MSc Applied Physics

Applied knowledge to meet society’s needs

Applied Physics covers phenomena ranging from the infinitesimally small – subatomic particles – to the unimaginably large – the universe. Somewhere between these two, there is the reality of everyday life. Applied physics is about translating a deep understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of physics into concrete results to benefit society.

The Applied Physics Master’s programme is designed to educate students to be able to stay at the forefront of fundamental understanding, and to develop practical applications.


Degree: Master of Science Applied Physics

Credits: 120 ECTS, 24 months

Type: Full-time

Start: September (for Dutch applicants a start in February is also possible)

Language of instruction: English

Advancements in nanotechnology, medical imaging and more

The curriculum contains five tracks connected to the main research departments, with research topics ranging from nanoscale phenomena to processes in industrial plants, reactors or climate issues. The programme contains general courses covering topics that every well-educated physicist should know about, departmental courses supplementing the basic knowledge with topics that every specialist should know about, and additional electives that reflect topics in our professors’ fields of specialization. In addition, you will work on a project in a research group of your choice in order to develop hands-on experience with the processes of discovery, explanation and application of knowledge. Students have the opportunity to draw on the resources of a number of outstanding facilities. The research is internationally embedded, as is manifest from the many collaborations we have with institutions and companies all over the world.

What you will learn

In the programme you will gain knowledge and hands-on experience in experimental techniques, theoretical analysis, simulation and modelling. You will work on research projects, including a master’s thesis project, together with fellow students and professionals from the university, industry and research institutes, learning to translate the abstract into the practical, and to effectively communicate your insights as an applied physicist in a global context.

Programme tracks (new)

Latest news: Five new tracks from 2018-2019 that replace the current tracks.

  • Physics for Energy: Address the challenge of sustainable energy production using state of the art physics.
  • Physics for Fluid Engineering: Design and analyse fluid engineering processes, ranging from blood flow to industrial plants and climate models.
  • Physics for Health and Life: Cutting edge physics for understanding processes taking place within the smallest units of life systems.
  • Physics for Instrumentation: Help designing the most advanced machines for research in cosmology and particle physics to machines for medical therapy and chip fabrication.
  • Physics for Quantum Devices and Quantum Computing: Explore the fundamentals of quantum phenomena and apply them to develop devices with unprecedented functionality.

Soon more details.

Programme tracks (current)

Within the core programme, students choose one of the following five tracks:

  • The Imaging Physics track (ImPhys). Optical images of colliding galaxies taken by the Hubble telescope, acoustic images of underground seismic structures and magnetic resonance images of the human body are examples of the problems addressed in this track.
  • The Transport Phenomena and Fluid Flow track (TPFF) considers flow and transport phenomena over a wide range of time and length scales in their mutual dependence. This includes the interplay between chemical reactions, turbulent eddies, bubbles, flow and convective transport on the scale of the vessel or at a long range.
  • The Quantum Nanoscience track (QN) studies quantum phenomena and exploits novel principles in nanostructured devices. The unusual behaviour of the quantum world is revealed in delicate experiments, geared towards developing building blocks for devices with unprecedented functionality and scale.
  • The Bionanoscience track (BN) is dedicated to research at the interface between nanoscience, synthetic biology and cell biology. Applying nanotechnology in order to explore and engineer biology is the essence of bionanoscience. This track focuses on the functioning of single cells in all their complexity down to the molecular level.
  • The Radiation Science and Technology track (RST) is tied together by the concept of radiation. The focus of the research is on energy and health. While the topics addressed – covering materials, sensors and instrumentation, energy and sustainable production and health – vary widely, all the research within this track is somehow related to radiation.

The Casimir Pre-PhD special programme prepares students for a PhD position within the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience in Delft or the Leiden Institute for Physics Research (LION) at Leiden University. This programme provides optimal preparation to students who wish to pursue a PhD in one of the focus research areas of the Casimir graduate school in which the Kavli Institute and LION collaborate. Students in this programme can choose a PhD position after two years, provided they demonstrate in the first two years of the programme that they possess the requisite skills. The programme is also a very good preparation for a PhD position outside Delft or Leiden.