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Physics and Astronomy

Course Description

Something for you?

Are you interested in theoretical and/or experimental research of elementary particles, stars and the universe? Do you want to attend lectures by Nobel Prize laureates and other internationally renowned researchers during your education? Do you want to participate actively in the latest, innovative experiments at CERN or on Antarctica? Or do you aspire to have a career in academia, industry, banking, in the medical sector or education? In that case this Master programme is what you are looking for!

About the programme

This MSc programme combines the expertise in research of both the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University (UGent). This allows you to tailor your study programme according to your interests. The programme consists of several components: basic competences, electives, Master’s thesis and, specifically for the minor Research, mobility / internship. Mobility means taking courses at another university, usually in Belgium, while the internship can be either in Belgium or abroad.


Elementary particles
The structure of this Master’s programme ensures a broad formation as a physicist and offers you the opportunity to partake in top-level research in our very own research groups. This programme focuses on the physics of elementary particles, where both experimental and theoretical research topics are discussed, as well as astro-particle physics.

Experimental physicist
As an aspiring experimental physicist you can focus on the experimental study of high-energy interactions and cosmic radiation, and you can work with the most innovative detectors in the biggest particle accelerators.

Theoretical physicist
As a future theorist you will be confronted with gauge theories, strings and branes, gravitation and cosmology. This theoretical part has links with theoretical research in astrophysics, since that discipline studies the evolution of massive double stars, the evolution of star birth galaxies and the chemical evolution of galaxies.

As an aspiring astronomer you can choose to do observational research on topics such as astroseismology and the development of photometric techniques.

Quantum physics
Finally, you can also decide to specialise in the most fundamental aspects of quantum physics and its recent applications in the field of quantum information.


The curriculum consists of four components:

1. Mandatory courses
2. Electives
3. Internship
4. Master thesis
This structure ensures that you will have a solid formation as a physicist, while offering you the possibility to participate in high-level research in our research groups.

Room for interaction and discussion

Physics students at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel attend lectures, exercises, lab sessions and excursions in small groups. There is room for interaction and discussion, and a low threshold for students to actively participate. This programme pays special attention to critical analysis.

The different research groups at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are in close contact with leading universities and research institutes around the world, which allows you to do part of your studies and/or the research for your Master’s thesis abroad. Our research groups work for example at the particle accelerator at CERN.

Visit the Physics and Astronomy page on the Vrije Universiteit Brussel website for more details!

Student Profiles

MasterMind Scholarships - 20+ Awards

The Government of Flanders has launched a new scholarship programme in 2015, Master Mind Scholarships. For the academic year 2017-2018, it awards up to 45 scholarships to outstanding Master students from all countries.http://www.studyinflanders.be/en/scholarship-programmes/master-mind-scholarships/

Value of Scholarship(s)

7,500 Euros/year


Only outstanding students can apply (equivalent of magna cum laude, first class honours, Grade A).

Application Procedure


Further Information



OAS (Organization of American States) Scholarships - 10 Awards


Value of Scholarship(s)

1,350 Euros+tuition fee waiver for top students


Be a citizen and/or permanent legal resident of any OAS member state (http://www.oas.org/en/member_states/default.asp), except the United States and Canada

Application Procedure


Further Information


Entry Requirements

This Master programme presupposes a broad and good basic knowledge of physics and astronomy. Application prerequisite for the programme Master in Physics and Astronomy is an academic Bachelor's degree in Physics or equivalent. Equivalency and admission to the programme will be based on a review of each student's academic record and will be evaluated case by case.

Course Fees

EEA students: 890 EUR/year____Non EEA students 2950 EUR/year

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