Bachelor of Science in Physics and Astronomy

Studying physics and astronomy is particularly suited for people in possession of a unique talent, i.e. that of combining practical ingenuity (setting up and interpreting experiments) with abstract reasoning (mathematics). Physics aims to describe and understand the behaviour of material systems under a variety of conditions.

Bachelor's Programme
3 year 180 credits
Faculty of Sciences
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About the programme
Programme summary
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Postgraduate studies


Physics and astronomy are branches of science that cover a large part of the material world, ranging from the study of subatomic particles (i.e. the so-called elementary particles) to the study of the cosmos in its entirety. The study of physics and astronomy aims at describing, understanding and modelling systems under the most diverse conditions. Fundamental sciences are based on the essential reciprocity of theory and experimentation/observation: a theory must always be tested, and new observations inform and inspire scientists to formulate new theories or improve existing ones.


Admission into the programme is subject to taking a benchmark test (in Dutch).

For whom

The study of Physics and Astronomy is particularly suited for people in possession of a unique talent, i.e. that of combining practical ingenuity with abstract reasoning. Not only do you have to be good at setting up and interpreting experiments, you also have to be able to apply mathematics – the abstract language of physics – fluently. From the first year onwards, this is an important requirement: a solid basic knowledge of mathematics is necessary to start the study programme. Provided that you obtained decent marks, a secondary school diploma with at least 6 hours/week of mathematics in its curriculum should be sufficient preparation to take on the Physics and Astronomy programme successfully.



The Bachelor’s programme in Physics and Astronomy studies the fundamental methods and techniques required to describe the earth’s and cosmos’ physical reality. Various specialised branches of physics and astronomy are already touched upon, to be further explored in the Master’s programme.The curriculum consists of eight learning pathways: general physics, theoretical physics, the structure of matter, astronomy, experimental physics and astronomy, mathematics, computer skills, broadening perspectives and interdisciplinarity. From the second year onwards, you choose between the Physics and Astronomy track, or the Education track. The former offers the opportunity to broaden your specialist knowledge or to explore other study programmes. The latter track allows for direct access into the subsequent Master’s Programme of Teaching.


The Master of Science in Physics and Astronomy deals with a range of expert course units. In addition to five mandatory course units, the curriculum also offers a wide array of elective course units within the discipline. These electives dovetail closely with research that is being conducted by our own research groups, all of which contribute to physics and astronomy research on an international level. This gives you a large degree of freedom to specialise in a Physics and Astronomy sub-discipline of your preference. The study programme studies the fundamental aspects of physics and astronomy. By means of a balanced combination of the different concepts, the programme also aims at delivering physicists and astronomers who are able to start in a specific research branch. In addition, the programme aims at delivering academic Masters who have developed the attitude that is so characteristic of physicists and astronomers: i.e. the capacity for problem-setting and problem-solving thought. In many executive positions – be it in industry, government or academic research - this is an essential and highly valued skill. In the context of your Master's dissertation, you are given the opportunity to collaborate with one of our research groups which allows for a complete immersion into a specific (sub)discipline. This makes the Master’s dissertation an excellent stepping-stone to a potential doctorate.

In addition to the (domain) Master’s programme described above, you can also choose a Master’s Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: Educatieve Master). For more information, go to educatieve master (120 sp).

Labour Market

Our graduates find employment in company or government research departments, in product development or in a diversity of positions requiring a solid knowledge of ICT (e.g. big data, computer modelling) and problem-solving skills. Used to asking what-, how-, and why-questions, physics and astronomy graduates also find their way into fundamental and applied research positions. Our graduates receive an in-depth training with a strong focus on the capacity for problem-setting and problem-solving  thought, mathematical modelling and computer modelling. Among other things, these skills make our students into flexible and widely employable graduates in a range of executive positions.