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Course Description

With the employment rate of our young graduates, a MSc in Physics from KU Leuven is practically money in the bank! Training future scientist to be productive in research
institutes or corporate environments, this elite Master's programme offers not only thorough and specialised knowledge of physics, but also a wealth of transferable skills. By honing your skills in judgement, critical insight, problem analysis and solving, experimental or theoretical methodology, report writing, team work and understanding the social role of science, our programme will form you into a responsible physicist who is able to contribute equally to science and society. A research-based institute that generates substantial funding, the Department of Physics and Astronomy at KU Leuven is able to offer many research positions and more than half the students who obtain a Master's degree in physics eventually start a PhD programme in one of the department's laboratories. See if there's something here for you!

The Master of Physics programme provides students with a thorough general knowledge of physics as well as an in-depth knowledge in a range of specialist areas. Students prepare a Master's thesis in a research domain related to nuclear physics, solid state physics, soft matter physics or theoretical physics, all areas in which the research groups within the Department of Physics and Astronomy have significant expertise.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The master students will grow into independent and critical scientists. Masters of physics will have developed sufficient knowledge and skills to participate in competitive national or international PhD programmes. Moreover the acquired research methodology will prepare the student for employment as a scientist in any chosen profession.

The curriculum is constructed in a way that the student can specialize in an area of choice by joining one of the research groups of the department. This specialization can be in the field of experimental nuclear physics, solid state physics at the nanometer scale, soft matter physics of in the field of theoretical physics. A major part of the curriculum consists of research resulting in a master thesis. The subject of the thesis is chosen by the student during the course of the second semester of the 1st Master year.

The Erasmus programme of the European Union offers an excellent opportunity for Belgian students who would like to combine their study with experience outside the KU Leuven. All research groups of the department have a network of European collaborators and we advise interested students to integrate this exchange with their thesis research during their second Master year. Choices concerning the Erasmus programme need to be made in February of the 1st Master year. Address the study advisers to obtain specific information on this European programme !

At the end of the Master programme the student:
* has a broad knowledge of modern physics;
* has specialized in one of the following important areas of physics: solid-state physics, nuclear physics, theoretical physics or physics of soft matter;
* is familiar with the most recent developments in the research area of the chosen specialization of the master thesis;
* is able to carry out research in a professional and multidisciplinary research team under the supervision of experts;
* is able to independently solve advanced physics problems by choosing the appropriate experimental and/or theoretical method, develop the method and report on it in a correct way;
* has developed the literature research skills to be able to process and present insights and results from international scientific research to both specialists and peers;
* is able to reflect critically, communicate and discuss the social role and the ethical dimension of scientific research in general and physics research in particular;
* has mastered scientific English to such a level that he/she can deliver written and oral reports;
* is able to use the scientific methodology in his/her own learning process while acquiring new concepts inside as well as outside physics. This is a vital skill for lifelong learning.
* has insight into the role of physics research in the society of the twenty-first century
* is able to place a contemporary discussion on physics research into a historical framework and formulate his/her own opinion.

Career paths
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at KU Leuven is a research-based institute that generates substantial research funding. Consequently, many research positions are available, and more than half the students obtaining a Master's degree in physics eventually start a PhD programme in one of the department's research groups.

A number of graduates prefer to pursue a second Master's degree, with medical radiation physics, environmental sciences and statistics being the most popular subjects. There are also excellent career opportunities in industry (e.g., ICT, material research, electronics), consulting, government, banking (statistics) and higher education. Virtually all newly graduated physicists find employment quickly after obtaining their degree.

Entry Requirements

Direct access: Bachelor of Physics; Bachelor in de fysica; Bachelor in de wiskunde, minor fysica. Non-native English students are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS certificate. For applicants from outside Belgium, comparability of the diploma is not always easily established. Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas are required for all applicants. Additional documentation is required for applicants from other universities as it is impossible for us to reliably assess the comparability. The Admissions Board evaluates all applications and has the final say on the admissibility of the student, taking into account the relevant information. More: www.kuleuven.be/admissions

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