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
Dutch
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About the programme
Programme summary
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Off to a good start
Postgraduate studies

What

Physics is a branch of science that covers a large part of the material world, ranging from the study of subatomic particles to the study of distant galactic systems. Physics wants to describe and understand the behaviour of material systems under a variety of conditions. The significance of a physical theory is based on the ability to explain previously recorded experimental observations, and to predict results of unperformed or as yet unperformable experiments.

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.

Structure

Bachelor

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 specialized branches of physics and astronomy are already touched upon, to be further explored in the Master’s programme. The first year largely coincides with the Mathematics programme. In addition, several basic physics course units and a course unit on programming are provided. From the second year onwards, physics and astronomy become the main focus. 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.

Master

The Master of Science in Physics and Astronomy deals with a range of expert course units. In addition to five compulsory course units, the programme also offers a wide array of elective course units within the discipline. These electives have close ties with internationally active Ghent University research groups in Physics and Astronomy. Hence, you have a large degree of freedom to specialize in a Physics and Astronomy sub-discipline of your preference.  
The study programme aims at studying of the fundamental aspects of physics and astronomy. By means of a balanced combination of the different concept, 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 training academic Masters with an attitude characteristic of the physicist and astronomer: i.e. the capacity for problem-posing and problem-solving thought. In many executive positions – be it in industry, government or academic research - this is an essential and highly valued skill.
The Master’s programme also offers minors that prepare you for a career in research or business.

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-posing 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.