Master of Physics
Master of Science
EducationThe Master of Physics programme provides students with a thorough knowledge of physics in general and in-depth knowledge in a range of specialist areas. Students prepare a Master's thesis in a research domain related to e.g. 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.
The Master of Physics is an initial Master's programme. You can follow this programme on a full-time or part-time basis.
ProfileThe ideal prospective student possesses the following skills and knowledge set:
- a Bachelor's degree in sciences;
- well-developed insight in the general methodology of the natural sciences, and the ability to situate this methodology and its results;
- the ability to tackle the study of a limited scientific topic and report about it (orally and in writing);
- a thorough grounding in traditional and modern general physics (mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics);
- general familiarity with the state of the art in physics;
- the ability to build upon logical and deductive reasoning abilities and mathematical technique (including statistics, computer programming) towards understanding and applying physical principles in new situations;
- the ability to use basic physics tools to carry out experiments and to analyse and interpret the results as well as to report on them;
- experience delving into the deeper levels of some subfield(s) of physics at an advanced level;
- an awareness of at least one related science subfield, and the ability to connect this subfield with physics, be it from a fundamental or an applied viewpoint.
Specifically, the following (indicative) list of courses represents the level of prerequisite knowledge expected of prospective students. For more detailed descriptions of content, a counterpart for each of these courses can be found in the Dutch-language courses of the KU Leuven course catalogue under the heading `Bachelor in de Fysica'.
(a) General Physics (28 ECTS) (for example Serway and Jewett, Physics for Scientists and Engineers; with modern physics, complete)
(b) Mathematics and computational techniques (33 ECTS) (Calculus, Linear Algebra, Statistics, Differential Equations, including partial differential equations and notions of complex analysis, Computer Programming)
(c) Intermediate Physics (24 ECTS) (Classical Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Experimental Methods, Quantum Mechanics)
(d) At least one advanced physics course (5 ECTS) that builds upon (a)-(c)
This total of 90 ECTS should be considered a minimum. In particular, some additional mathematical and/or computer skills, but especially additional advanced physics courses as in (d), are highly recommended.
For specific admission requirements, click on the desired programme in the 'Choose your courses of study' section.
ObjectivesThe goal of the Master's programme is to train students to function as physicists in a company environment, a research institute or a teaching profession.
At the end of the programme, the graduate will possess:
- a thorough knowledge of physics in general and a more specialised knowledge of a limited area of physics;
- a sound judgment of the current state of the art in physics research;
- the ability to acquire new independent physical insights, results, and methods;
- the ability to solve physical problems by choosing the most appropriate experimental and/or theoretical method and to report correctly on the results;
- the ability to structure and analyse specific problems in different situations;
- the ability to work in group;
- the ability to present insights and results;
- the ability to critically follow the social role of physics.
After graduationThe 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.
Information sessionsKU Leuven organises a Verderstudeerbeurs each spring. In addition, faculties also organise information sessions for many of their bridging and graduate programmes.
All information sessions for (future) Master's students
SpotlightThe Department of Physics and Astronomy aims to explore physical realities by means of mathematical, computational, experimental, and observational techniques. Fifteen teams undertake internationally competitive research. Publishing research results in leading journals and attracting top-level scientists are key priorities. The department is not only dedicated to the study of new physics and the development of innovative techniques, it also maintains close links with industry (e.g., consulting, patents) and society (science communication). Additionally, the department is responsible for teaching basic physics courses in several study programmes.
ContactFaculty of Science
Prof. dr. G. Neyens
Tel. +32 16 32 72 61 of +32 16 32 72 63
Kasteelpark Arenberg 11 bus 2100
tel. + 32 16 32 14 01
Study Advice Service
Naamsestraat 80 box 5415
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium
To contact us please complete the contact form on our website.