ideal background to become the invaluable interface between these areas and will be able to apply their broad perspective on nanoscience and nanotechnology to the development and creation of new products and even new companies.

Visit the Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering MSc page on the KU Leuven website for more details!





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